This is something seriously incredibly delicious. As told (written) by The Masterchef himself – Chef Caspar:
First of all, the ingredients:
Because I live in Serbia some of the ingredients might be a bit different from a traditional Indian recipe. In general I don’t claim to make authentic curry. First of all, I am not Indian nor have I ever been there, so I actually don’t know what an authentic Indian Curry tastes like.
On the other hand I’ve eaten a fair amount of curries in England, America and Australia, all places belonging to the old empire where apparently they have a fairly good idea of what Curry is supposed to be.
Also for a authentic curry recipe there are many websites with “real” recipes.. By all means you should try those too.. This is just my way of doing it and the reason I am writing them down is because according to most of my dinner guests – I am really good at cooking curry.
The thing is: It’s not that hard.. you just need to remember a few basic rules, and have a knack for food. I once read that most Asian food actually doesn’t work via recipe ( the way western food has strict rules) but instead is more of a personal touch, vibe (however you wanna call it) thing. I call it “jamming”.
While cooking, the same part of my brain is activated as when I am making music.. I start of with a basic theme, or a “song” if you will, and from there on I start improvising… coming up with extra ingredients and different tricks or “riffs”… until you end up with a big fat “sound” – The Dish!
Tonight I was jamming a Pork Korma Curry.
This is what I did:
- Half kilo of pork thigh (svinjski but)
- 1 big onion
- A piece of fresh ginger about the size of a grown man’s thumb
- 2 big tomatoes
- 1 medium-sized carrot
- Half a Courgette (tikvica)
- 1 sweet pointy red paprika(šilja)
- 50 gr of raisins
- Half a mango
- One 330 ml can of thick coconut cream (santen)
- Half a cup of yogurt (optional)
– 1 big teaspoon of coriander seeds
– 1 big teaspoon of cumin (kim in Serbian)
– 4 green cardamon pods (open them up and take out the little seeds to use.. throw away the rest of the pod)
– 3 teaspoons of kurkuma powder (turmeric)
– Half teaspoon of black pepper
– 1 teaspoon of salt (duh.. did you ever cook without using any salt?)
– 1 teaspoon of strong sweet soya sauce (optional)
– Fresh coriander (to garnish with..practically impossible to get in Serbia… GRRR!! )
– Some olive oil
The two basic elements of this curry are sweet earthy creaminess combined with a bit of sweet and sour counter balance. That’s why this recipe can be made with either yogurt OR tomatoes.
In general, when you use yogurt you don’t need tomatoes and when you use tomatoes and santen you don’t need yogurt… Curry is all about balancing these flavours and can be done in different ways…obviously…
For this recipe I chose the tomatoes and santen method (mostly because our local supermarket after 8 years of me waiting for it, finally sells these nice big cans of thick, sweet, creamy coconut milk.. jupi!!)
So here it goes… One, two, three, four:
The cooking itself:
- Chop up the onion and ginger
- Grind the cumin, coriander seeds and kardamon seeds in amorter (“avan” in serbian) nice and fine, almost like powder.
- Pour a splash of oil in a big pan and heat it to medium/hot temperature, add the ground spices, onion and ginger and let it fry a bit.. don’t let it burn! But let the spices blend into the oil and onions..
- Add kurkuma, pepper and salt..
- Cut the tomatoes into small pieces and add…let all of it simmer into a nice “moist” mass…
- Cut the meat into bite-size pieces and put them in the pan.. Let it fry a bit..
- Add the raisins. (they need to cook fairly long so they become soft and nice and juicy)
Be careful not to let it burn!!!
So all of this is done with medium temperatures… we are doing a medium tempo soulful funky jam… no punk rock today!
- Cut the carrot, tikvica and paprika in small bits and add to the dish which is now gently frying…(cut the carrot into thin slices,so they don’t end up crunchy but nice and soft after cooking)
- After about 5 minutes add the can of coconut cream (If coconut cream is not available, use half a block of “creamed coconut” ( you know? it looks like a block of frozen butter)with warm water and/or follow instructions on the package on how to use it instead of “fresh” coconut cream)
- Add the meat of half a mango (cut in little bits, the mango will “melt” into the dish giving it sweetness (like the santen) and a touch of sour “kiselo” flavor)
Let it cook for about 10minutes…
Rewind and listen to what it sounds like up to now…
And then… comes a bit of “Jamming”
Taste it, and you can decide to add some funky licks of jogurt if it needs more kiselo, and/or some bass EQ of soya sauce if it needs more salty-sweet taste
Adding a bit of loudness… Let it cook for another 10to 15 minutes..
If the curry is too thin and watery you can add some compression: 1/4 of a cup of water with one or two tablespoons of flower … you stir the flower into the water so you get a milky kind of substance.. Then pour this flower-water through the curry and after stirring it for a minute or so, you’ll notice the flower is binding all of it together into a thick creamy sauce.. This is how I like it!
Serve with Basmati rice… (don’tyou dare eat it with regular rice!! Basmati is, simple as it might be, half the magic of a good curry!)
Finally, add a little reverb: garnish with some chopped up cilantro (fresh coriander leaves).
Enjoy and feel happiness and love!
Both Vanja and Ana really loved this curry tonight.
Vanja had a total blast, using the „kroepoek“ shrimp chips as „bite boats“, filling them with curry and letting them sail away to his mouth and tummy in the speed of light, with indescribable joy!