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26 April 2015 @ 09:04 pm
Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries: Week Thirty: Shrimp Patia  
We hit another milestone this week, with the end of the chicken curries and the beginning of the seafood ones. And with that, we also begin the substitutions, because as I'm sure the title of this post informed you this curry is supposed to be made using shrimp. For a variety of reasons, I don't eat shrimp, but softlykarou looked around and we decided to substitute squid for this recipe. That was a bit of a last-minute substitution--we were originally going to use fish, but the grocery store we went to didn't have the fish we were going to use, so we went to plan B. It worked out the way fictional Plans B (I assume it's like "attorneys general") seem to, which is to say that it turned out probably better than the Plan B would have. Squid is pretty good.

I can't shake the impression that the squid looks like mashmallows.

And so was this curry. It had a great mix of flavors heavier on the spice, just the way I like it. 50 Great Curries of India says that a patia is:
a curry with sweet, hot, and sour flavors equally balanced
and while I did get a mix of all three flavors, it definitely wasn't balanced. The heat overwhelmed the others by quite a bit. On the other hand, I know I'm really going to enjoy a curry if I take the first bite and end up coughing, and then have to blow my nose after a few more bites, so on that score it passed with flying colors.

Come to think of it, I tasted more sour than sweet, which was a relief. I was a bit worried when I asked softlykarou what went into the curry so I could enter it into my fitness tracker and she said that sugar did, but there wasn't much of a sweet taste for me. Which is good, because I don't deal well with lots of sugar anymore. So I ate all of my curry and I was content.

Then I had caramel ice cream for dessert and now my stomach hurts.  photo emot-sweatdrop.gif

A good spice mixture is the heart of a good curry.

Words from the Chef
Our first seafood curry and we're already making substitutions. I think that the squid worked out well and had a good texture but I wish it had more time to absorb the curry flavor. I'm not sure shrimp would have held up any differently though. I was happy with the balance, though I didn't get as much sour as I did sweet and hot. Before I added the squid the balance was perfect so I could have added more sour ingredients but ah well. This curry was easy to make and had good flavors overall. Plus anything that lets me pound something into a paste and take out any vestiges of aggression I have is always a good thing.

Pre-squid. I like the color that the tomato brings.

I think we made an unwise decision with our sides this week, but it was mostly driven by necessity. We were originally going to have curried potatoes on the side, which would have done a good job of cutting through the spice from the patia, but last Shabbat we had completely run out of matzah and ended up buying some bread from our local co-op. And since it's organic local bread with a list of maybe eight ingredients, it goes bad in three days and I wanted to make sure we ate it all before it went bad, rather than the tiny piece we used for the motzi. As such, we had bread and butter with our patia, which I suspect is not a culturally-accurate accompaniment.

Well, I had butter. softlykarou just ate it plain.

I mean, the bread did take down some of the heat too, but partially due to poor planning on our part there wasn't really any place to put the bread down, so we just ate it whole and then ate the curry in shifts. It worked, but maybe not as well as could be expected. I'm glad I had some Greek yogurt on the side, is what I'm trying to say here. And maybe next time, we should listen to the book when it tells us that it's traditionally served with rice.  photo emot-sweatdrop.gif

When I sat down, I asked softlykarou if that those were baby corn. They are not.

Going back and looking at my post about safed murgh korma, it looks like I had pretty similar thoughts about that one overall. I wonder if the next transition between curry types will be the same?

I did give shrimp patia a better writeup, I feel. It was very good, even if it wasn't quite good enough to push it into the halls of amazing curries like korma pulao or Goa lamb vindaloo. Maybe next time!

Would I Eat It Again?: Yes!
Do I Prefer It to the Usual Thai Curry?: It lacks a certain something. Maybe if it had been more equally balanced between those three flavors I would have rated it higher.
What Would I Change?: I don't think it needs any changes. I just don't like it quite as much.
Current Mood: fullfull
Current Music: Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men podcast