Posts Tagged With: curry leaves

Beef Smore From Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Entree

BEEF SMORE

INGREDIENTS

2 pound piece of sirloin or beef chuck
2 tablespoons vinegar
½ teaspoon pepper
3 garlic cloves
1″ ginger root
1 large onion
1 small green chile
1 stalk lemongrass (tender inner bottom part only)
2½ tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
2″ cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
10 fresh curry leaves or ½ teaspoon dry curry leaves or curry powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1¼ cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon lemon or tamarind juice

Serves 6. Takes 2 hour 30 minutes

PREPARATION

Make holes in beef with fork. (This will aid in marinating.) Add beef, vinegar, and pepper to bowl. Marinate for 1 hour.

While beef marinates. Mince garlic cloves, ginger root, green chile, and onion. Seed and mince green chile. Thinly slice lemongrass. Add ghee to pan. Heat ghee at high heat until is hot enough to make a fenugreek seed dance. Carefully add beef to pan. Sauté for 2 minutes on each side or until browned all over. Remove meat to plate. Leave beef juices in pan.

Add garlic, ginger, green chile, onion, cinnamon stick, fenugreek seeds, fresh curry leaves. and lemongrass. Sauté for 3 minutes on medium heat. Stir frequently. Add beef back to pan. Add beef, red pepper flakes, coconut milk, and lemon juice. Lower heat to low and simmer 40 minutes or until the beef reaches your desired level of doneness and coconut milk reduces to a gravy. Turn beef over every 10 minutes. Slice beef to your desired thickness. Spoon onion gravy over beef slices.

TIDBITS

1) At first, Sri Lankan Beef Smores were cooked on a handy twig over an open flame.

2) But the weight of the meat made the twig snap

3) The sirloin would fall into the ashy fire pit.

4) Chefs then shouted, “I need more sirloin.”

5) So many sirloins landed on ashes that this requested shortened to, “I need smore sirloin.”

6) Then eventually to “Smore” by the Monosyllabic Chef Association (MCA).

7) And so it went. Sirloin after sirloin fell into one campfire pit after another.

8) This food wastage bankrupted one restaurant after another.

9) Clearly, the food-service industry needed a new idea.

10) And in 1619, Chef Kasun Perera revolutionized everything when he said, “Why not move this meal indoors? We won’t get rained on.”

11) “Or even stampeded by elephants.”

12) Sure, moving the meal to avoid getting crushed by wild beasts seems obvious now.

13) But isn’t the way with all new ideas?

14) No, not all new ideas arise from Stampeding Elephant Fear Syndrome (SEFS). Rather, all new ideas will eventually seem obvious.

15) You could have skipped to this tidbit from tidbit 11, but it wasn’t obvious then. It is now. See?

16) Or even have skipped to here. Any way, moving fire pits inside dramatically lessened the number of deaths due to elephants.

17)However, way too many restaurants burned to the ground from the flames in the open pits.

18) Customers look askance at fleeing a burning restaurant.

19) The restaurant industry needed another fertile mind.

20) It got with Tharindi Bandari, when in 1878, he said, “How about cooking things on a pan on a metal stove?” They will be no fires when we cook our beef smores this way.”

21) It’s impossible to overstate how this brainstorm transformed cooking.

22) Now, the entire world enjoys fire-storm free dining.

23) America came up with a different solution to the ashy sirloin problem. In 1958 little Timmy Perkins replaced the ingredients of the Sri Lankan Beef Smore with marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate saying, “The weight of melting marshmallow will never break our twig.” It worked! It tasted great. “I’ll have smore,” said Timmy’s dad. And in 1997, Timmy’s brilliance would win him the Noble Price for Culinary Achievement.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Sri Lankan Entree

COCONUT SHRIMP CURRY

INGREDIENTS

3 garlic cloves
1½” ginger root
2 small green chiles
1 medium onion
1 small tomato
12 fresh curry leaves
1 teaspoon dry curry leaves, or curry powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
4 teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
1½ tablespoons lime juice
1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
1¼ pounds shrimp (about 24 count)

Serves 4. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves, ginger root, green chiles, and onion. Dice tomato. Add garlic, ginger, chiles, curry leaves, onion, and oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add tomato, cinnamon stick, curry powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and turmeric. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add lime juice and coconut milk. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until coconut milk thickens. Stir frequently. Add shrimp. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 4 minutes or until shrimp turns orange or pink.

TIDBITS

1) The grass that cows eat affects the taste of butter that is made from their milk. Indeed, butter from Isigny Sainte Mère is the best tasting in the world. Why? The area’s rich pastures are chock full of mineral salts and just the right traces for buttery excellence.

2) Shrimp cooked in coconut milk tastes great. So, of course, shrimp vendors tried feeding coconut milk to these little crustaceans. But expecting shrimp to climb up trees and crack open the coconuts resulted in disappointment. Nothing happened even when they put the shrimp in trees. Of course! Shrimp can’t breathe out of water. The shrimpers tried planting coconut trees in water. It turned out that coconuts trees don’t grow in water. The once plucky entrepreneurs gave up the whole idea. Now we’ll never know if shrimp could have been trained to extract milk from coconuts.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Omelette Curry

Sri Lankan Breakfast

OMELETTE CURRY

INGREDIENTS – OMELETTECurryOmelette-

3 green chiles
1 large onion (1 medium onion later)
3 fresh curry leaves or 3 teaspoons dried leaf fragments or 3 teaspoons dried basil (10 leaves more later)
1½ tablespoons sesame oil (1 tablespoon more later)
6 eggs
1 tomato
½ teaspoon pepper 1/8 teaspoon more later)
1 teaspoon salt (¼ teaspoon more later)

INGREDIENTS – CURRY

½” cinnamon stick
¾ teaspoon grated ginger (½” whole ginger)
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 garlic clove
1 medium onion
10 fresh curry leaves or 10 teaspoons dried leaf fragments or 10 teaspoons dried basil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons curry powder (not the same thing as curry leaves)
2 teaspoons chili powder
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ cup water
1 cup coconut milk

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder

Makes 4 bowls. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION – OMELETTE

Mince green chiles and onions. Add green chile, onion, 3 curry leaves, and sesame oil to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Remove green chile, onion, and curry leaves from heat. Add eggs to large mixing bowl. Whisk eggs. Dice tomato. Add green chile, onion, tomato, pepper, and salt. Mix with whisk until well blended.

Reduce heat to low. Add all ingredients in mixing bowl to pan. Fry on low heat for 10-to-15 minutes or until omelette is cooked to your desired level of doneness. Remove omelette. Cut omelette into squares. You get quite a bit of latitude in the size of your squares. 1″ perhaps?

(However, there is unanimity on the geometric shape. It has to be a square. What would happen if you cut the omelette into triangles? Would the Omelette Police come after you? Would the Earth’s surface convulse in earthquakes? I don’t know. Play it safe, make squares.)

PREPARATION – CURRY

While omelette cooks, grind cinnamon and ginger. Grind fenugreek seeds just long enough to crack them. Dice garlic clove and onion. Add cinnamon, ginger, onion, 10 curry leaves, curry powder, fenugreek seeds, and sesame oil. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add chili powder, ⅛ teaspoon pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt, turmeric, and water. Stir with spoon until well blended. Simmer on low heat for 3 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add coconut milk. Simmer for 5 minutes or until curry starts to thicken. Stir occasionally.

Add omelette squares back into curry. Simmer on low heat for 2 minutes. Stir occasionally. Goes well with naan bread or rice.

TIDBITS

1) Omelette Curry is an an anagram for the illustrious Portguese navigator and explorer, Telemeo T. Crucy. Senhor Crucy rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 1486 and discovered the Indian Ocean by way of the Atlantic. Bartolomeo Diaz did the same in 1488. Telemeo also discovered India via this sea route in 1487. Vasco de Gama duplicated this feat twelve years later.

2) But Crucy the Explorer–the inspiration for Dora the ExplorerTM by the way–got no credit at all, no monuments, no cities, no holidays, not even candy bars named after him. What the heck? Why?

3) Because he was the first one to bring the spicy curry leaves back to Portugal. Of course, the King of Portugal, whose name is lost to us as I am typing in WordPerfect and I’d have to get out of WordPerfect and into my internet browser, by which time I would have lost my train of thought here and degenerated into writing long, rambling sentences.

4) It was João II. The king’s name was João II! I looked it up. Who knew?

5) Anyway, Big Joe, as the king was often by his adoring subjects, was the first to be served the curry leaves. Portuguese monarchs, by established right, got to taste every new spice first.

6) Which was a mistake in this case. No chef in the king’s kitchen knew how much curry to put in the king’s chicken noodle soup. So they guessed.

7) One cup was a bad guess. Big Joe fled the banquet hall. He wasn’t seen for days. But his moans were heard all over the castle. They still can. Even his ghost has yet to get over this tummy ache.

8) Things deteriorated rapidly. Big Joe started hating the world. He tripled taxes on the peasantry. The despising people called him João the Moaner. The Moaner stripped Telemeo of his titles and erased all vestiges of his name. Proper spicing is a must. May this cookbook help.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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