Thursday, 2 April 2009

A Tale of Two Curries

I realise that the blog is starting to look like a restaurant review blog. While I have been eating out a lot recently, this isn't the way of the blog; I'm still eating at home.

After I saw Josh blog Mamta's Prawn Patia, it jumped straight to the top of my 'must-make' list. I love the balancing flavours of sweet, spicy and sour that so many cuisines have. The Filipinos have Sinigang Na Hipon, a hot and sour soup; the Thais Tom Yum, and the Chinese Hot and Sour soup. So it was no surprise that this dish turned out to be a cracker - really good depth of flavours with a sauce just coating the meaty prawns.

I like to have a couple of dishes on curry nights, and one I have been trying to recreate is Tinda Masala, which I first tried at Tayyabs. Tinda is an Indian gourd, likened to baby pumpkins but I haven't been able to find any since. Whilst shopping in Peckham last weekend (a stone's throw from my new abode in New Cross) I saw a small green pumpkin which I thought would work out well. Clearly I haven't got much experience with squashes - I find them a bit too sweet - and the shopkeeper gave it a feel, ordered I put it back and got me a fresher one. Now that's service.

Coconut Pumpkin Curry

Serve 4 as part of a multi-dish meal

1 small green pumpkin, chopped into equal sized pieces, skin peeled

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp ground coridander

1 small tin of coconut milk

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1" ginger, minced finely

1 medium onion, diced

2 chopped green chillis, deseeded

Small bunch of chopped coriander

1/2 tsp garam masala

In a frying pan, heat up 3 tbsp cooking oil and add the cumin seeds. Fry until they are fragrant and add the onions, garlic and ginger. Cook slowly until dark brown but not burnt. Add the green chilli, all the spices except the garam masala, and then the pumpkin pieces. Add the tin of coconut milk with some salt, and simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. Simmer for a further 10 mins without the lid to reduce to a thick sauce and 5 mins before finishing, add the garam masala. Take off the heat and garnish with chopped coriander.

This curry worked well as a contrast to the prawns. It was slightly sweet but not too much so, and it was very mild and creamy, taking the heat off the prawns somewhat.

If you prefer a more intense pumpkin flavour, I suggest roasting the pumpkin and adding it to the curry later. As it is, I'm a recent convert to pumpkin and so am going down the softly-softly route...


William Leigh said...

Really love the flavour of green chillis - they add a different zip to it. Yum.

Dan said...

Pumpkin curry - really unusual. I love the fact that the shop owner advised that your squash selection was poor....exactly the way it should be.

Anonymous said...

Looks lovely! I really really wna tt eat that, and shal definately try it out this weekend!

Kake said...

I really liked that patia recipe too. I liked it so much I made it again a couple of days later, using tofu this time instead of the prawns — that worked really well.

The Ample Cook said...

I think having a couple of contrasting curries at one sitting is the best way to do it - one creamy and mild - one a bit more spikey. Yum.

Anonymous said...

That tinda curry looks gorgeous, I can't wait to try it.