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22 March 2015 @ 08:48 pm
Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries: Week Twenty-Six: Kozhi Varatha Kosambu  
I'd say I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but 1) I actually don't care, and writing reviews about things I didn't like is probably the easiest single kind of review I do and 2) I didn't actually dislike this week's curry, for reasons that I'll get to after I've rambled on for a while in the intro in accordance, as is tradition from time immemorial. I was looking forward to it when we bought chicken thighs at the butcher, because dark chicken is the best chicken. I'm glad that as a culture we're getting over the "No fat, boneless skinless breast meat only, Final Destination" mania that afflicted us when I was a child, though at the same time I'm not because it means that fatty meat is actually valuable now and we can't get fatty cuts for cheap. At least organic, pastured chicken hearts are still $5 a pound. Maintain your disgust with organ meat, Americans!

Anyway, that's off topic. Sadly, and probably due to said disgust, there's no organ meat category in this book. I mean, horumonnabe was pretty amazing in Japan, and I can see some pretty good curries coming from liver or heart or tongue.

This...wasn't curry. It was actually quite good taken on its own, without the expectations that I build up around something that has to compete with Thai curry, but since this was curry night and it was made for Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries, it didn't hold up.

I think I might just not like dry curries very much. Or at least, not the ones in this book. Kozhi varatha kosambu was more like curried chicken than chicken curry, tasting mostly like dark chicken meat with a kind of light curry taste instead of the mouth-filling flavor that I'm used to from the better curries we've eaten. It's the kind of thing I'd expect to have at a street fair on a stick, at least if it had been charred a bit more.

There was a kind of minor sauce at the bottom, but that's only because softlykarou added a bit more water than it suggested and I turned down her offer to take more of it. That might have been a bad idea, since the bites where I scooped out some of the pieces of tomato and garlic and spice were some of the best.

This actually looks like it might be an okay smoothie.

Words from the Chef
It's always nice when curry looks relatively pain free. This was helped by using chicken thighs instead of fabricating a whole chicken, as is my custom. I saw the recipe suggested drumsticks but our butcher didn't carry them but they did have some lovely thighs so I used those. There's a lot of oil in this recipe but I've finally learned that when the curry book says "1/3 a cup of oil" to just trust it. I liked it, but I have to concur with dorchadas, it wasn't curry. It was more like curried chicken than a curry with chicken in it. It was good but it wasn't something I'll remember a few months down the line.

My mouth started watering when I looked at this picture.

We had potatoes to use up, so we ate it with some kale on the side and a bowl of chopped potatoes roasted with a ton of harissa. Those potatoes were amazing, and they made the rest of the meal worthwhile, but they may have been a mistake. 50 Great Curries of India suggested eating it with flavored rice, and I think that might have been a wiser choice to carry a bit more flavor. One of the suggestions is tomato rice, and I know that we figured out how to make a kind of Spanish rice using tomato paste and some spices a while ago, though now that I think about it, we haven't made it in years. Partially because it was a bit finicky--it was very easy to add too much water and end up with inedible mush--and partially just because we've forgotten about it, I think. But now that I've remembered it, I think putting the chicken on a bed of that would have made up for a lot of the perceived deficiencies.

I'm still not sure I'd call it curry, though.

Just look at those potatoes in the corner. You know, we also have a potato cookbook my parents got me. Maybe after this we should do Fifty Weeks, Fifty Potatoes?

Would I Eat It Again?: Yes, but not on curry night.
Do I Prefer It to the Usual Thai Curry?: It's not curry.
What Would I Change?: Put it over rice. Other than that, it's hard to think of something that doesn't completely change its nature. "Add a sauce" means that we're making a different recipe, basically.
Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - Lost in a Nightmare (Palpable OC ReMix)
Wouldn't you like to knowlibby_may on March 31st, 2015 11:02 pm (UTC)
If you do 50 weeks, 50 potatoes - zomg the two of you will have my heart *laughs*.
dorchadasdorchadas on April 1st, 2015 10:37 pm (UTC)
Sadly for symmetry's sake, I'm not sure it has 50 recipes. But some of the ones in there do look really good...