Has anyone ever felt awkward about curries?
Not about eating them of course. That would be plain madness.
Awkward in that you’re confused about the fact that you can order curry in pretty much any Asian restaurant but you thought for sure that curries were specifically from India.
And now you’re sitting in a Japanese restaurant and you see curry on the menu and you think it will consist of raw fish and wasabi so naturally, you order it and then a plate of potatoes and peas in a sweet(ish) sauce is placed in front of you. Confusing.
OR, imagine this: you’re walking down the street and someone stops and asks you to make a curry (because that could totally happen). You think about it, and you realize that you wouldn’t know what to buy at the grocery store apart from curry powder, probably onions and some spinach because SAAG PANEER.
Here’s the dirty.
Turns out, we have been WAY over thinking it. Curry is just a dish that is covered in sauce that always tastes best the day after making it. That’s it.
Sure, there are hundreds of variations of curries but don’t over analyze.
Curry = meat, seafood, poultry or veggies slathered in sauce. Sometimes spicy, sometimes not.
The word “curry” was coined by British Colonists in the 18th century, most probably from the Indian word, Kari which means… you guessed it, smarty pants – SAUCE!
Here is a basic curry recipe so that the next time a stranger asks you to make a curry, you will know exactly how to handle it.
Mushroom and Tofu Curry
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or any other high heat oil
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1 large red onion, sliced in half moons (see pic below)
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 tablespoons coconut milk
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups tofu, cut into bit size triangle pieces
- 4 cups mushrooms, sliced (any variety you like or have on hand)
- Heat oil in pan until it is really hot (check by taking a bit of water on your fingers and splash it in the pan. If the water sizzles, your oil is hot enough) and cook the cumin seeds on medium heat for 1 minute.
- Add the onions and cook for 7 minutes and then add the curry powder, turmeric, red chili powder, sea salt and cinnamon stick.
- Stir and cook for 30 seconds and then add the water and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons of coconut milk, mushrooms and tofu, cover the pan and simmer on medium low for 20 minutes.
- Serve with rice.
- The type of tofu used in this dish is the puffy fried variety that you can find at Asian grocery stores in the refrigerated section. You can use regular firm tofu but the texture and overall experience will be much different. The fried puffy tofu really absorbs the sauce and makes for super flavorful tofu. I highly recommend tracking some down when you make this dish.
- Make this 1 day before serving it. This will allow time for the flavors to fully develop.
If you want to learn more exotic cooking, check out my first cookbook, Bold Vegan – Food of South East Asia. You will impress your friends.