Thursday, October 10, 2013

Weekends in Korea + My Super, Super "Secret" Curry Recipe

Last weekend, we were able to get out of the city and see green things for the FIRST time since we arrived. We are not suffering in our new city life, merely adjusting. So our new friends, Bob and Trish, took us up to Songsang Sangdang Fortress (or at least that's what I'm choosing to call it because I can never seem to get it right). 
This is us with Bob and Trish

The view was lovely

We hiked around the mountain and saw the remains of the fortress

Bob and Trish like to take pictures doing acrobatics.

We like to take pictures standing. And smiling. 

Then, we were pooped, so we went back to their apartment to make curry.

Curry back story:
When I was in Cambodia, I met an older Pakistani woman on the street. She was chasing away dogs with her walking stick, I was sitting on the curb. She sat down next to me and we became fast friends. She said, "You teach my grandson piano, I teach you curry." Deal.

She taught me some basics, but what I make is far from authentic. It's just what has morphed into my version of what she taught me. However, I will tell you this tip, in her words, "Every good curry starts with onions and tomatoes. Always onions and tomatoes." Got it?

We were making curry for four of us, but we ended up feeding six (plus two servings of leftovers). So let's say this recipe serves eight. Adjust as you see fit.

This is what we used
Obviously, we would start with onions and tomatoes. 

We cut up three onions and sauteed them in a bit of oil.

Cook them until they look like this. Soft and golden-ish.

Then, add about four tomatoes (or two+ cans of stewed tomatoes, which I actually kind of like better). If you use fresh tomatoes, you might need to add a tablespoon or so of sugar to cut the acidity. Let it all simmer together for awhile. Maybe 10-15 minutes.
Add a few (2-4) cloves of garlic near the end. 
We chopped the veggies pretty small so that they would cook faster.
If you are a patient person, you would add your other veggies to the sauce and let it all simmer together.
The rest of us will steam them separately in a little bit of water and add them later. 

Once the tomatoes and onions have gotten a bit soupy, add two or three cans of coconut milk and simmer at a low heat.
At this point add salt and curry powder to taste.

Three teaspoons=incredibly mild.
Five teaspoons=a little, teensy kick.
Seven teaspoons=getting hot!
At this point you can combine the steamed veggies and your curry sauce together. You will likely want to add more salt than you might think, I usually end up being surprised at how much I need to add, but then again, I'm flavoring an entire pot of quite bland ingredients (potatoes, broccoli, etc). So taste and adjust here and there.

Adding chicken or tofu (or some other protein) to your curry is optional, but easy.
I just fry it up separate and plop it in with everything else. 

If I were a really experienced food blogger, I would insert a picture of the finished product...


However, we were so dang hungry, we ate it all up without even thinking about taking a picture. But trust me, it was SO good! Even some Jehovah's Witnesses were drawn to us by the aroma and we invited them in for curry. They said it was good.

Afterwards, Jeremy tried his hand at juggling.

And I impressed absolutely no one at the batting cages.

It was a great and memorable day. We are grateful for the fresh air, new friends, and good food!