Word Association


Sometimes, all you have to do is hear a word, and you react: an immediate distaste, an amused giggle, an urge to buy. I watched the most recent episode of No Reservations this afternoon (I rarely watch things on time anymore), in which Tony visits southern India. The episode was about anything but typical Indian cuisine, of course, but at the first mention of the word “curry” – I don’t even remember if my lovable-but-opinionated hero mentioned it in a pleasant or scathing way – that’s what I wanted.

I live, thankfully, very close to a wonderful Indian restaurant. But did I call them? No! I headed straight for the kitchen!

Curry is easy. It’s also easy to screw up, so I wanted to keep it simple. I also had a little bit left of almost everything I bought in my last trip to the supermarket: green beans, garlic, and a few shrimp, mostly, plus some plain couscous from the cupboard. Curry itself (as most of us know it, at least) is a mix of several different spices, most of which are easily found on their own. Cleaning out the fridge, along with my sudden craving for curry, made it a perfect night to make this dish.

The green beans were easy: roasted with a few chunks of garlic, plus some olive oil, salt, and pepper (an Indian restaurant might do something similar, usually with almonds, but I’m allergic to nuts, so … ;-)). As for the curry sauce itself, I went with the easy way (the way I learned it) – lightly brown butter, add flour (equal parts butter & flour), then add curry powder to taste. Using your everyday, supermarket-variety curry powder, I add a lot. I also add a little bit of ground cumin, too, plus a bit of extra ground black pepper. I didn’t add much heat this time, but a few red pepper flakes would have helped.

In the end, I got a bit distracted and overcooked the sauce, plus I might not have measured the flour accurately, so it ended up a little thick. But it worked really well with the couscous and especially well with the relatively mild roasted green beans.

All in all, I now have a nearly-empty fridge and a slightly-less-full cupboard, which means tomorrow I get to go to the supermarket!

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