The great superiority of the oriental curries over those generally prepared in Europe or America, is not, we believe, altogether the result of a want of skill or of experience on the part of our cooks, but is attributable, in some measure, to many of the ingredients, which in a fresh and green state add so much to their excellence, being here beyond our reach.
The natives of the East compound and vary this class of dishes, we are told, with infinite ingenuity, blending in them very agreeably many condiments of different flavour, until the highest degree of piquancy and savour is produced, the whole being tempered with fine vegetable acids. With us, turmeric and cayenne pepper prevail in them often far too powerfully: the prodigal use of the former should be especially avoided, as it injures both the quality and the colour of the curry which ought to be of a dark green, rather than of a red or yellow hue. The first is given by the genuine powder imported from India; the others, by the greater number of spurious ones, sold in England and America under its name. A couple of ounces of a sweet, sound cocoa-nut, lightly grated and stewed for nearly or quite an hour in the gravy of a curry, is a great improvement to its flavour: it will be found particularly agreeable with that of sweetbreads, and may be served in the curry, or strained from it at pleasure. Great care, however, should bo taken not to use, for the purpose, a nut that is rancid.
Spinage, cucumbers, vegetable marrow, tomatoes, acid apples, green gooseberries (seeded), and tamarinds imported in the shell - not preserved - may all, in their season, be added with very good effect to curries of different kinds. Potatoes and celery are also occasionally boiled down in them.
The rice for a curry should always be sent to table in a separate dish from it, and, in serving them, it should be first helped, and the curry laid upon it
(Captain White's.) These curries are made with a sort of paste, which is labelled with the above names, and as it has attracted some attention of late, and the curries made with it are very good; and quickly and easily prepared, we give the directions for them. "Cut a pound and a half of chicken, fowl, veal, rabbit, or mutton, into pieces an inch and a half square. Put from two to three ounces of fresh butter in a stewpan, and when it is melted put in the meat, and give it a good stir with a wooden spoon; add from two to three dessertspoonsful of the curry-paste; mix the whole up well together, and continue the stirring over a brisk fire from five to ten minutes, and the curry will be done. This is a dry curry. For a gravy curry, add two or three tablespoonsful of boiling water after the paste is well mixed in, and continue the stewing and stirring from ten to twelve minutes longer, keeping the sauce of the consistency of cream. Prepare salmon and lobster in the same way, but very quickly, that they may come up firm.
The paste may be rubbed over steaks, or cutlets, when they are nearly broiled; three or four minutes will finish them."*
Boil six or eight fresh eggs quite hard, as for salad, and put them aside until they are cold. Mix well together from two to three ounces of good butter, and from three to four dessertspoonsful of curry-powder; shake them in a stewpan, or thick saucepan, over a clear but moderate fire for some minutes, then throw in a couple of mild onions finely minced, and fry them gently until they are tolerably soft; pour to them by degrees from half to three quarters of a pint of broth or gravy, and stew them slowly until they are reduced to pulp; mix smoothly a small cup of thick cream with two teaspoonsful of wheaten or of rice-flour, stir them to the curry, and simmer the whole until the raw taste of the thickening is gone. Cut the eggs into half inch slices, heat them quite through in the sauce without boiling them, and serve them as hot as possible.