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Feed: My Life in Curry

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  • Che Tibby,

    Curry Laksa from that food court on... hobson st? In the mid-90s. I remember it like it was yesterday. Took me 5 years to work out how to replicate it.

    These days I'm so dedicated to coriander I grow it and harvest the seeds for the next year's eating.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Che Tibby,

    Curry Laksa from that food court on… hobson st? In the mid-90s. I remember it like it was yesterday. Took me 5 years to work out how to replicate it.

    That would be Food Alley on Albert Street, home of many a budget delight. And laksa is almost a topic in itself.

    These days I’m so dedicated to coriander I grow it and harvest the seeds for the next year’s eating.

    Respect! Do you reckon they taste better?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Do you reckon they taste better?

    Kind of hard to say. I'll have to come clean and admit that my cooking is mostly based on texture and smell over taste, but they are a lot more 'resinous' than the shop bought stuff. When you grind them in a pestle they have an almost 'pine-like', 'green' smell that was new to me.

    And... crop failed this year. :( Will be the bought stuff till next February.

    Could send you a wee baggie of last year's seeds if you're game. WARNING: they look suspiciously like cannabis seeds.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Attachment Attachment

    Great to see this blog starting! Good luck for the future.

    Looking forward to some good chilli suggestions, considering they’re only ripening now. The long red ones in the background were disappointing, despite being sold as “burning hot”. The foreground ones, shaped more like a small capsicum, sent me into convulsions, to the amusement of my children, when I made the mistake of taking a large bite. The orange ones are capsicums, very nice looking but I can’t say I’ve ever noticed any difference in the taste of different colored capsicums. Of course they’re nicer fresh, though.

    I have no idea what the cat tastes like. It has now become my cat, having thrown itself on my mercy in a piteously thin state a few months ago.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10560 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Che Tibby,

    Could send you a wee baggie of last year’s seeds if you’re game. WARNING: they look suspiciously like cannabis seeds.

    Really? How kind! I'll DM you my address.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • nic.wise,

    I found, in general, the curry in London to be a bit lack-luster. I longed for some of the more spicy NZ ones, and usually partook when we came back (back for good now, had a few and enjoyed them very much). The exception was the Lahore Curry House in E1 (http://goo.gl/maps/DkIoC). Dodgy as hell area, but it was like walking into a Chinese restaurant in Auckland and being the only non-Chinese there. So, so, so so good.

    I do remember ordering a take away one in Santa Barbara, and ordering hot. The Souther Californians know hot, and it was close on inedible.

    We've been watching Rick Stien's India recently, which is a great series (iTunes UK I think - might be on Netflix or maybe even iTunes NZ?). Not good to watch over dinner tho!

    Must be lunch time...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to BenWilson,

    I had to look hard to find the cat, who looks blissfully content, hidden in amongst the basil.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    There's something to be said for butter chicken. For many New Zealanders, it's their first Indian experience. It has a safe English name involving two ordinary Pakeha ingredients and serves as a delicious introduction to the world of curry. A gateway drug!

    Wellington's Malaysian curry houses must be mentioned! That's easily one of my favourite things about Wellington. I took my brother, who was living in Malaysia at the time, to one place. He confirmed it was about as authentic as you'd get in Malaysia - only it cost a lot more, compared to the home country! Beef rendang FTW.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    Ready for the bash ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    A gateway drug!

    So true. It's like the alcopop of curries. You like it most at first, but then after you develop a taste for curry, its creaminess just gets in the way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10560 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    Wellington’s Malaysian curry houses must be mentioned! That’s easily one of my favourite things about Wellington.

    +1

    What's the story to there being so many Malaysian restaurants in central Wellington?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Ram,

    Nice.

    Try the search term "west indian curry" on Google and you'll find a new world of options. Your local butcher may very well sell goat and it's worth a go, even for a novice. Recipes are easy and we have most of the ingredients readily available here.

    If you've got SKY Rick Steins trip to Indian is definitely worth a watch.

    Since Mar 2008 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Richard Ram,

    Your local butcher may very well sell goat and it's worth a go, even for a novice.

    Mine doesn't but the one in the little India cluster on Sandringham Road does. I presume it's cooked long and slow?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Siu,

    Is sausage curry a New Zealand thing?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Richard Ram,

    right. coincidentally, just back from eating a kori gassi.

    Your local butcher may very well sell goat

    can be bought from pak n save porirua fairly regularly, and sometime even in our local NW.

    generally i treat it much like hogget.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nic.wise,

    I found, in general, the curry in London to be a bit lack-luster. I longed for some of the more spicy NZ ones, and usually partook when we came back

    Ironically, our shorter experience makes us more authentic. Britain has had Indian restaurants for 200 years (and many of the spices since the Crusades!) and some terrible liberties have been taken.

    Also, until the late 90s, 85% of "Indian" restaurants in Britain were reportedly really Bangladeshi. As noted, there were also the bel poori houses, but I don't recall ever coming across Hyderbadi styles like you can buy in Auckland.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tony Siu,

    Is sausage curry a New Zealand thing?

    It may well be. I find it works best with chicken sausages (Westmere Butcher), which are less fatty.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Ram, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Grey Lynn butchers and Pak n Save on Lincoln Rd seem the other reliable outlets. Cook long and slow unless you have a pressure cooker.

    Top tip: When Indians talk about mutton they are talking about goat.

    Since Mar 2008 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Horne, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    Wellington’s Malaysian curry houses must be mentioned!

    Can you recommend one or two? I was a big fan of the Sri Penang on K Rd before moving to the capital. I tried a couple of places down here that didn't grab me - but I know that it must have been bad luck on my account

    Since Jan 2010 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Raquel Moss,

    I became a vegetarian when I was 11 years old, so Indian cuisine is very near and dear to me. My partner and I live in Newtown, Wellington, meaning we have about six excellent curry houses within spitting distance. My loyalties are torn -- Curry Heaven for a fragrant dal makhani, but Temptations up the road for the dal tadka. Planet Spice has the best naan.

    My favourite place in Wellington, though, is Balti House opposite the library. It's run by a family from Birmingham, and my favourite dal makhani is classed as a side dish, meaning I get a decent portion for about $8.

    Last year we made a gastronomic pilgrimage to India and we were mostly disappointed. The best food was to be had (as it usually is while travelling) across the road from the main train station in Delhi. We stumbled in while jetlagged and starving at 5am and had the most delicious paratha.

    Later during the trip, we took a cooking class in Udaipur, with a British couple who couldn't STAND spicy food. We were pretty sure that people like them were the reason we couldn't get a spicy enough dish from any establishment despite begging and pleading.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Sadly I can't recommend Indian Summer in Dunedin. New owners took it over a year or so ago and we've been a bunch of times, but their service is terrible - every time we order garlic or chicken naan and every time they bring us plain. Sometimes the quality of the lamb they use isn't very good.

    Except they do serve this fantastic curry which I haven't seen done this way in any other Dunedin places - Chicken Chakori. It's two curries, both chicken, a green and red one, separated by this - looks a bit like a pancake, but it's made with eggs apparently. So they do the green curry, wrap it inside this egg thing, and then add the red one to the outside. Fantastic.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Chapman,

    I seem to recall sultanas being de rigueur in my granddad's sausage curry.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Harvey,

    it actually wasn’t easy to go out and buy a proper Indian curry until as late as the early 1980s.

    Before going on our OE in 1971 there was IIRC only one Indian restaurant in Auckland, in Wellesley St West, south side, the block between Federal and Albert Sts. Never went there myself and not until discovering that the UK had curry houses like we had chinese takeaways, and vice versa, did I eventually get to indulge in the delights of masala dosai!

    Westmere • Since Nov 2006 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    Wellington's Malaysian curry houses must be mentioned! That's easily one of my favourite things about Wellington.

    My first eat-out curry was Roti Chenai opposite Manners Mall, when I was 11. I spent so much time in that place as a teenager with my two best friends that all I had to do was show up and I'd get a table for three. ($5 for curry and two roti - one of the best lunch deals going!) I don't know if it's the best curry place in Wellington, but sometimes, in this pale curry-free* land of eternal winter** I'm currently inhabiting, I dream about their garlic dosai.

    *Not really, but there's only one really good curry place within fifty miles and reservations are a must. At least there's a passable international foods store, although their supply of Asian Home Cooking spice pastes is sadly limited to laksa.

    **It's been the coldest winter since before I was born and when I left the house this morning it was ten degrees below zero. It's NEARLY APRIL.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Now I feel bad for posting pics of my chilis in this glorious neverending summer that Auckland has enjoyed :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10560 posts Report Reply

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