There has been a change in direction recently at Curry's, something we are very excited about. We apologize for missing the last two editions of our newsletter. So what were we up to? Get ready for an exciting entrepreneurial journey!
Working with beautiful colors of spices while creating new recipes for new products, something always bugged me and I felt I needed to do more in order to reach deeper into the foodie world. But what? Join meet-up groups? Although it sounded like a possibility, the hours for meet-ups were not convenient for me. So I just kept trying new recipes with my own spice blends, watched Food Network, and tried new restaurants recommended by friends. I was satisfied to some extent with tasting extraordinary food but being a food creator remained an impossible task.
As a home-based business, I used to travel many miles to a commercial kitchen where I could do all the processing to make my spice products - starting from roasting, grinding, blending, and packing in hand-sealed containers. Driving so many miles at that time did not prove to be cost effective to keep a good margin on my sales but there was no other commercial kitchen near my home or nearby towns. The need to fill this gap kept nagging my brain continuously and soon I found myself working with a team of business consultants and an architect and weaved my dream of building a food hub or food incubator.
Apart from providing a certified kitchen to all the food business owners near their homes, my vision slowly started unfolding. I wanted to make it a place that would bring together all the foodies, food producers, farmers, and everyone who closely works with food under one roof - a place where they can share their passion for food with like-minded people. With this dream, I was filled with the hope of knowing many food producers who still produce traditional foods with their hands, starting from scratch.
However, a food hub is not easy to build as it needs to go through stringent health department and city building department codes. It was a long process navigating through slow-paced construction, inspections, and finally the last occupation permit, after which we opened the space commercially to the public. We named it "SAAGE Culinary Studio" (www.saageculinary.com). Our tagline - Good Food, Good Company. There are multiple meanings of SAAGE - a common herb (Sage), a wise person, and having a good taste. Very appropriate, right? So SAAGE is a place where we talk only about good, tasty food. The door to our studio was officially opened on April 28th, 2015. Now among a number of inspiring food business owners, Curry's is also a client of its sister company SAAGE Culinary Studio. Soon after, Curry's was legally adopted by SAAGE Culinary Studio.
The journey of Curry's is still continuing as an individual entity but in a different horizon among a bunch of foodies who do nothing but produce a rainbow of new tastes to share with the rest of the community. It has been a very rewarding journey so far and we welcome all of our readers to read more about our story on how we created this special space to be called a home by all of the small food businesses around town. You will be amazed to see how our new home has been serving the various needs of our community starting from hosting food-themed birthday parties and food tasting parties to filming a culinary photo-shoot to promote products from a local company.
This marks an end of the Food Talk blog from Curry's but we will be posting new content in a fortnightly newsletter from SAAGE. Stay in the loop by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and subscribing to the newsletter!
(Good Food, Good Company)
We are very happy to present to you this recipe created by Mary Krystinak of Mary's Wholesome Living!
This recipe was quite timely in regards to the new food trend of 2015, which is using more fermented foods like pickled cauliflower along with smoked cabbage.
Mary's goal is to bring back the lost techniques of canning, pickling, fermenting, kombucha, and bread making using only the most natural ingredients. She offers classes regularly at many locations. Be sure to check out her website and enjoy the recipe!
2 large heads of cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
2 Tablespoons Curry's Curry Powder
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Teaspoons ground cayenne pepper (or I used hot paprika)
2 Teaspoons ground turmeric
3-6 cloves garlic, smashed
4 Tablespoons sea salt
1/2 cup whey, 1/2 brine from previous batch, or an additional tbsp of salt
Measure all your spices and salt then mix well to combine. Peel and smash garlic. Add to spice mixture.
Toss cauliflower, and spice mix to coat. Place in a large clean crock or large glass jar, gently pressing the cauliflower. Pour whey or reserved brine over cauliflower, fill will unchlorinated water. Mix well to distribute spices.
Covering - if using a crock, place saran wrap directly on top of mixture to seal out air. I place another smaller crock on top of this to weight down cauliflower and keep it below the brine. It is important that the cauliflower stay submerged the entire time in order to prevent mold. Cover the crock with a cloth to keep out dust and insects, but allow for air.
If using a large jar, you can use glass weights if available or saran wrap as above with smaller water filled jar to keep veggies submerged. Once again cover to allow air flow, but keep dust and insects out. I have fermentation caps, Kraut Kaps, that allow for air flow, but keep things clean.
Place on couter and keep at room temperature 3-5 days. Check for tanginess. Leave a few days longer if you wish. Should be nice and crisp. Place in sealed glass jars and store in refrigerator.
It’s a common belief that a dish with coconut milk is always Thai. In fact, the practice of using coconut and its milk in cooking is very traditional in all the tropical and sub-tropical countries that have a shoreline where coconut is grown in abundance.
It’s believed that the light, fibrous coconuts fall into the sea and floats in the water, traveling to other areas of temperate climate. Early voyagers carried it with them to far lands and thus the coconut became a widespread popularity!
Although we see coconuts in many cuisines, there are a variety of regional recipes evolving from the use of a wide array of spices that complement the rich taste of sweet coconut milk. In India, you will see numerous ways in which a home cook or a trained chef uses coconut milk in creating a variety of delicacies. They use this divine natural food in cooking vegetables, eggs, meat, seafood, and various dessert items. Here's a very simple dish of fish cooked in coconut milk using some Indian spices.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, grated
½ tsp green chili, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
2 small tomatoes, chopped
½ tsp Curry Powder
½ tsp paprika
Salt to taste
½ lb tilapia fillet, raw king shrimp, or any such light fish
½ can of 15 oz coconut milk
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
1 Heat the oil in a large, heavy-base saucepan and fry the onions, garlic, and ginger over a high heat for 5-7 minutes until softened and slightly brown in color. Browning develops a nice aroma of curry.
2. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until it becomes mushy and forms a paste-like consistency.
3. Add the Curry Powder, paprika powder, chopped chili (if using), salt, sugar, and Garam Masala and cook for 2 minutes until the mixture blends well.
4. Add ¼ - ½ cup hot water (depending on the thickness of the gravy you desire) and the coconut milk. Stir well and bring it to a boil.
5. Reduce the heat and add the fish of your choice, cover, and simmer for 5-7 minutes based on the type of fish you are cooking or until the gravy becomes nicely thick in consistency and the fish is cooked.
6. Remove from the heat, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if required and stir in the coriander leaves. Serve over plain cooked rice.
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp Curry Powder
½ tsp dried rosemary
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp dry active yeast
1 tsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
½ cup warm water
2½ cup bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1½ tbsp sugar
1 cup water
1. Heat olive oil and add the garlic, curry powder, and rosemary and sauté for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool.
2. Separately in a small bowl add yeast, 1 tsp flour, and 1 tsp sugar to the warm water and leave it until yeast has bloomed and becomes frothy.
3. In a large bowl take all the remaining dry ingredients. Add half of the cooled oil mixture and water. Mix everything until you get smooth dough. You may need a little more water to get smooth dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes so that you help the gluten to develop.
4. Keep the dough in an oiled bowl and cover it and keep it in a warm place. You can heat an oven to about 125-130 degree F and turn off the heat to help the rise of the dough.
5. When the dough becomes doubled in size, punch it down and knead it for another two minutes. Make it into a smooth round dough again and poke the dough on the surface with your fingertips.
6. Brush the remaining oil mixture on the surface and put it onto a round baking pan and cover it before keeping it in a warm oven/place to rise.
7. Once it doubles in size again, brush the surface lightly with more olive oil and bake the bread in a 375 degree F oven for about 20-25 minutes or until it is cooked and sounds hollow when tapped on the surface.
8. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
This post was inspired by Suzanne, our Farmer's Market manager, who also runs her own booth of fresh produce. Almost every market day, she comes to my booth and offers me some kind of greens (FREE!) and says "You probably know how to cook these with your spices"! So, here we go, some Swiss Chard recipes using Curry's spices.
I love eating nutrient-dense greens at least 2-3 times a week because they are rich in essential vitamins (beta-carotenoid (converts to vitamin A), vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate) and minerals (iron, calcium, potassium, disease fighting phytochemicals, water, and fiber).
Recently, research reports that there is a gene that specifically responds to the green leafy vegetables we eat. That is why the recent drive to drink green juice or smoothies for ultimate health is gaining so much of popularity among those who are health conscious. Some believe that raw greens are more beneficial as the nutrients present are not lost during the cooking process. While some of the heat-labile (easily broken down) nutrients like vitamin C can be lost while cooking, the cooked form of the greens can also be beneficial: cooking breaks down the complex plant cells to release the nutrients for easy digestion and absorption.
However, greens seem to be a troublesome ingredient from the cleaning to the cooking – they are finicky and can become mushy or salty very easily if you are not careful.
Today, I am going to show you some very easy and sure-success recipe tips that you can personalize to suit your meals. In, India, cooking greens in any form is very common and popular. They can be lightly sautéed or pureed to add to a gravy like Palak Paneer (cottage cheese in spinach gravy), lamb or chicken curry; chopped and added to dough to make flat bread; added to a batter to make fritters, etc. There are some hundreds of recipes on green leafy vegetables. Below, you will see two of them: Swiss Chard and Chicken Curry and Swiss Chard Fritters. Give them a try and I’m sure adding greens to your dishes will become a favorite. Go Healthy!
This recipe is a nice combination of curry powder and creamy mozzarella cheese stuffed inside slices of eggplant.
You can serve them as a side dish with grilled fish, poultry, or meat.
1 large eggplant
1 egg, beaten lightly*
1 tbsp water
1 cup breadcrumbs
½ tsp Curry Powder
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ tsp Curry Powder
Olive oil to fry
1. Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices. You will get about 6 slices.
2. Mix water with the beaten egg to make it thinner in consistency.
3. In a separate dish, mix the breadcrumbs, Curry Powder, and salt and keep it aside.
4. Heat 1 tbsp oil at a time in a pan over medium high heat.
5. Dip each eggplant slice in the egg mixture and let the extra drip off.
6. Coat the eggplant slices well with the breadcrumbs mixture.
7. Fry the eggplant slices until nicely brown on the bottom. Flip the slice and fry the other side.
8. Put some cheese mixture at the center of eggplant slice and gently fold the other end so that the cheese is covered well. Press lightly with the bottom of a ladle so that the cheese melts slightly and the eggplant fold holds in place. You can also use a toothpick to secure the fold.
9. You can arrange the eggplant slices over a warm grill until serving time so that it keeps the eggplants warm while developing a smoky flavor at the same time.
* You can use a batter made of corn flour or all-purpose flour in place of egg.
“Chai” simply means tea in Hindi, the language of India, where this insanely tasty aromatic tea originated from. Since I was little, tea in our family always had some kinds of spice in it. Sometimes it’s just freshly ground ginger and sometimes it’s a mixture of whole spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, and a number of other warm spices. This spicy tea is especially welcome during the winter months but I have never seen any Indian family making a cup of chai with ice, even in the hot summers! It’s customary, and also well-liked by every Indian, to drink a hot cup of tea whether it is summer or winter.
This daily tea that is made in every Indian household, as well as in street tea stalls, recently became a luxurious gourmet beverage in the Western countries, where it has been named “Chai Tea”. In other words, all you’re saying is “Tea Tea”!
But what is this hugely popular tea drink and how is it made? It seems like a very difficult recipe that takes devoted hours in the kitchen. But in reality making a splendid cup of steaming or iced Chai is nothing more than just brewing regular black tea (either loose or tea bag) with some highly aromatic whole spices and then adding whole creamy milk and sugar.
Whole milk and sugar – two big taboos in today’s health-conscious world – are actually the heroes in making a successful cup of Chai. The whole milk gives it the authentic creaminess and the sugar intensifies the aroma of the whole spices. Now, as with everything, there can be alternative ways of making chai to suit your taste buds while taking care of your health. But, that said, you will sacrifice the authentic chai that is sold on Indian streets. The choice is always yours!
Although using the whole spices in making chai is always preferred, we have made a Chai Spice blend that can give you the same flavor as the whole spices, and the bonus is a shorter brewing time. Following is a recipe where you will see how you can make an authentic, tasty cup of Chai Tea using our convenient Chai Spice blend. Enjoy!
3/4 cup boiling water
1 black tea bag OR 1 rounded tsp. loose black tea
Sweetener to taste
1/8 - 1/4 tsp Curry's Chai Latte Spice
1/4 cup whole milk **
1/8 tsp Curry's Chai Latte Spice (to sprinkle)
1. Pour boiling water over the tea, sweetener, and Chai Spice in a saucepan. Cover and brew for 7-9 minutes.
2. Pour in the milk and heat the tea to just under boiling point.
3. Strain the tea into a cup or remove the tea bag. Sprinkle a little Chai Spice for added flavor.
For Iced Chai Latte: Cool the Chai Tea (as made above) and pour over ice.
** You can use 2% milk, but you'll sacrifice the creaminess of the tea. You could also use alternate milk to make the tea dairy-free.
Dr. Gayatri Borthakur, a nutritionist turned entrepreneur, has a PhD in nutrition and a passion for delicious but healthy foods.