Curry Diary 4/27/2014: Milestone Curry #5: Adjusted Garlic and Flour

Been awhile since an update on curry?  Well I was revising some of my plans, rechecking some measurements, and getting used to my new cookware (burnt the last batch a bit).

My big findings here were:

  • I doubled the garlic.
  • I tried oatmeal flour, since white flour is do dull, uninteresting, and not even that great nutritionally.

It came out really good!  It’s got a good level of richness, nice and tasty, definite milestone.  I might tone the garlic down just a bit – I want to eat a few more meals with it to really judge it.  I’m not ready to call it complete obviously, but it’s a definite milestone.

I also think the change in flour had a real effect.  Good Japanese Curry is about a kind of richness, and there’s so many choices out there to bring a rich flavor.  In this case I used oatmeal flour, but I wonder about whole wheat flour, besan, and other options.  White flour is just too dull.

So here’s the latest recipe!

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Milestone Curry #4: Red Wine and More Cocoa Powder

So my latest experiments led me to the conclusion that a richer Japanese Curry was possible if I used more cocoa powder and some red wine.  The Cocoa powder had already worked wonders and red wine was a known ingredient in some curries (along with fruit juices).  So here’s the latest – and as you may have guessed, it’s a milestone.

  • 4 tablespoons low-fat vegetable spread (I’m just going for this now since the goal is low sodium, low fat)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder. (S&B CURRY)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste.
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth OR replacement broth below
  • 1/2 cup red wine (shiraz and zinfandel are good)
  • 2 1/4 tsp cocoa powder (about 3/4 a tablespoon)

Broth Substitute (I didn’t really change the spice mixture so you may want to tone it down a tad – I used storebought broth this time)

  • 2 1/2 cups water.
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp thyme, ground
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dill weed, ground
  1. Melt the Spread over low heat in a pot of your choice.
  2. When the spread is melted, add the flour, curry powder, tomato sauce, soy sauce, maple syrup, cocoa powder, red pepper and black pepper. Mix thoroughly; I mash, fold, and mix until the color is consistent.
  3. Turn the heat to medium-low.
  4. Now, you want to brown the roux, and there’s a bit of an art to it. What I do is let it cook like a pancake, about 20-45 second until one side browns, then mix it up, fold it into a “pancake” and let it cool again. You may have to play with the heat, but the goal is to basically brown it/fry it slowly. This is needed to develop the flavors.
  5. Eventually it will get crumbly and crack – and you’ll see it visibly brown when it’s let to sit.
  6. Add the vegetable broth and wine to the roux. Turn the heat up so the mixture boils mildly. Do this incrementally so you don’t overdo it or underdog it.
  7. While waiting for it to boil, and when it boils, with a whisk, mix the broth and roux. It also helps to use a spatula to crush chunks of roux against the side of the pan. This can take a bit of effort. In general while mixing, I moderate the heat to get the mild boil.
  8. Stir regularly so it doesn’t adhere/burn.
  9. I wait until the sauce thickets – it reduces by about a fifth. The key I use is when it’s not “boiling” but has the bubbly “bloops” of a thicker sauce. This can take awhile – I find it needs a minimum of 15 minutes, though between heat, time, size of pan, etc. it can vary.  Taking time is good as it also boils away the alchohol.
  10. Serve or put in freezer containers.

The result?

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Curry Diary 6/23/2013: Milestone Curry #2

Well this is unexpected.

Right after posting my Milestone Curry, I did a slight change of cooking – and it advanced how the Japanese Curry I’ve been working on for ages tastes.  In fact, it’s a significant change that I want to note here because it’s very educational.

In the last iteration of the Curry, I added Maple Syrup to the broth.  In this case I add it right to the roux and roast it along with the other ingredients   This roasting/carmelization adds a richer taste, makes a thicker sauce, and actually seems to amplify the tastes.

As I look at various curries, a surprising amount of odd things go right into the roux.  I think next I may need to try the cocoa powder earlier.

Anyway, on to the recipe – and there are some changes in how it’s put together.

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