It was interesting and sometimes fun to have an Indian landlord. She has a pantry full of Indian spices and ingredients. I once asked her naively, do you have curry powder? She suppressed a sigh (or so I guessed, because she looked at me like I was an idiot), and said there’s no specific “curry powder” in Indian cooking. She usually makes curry using a host of spices, and therefore there are many many ways to make Indian curry. Eek.
Anyway, I didn’t have curry powder either, and was craving “real” curry, as in, strong and spicy curry different than the Japanese curry cubes that I have. So I made this thing from scratch – I based the recipe off some Thai curry recipes, but didn’t have a lot of the required ingredients so had to wing it a bit. I thought it came out very curry-esque, despite the lack of proper ingredients. Since I didn’t have a lot of chillies or paprika or chilli paste, I added the tomato for color (red) and also flavor.
Fish (with) made-from-scratch curry (sauce)
(You can of course add broth/water to make a soupy curry).
makes 10 oz of thick curry sauce
cooking time: 15 mins
Mahimahi (or any other delicious white fish; this amount of sauce is enough for at least 4 pieces of fish fillet)
3-4 big pieces of dry galangal (or 2 inch piece of fresh galangal)
a pinch of dried shrimp (10-12 small dried shrimp)
2 dried chillies
1 tbs shrimp paste (mam tom)
1/2 tsp tumeric
2 cloves of garlic
Half an onion
a pinch of whole cumin (or 2 tsp of ground cumin), toasted
1 can of coconut milk
Fish sauce, to taste (*be careful, the shrimp and shrimp paste are already salty)
Blend all the ingredients together till smooth.
Pour into a saucepan and heat until boils. Put the fish in and cook for 5 minutes until cooked through but still soft.
Remove, plate the fish. You can strain the sauce if you want; it’s pretty smooth as it is, and I like to eat everything, so I left it alone 🙂