I make lots of dinners that can be classified as “curry”, and here is another one I made while at the beach a week ago!
Once you have a good curry powder you should feel free to use it in all kinds of dishes, either as the main flavor or used as a subtle background palate pleaser. I toss it into anything that might need a little boost of flavor or to add an aire of complexity to the dish. It has saved many a dinner for me, many a time!
For me the spices used to make curry powder are not so much about heat as they are about how they add an exotic twist to something ordinary. Of course you can use a blend that singes your taste buds and numbs your lips if it adds to your enjoyment, and I have certainly gone both ways depending on my mood.
The good thing is that I made sure to scoop a hefty handful of my favorite blend when I packed all things culinary for the beach a couple of weeks ago. I will admit to being one of those people who does not like flying-by-the seat-of-her-pants when it comes to arriving at a rental house for a week in the hopes that the person who stocked the kitchen is as passionate about food as I am. I have learned over the years what the essentials are, and besides coffee and Maldon salt, curry powder is another one of those can’t-live-without ingredients as far as I’m concerned!
I know, there is also a picture of just-opened cardamom pods, and this is because I have discovered how useful a flavor booster they can be when your pantry is paltry! Anyway, about those little green pods…have you ever bashed one open with a mortar and pestle and taken a whiff? The smell sends you reeling to aromatic heaven. It has a distinctive minty fragrance with rich tar-like overtones. It feels like it gives balance to the heady-ness of curry spices and I love using these little black seeds in everything lately. In other words: they came along to the beach too.
The last thing I think is essential when leaving your kitchen for a week or so is a bag of fresh herbs. I find if I have fresh herbs, certain spices, salt and good stock cubes (I packed my trusty Rapunzel Vegetarian cubes with Herbs) I can make the saddest of meat and veggies taste good. Luckily the supermarket was not too shabby so we ate like kings every night.
This curry was a sort of experiment as the one thing I forgot was my big work horse of a pan for making one-pot meals. I wanted to make a curry type casserole but could only find a thin roasting/lasagna style pan. I made do, and cooked each thing separately in a small pan on the stove-top and then layered the ingredients as I would a lasagna into the cheap-o pan, topping the whole thing off with a broth-y sauce, and then baking it in the oven.
The result surprised me. It was really an interesting way to cook everything and was supremely delicious. I was glad I had to compromise as it has now freed up my brain into thinking that you don’t have to have the best pan in the world to get great tasting food… although, I must say right now that I will only be parted from my stainless steel all-clad pans when prised from my cold dead fingers!
*This is a great Blood Type A diet Recipe EXCEPT omit the cream and add more broth – Yes there is curry powder but if you use something mild, I say it is fine, unless you are ultra sensitive*
You will need:
olive oil (for frying)
sea salt and black pepper for seasoning
2 lbs turkey breast, sliced
1 medium onion (white, yellow or sweet will do)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 zucchini, cut into large chunks
6 cups baby kale (or chopped regular kale)
10 mushrooms, sliced (white, crimini or shiitake will work)
4 or so thyme sprigs
4 to 6 green cardamom pods (bashed open and seeds removed and reserved)
2 tbls good quality curry powder (if it has a lot of heat, reduce the amount)
2 tbs all-purpose four
3 cups broth (or 1 good quality bouillon cube, either chicken or vegetarian and water)
1 cup heavy cream
*serve with basmati rice – make enough for 6 people*
Preheat oven 400*
1 – Season meat lightly on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put a big saute pan on high heat and add about 2 tablespoons olive oil. When it is hot brown the meat on both sides, making sure not to crowd the pan as you go. You will need to do this in batches and add more oil as needed.
2 – Layer the turkey in an evenly in the bottom of a roasting style pan or casserole dish. Scatter the zucchini on top.
3 – Turn pan down to medium and add a little more oil, followed by the onions and garlic. saute for 2 or so minutes before adding the sliced mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes. Add the thyme sprigs.
4 – Add the curry powder and cardamom seeds and stir everything together for about 1 minute. Add the flour and stir well. Add the liquids 1 cup at a time, adding the cream last. Stir as you go and turn heat up slightly. Cook until mixture begins to bubble. Turn off heat. Taste sauce for addition of salt and pepper.
5 – Sprinkle kale in an even layer on top of the zucchini and then do the same with the onion and mushroom mixture. Pour the sauce over everything and place in preheated oven for about 40 to 45 minutes.
6 – Remove from oven and let the dish rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
Serve as is or with your favorite starch: bread, rice or pasta!