Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rasa Kayi

I love Curry. My pantry is always stocked with basic ingredients to make some type of curry at a moments notice. As my family will tell you, I rarely make the exact same curry twice. I never follow recipes, and I prefer to experiment with different flavors and with whatever ingredients are available fresh from the market or garden.

The produce coming from my CSA these days is predominately root veggies, so I decided to make a Root Vegetable Curry. While this doesn't really follow any particular regional curry style, it is probably closest to a Southern Indian Rasa Kayi (Mixed Vegetable Curry). I went with traditional Indian curry powder instead of a Thai style curry paste because I thought it would better compliment the earthiness of the root vegetables.

Here is a quick Curry 101 lesson...

I start out by frying some spices in a hot pan. Here I used Bay Leaves, Star Anise, and Whole Cloves. This imparts a really nice flavor into the oil. Remove the spices once they are nicely toasted...




Now add chopped Onions and Garlic. I used Garlic Scapes because thats what I had on hand from my CSA. Add chopped Peppers at this point if you are using them. I didn't have any on hand, and ended up adding some jarred hot banana peppers towards the end. While the onions are cooking, add several tablespoons of Curry Powder and let everything cook down to a thick paste consistency...



At this point I add a little butter, or Ghee if I have it, and then I added chopped Kohlrabi, Turnip, and New Potatoes. Stir them around in the pan to coat them with the curry powder and onions and let them cook for a few minutes...



Then I added about a tablespoon of Chili Sauce (Sambal). This is an essential ingredient to every curry I make. Sometimes I use Garlic Chili Sauce and sometimes just plain old Chili Sauce, but it goes into every curry. This is what provides the background heat, not overpowering, just nice subtle heat. Let the Chili Sauce cook and mix in with the rest of the ingredients...



Now add a can of Coconut Milk and let simmer on very low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the veggies are cooked through. Do not allow the coconut milk to boil, you will ruin the subtle flavor...



I serve this on Brown Rice with some fresh Basil and a shot of lemon juice...




This was a really yummy curry. I have been trying to reduce my meat consumption lately, and I have gotten slightly tired of the steamed veggies I have been making for dinner most nights. This was really satisfying. I considered adding Tofu, which I do quite often when I want to make a Vegetarian Curry, but I didn't miss the protein at all.And I was right about the Indian Curry powder complimenting the root vegetables, especially the Kohlrabi. The mix of flavors was just right.

1 comment:

cc said...

OMG Christopher, you have made my day. I have a crisper drawer FULL of 3 varieties of squash that I am growing: Zucchini, Yellow and Patty Pan. I am going to make a variation of your squash curry this weekend. I was going to make a Ratatouie, but the 'mater's are quite ready and these squashes ain't gonna wait.

Thank you!