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31 May 2015 @ 09:26 pm
Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries: Week Thirty-Four: Crab Curry  
I always feel a little bad when I come to a curry with a partially full stomach. Objectivity is a lie etc etc, but I like to approach each of these curries with at least broadly similar starting conditions so that my opinions can start from a reasonably similar place. And this is a futile endeavor because we do not know our own minds, but "how hungry I am" is probably the metaphor that I'm most able to control, and in this case I came in mostly full and it's possible that my impressions will have suffered accordingly. For that, I apologize to you all.

There's no way I would have given up that homemade grilled cheese and tomato soup, though. Nom nom nom.  photo emot-qfg.gif

This also ends the brief streak of curries where we weren't substituting anything, since as I'm sure the title of this post informs you, it's designed to use crab instead of fish, but we stuffed it full of cod. And mostly cod, since there really weren't many other ingredients. For my opinion on that, read on.


The coconut streak continues.

I'm torn on this one. Half the bites were just a blast of spice, which isn't so bad on its own but doesn't leave me with much of an impression or a reason to eat it. I mean, spice is all well and good and I love spicy food, but if all I taste is burning then I might as well just pour chili sauce in a mug and drink deep. It'll be fast and cheaper for the same effect.

On the other hand, some of the bites I took were quite good. The spice was cut through with the creaminess of the coconut, lending the whole thing a kind of...yogurty flavor, even though there wasn't actually any yogurt in the recipe. It might be the creaminess that led me to that impression, but when that taste was prominent I loved it. If only the whole curry had tasted that way, I would have been a bigger fan of it, but unfortunately I couldn't predict whether any individual bite would be burning or flavor. I guess you could make a fun party game out of a dish like that, but it's less exciting as an evening's meal. Question block photo emot-question.gif


Food processor photos are the new frying onion photos.

Words from the Chef
I don't have a lot to say about this curry. It took so little effort and I wasn't doing anything new. I'm sad we can't find kashmiri chilies because they are apparently what give so many of these dishes the vibrant red color. I mean, it's a curry I'd make just because it's super easy but there's really nothing special about it.



A beautiful and incorrect golden color.

As softlykarou says, maybe it's the lack of kashmiri chilis that's really hampering some of these curries that I'm lukewarm on. We're using what I was going to say were the chilis that my parents grow in their garden, but softlykarou informs me that they're merely the same species of chili that they grow but actually from the Asian grocery store nearby. Regardless, they're not Kashmiri, and so our curry is a warm and inviting golden color instead of the fire-red that it's supposed to be. I'm not sure I know what Kashmiri chilis taste like, so I don't know whether it would have made the difference here.  photo emot-iiam.gif

That's an idea that's worth trying. Maybe for a week where we don't have enough time to do a full new curry, track down Kashmiri chilis and make an old dish I liked or was neutral on and see whether my opinion changes. Stay tuned for the next C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER, entitled "It's different this time!"


Only yogurt as a side. And no, that's not where the yogurt taste came from.  photo emot-v.gif

50 Great Curries of India says that Kashmiri chillis are mild so use fewer if substituting, and this particular recipe also states that if using fish, reduce the chilis by twenty percent, both of which softlykarou did. It still often tasted like burning. The book does say it's "really hot and spicy," so I guess that's supposed to be the correct flavor? In which case, the parts that I liked were the aberrations, which is a bit disheartening. Well, it's not like there aren't 49 other curries in this book that I can pick from.

Would I Eat It Again?: Out of curiosity if nothing else.
Do I Prefer It to the Usual Thai Curry?: Even the good bites were not that good, I'm afraid.
What Would I Change?: As I said above, maybe Kashmiri chilis are the secret holy grail we've been missing out on this whole time. I just don't know.
 
 
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