Friday, July 17, 2009

Making curry

I thought I'd mention here that making curry is truly like any other type of cooking. You've got to get the right blend of spices for your taste. We're lucky that here in the Atlanta metro area there is a very large Indian population, so I have a lot of choices when it comes to eating Indian out or making it at home.

While the slow cooker curry is very easy since I used a preblended masala paste, one of my other favorite recipes is from The New Moosewood Cookbook. You have to measure all of your spices for the curry, and this gives you the option to leave something out if you don't like it or have it on hand.

Years ago I found a cookbook called The Yogi Cookbook at the library. There is a quote in there that I found very funny at the time, and it's stuck with me. I do wish I could be official and reference the page, but here it is. "What delights the Indian surprises the westerner". He was talking about the fact that Indians will use the whole spices in their food and happily crunch them up. Westerners aren't always prepared to eat whole spices. However, I have remembered that quote, and I use whole spices when I make Indian food here at home. Keith and I have both laughed while enjoying the flavor blast from a cardamom seed.

By the way, The Yogi Cookbook has been a real challenge to find. I saw those prices on Amazon and couldn't believe it! What I've found though is that if you keep looking, sometimes the prices will come down, as was the case with Diana Kennedy's The Art of Mexican Cooking. When I first started looking for it, I couldn't find it anywhere for less that $125! I wanted it, but not that badly. I even wrote the publisher and suggested that they reissue it since it was commanding such high prices online. In the meantime, I would occasionally search for it, and one day I found it listed for $20. I think mine is missing its dustjacket, but I was buying it for the recipes.

Some other authors whose books I own are Yamuna Devi and Anna Thomas. I'll admit that I'm willing to try to cook just about anything at home, and sometimes I'm just not successful. Thank goodness for the compost bin! And perhaps surprisingly, it's the Mexican food I've not tackled yet. I'm not sure why we've not tried it yet. Is it the abundance of Mexican restaurants that serve delicious Americanized Mexican food? Probably. Yet I go through the Diana Kennedy or Rick Bayless books and drool, so maybe it's time I give it a go.

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