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#1 Old 06-14-2007, 05:34 AM
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I was reading through the stir-fry thread and, besides getting hungry, got some awesome ideas and help to make better stir-fry. It made me wonder if anyone has any of the same kind of general tips for curries. I love the curries at restaraunts but have never really been successful making it on my own and haven't found any recipes that look like what I want. I've searched around here and there are some wonderful recipes but I was looking for something basic and some gereral guidance. Any ideas?



Thanx!
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#2 Old 06-14-2007, 06:04 AM
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I just stick onions, peppers, other stir fry style veg and quorn/tofu in a pan fry them for a bit then add a jar of curry sauce. mmmmm rogan josh

its minimal effort curry.
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#3 Old 06-14-2007, 07:46 AM
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Indian curry or Thai curry?
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#4 Old 06-14-2007, 08:06 AM
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I always use my own spices, and have gotten pretty good at varying the proportions to get different effects. Whole spices make a world of difference - they are so aromatic!



I start by toasting some cumin seeds in a hot, dry pan. Then add oil and saute onions, garlic, and maybe ginger. When the onions get well cooked, add some water and let it simmer. I grind coriander, cardomom pods, crushed red pepper, and maybe a few cloves or asafetida seeds in a spice grinder and add it in, along with some turmeric. You can drop in a whole cinnamon stick too - Cook it for awhile - the idea is to let the water boil off to make a thick, concentrated, almost pasty sauce. You can add some tomatoes at this time to give the sauce a better consistency. Let it all cook until it is pretty smooth and mushy. Then add your veggies, some more water if needed, and simmer until the veggies are cooked how you like them. I like to add currants and pine nuts too. You can stir in a little soymilk or vegan margerine at the end to make it creamier. Also at the end, you can add green herbs like perhaps a little cilantro or some fenugreek leaves.



Experiment to get the blend of flavors you like. If I'm doing two curried dishes for one meal (dal, say, and also a vegetable curry), I emphasize cinnamon, pepper, and hot spices in one of them, and cardomom and maybe ginger in the other. They end up tasting like completely different dishes, even though the basics are pretty much the same.
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#5 Old 06-14-2007, 11:38 AM
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I wish wish wish I could find jars of curry sauces. Though making my own is really how I want to go, the convenience would be nice every once in awhile



I love Indian and Thai Curry but have this curry powder that I have no idea waht to do with.



Seusomon- I totally agree that whole spices are a completely different thing. My HFS sells bulk, fresh herbs and spices and I love them for it.



The pastey sauce sounds like what I am looking for. I want to make some naan and rice and veggies with red curry sauce and everywhere I go for recipes it says, "add red curry paste". I'm either an idiot and can't find it or none of my stores carry it. Either way I still want to make my own



Thanx for the help!
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#6 Old 06-14-2007, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachbnny View Post

The pastey sauce sounds like what I am looking for. I want to make some naan and rice and veggies with red curry sauce and everywhere I go for recipes it says, "add red curry paste". I'm either an idiot and can't find it or none of my stores carry it. Either way I still want to make my own



Thanx for the help!



Red curry paste is found by the Thai foods in most chain grocery stores. I can find it quite easily everywhere. Althuogh if you can't find it, maybe someone will RAK you a jar.

"May All Be Fed" has a quick curry with potatoes and peas that I really like. I've been making it for years.
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#7 Old 06-14-2007, 01:32 PM
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Can't you get jars from a supermarket?
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#8 Old 06-14-2007, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachbnny View Post

I wish wish wish I could find jars of curry sauces. Though making my own is really how I want to go, the convenience would be nice every once in awhile



I love Indian and Thai Curry but have this curry powder that I have no idea waht to do with.



Seusomon- I totally agree that whole spices are a completely different thing. My HFS sells bulk, fresh herbs and spices and I love them for it.



The pastey sauce sounds like what I am looking for. I want to make some naan and rice and veggies with red curry sauce and everywhere I go for recipes it says, "add red curry paste". I'm either an idiot and can't find it or none of my stores carry it. Either way I still want to make my own



Thanx for the help!



FTR, I've never seen curry paste for sale here either.
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#9 Old 06-14-2007, 04:16 PM
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If you see a section in your store that has oriental noodles, coconut milk, and silken tofu, this is likely where the red curry paste is. It comes in very tiny jars, but you only use a little bit when you're cooking a coconut curry. (These are concentrated Thai spices, not the large jars like you can get Indian curries in.) Be sure to read the ingredients. Some brands of curry paste contain fish.
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#10 Old 06-14-2007, 05:47 PM
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You could try an Asian market. Any of them - Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese will still usually have a section of curry pastes.



While I love whole spices for Indian curries as Seusomon suggested, I actually MUCH prefer the curry paste for Thai type curries.



After doing your veggies and tofu however you want, just mix in a couple Tbsp. curry paste and a can of coconut milk and you have some awesome, fresh tasting curry!



That said, I absolutely loathe the pre-made jarred curry-type "sauces" (like Trader Joes and other companies sell) with all the ingredients already mixed in. They taste artificial and "instant" to me and they're NEVER spicy enough.



For those who just think you can "pick curry up at the supermarket" you're very lucky... Even here, in a very culturally diverse area, the only place I can find it is in the Asian Markets.
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#11 Old 06-21-2007, 05:32 AM
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I've seen the Golden Curry stuff at the bottom of that page you linked. It has MSG in it and I'm super excited about eating MSG laden stuff. I can't find the ingredients for the one above it but I'll pop in a Food Lion and check it out! Thank you



It is nearly impossible to get curry paste in a jar here. I can sometimes make it to the Asian market. I haven't be able to in the past 2 months cause I've been running a furniture store and planning a wedding, but maybe after things settle down a bit I'll be able to make regular trips again. I Hate having to grocery shop in three different places- commisary, HFS, and Asian markets. It drives me insane.



Sorry for the babble And thanx to everyone that offered ideas. It's really appreciated!
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#12 Old 06-21-2007, 08:15 AM
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I actually saw 3 kinds of curry paste at SuperTarget the other day. Now I just need to get some and try using it!
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#13 Old 06-21-2007, 11:03 PM
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>>

I love Indian and Thai Curry but have this curry powder that I have no idea waht to do with.

>>



1. The yellow powder you find at supermarkets that's labeled "curry powder" is ****. When making Indian curries, I grind my own in advanced. For these ingredients, you may need to go to an Asian or Indian market.

2. I use curry pastes for Thai curries. They may be found at Asian markets and are hot as **** (as they are calibrated to a Thai pallet).



ebola
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#14 Old 06-21-2007, 11:06 PM
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>>

The packages say they are Oriental curries, but they taste like Inidan curry to me. Then again, I didn't know Orientals had curry!

>>



1. Historically, "the Orient" has referred to locations to the East of Europe.

2. The Japanese actually have specially adapted Indian style curries, and they have become widely popular. This is likely what these "Oriental style" curries will taste like.



ebola
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#15 Old 06-22-2007, 02:39 AM
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I was always curious about that golden curry stuff! Maybe I'll give it a shot.





I do <3 curry.
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#16 Old 07-10-2007, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachbnny View Post

I wish wish wish I could find jars of curry sauces. Though making my own is really how I want to go, the convenience would be nice every once in awhile



I love Indian and Thai Curry but have this curry powder that I have no idea waht to do with.



Seusomon- I totally agree that whole spices are a completely different thing. My HFS sells bulk, fresh herbs and spices and I love them for it.



The pastey sauce sounds like what I am looking for. I want to make some naan and rice and veggies with red curry sauce and everywhere I go for recipes it says, "add red curry paste". I'm either an idiot and can't find it or none of my stores carry it. Either way I still want to make my own



Thanx for the help!



Try www.namaste.com

They have anything you need...



Well, I have bought many items from here but I was not able to pull it up..Go to google and type in "indian grocery online" ...A lot of choices..
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#17 Old 07-10-2007, 07:04 PM
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For Thai curries, I find this brand of premix exceptional:http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/brands/curries.html. It's a big container and you have to refrigerate it after opening, but it lasts a long time (and you can get it mail order).



For Indian curries, I think whole spices are the only way to go. It's amazing what you can do with nothing more than cumin, mustard seed, cardamom, termeric, and chilis in just a little bit of time.
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#18 Old 07-11-2007, 04:07 AM
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I make curries a couple of times a week - I never follow a recipe, I just make it up as I go along, depending on what I fancy and what I have in the fridge or growing in the garden. But I always follow the same structure which is how all of the Indian/Nepalese people I've ever know have done it. My tips;



Don't use olive oil - it's too strong for curry.. use a more flavourless one .. sunflower or groundnut oil is good.



Saute up chopped onion and garlic (I like LOADS of garlic) until soft

Add your spices - start with the seeds... mustard and cumin etc ... cook them until they release their fragrance and start to pop.



Then add your ground spices ... they are fresher if you grind them yourself... but as a beginner you could buy a tub of curry powder - some of them are great. (I use garam masala, which is a blend of spices, coriander (seeds or crushed), turmeric, cardamon pods, grated ginger, maybe cinnamon if I'm making a sweeter curry).



Always cook your spices before adding liquids ... don't just stir some curry powder into a pan of curry - the spices will taste uncooked.



Then add your veggies ... they can be finely chopped, or you can make a rustic curry with big chunky bits. I love green beans, potatoes, aubergine and red pepper in my curries.... but you can use anything you fancy (cut things that take longer to cook into smaller pieces)



Red lentils are great in curries, they give it a great texture and protein.

Chuck it all in the pan, mix well so it's all coated with spices, then add some chopped tomatoes (or a tin or two) and some stock if you want. Stir it all and bring to a boil, then simmer until it's all good and cooked and the flavours have mingled.



I also add sultanas to some curries, especially dahls.



For a creamy curry... once it's cooked you can add a can of coconut milk (this will also thicken it up) .... and/or some ground almonds (bliss!)

Top with chopped coriander and tuck in.



If you like a smoother texture ... take a portion of the cooked curry and blend it, then return to the pan and stir everything together.



Serve with rice and an onion/tomato/mint salad. Or some soya yogurt with mint. And of course it's delish with mango chutney and lime pickle.



Curry freezes really well.... I make a huge pan and freeze portions in bags. If you cook the stuff to be frozen for less time that the bit you're going to eat, then the veggies won't turn to mush when you defrost and reheat.
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#19 Old 07-12-2007, 08:51 PM
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There's a red curry paste that I love by a company called Thai Kitchen. Their curry paste is gorgeous but a bit hot!



If you follow the directions on the jar (which is very small) and use real coconut milk (organic preferably) NOT the LIGHT coconut milk, and instead of fish sauce you can substitute a "Vegetarian Fish Sauce Substitute (from the Sundays at Moosewood cookbook) by making a strong vegetable stock that is heavy on onions and black peppercorns. for each 2 tbsp of fish sauce called for, substitute 2 tbsp. of the stock plus 1/2 to 1 tsp. of salt. (if substituting for shrimp paste, use the full teaspoon of salt.)"....



...start with the curry paste, the "fish" sauce, the 2 tbsp. of brown sugar and the coconut milk and throw it all in blender, yes a blender. Blend it all up on high and leave it on for about 2 or 3 minutes. Make sure it's entirely blended and tweak it to taste.



Sauté your veggies and tofu and then throw on the curry sauce. The balance of heat and sweet (from the sugar) with the smoothness of the coconut milk is divine.



It took me about 4 times of making this to get it right. It's not easy, but if you love curry like I do, when you get it right, it's fabulous.



Oh, and cook the rice first! That's another tricky part of the meal...







Good luck!



Marc
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