dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
And that's the end! I wrote a review of 50 Great Curries of India, though it's about half as long as the other reviews I write. Which shouldn't be surprising, I suppose, considering how much I've already written about the curries in there. It's kind of odd realizing that my weekend nights aren't going to require me to write these anymore. Though now that it's November I should really finish my first draft of The Lamplighter's Guild.

If this is the first time you're reading this, hi! [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd and I made every curry in the book 50 Great Curries of India over the course of a little over a year, and I wrote about what I thought about them. Or sometimes whatever came into my head. Here's a list of all the curries we tried, with a brief summary of my opinion. It should be self-explanatory.
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Not sure if I'm going to do another one of these any time soon. That curry was great, but this was a lot of writing--around 50K words for the full list of entries. Not to mention that we don't really have any other cookbooks with quite the same unifying theme. We have a stir-fry cookbook, but that's hundreds of pages and would take years, and a potato cookbook that...well, I'm not fond of a lot of the ways that potatoes are cooked. I'm not sure that'd be a good idea. For now, I think I'll rest on my laurels. And now we know what curries in the book are good, so there's plenty of good eating ahead.
dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
All good things come to and end, dear readers. For thirteen months, we've gone on this journey together through a variety of currinary delights, but this is the end. The final curry. I have no more combo breakers, dear reader, and so this will be our final time together save one more simple bow to wrap the series up. Nothing can stand against the inexorable march of eternity.
Leaves have their time to fall,
And flowers to wither at the north-wind's breath,
And stars to set; but all,
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!
-John Milton, The Hour of Death
Then again, it's possible that I'm just really overdramatic.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
It's listed in the book as "chanas or chole," based on which ethnic group is referring to it, but the phrasing reminds me of some kind of Fremen ritual.

It's a chickpea kind of day. [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd and I went to the symphony to see the Shen Yun Orchestra, which was pretty good, although I admit I preferred the original compositions over their performance of Western works. The best was Capturing Arrows with Boats of Straw--no recording, but the link explains the reference--and in trying to find a recording I learned that there's a yojijukugo (or rather, the Chinese equivalent, which Wikipedia tells me is 成语 chéngyǔ) written 草船借箭 (cǎo chuán jiè jiàn), which means using someone else's resources to achieve your goals.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
I don't like mashed potatoes. I don't like scalloped potatoes, or potato salad, or potatoes au gratin, or really any other kind of potatoes other than roasted, hashed, or baked. So hearing that this week was going to be "creamy potato curry" filled me with a bit of trepidation. I mean, it's curry, but would that be enough to counteract the creaminess? It was a mystery!
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
I offer no excuse. Never retreat, never surrender.

(Also, I've been really busy on weekends for weeks. So)
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
Non-standard curry day! On Sunday I was out with [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd and [tumblr.com profile] chronicluscious and on Saturday [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd and I went to a friend's going-away party, so neither day was conductive to making, eating, and writing about a curry. And truth be told, today isn't that great either since last week was so busy that I have an enormous amount of stuff to catch up on. Fortunately nothing that I can't put off for as long as it takes me to write this entry, though, because tomorrow is Erev Yom Kippur and I'm hardly going to want to be writing about curry then either. Wednesday is Yom Kippur and then [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd is gone in the evening, Thursday we're having a friend over for dinner, Friday we're meeting a friend for dinner, Saturday we're going to a performance of "The Tempest" with [livejournal.com profile] drydem and his wife, and there's another week gone!
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
I was all set to write here about how cauliflower was my favorite vegetable to have with a meal, but after a bit of reflection that's not really true. My favorite vegetable is definitely asparagus. Of course, I'm not willing to buy asparagus trucked thousands of miles out of season, so I only it for a couple months during the summer except for a few occasions when I get it at restaurants. Cauliflower comes in at second, though. The way that [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd usually makes it, baked with balsamic vinegar, is incredibly good, but it's just as tasty raw with hummus or, more relevant to the whole point of this blog post, mixed into curry.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
This curry tasted pretty good and I hated it.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
In Japan, there's a dish called オムライス ("omuraisu"), which if you're familiar with how the Japanese love to make portmanteaus, you know means omelet rice. It's usually made with fried rice, fried mostly in ketchup but sometimes in tonkatsu sauce or other heavier sauces, placed on the bottom and then a thin, slightly sweet omelet on top. It's the kind of thing that your mother makes for you in the winter when you can barely muster up the urge to get out of the kotatsu because it's freezing out, or when you're studying for your university exams and forgot to eat for most of the day. It's not very good for you, but it's really filling and it's great comfort food.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
Stop the fucking presses--I ate a meal that didn't have any meat at all in it!

Okay, that's not really as revolutionary as I just made it sound. For one thing, said meal still had eggs and cheese in it, so it's not like I was willing to revoke the slaughter of the fatted calf for even as long as it took to sit down for dinner. And second, it's not like I haven't had vegetarian, or even vegan, meals before. It's just that when I'm planning a meal, I start out by thinking what meat I'm going to include, and--more pertinently--every single curry I've eaten before now has had meat or fish in it. But this one still passed the test even without it.

Though, hopefully you don't hate eggs.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
I probably would have been a lot more suspicious of this week's curry if jardaloo boti hadn't convinced me that dried fruit in curry is actually a great idea. And when I saw [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd buying a bunch of different nuts to go in it, I knew that it would be fine. I realize that description kind of makes it sound like trail mix curry and...well, actually that's not that bad a description, really. It's dried fruit and nuts with a lot of extra curry parts added and all blended together using the new blender we got from [livejournal.com profile] tropicanaomega and her husband. It makes me wonder if some of the earlier curries I was down on would taste better to me if they had been blended smoother. Well, maybe we'll find out in a couple months. Or maybe we won't, because why would I make those when I have so many tasty curries to make now?
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
This is undoubtedly the weirdest curry in the entirety of 50 Great Curries of India. [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd and I have spent months occasionally mentioning it, wondering how it qualifies as curry, why the author picked it to include in the book, how it could possibly taste any good, and why we were even making it. The last question was the only one we could really answer--because this isn't "Fifty Curries except for that one that looks weird--though the author seems to imply in her curry intro that she included this because it was so strange. And yeah, it was definitely strange.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
You may have gotten the impression from reading my previous curry entries, but my diet is very meat-heavy. Not really by volume, because generally the majority of my plate is taken up by vegetables, but definitely by the centrality of it to the concept of a "meal" for me. Anything without meat isn't a meal, it's a snack. So I was understandably a bit worried going in to the last part of 50 Great Curries of India, and especially when I heard that the first curry on the list was a mango curry. Mangos are sweet, right? Sweet curry? Really?
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
Welcome back, everyone!

After a brief hiatus caused by [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd and I going to Oregon for two weeks, we're back on the schedule. But before we plunge into the vegetarian curries, I figured it'd be good to do a third, and probably last, combo breaker with the first curry that we ever made together as a couple, in our first apartment just after we got married. Knowing my interest in stir-fries, my parents gave us a copy of a book called Best-Ever Book of Wok and Stir-Fry Cooking. We made a few recipes from the book, some of which I thought came from elsewhere--the hijiki chicken recipe got a lot of mileage when we were in Japan and I was sure we had pulled it from the internet somewhere--but the one I always remembered is this one. And while it's not from the book 50 Great Curries of India, it is a great curry from India, so it fits the theme better than Thai curry and way better than カツカレー.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
A wild curry post appears!

This doesn't herald a change in schedule or anything, it's just that we're going out to dinner tomorrow and my WFRP game is on Monday, then I have anime chat on Tuesday, then book group chat on Wednesday, so I didn't want to crowd things too much, so you all are getting a curry post today. It'll also be the last Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries post for a while--[personal profile] schoolpsychnerd and I are going to Oregon next weekend for two weeks, and we're obviously not going to be in a position to make curry while we're gone. Then, when we get back, we'll start the vegetarian curries, the last stretch of the road to the end.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
Goa lamb vindaloo is one of the best curries I've had out of 50 Great Curries of India, and when [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd told me that this was a Goa fish curry, I knew exactly what to expect:


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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
I wasn't entirely looking forward to curry night week, since as I mentioned previously our aircon is broken. I know that there are multiple cultures who believe that the proper way to fortify one's body against the heat is to eat spicy food, but I am not someone who ascribes to that philosophy. So here I sit, slightly sweaty under the office fan, remembering our days of living in Chiyoda and being just on the threshold of being annoyed. It's currently 27°C, which isn't too hot, but is just hot enough. Yuck.

Anyway, curry.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
The two major events that put me in a good mood today were: 1) when I woke up, it was to the crashing boom of thunder as we finally got our first proper Midwestern thunderstorm of the year, and then the rain continued for most of the morning and 2) it's curry day. These two events aren't connected in any way, but it's not like I have anything else to talk about since I didn't know anything at all about this curry before I sat down to eat it. Not the name, not the ingredients, nothing.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
I always feel a little bad when I come to a curry with a partially full stomach. Objectivity is a lie etc etc, but I like to approach each of these curries with at least broadly similar starting conditions so that my opinions can start from a reasonably similar place. And this is a futile endeavor because we do not know our own minds, but "how hungry I am" is probably the metaphor that I'm most able to control, and in this case I came in mostly full and it's possible that my impressions will have suffered accordingly. For that, I apologize to you all.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
We're back! It's not that we didn't have curry last week, it's just that since we were coming back from ACEN we decided that making a new curry from the book would be too much trouble, especially since I'd have to write up the entry. And then I ended up writing thousands of words anyway between my review of Super Metroid and my writeup of the convention, so maybe it was a ill-advised decision. But on the other hand, that Thai curry we had was amazing after a weekend of mostly homemade beef jerky, almonds, olives, and pita bread.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
This week's review is going to be pretty short. And while some of that is because I just got finished writing two-and-a-half thousand words about Dark Souls, it's most just the much more mundane reason that there really isn't that much to write about. This is more like curried fish than fish curry, and no, don't ask me to explain the difference between those two because I suspect it's a line that moves a lot. Here, the main reason I'm making the distinction is that there isn't even the minimal extras that most of the curries in the book have. There's no gravy, no other ingredients, and really nothing other than the fish and some spices. [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd didn't even take an ingredients picture this week because it would have just been the spice rack and a big slab of cod, which isn't super exciting.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
More substitutions today. That's going to be rule for the next few weeks, since all of them are shrimp curries. While last week [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd did some research on what the best replacement would be, and even though we ended up having to go with a substitute since what she found wasn't available, she still took the time to look. This week, the co-op didn't have the salmon that I usually get to have for my breakfasts, so we picked up some Alaskan cod instead. I was a bit overzealous, as I often am with food; my eyes aren't just bigger than my stomach, they're usually bigger than my entire body, and we ended up with more cod than I'd eat in two weeks, much less one. So we took some of it and used it in the curry. This will probably become a theme.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
We hit another milestone this week, with the end of the chicken curries and the beginning of the seafood ones. And with that, we also begin the substitutions, because as I'm sure the title of this post informed you this curry is supposed to be made using shrimp. For a variety of reasons, I don't eat shrimp, but [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd looked around and we decided to substitute squid for this recipe. That was a bit of a last-minute substitution--we were originally going to use fish, but the grocery store we went to didn't have the fish we were going to use, so we went to plan B. It worked out the way fictional Plans B (I assume it's like "attorneys general") seem to, which is to say that it turned out probably better than the Plan B would have. Squid is pretty good.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
I'm a little nervous writing this review, because after the debacle that was last week's curry I was definitely primed to love this week's curry almost no matter what it was. Fortunately--spoiler alert--it turned out to be pretty good on its own merits, because I'm not sure I could have taken it if it had been another terrible pile of slop.
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dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
When [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd told me about this week's curry, she described it as "Chicken & Onions," and I thought that sounded pretty nice. I used to hate onions, but that's been wrong for half a decade now. I haven't cared about onion content since about halfway through the time we lived in Japan. So I didn't think much of it until Friday, when she told me that it took nine onions. We went shopping as we usually did, bought nine onions, and ended up devoting one of our usual grocery bags in order to contain the onion overflow.
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