“if god is all powerful, can he make a curry that is too hot for him to eat?”
–traditional omnipotence paradox
“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
–J. Robert Oppenheimer
In some ways, i think that i have a penchant for suffering. simply put, sometimes i enjoy things that are a bit uncomfortable, maybe even a little painful. this was definitely the case this week as i prepared this particular feast…
A few weeks back when i made the mexican feast with the chicken and mole sauce, i had noted how the early stages of the mole reminded me of a japanese style curry. it had been my intention since then to develop that into a meal and this week the intention came to fruition. i must say it turned out quite nice if a little painful. i really like my curries a bit on the hot side. i want to lose any and all congestion and end up sweating by the end of the meal. with this goal in mind, i decided to kick the curry up a notch or two and enjoy the heat a bit. this meal was fairly simple in relative terms, some plain cooked white rice, a beef curry and some garlic naan bread to sop up the delicious fiery juices. i’ll warn you from the outset, this is not a dish for the faint of heart but it’s just enough to light you up, its not going to kill you.
So, as mentioned above, this prep starts the same as the mole sauce. i adjusted the amounts and ingredients a bit to match the amount of sauce i wanted and to balance the flavors. start out with two large yellow onions, sliced into medium sized slices. brown these off in a skillet with a bit of canola oil for about 15 to 20 minutes over medium heat. you want them nicely browned and caramelized but not burnt.
in the meantime while they are cooking down, seed and stem 4 jalapenos, 4 anaheim peppers and 2 habaneros. also peel about 10 cloves of garlic. after your onions are nicely browned, toss in the peppers and garlic and cook until the peppers soften. transfer this mixture into a large mixing bowl and add 1 can of beef broth and the following spices, freshly ground in your spice grinder please: 1 tsp of cloves, 2 tsp cumin seed, 2 tsp of cayenne, 2 tsp of coriander seed and 2 tsp of black peppercorns. add to this about a tsp of cinnamon and 2 tsp of curry powder, i used the hot madras curry powder.
time to break out the immersion blender (or pour the whole deal into a stand up blender) and liquify. you should have a thick sauce, dark reddish brown in color. add some salt to taste and set aside. meanwhile, cube to medium sized peeled potatoes and roughly chop up a large onion. add these and about 1 1/2 cups of baby carrots into some boiling salted water and cook until they begin to soften. next, take 1 pound of chopped stew meat, salt and pepper it, sprinkle with red pepper flakes and stir fry in a bit of canola oil until browned. drain the meat well and add the meat, the boil vegetable and the curry sauce into a pot. gently heat, stirring to make sure all the ingredients are well coated. serve when ready.
alongside this as i mentioned, i made some fresh naan. i seemed to have misplaced my tandori oven so i had to settle for baking these on a pizza pan at 375 degrees for about 12 – 15 minutes, turning once and brushing with butter. the dough is relatively simple, just make sure that you let it rise properly and punch it down, knead it again and let rise again before baking. baking bread is about patience which is why i rarely do it, i’m usually pretty short on patience.
2 tsp yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups flour
10 cloves of minced garlic
1/4 cup butter, melted
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water. Let stand for about 10 minutes, until it gets bubbly. Stir in the sugar, milk, egg, salt, and flour, stirring to make a soft dough. turn out the bowl onto a floured counter and knead until your dough is smooth and elastic. drizzle some oil into your mixing bowl and but the dough in it, turning to cover all surfaces with oil. cover it with a dish towel and set aside to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size. Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. separate the dough into about 8 balls and shape into flat circles. place these on a cookie sheet and allow to rise for another 30 minutes. preheat the oven to 375 and brush the dough with a bit of olive oil. bake for about 8 minutes, remove from oven, turn them over and brush with melted butter. about 7 more minutes in the oven, take them out and serve hot with the curry.
oh, make some sticky rice according to the instructions on the bag. make sure you buy decent rice and leave out the butter, you don’t want anything taking the flavors from the curry. i would also up the salt suggested so the rice doesn’t end up too plain.
well, it turned out great and had the desired effect of cleansing my body and soul. sometimes you just need a little trial by fire, some pain is good. the only thing that was missing and i’m sure joe will agree was the trip to Sonic for a milkshake after. other than that, great meal and 3 days worth of lunch for me to boot. i call that a result.