Tonight I finally(!) had time to make beef curry.
I started by going to the local Indian store to buy Garam Masala, an Indian spice. I had never been in the store before, and felt very conspicuous. When I was living in South Korea, I felt that way most of the time, now I rarely feel it. Fortunately, the store had a wall lined with spices, including Garam Masala. I can’t help but marvel, in a way, that I can drive less than 5 minutes to find all of this. Vasco De Gama and many others risked life and limb in the persuit of Indian spices; I just had to feel conspicuous in a store. Every once in a while I think about the local food movement, and how strange that is, when you think about it. For most of human history, it would have been unthinkable to eat food that wasn’t local. It was only within the last few hundred years that it was possible to obtain food from other places. The British in the 18th century must have marveled at drinking tea from China and India with sugar grown in the Caribbean by African slaves. Though I’m sure they didn’t think about the slavery portion of the equation.
Anyway, I went home and began by cutting up the onion, only to discover, much to my pain and frustration, that it was a stinging onion. Some kinds of onions do not sting the eyes, unfortuantely, this one does. I ran the onion under cold water, but I had to give my eyes a break before I started again.
I peeled the potatoes, which took some time and patience. If I wasn’t on the low iodine diet, I would not bother to peel the potatoes, but I am not allowed to eat potato skins since they are high in iodine.
If I’ve learned nothing from watching Cooks Country, I’ve learned that garlic should always hit a hot pan, to “bloom” its flavor. The rest of the cooking went fairly straight forward, until I remembered the cardinal rule of cooking: wear old dark clothing, not new peach colored shirts. Oh well.
The curry is simmering now, so I can’t give a review until it’s fully cooked and the sauce has thickened. I hope it turns out well.