Saturday, November 20, 2010

Surimi Fish Ball and Vegetable Green Curry

     Indian cooking is like cooking medicine for the soul and body!  Indian food is so good and healthy.  Many of the spices in Indian cuisine have medicinal value.  Exotic flavor combinations of spices is what curry is all about.  You can serve a curry as spicy as your guests would like it.  You can always set some hot chile sauce in a ramekin as a condiment, if the curry is not spicy enough for some of the guests.
     There are many different styles and techniques of cooking curry.  In some Indian kitchens, there may be ten to forty small bowls filled with spices, coconut milk, ginger, garlic, lemon, yoghurt, goats milk, bean pastes, curry powders, curry pastes, yam pastes, chile pastes, chutneys, oils and salt.  The Indian chef uses spoons to add multiple seasoning combinations from the small bowls to recipes being cooked.  Some dishes are plain, but some dishes can have over thirty ingredients. 
     Complex food and technique is the marquis of Indian cooking.  I used pre made frozen surimi style fish balls for this recipe.  Pre made fish balls are available in asian and Indian markets.  Home made fish balls are easy to make too.  The chutney must be made a few days ahead of time.
     Cucumber Salad Recipe:  Peel and seed a small cucumber.
     Cut the cucumber into thin slices and place them in a mixing bowl.
     Add half of a thin sliced green onion.
     Add a splash of soy sauce.
     Add a small splash of rice vinegar.
     Add a few drops of sesame oil
     Add a small spoonful of sugar.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add a pinch of dill weed.
     Toss the ingredients together and refrigerate till the flavors meld.
     Serve the cucumber salad within 2 hours or the cucumbers will become mushy!
     Surimi Fish Ball and Vegetable Green Curry Recipe:  Cook 1 cup of plain brown rice ahead of time and keep it warm.
     Heat a sauce pot over high heat.
     Add 4 cups of water.
     Add 2 handfuls of fine chopped onion.
     Add 6 chopped garlic cloves.
     Boil the onions onion garlic mixture till it become very mushy.  (The broth will reduce to about 2 cups by the time the onions and garlic become very soft.  This is the base of the curry!)
     Add 2 heaping tablespoons of garam masala curry powder.
     Add a 3 to 4 pinches of turmeric.
     Add 3 to 4 pinches of cumin.
     Add 2 pinches of coriander.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add a tablespoon of Korean red serrano chili sauce. 
     Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice.
     Add 1/2 cup of shrimp broth.
     Add a sliced small jalapeno pepper. 
     Add a small handful each of these julienne sliced vegetables:  onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, celery, bok choy, green onion and carrots.
     Add 10 to 12 pre made frozen surimi fish balls.  (Pre made fish balls are available in Chinese markets.  These fish balls are made the same way imitation crab meat is made.  They are actually another form of surimi.)
     Reduce the temperature to medium heat.
     Simmer the curry for 5 minutes.  Turn the temperature to low heat.
     Stir in 1/2 cup of coconut milk. 
     Simmer the curry gently for 2 minutes.
     Assembly:  Use a ring mold to place some cooked plain brown rice on a platter. 
     Spoon the curry on the plate around the rice. 
     Garnish the rice with thin sliced green onion.
     Condiment Platter:  Use another platter for the bread and condiments. 
     Serve with a ramekin of Spicy Mango Chundo.  (Spicy Mango Chundo is available pre made in a jar at Indian markets.) 
     Serve with a ramekin of Korean Red Serrano Chili Sauce.   (Available in grocery stores and asian markets.)
     Crack some thin Masala Khakhara bread in half and place it on the condiment platter.  (Masala Khakhara is available as a pre made mix or fully prepared in Indian Markets.)
     Place the cucumber salad in a shallow dish and garnish with a lime slice.
     Place the peach chutney into a shallow ramekin and set it on the platter.        
     Peach Chutney Recipe:  Mix 2 cups of sugar, 4 cups of water and 3/4 cup of apple cider together in a sauce pot. 
     Taste the liquid.  The liquid should taste like a balance of sweet and sour.  (The amount of liquid before reduction shoul be twice as much as the amount of the fruits and vegetables.) 
     Boil and reduce the liquid over high heat till it just starts to enter the syrup stage.  (That would be when the liquid is reduced by a little more than by half.) 
     Add a small handful each of these small chopped vegetables:  onion, green bell pepper and green onion.
     Add a minced jalapeno pepper.
     Add a minced Scotch Bonnet Pepper or habanero pepper. 
     Add 4 cloves of minced garlic.
     Add 2 tablespoons of minced ginger.
     Add a tablespoon of very thin sliced chiffonade of lemon zest.
     Add 2 to 3 chopped dried prunes.
     Add about 2 1/2 cups of diced peeled peaches.  (The fruit and vegetable proportion should be slightly more in volume than the reduced sugar/vinegar liquid.)
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add a 4 to 6 pinches of allspice.
     Add 1 small pinch of yellow curry powder.
     Add 1 small pinch of turmeric.  (The main spice in chutney is allspice.)
     Add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
     Bring the chutney to a boil over high heat.
     Reduce the temperature to medium/medium low heat.
     Simmer the chutney uncovered till the the chutney has the consistency of fresh made jam or fruit preserves.  The natural pectin in the fruit helps to thicken chutney like jelly.  (Do not over cook the chutney to where it becomes smooth and mushy.  You should be able to see the featured fruit pieces in the chutney.)
     Refrigerate the chutney for one week so the flavors thoroughly meld.  (Chutney can be kept in a refrigerator for six months.)
     The deep flavor of a green gold curry powder is so nice with the "puffy" fish balls.  I used coconut milk for this curry but goats milk or yoghurt can be added instead.  The cool cucumber salad is very refreshing!  The chundo and masala khakhara go together well.  The peach chutney can be stirred into the curry or can be eaten with the bread.  Chile sauce is nice for a spicy condiment with a curry.  This curry fish ball recipe is fantastically yummy!  Go all the way and prepare a separate bread and condiment platter for this deserving curry.  Indian food is fun food too!  The last time I had curried fish balls was in Chinatown, Las Vegas.  Yum!  ... Shawna

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