10.08.2010

A Taste of Our Curry





It is a strange realization, and though peculiar nevertheless fact, I have never heard a Trinbagonian utter the words "I hate Curry."

What Remains of My Quick Curry Crab and Dumplings
I have racked my brain and really, the closest has been a declared preference to not eat Curry on certain occasions (like at work, before and meeting, if wearing white etc.). This partiality only because the turmeric contained in the Trini blend may temporarily stain the nails yellow (yes, you have to eat it with your hands) and it always, no matter how careful you are, ends up somewhere on your clothes.

Our Curry Powder, Mild But Flavorful Blend 
When Trinbagonian's refer to Curry it is typically a grounded prepackaged blend consisting mainly of coriander seed, turmeric, chilies and mustard seed. This particular synthesis is derived from the region of India from which indentured laborers came to these shores - East India. What they brought and handed down to us is mild in heat but strong in flavor, a perfectly balanced mix which almost guarantees great results (though I have met a talented few who manage to mess this up).
Finely Ground Trini Curry Powder
Whatever your choice to cook; red meat, white meat, seafood or vegetables this works. It is the base for the Channa (Chick Peas) in Doubles, it is what curries the Mango to go with Pholourie or Sahina, it is in the filling of your Roti no matter where in Trinidad and Tobago you buy.
I personally have curried everything from Peas (Lentils, Pigeon and Black Eye) to Rice and Quinoa and have tasted almost every type of meat and seafood curried, including Game; Manicou, Monkey and even Horse.

Garlic and Bay Leaves - A Must in a Trini Curry
How I Make It
My favorite is curried Crab. The mild sweetness of Crab seems to be accentuated by our Curry, which I make rich and thick. Lots of chopped garlic and onion fried in hot coconut oil, then in goes the curry powder to unlock its flavors with the high heat, allowing the herbs to meld with the onion, garlic and oil. The smell at this point is intoxicating, the garlic and cumin distinct, the aromas floating out if my kitchen and informing my neighbors of the menu.

Gnocchi - Available at the Gourmet Shops
I drop in a Bay Leaf of two, Chilean Crab claws and Coconut Milk, cover and simmer. There is just enough of the heavenly sauce covering the Crab, bubbling slowly until thick (just enough to coat a spoon). Five minutes before I turn off the heat I add Gnocchi - small potato and rice flour dumplings. Gnocchi are soft yet firm enough to stand their ground in the viscid sauce and sacrifice their little bodies completely to the dish. You see these small Italian dumplings have a distinct characteristic, they absorb liquid and flavor without falling apart, without getting soggy and without changing the flavors of the sauce. Gnocchi are the perfect vehicles to deliver the curry's yumminess to your mouth (short of pouring it into a cup and drinking) and are the delicious, store bought, cleaner alternative to placing your hands in flour.


Crab and Dumplings is a crowd pleaser and this version no less so. It sticks to your ribs, has you slurping juices out of shells and using your index finger turned on its side to gather residual sauce on the plate to dispatch to the mouth.
Want some?

5 comments:

fwade said...

Lovely -- I can imagine it from here in Jamaica!

~Melissa said...

Thank you Francis.
There is a lot more to come so check in on BiH regularly for what's good!

WizzyTheStick said...

your curry link was tagged by one of my Fb friends so stopped by to say hi. Love your tummy tuck archive:-) beautiful blog

Pinay Scribbles said...

i love curryyyyyyyyy.. but i'm happy to eat it than to make it.. nyahahah

Anonymous said...

OMG how good is that!!!