I really enjoy cooking, but I’ve fallen out of the habit as of late. As a result, I’ve been sustaining myself on prepared foods as well as eating out and taking in. None of which are very good for my nutritional needs, pocket book or waist line.
I’ve decided I need to start getting back into it. The other day, I left work early enough that stores were open (what a concept!). I was able to purchase items for the meal I was planning on making. Partially because I didn’t have the forethought to defrost some meat, but also because I wanted an ingredient I don’t normally purchase.
I was feeling pretty good about myself as I was driving home and started envisioning myself in the kitchen for the first time in weeks. Then it hit me.
I don’t know how I’d forgotten. I also don’t know how I’ve gone grocery shopping about a dozen times since I ran out and never once purchased it.
I didn’t want to break stride, so I convinced myself that I didn’t need pepper in my life.
I was planning on making curry. Normally when I make curry, I make, what I like to call, the white person version of curry (surprise, surprise). Basically a curry-flavoured stew. All the meat and veg are tossed in a pot, sauce is made, simmered down and once the texture of everything is converted to mush, it’s served over rice.
In my experience, a brown person would never, ever, do this. They have a different curry for every dish. From goat to chicken, from chick peas to potatoes; every curry has a different blend of spices. I decided that I was going to be less white when I made curry that night. I was going to make beef vindaloo and aloo gobi (potato cauliflower). They were going to be separate, they were going to have different flavours and they were going to be delicious, dammit.
I didn’t anticipate the troubles I would have from being so out of practice.
I started the aloo gobi because I knew the potatoes would take awhile to cook. Once that was going, I started the beef vindaloo. But I was a bit short on time, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to let the curry reduce as much as normal. I decided to coat the beef in flour in order to thicken the sauce without having to reduce it. Good idea in theory, but in practice…
I may or may not have gone overboard.
I also didn’t take into consideration the sheer water content of cauliflower.
An hour after I started, I jacked up the temperature on the aloo gobi to try and evaporate off some of the excess water.
But it was taking too long. I already added broth to my vindaloo to try and thin it out and despite my best efforts my aloo gobi was soup. I was hungry and my rice was getting cold.
So I took the dishes that I painstakingly kept separate and mixed them together. Blending meat and veg together. Blending mango/madras curry with vindaloo.
The end product had the most perfect consistency. It was also delicious. Even if those of Indian descent would probably cringe.