Nor is it an East Indian method exclusively. In all Oriental and tropical countries foods are highly seasoned, and although the spices may differ, and although the methods of preparation may not be the same, nevertheless, generally speaking, the people of all Oriental countries freely indulge in curried food.
to a paste, with the addition from time to time of a little water.
Now of course no American housewife would want to squat on the floor and grind up curry stuff on a stone, as do the women of India. So I hasten to say that very good curry may be made from curry powder. Curry powder may be obtained from almost any grocer. The best in the market is Cross & Blackwell's.
A good plan, however, would be to make your own curry powder. It is better, much cheaper, and is very little trouble to make.
The following formula is excellent:
10 ounces of coriander seed; 1 teaspoon of caraway seed; 1 teaspoon of black pepper. 1 teaspoon of red pepper; 6 teaspoons of turmeric; 4 tablespoons of flour; 1 teaspoon of cloves; 4 teaspoons of cinnamon; Seeds of six cardamons.
The coriander and turmeric may have to be purchased at a drug store. Buy as many of the spices ground as you can, and grind the others in a small hand-mill or coffee-mill. Sift together three or four times and dry thoroughly in an expiring oven. Put in air-tight bottles. A pound of meat will require about two tea-spoons of this mixture. If not hot enough add more red pepper.
Coriander. - You will note that coriander is the chief ingredient of curry powder. Coriander is used extensively in flavoring throughout the East. It can be grown any place, however. The seed can be obtained from any large florist. It grows rank like a weed. The leaves are delicious as a flavoring for meats and vegetables. A patch of this in your vegetable garden will repay you, as many a bit of left-over can be made very tasty by using a little of the finely minced leaf. The seeds are useful in many ways.
Fresh Cocoanut is another ingredient frequently used in making curries. This gives a delicious flavor and also adds greatly to the nutritive value. A cocoanut paste is prepared by a very elaborate process in the Indian cook-house, but in this country we are not only confronted by the problem of living on our so many dollars a month, but also by the equally great one of living on twenty-four hours a day. So we will pass the method of preparing cocoanut by with the suggestion that you buy your prepared cocoanut. Baker puts up an excellent preparation of fresh cocoanut with the milk. This comes in small tins at ten cents a tin.
Making curry is a very elastic method.
Much depends upon the taste of the individual. Some think a teaspoonful of prepared mustard or Worcestershire sauce a great improvement.
Always get cheap cuts of meat for curry. The hock or heel of beef makes perhaps as fine curry as any other cut.
There are many different kinds of curries. Some are so hot that the consumer thereof may feel that he is the possessor of an internal fiery furnace. Some are mustard-colored, some are almost black, some are thin and watery, some are thick, some are greasy, and some would be quite impossible for America.
Onions are always used in making curry, but do not let this discourage any one who does not like onions. One reason that onions are so unpopular is that so often they are improperly cooked. In making curry onions should be cooked until they are perfectly soft. Indeed they should be reduced to a pulp. This pulp helps thicken the curry gravy, and many people who claim that they cannot eat onions really enjoy them without realizing what they are eating.
The recipes which follow are all practical, inexpensive, delicious, and thoroughly reliable.