Posts Tagged ‘curry’

30
Apr
2009

Jessie’s Curry Kitchen


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Satisfaction

Finally back to the business of eating in Perth. I have long been missing the love of a good honest curry. Since the fateful closing of Suraj last year, there’s been a curry shaped void in my life that no amount of franchised Indian restaurants could fill.

Enter the charming Jessie and her curry kitchen.

Situated in a barely recognisable corner of Inglewood on the Beaufort St strip that holds so much potential for both greatness and disaster for potential dinner goers, you probably wouldn’t know it was there. If you did happen to walk past it, you’d more than likely assume it was just a dull little suburban Indian takeaway store and continue on your way to get a dodgy kebab… but then you’d be wrong.

What Jessie’s Curry Kitchen lacks in style, it makes up for abundantly in substance. Jessie works the kitchen, and her husband Jeya works the floor. Everything is made from scratch in the kitchen and the curries have a special quality to them that can only be construed as “love”.

The menu is a mixture of Indian and Malaysian dishes. There’s dosai, chapati, roti paratha, and selection of basic curries described succinctly as “chicken butter curry”, “chicken curry”, “fish curry”, “lamb curry”. No need for superfluous explanations or derivations as the flavours stand for themselves. The fish curry we had consisted of mackeral and had a texture so meaty I could have sworn it was chicken if I closed my eyes. I’m not sure if that’s a great compliment but for something so unassuming to completely surprise me is a rare and special thing. The lamb curry brims with clove and star anise, but doesn’t attack the senses. In fact all the dishes are quite reserved in the Johnny Cash (Ring of fire) sense.

Being from Sri Lanka originally before moving to Malaysia, there is also the added bonus of String Hoppers served up on weekends. They’re little bundles of rice noodles woven together into flat circles, and make a fantastic way to mop up dahl and curry.

On my most recent visit to Jessies with my dining entourage the meal started off with samosas, then moved on to every different type of curry, dahl, chicken biryani, hoppers, and roti. There was 6 of us, and I think the total bill came to around $114. Which was plainly ridiculous given the amount of gorging we’d all just done. Add to the fact that I don’t think Jeya charges anything for corkage, so the 3 or 4 bottles of wine consumed over the course of an hour or two were well and truly worth it. On a side note, I’m still to find a great wine to pair with curry, although a glass of Charles Melton “Rose of Virginia” donated by Mr Wino-sapien & family was perhaps a better choice than my Chalk Hill Barbera, which on it’s own is quite stunning, but with curry just seems to confuse things.

All romanticism aside, the place is small, pokey, hard to find if you aren’t looking, and has about as much atmosphere as a dentists waiting room, but once the food arrives it all just makes sense. Each time I’ve been there I’ve had strange moments where I catch the eyes of other diners and we share a look that somehow indicates we’re in the know. It’s a nod of the head and a sly smile (which could just indicate I’m about to get lucky) that says somehow we’re onto something here that no one else recognises, somehow we’ve come to find something quite special. And I completely agree.

Jessie’s Curry Kitchen & Cafe
869 Beaufort Street
Inglewood

Opening hours:
Wed to Sun: 11:00am to 2:30pm
5:30pm to 8:30pm
Mon: 11am to 2:30pm
Ph: 9271 8528

Jessie's Curry Kitchen and Cafe on Urbanspoon

[geo_mashup_map]

24
Feb
2007

Duck Sausage Curry

Duck Sausage Curry

What do you do when you have a hankering for something different, as a curry, without breaking the bank ? You buy duck sausages ! (of course).

Last time I went to my local butchers (The excellent Meat the Butcher in Dog Swamp Shopping Centre), to find duck for my curry. The friendly chap on the other end of the meat cleaver suggested I try their duck sausages as an alternative. I decided against it at the time, as I wanted the gaminess that duck breast provides that time around… but then found myself strangely drawn back there the following week (I have a certain attraction to butchers, kitchen supply stores, and bottle shops, which I’m sure that puts me in a certain category I should be concerned about).

So I bought three lovely duck sausages at a pittance (compared to duck breast) and rushed away gleefully to find a recipe for them. But what do you know… in a first for food nerds the world over…the internet failed me… Searching for all manner of terms including “duck sausages” “duck curry sausages” “curry sausages” “+sausages +curry +duck -sweetandsour” etc provided nothing that I could easily steal and proudly claim for my own. So it was up to my wiley self to come up with something suitable.

My thinking cap firmly on, I raided the spice rack for every conceivable thing I could think of that might go well with duck sausages, and came up with this.

Duck Sausage Curry

  • 3 Duck Sausages
  • 6 baby potatoes halved
  • 1 bulb baby fennel
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder (less if you’re a weeny)
  • 2 teaspoons fenugreek
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • handful of curry leaves
  • 100 ml coconut cream

So basically I do my curries in a similar style most times, whether it be right or wrong. I started off by dry roasting the dry spices (fennel, coriander, and fenugreek) for about 30 seconds in a hot pan, then taking them out and putting them into my mortar and pestle to be ground finely.

Then add some butter/oil/ghee (whatever you like to cook with) to the pan and fry the chopped onions, fennel, and garlic at a relatively low heat until translucent and soft. At the same time (and this is probably cheating), I have the potatoes boiling in their own pot of water, so I don’t need them to cook in the curry itself, which saves a bit of time.

So once the onion mixture is nice and soft… add all the dry spices, the turmeric, chilli powder, and other stuff that was ground up, and coat the onion mixture with it nicely, so all the turmeric is absorbed into the mixture, and it colours it. Now add your duck sausages that have been sliced up into pieces (as chunky as you like them). Stir them all around and get them coated in the onions and spices too, and perhaps add a little water if the mixture is starting to stick to the pan and dry out.

Once the sausages are nicely coated and basically cooked, add the potatoes (which should be cooked but still firm), and the coconut cream and curry leaves, and then stir it all through so the sauce is nice and thick and the colour has absorbed all throught the coconut cream. Taste it and see if it needs anything else at this point, like more chilli or salt/pepper, and if not, turn the heat down, put a lit on the pan, and let the flavours absorb for a little while.

When you’re happy with how it’s looking, and all those wonderful flavours have pervaded every corner of your kitchen. Spoon it out over a pile of steaming hot rice, and dig it. One of the tastiness creations I’ve made in a long time.

And introduce yourself to your local butcher. You never know what great things they may have in the back of those fridges just waiting for you to discover them.

13
Feb
2007

A (Curry) Night to Remember

Curry !

I had the idea recently of organising a little curry night. I’ve been getting into all sorts of curry over the past couple of years, spurred on by Sharon introducing me to some excellent Malaysian curry. I’d never really understood the curry before then. I just figured it was a hot spicey kind of soup that other people ate, and that I didn’t like. I’m not sure why I had that idea, but I think it’s an important one to get rid of if you ever want to experience all the world of food has to offer.

Since then I haven’t looked back, having tried out a whole range of Malaysian, Thai, Southern Indian, North Indian, and Vietnamese curries, a good number of Moroccan tajines (which are almost kinda like curry), and doing my best to avoid Japanese curry, which still defies all logic.

So just last Saturday night a few of our closest curry making friends dropped by to share the love, and the food in their own special way. Sharon and I spent the better part of the day procuring supplies from Kongs (the local Asian supermarket), and preparing the base for her curry. I’m always amazed walking around in those places… it’s like, just when you think you have a pretty decent grasp on a type of food, you step one foot into a store, look around, realise you don’t know what even half of the stuff is for, and suddenly feel very small again.

A recent discovery along those lines for me personally was Asafoetida… which i’m sure is pretty common to my sub continental readers, but was a complete mystery to me. Turns out it’s a kind of spice made from the resin extracted out of the stems and roots of the Ferula plant, and is used particularly by Indians who are practitioners of Jainism, as a replacement for certain foods (onions, ginger, garlic) that they aren’t allowed to eat.

That has nothing to do with this post of course, other than to state formally that I still know bugger all about a great many things… and any education my learned readers are able to give is always appreciated.

So on to the curries.

Dan and Mabel brought a lovely lamb curry, I would say vindaloo, but I might be wrong, so i’ll stay general for now.
Dave and Mel also brought a lamb curry, this was a southern Indian style dish with no coconut milk and a predominant clove, cinnamon flavour to it.
Jen and Ben brought a Bicol Express (!). My first experience with Filipino curry and apparently one of the few of such dishes that exist in the Phillipines, It’s basically pork, chicken, beans, chilli, tumeric, and… ummm, stuff. Very tasty indeed and sadly too hot for the creator to manage, but well done Jen for taking one for the team.

Sharon made a Malaysian chicken curry. This one had a lot of ginger, chilli, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, garlic, onion, tumeric… all blended into a wonderful paste that got smeared all over the chicken (one the bone) while they cooked away for a good few hours til nice and fall apart-ified.
I was stuck for options, not having a home land from which to draw curry making experience from I either had to choose from my list of previous conquests that turned out ok, or tread the lonely road of experimental curry making.

Lamb curry Duck Curry

Plucking up all my courage, I turned the pages of Mel’s curry book she had kindly lent me, and settled on one that looked sufficiently different yet still tasty… Duck curry. A slightly odd choice perhaps, and not the most well known of all curries, but it was in the book dammit, and apparently is quite popular in the Kerala region of India where water fowl are more prevalent, and clearly not fast enough to not get eaten.

So I started with Duck breast… three of em, skinned and cubed. Fried a little fenugreek and fennel seeds in some oil and then added a whole onion, two green chillis, and a good dose of shredded ginger. When that was nice and soft I added some more chilli powder and a dash of turmeric. To that lovely concoction went the duck breast, to get coated and loved with all the spices and flavours. The rest was simple, throw in a few baby potatoes, a handful of curry leaves and a spash or three of coconut cream, and Babu’s your uncle. It turned out pretty darn good even if I do say so myself, and I do… Of course I am the worlds most biased food critic, and can quite easily overlook the slighty dry and somewhat gamey texture of the duck, which perhaps would have been nicer had I used it on the bone and cooked it for a couple more hours. Still, it was a triumph for experimental curriests the world over, and a great first effort.

Mel's mango cocunut puddings

We finished off with these lovely little mango and coconut puddings that Mel lovingly coaxed out their shells and served with a good dollop of ice cream.

All in all a great night, and like all things curry, the best was yet to come. Two days later and I’m still going strong with the left overs, and as much as a fan of Johnny Cash I am, there hasn’t been one ring of fire to speak of. Thanks to everyone for putting in the effort and all I can say is the next one will have some huge expectations… Anyone know where I can buy Iguana ?

31
May
2006

Basil Chicken In Coconut-Curry Sauce

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Posted in Eating In, Recipes

Thai Green Curry Chicken with Basil

Photo courtesy of Mel at Masala Lover who was nice enough to try this recipe out.

Another old old recipe I made a while back. I copied it straight from the original source (which has since dropped off the internets), but from memory i think i bumped up the amount of tumeric and basil, and added a touch more coconut milk. This is really nice served over some steaming jasmine rice… So rich and creamy…

Basil Chicken In Coconut-Curry Sauce

Ingredients:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast h, alves (1 pound)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 large red onion, chopped (1 cup)
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil or cooking oil
1 can (14-oz.) unsweetened coconut milk
2 tsp cornstarch
3 tbsp snipped fresh basil
1 tbsp finely chopped gingerroot
1 small red onion, cut into wedges (optiona, l
1 fresh basil leaves (optional)
1 hot cooked rice

Instructions:

Rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
Place chicken in a medium bowl. In a small bowl stir together the
salt, coriander, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, chili
powder, and turmeric. Sprinkle over chicken; toss to coat. Cover and
let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator
for 1 to 2 hours.

In a large nonstick skillet cook and stir chopped onion, garlic, and
jalapeno in hot oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Remove,
reserving drippings in skillet. Add about half of the chicken. Cook
and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or till chicken is tender and no pink
remains. Remove chicken from skillet. Cook the remaining chicken, as
above, adding additional oil if necessary. Remove from skillet.

Stir together coconut milk and cornstarch. Carefully add to skillet.
Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Add chicken, cooked onion
mixture, snipped basil, and gingerroot to skillet. Cook and stir
about 2 minutes more to heat through. Serve over rice. Garnish with
red onion wedges and fresh basil if desired.

10
Apr
2006

Cheating Cajun Curry Chicken (if a woodchuck could chuck wood)

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Posted in Eating In, Recipes

Cajun Chicken Curry

I love alliteration. I also love curry. In the past I could probably be described as a curry ignoramous. I had no idea what went into it, how to eat it, and how many different kinds of curry there actually are out there.

The lovely Sharon however, has opened my eyes to the big wide world of curries that exist. She is personally an afficionado of Malaysian and Thai Green Curry, and makes a pretty decent Indian Curry too. She is at the point of having a specially concoted mixtures of herbs, spices, and chilli’s that she crafts in a seriously hot base. So needless to say my natural causcasian aversion to eating spicey foods has taken a back seat of late, and I am growing a new stomach lining to handle a bevvy of new taste sensations… and loving it too :)

So this was my attempt at getting in on the act… Albeit by making a curry I have no real idea about… but that’s never stopped me before…

The meal was actually inspired by a trip we took to Rickies (?) Cafe in Mt Lawley. It’s run by a West Indian guy from London, and they serve really down to earth West Indian/Jamaican style food (and you get free Johnny Cakes !). I ordered a really tasty curry chicken dish, and ever since I’ve thought about making it myself.

I do feel like a bit of a fraud though, because I haven’t gone and investigated how to make the cajun spice mix myself. I just happened to be in Fresh Provisions one day and came across a packet of “Cajun Spice Mix”, containing such exotic ingredients as “Pepper”, and “Mixed Spices”… So i decided to give it a go.

Ingredients

  • Chicken (i like breast (teehee), but apparently meat on the bone is better for curry)
  • Cajun Spices Mix (in lieu of actually making your own)
  • Few Potatos
  • One big onion (or two small onions… or 4 miniature onions)
  • 3 bullet chilli’s (tiny little ones that pack a punch)
  • Capsicum (i used some roasted stuff I needed to use up)
  • Sugar Snap Peas (again not exactly a cajun style ingredient, but had to use them up)
  • Raisans/Sultanas
  • Apple
Directions

Deceptively easy really. Cook it as you would any curry, which for me meant coating the chicken in the spice mixture, and rubbing it all with some olive oil (or ghee), then cutting up the chilli and frying it in some oil before adding the chicken to be browned. At the same time boil the potatos in a pot (actually sweet potato would go great in this too). Then adding the onion and getting it nice and soft, before adding the capsicum and anything else you want in there. When the potato is getting soft, add that into the mixture, and just before its done, drop in the sugar snap peas. I like these to be nice and crunchy for a bit of texture contrast.

And thats basically it. I tossed up whether I should use coconut milk or not, but opted out in the end, as I wanted to preserve the heat of the chilli… and the spice mixture I used seemed to have some kind of thickening agent in it already. I probably should have added coconut milk, because the spice mixture also had chilli in it already… So added to the 3 mega hot chillis I added, it was SPICEY ! But so very good.

Give it a try :) And if you have a good recipe for a DIY from scratch cajun/creole spice mixture, please let me know.

Cajun Chicken Curry

15
Dec
2005

Curried Chicken Risotto

Curried Chicken Risotto

I hadn’t made a risotto for a while so i felt in the mood for one. I decided to use a chicken/white wine base this time.

This is my standard procedure of cooking risotto…

  1. Cook the onion/leek/garlic,
  2. heat stock (wine, stock, water, salt),
  3. heat and coat the rice with onion/oil/butter
  4. add a cup of wine to start with
  5. stir
  6. add stock
  7. stir
  8. test rice…still hard
  9. add stock
  10. stir
  11. add stock
  12. stir
  13. test rice…getting soft
  14. add stock
  15. stir
  16. add stock
  17. stir
  18. test rice, close enough to being ready to add things that need a bit of heat
  19. add those things (meat,seafood, hard vegetables)
  20. add stock
  21. stir
  22. add more stock (stock getting low so hope i dont need much more)
  23. add seasoning (pepper, salt, ground spices, coriander, cumin, tumeric, fennel seed etc)
  24. add stock
  25. stir
  26. taste
  27. add more seasoning
  28. test rice, getting close to being done now
  29. add stock
  30. add cheese (parmesan, peccorino, whatever you like, skip if it doesn’t suit cheese)
  31. stir
  32. taste
  33. add more seasoning
  34. add spinach or greens that need to be wilted (bok choy, cabbage, roquette etc)
  35. stir
  36. taste
  37. add a bit of butter or cream to boost that fat content up and add extra creaminess to finish (can also skip this)
  38. stir
  39. taste, perfection on a spoon.
  40. done !

So for this recipe i added onion, garlic and fennel at step 1, chicken (pre cooked) and baby carrots at step 19, tumeric, cumin, salt, pepper, lemon juice at step 23… and skipped the cheese, green vegetables, and cream steps of my normal routine.

It turned out pretty nice… lovely creamy curry flavour coming through the rice and chicken. I also use Carnaroli rice instead of arborio. This is because im under the impression that it has a higher starch content than Arborio, and gives a much creamier finish than Arborio rice does.

Give it a try !