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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Goan-Style Curried Tempeh

The evil herb was put to use in basically the same recipe I made the other day, but with tempeh in place of shrimp and a couple other minor tweaks. Slightly more citrus juice, about three tablespoons, freshly squeezed lime juice this time.

I also used a touch more cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon instead of 1/4 in the marinade. Six dried chillies instead of four (they were small, but this was a more intense curry. It was borderline on a mistake to up both the dried chillies by two and double the cayenne). Oh, and I used five large-ish cloves of garlic, quite a bit more than the recipe calls for.

I think it was a bigger piece of ginger this time, but a 'three inch piece' is such a vague measurement with a root that varied.

A final substitution was peanut oil instead of canola. I doubt it makes a difference you can taste, as delicious as peanut oil can be, there's so many intense herbal flavors going on in this dish a subtlety of the oil is not going to translate.

I wonder about adding a bit of sesame oil at the finish, but maybe it'd get lost in all these intense aromatics.

The curry leaves have a distinctive odor, and I can't really liken it to much of anything else. It might be vaguely citrus, but maybe vaguely resinous and piney, too. They look like bay leaves, but it's a different flavor and aroma altogether.

I did learn my lesson about lining up my seasonings in advance. All ingredients prepped, measured into shot glasses and whatnot before I even put heat to the oil.

Anyway, as I say, an intense dish but still delicious. The heat wasn't so overwhelming once the sauce soaked into the basmati rice and all that.

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