So I like curry. I like all kinds of curry. And I’m a total chili head, so I like spice. (As one friend put it when eating pho with me–“Hey, did you know your food is glowing?” And from the Hoopy Frood when eating Thai with me: “I can feel your food’s heat from across the table.” Others have mentioned something about my food not having anything on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.) What can I say? I can handle my spice.
I haven’t made Thai curry in awhile–I was embarrassed to admit to my Thai roommates that I used curry paste as a base. Then I asked them for their recipe. It included pulling out a tub of curry paste from the fridge. Fry up some meat or protein. Dump a few healthy tablespoons of curry paste in. Cook with the meat for a bit. Then dump your veggies (bamboo shoots, mushrooms, whatever) cover with coconut milk. Give it a splash of fish sauce to taste. (You can also add lime leaves or basil leaves.) Serve over rice. (Jasmine.)
Japanese curry: Brown some cut-up meat. Cube some potatoes, carrots and onion. I like to give them a quick toss in the pan to get them started and carmelize a bit. Look on the back of the box of curry to see what the proper ratio of water to curry is. Dump the water over and boil until everything is mostly cooked. Then dump in your curry cubes. Thicken and serve over rice. (Short-grain.)
So I have had notoriously bad luck cooking Indian food from scratch. I lived with a post-doc from India for awhile, and she’d laugh off my requests for recipes, saying I wouldn’t be able to handle the heat. (O ye of little faith…) But the elusive cuisine was out of my grasp. Thus, I have discovered the wonder that is Pataks. And…I have tasty curry atop a fluffy pile of basmati (organic) rice. As my neighbors can attest to my contented belch, I have discovered how to make good Indian food.
Their hot curry paste isn’t that hot. I wonder if they tone it down for export across the Pond. Now if I can find an import shop that sells shetland wool for lace, Doctor Who DVD’s, and curry paste, I would be very happy. (And probably never leave the house.)
Speaking of curry, it seems that there are some who are addicted to it. Who, me? Naw, I can stop eating curry at any time…