Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Curry!

Today turned into a cooking day.  Actually, I got myself some rice the other day to hold me over for a while, cause as much as I love eating so many veggies... well, a bag of rice was $3 and it will last me the rest of this week and probably most of next.  So we're trimming the veggies back a bit for now... rice isn't too horrible, mostly just a blank pile of carbs.  It doesn't make me feel yucky after eating like pasta or bread does either, just really full, which is the point!

So coming home today, I had the option of rice or rice with veggies or rice with veggies and some ground beef.  So I made curry.


Sorry, the picture is kinda crappy - I took it with my iPad instead of my phone.  I've made soup curry before, but never plain curry, so I was a bit nervous.... it worked out though!  It was sweeter than I usually like my curry... I used a Granny Smith apple too... maybe more chili powder next time.

Anyway, how to make it -

Ingredients:
2-3 tbsp Coconut oil
2 tsp Cumin seed
2 tsp Mustard seed
1 pinch Fennel seed
1/2 spoonful of chopped ginger
1 carrot
1/2 cooking onion
3 cups of water
1 cup of coconut milk
2 tbsp Cumin seed powder
1 tbsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Chili powder
1 dash black pepper
1 tbsp ish sea salt
1/2 Granny Smith apple
1 tsp ish butter
1 spoonful potato starch
a few tablespoons of ponzu (or soy sauce/tamari)
1/2 pound or so of ground beef

Sorry for the spoonful and ish measurements.  They're the spices that I didn't get from somebody else's recipe. 

So, heat the coconut oil on low and put in all the seeds (cumin, mustard, and fennel).  Cut up the carrot and onion and throw them in there with the butter to saute a while.  I totally was having a conversation with my roommate and wasn't paying attention to time, but maybe five minutes or so?  Brown the ground beef in another pan and let it sit till later.

Add in two cups water and a cup of coconut milk and bring it to a boil, then add in all of the powdered spices.  Hold off on the salt.  Peel the apple and cut it into bite-sized pieces.  I only used half of my apple because it was a little big.

Potato starch does the same thing corn starch does, only it's from potatoes, not corn.  As I'm avoiding grains that are known to be unhealthy, I don't use corn starch.  I got my potato starch at a Korean supermarket for making Ichigo Daifuku (full of sugar, but oh so yummy!).  I don't know if it's available at regular grocery stores, but it doesn't hurt to check.  For Ichigo Daifuku (and other Japanese desserts), the powdered white stuff on the outside is actually potato starch, not sugar, so it's quite edible and tasty.  Anyway, you're going to mix the potato starch in this like you would corn starch, a spoonful in about 3/4 cup of cold water, then whisk it in with the boiling mix.

I let everything boil down a bit after this, because you want curry to be a bit thick.  I put my rice on as I started making everything, and it finished about the same time, so I think total it took about forty minutes.  I let it boil for probably ten, stirring it occasionally to make sure nothing caught.  Near the end, you can add the ground beef, salt, and ponzu (or soy sauce/tamari - I can't eat the soy sauce in the fridge because it's so full of corn syrup and gives me a raging headache.  The ponzu I have has corn syrup in it (as well as MSG) but the ratio must be less because it doesn't bug me like the soy sauce does.  Non high fructose corn syrup sauce is on my list for eventually).  All of the veggies and the apple should be nice and soft, and the sauce should have thickened a bit.  If you leave it sit and cool for ten or twenty minutes, it'll thicken even more.  I'm impatient and don't really care, so I just ate it as it was.

For servings, I made one cup of dry rice, and what's in the picture is half of that.  So going by that size, it makes about three servings.  It doesn't completely adhere to Primal/Paleo ingredients, but considering how inexpensive it was and how yummy and filling it turned out, I'm okay with that for now.  Besides, curry is just amazing.

Note on the ground beef - I used what I had.  It's not the best.  Actual cuts of beef or chicken would taste WAY better.  You can also put potatoes in the sauce, but if you put too many veggies in you end up with no sauce.  The apple sweetens it and just adds a nice bit of yum to the flavor.  As it was, like I said before, this wasn't spicy at all.  It was actually pretty sweet.

And to think, a few years ago the best I could do was boil a sleeve with curry already made inside of it to heat it up.  :P I'm pleased with this development!

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