Eggplant Curry / Talong Curry

Curry Comes to Luzon
A Fusion Note from Tomato

Cooking Asian dishes with Asian eggplants

Asian Eggplants

This Filipino take on Eggplant Curry has a Fusion note with the addition of Tomato. The Curry Paste is savory but on the milder Continue reading

Curry Paste Philippine Style / Almuwasahin Paste

A Complex Curry Taste
Good with Dumplings and Stir-Fries

Belachn Shrimp Paste

Belachan, Shrimp Paste

his Filipino style Curry Paste is good with a lot of things, including Dumplings and stir-fry dishes, as well as blander presentations of Fish, Chicken and Shrimp. This recipe Continue reading

Grilled Curried Shrimp / Tôm Cà Ri Nướng

Best Slightly Charred with Jumbo Shrimp

Shrimp

Shrimp

This is a simple traditional Vietnamese dish that works well with jumbo Shrimp or Prawns. The recipe makes four servings. Continue reading

Curry Paste

Thai Cooks’ Stand-By
Home-Made or Store-Bought

Galangal, an important Southeast Asian spice

Galangal – Essential Ingredient in Penang Curry Paste

Curry pastes are aromatic mixtures of spices Thai cooks use to flavor stews, soups and other dishes. They can be made in the kitchen fresh before use, or can be bought canned, which is commonly done by households and many Thai restaurants.

Typically, these pastes come in small jars or tin cans whose labels bear the photographs of someone’s mother. There are several main varieties:

  • Red
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Penang
  • Musuman

Penang paste reflects the culinary style of the Penang area of the Malaysian Peninsula.

Musaman, that is Moslem style, reflects the cuisine of Southern Thailand, which has many Muslim people.

The red variety is commonly thought to be the most versatile and also the hottest.  Actually, it depends on the amount of Chili Peppers used by the individual cook. Thus, a Red Curry Paste can be made to taste quite mild, while a green one might be intensely hot.

Cooking with lemongrass

Lemongrass

The main ingredients in these pasts are Garlic, Lemongrass, Shallots, Chili Peppers and other spices.

The Penang Curry Paste emphasizes            flavors of Fennel and Mace and goes well with Beef, as in Penang Beef, and also also good with Chicken, Pork, and Fish.  Here is a formula for making a Penang Curry Paste:

Penang Curry Paste

Thai

Ingredients:

Using garlic to make Vietnamese soup with pork cabbage rolls

Garlic – a Key Ingredient

5 – 7 large dried Red Chili Peppers
½ teaspoon Fennel Seeds
1½ teaspoon Coriander Seeds
½ teaspoon Mace
2 teaspoons Black Pepper corns
1 stalk fresh Lemongrass
1 teaspoon chopped Lime Zest
1 teaspoon powdered Galangal
3 medium Shallows
4 cloves of Garlic

Method:

First, chop the Chilies coarsely and soak in cold Water to soften – for about a quarter hour.

While the Chilies are soaking, chop the Lemongrass finely, and also chop the Shallots and Garlic.

After the Chili Peppers are softened, remove the seeds and discard them.

Place the Chilies in a food process or blender.

Head a large, heavy dry iron skillet over very low flame and toast the Fennel Seeds,Coriander, Mace and Black Pepper corns for 5 minutes, shaking hte pan occasionally to keep the spices from burning.  Remove the s;ices and crush them finely ina  mortar and pestle or spice grinder and add to the Chilies.

Add in the Lime Zest, Shallots and Garlic and process for a few minutes at medium speed, adding a little cold Water, a few drops at a time, while processing until a thick, dark reddish-brown paste results.  This is the Penang Curry Paste.

This recipe makes about half a cup of Curry Paste.  It will keep for up to several months inthe refrigerator.

Thailand - Haadyai Platform

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Indian Cuisine

India - Sculpture head, Buddha meditating, India 12th century

Buddha Meditating, India 12th c.

Fish Curry From Bananas
Halva From Meat

“It is possible to eat what you believe to be a fish curry only to learn it was made from unripe bananas, or to taste a sweet halva and find it was made not of fruit or vegetables but meat.” — Attia Hosain and Sita Pasricha

An Ancient People and Cuisine: The Indian civilization is one of the oldest and most important in Continue reading

Thai Peanut Sauce

Ideal with Satay
Red Curry Paste Meets Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk, Canned

Peanut Sauce is very popular in Southeast Asian, and there are many versions. Here is one from Thailand that is commonly used in Thai cooking with dishes like Satays.  It is easy to make.

Besides Satays, this versatile Thai Peanut sauce can be served with other appetizers like Rice Crackers, as a dressing for Noodles or with dishes like Soft Shell Crabs. And it’s good to dress a variety of cooked vegetables.

There is an interesting Indonesian Peanut Sauce served with Sate and Gado Gado Salads in that country. Continue reading