Curry In A Hurry!

With a busy lifestyle bogged with not-yet-clingy-but-starting-to-show-sign baby TJ, Valerie has to be equipped with instant meal recipes beside ramen to feed Ryan! Here’s a time-saving dish we made not too long ago and we have used the same method for our fish curry a week later and both proved to be delicious!

Curry In A Hurry is a really adequate alternative to mom’s tedious preparation if you are still skeptical. We’d skipped the freshly ground spices and frying *rempah steps which saved a lot of washing up later since the bowls used for this mise en place were kept minimal. We used a bowl which contained the meat and a plate for the tomatoes and potatoes. The rest were prepared on the chopping board so I went green and saved detergent and water, too!

*Rempah (Malay word) is pounded raw ingredients i.e. chillies, onions, garlic, ginger, etc… normally prepared for curries or spicy dishes.

Actually, I wanted to add Dried Salted Fish Bones (Ikan Kurau) to this pork curry, it is a different heaven! Just a few pieces of the “stinky” fish. But I couldn’t get hold of it in NTUC supermarket; the staff say they don’t stock it – that’s so strange and disappointing! If you do want to add some salted fish bones to pork curry, add them in step 2 and fry together with the lemongrass till the pungent smell fills up your kitchen and any open areas of your house! 😉

What You’ll Need:
1kg Pork Belly and Spare Ribs (you can use beef or lamb).
100g Earthen Pot Meat Curry Powder (you can use other brands).
1-2 teaspoons Oil (any vegetable or peanut but not sesame oil).
250 – 500 ml Coconut Milk (tinned or tetra-packs).
3-5 firm Tomatoes, cut (the Asian ones are more tangy which we like for curry dishes).
2 stalks Lemongrass, lower white parts only and bashed to release essential oils.
5 Potatoes, the waxy type so they don’t disintegrate into the curry.
Salt and/or Light Soy, to taste.

1. Rinse well and scald the meat with boiling hot water. Drain and marinate with the curry powder if you have time, otherwise skip the marination step. While marinating meat, you can start to cook your rice. See recipe here: Back To Basics: Rice.

2. Add oil into the pot and fry the lemongrass till fragrance is released (fry salted fish bones in this step, if using). Add meat and tomatoes and give them a few quick stir. If you do not want to fry at all, skip this step! See how flexible and healthy this recipe can be? I didn’t fry the lemongrass. Just plain boiling since I couldn’t get hold of the salted fish bones.

3. Pour enough hot to submerge the meat and bring to a fast boil. Skim off any broth scum, if any.

4. Add coconut milk and some salt. The packaged coconut milk tends to have a “raw” taste so I like to add it to the curry as early as possible. Once coconut milk is added, remember to lower heat so that no curdling occurs. I also like to add a bit of salt during simmering to extract the meat juices which will enhance the curry or broth of any soups/stews.

5. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes and check on the tenderness of meat. When they are three quarter cooked, add the potatoes. Continue simmering till meat and potatoes are tender with springy bite to the pork skin.

6. Adjust final seasoning with salt and/or light soy. I find that light soy lends a natural sweetness to any dish and prefer to use it especially over table salt.

7. Turn off heat when curry is ready and cover the pot for 5 to 10 minutes to draw out more aromatic flavour.

8. Serve hot with steamed rice (Basmati or Jasmine) and a side of light soy dipping sauce, if desired. Some folks like to eat curry with fluffy roti parathas or crusty French loaves.

Home-cooked Pork Curry-7018-

A 1kg combination of Pork Belly and Spare Ribs makes the curry more flavoursome.

Home-cooked Pork Curry-7024-

Packaged Meat Curry Mix (100g) that you can store at home.
“Earthen Pot” has Chicken and Fish Curry Powder, too!
I like this brand because I do not need to add any fresh herbs or spices if I do not have any.

Home-cooked Pork Curry-7070-

Besides “Ayam” brand, “Kara” (250-500ml, depending on taste) is one that I frequently buy for curries.
Needless to say, freshly grated and squeezed coconut cream is best but this is as good as it gets…
Buy local Asian or “waxy” potatoes and not the “powdery” type used for making mash.

Home-cooked Pork Curry-7031-

Yes, it is curry in a hurry but if you can spare some time, even 10 minutes of marination can make a slight difference in taste (better would be 30-60 minutes for the curry to penetrate into the meat).
Otherwise, just cook straight away.

Home-cooked Pork Curry-7063-

Put marinated meat, lemongrass and tomatoes into a stockpot and fill with hot water and let it come to a fast boil.
Skim away scum broth.
Add a pinch of Salt and the Coconut Milk.
Lower heat to simmer for 20 minutes to half an hour, stirring occasionally to prevent burnt.

Home-cooked Pork Curry-7066a-

When meat is “al dente” with a hard spring when pricked with fork, add the potatoes and continue simmering till meat and potatoes are tender.

Home-cooked Pork Curry-7091-

Adjust final seasoning with Light Soy or Salt.
I like using Light Soy as there’s a little sweetness (not sugary) to it.
Off heat and cover the pot for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Home-cooked Pork Curry-7086-

Serve hot with steamed Basmati or Jasmine rice.

Happy cooking, eating and bonding 🙂

One Response to “Curry In A Hurry!”
  1. Cate B says:

    Ah. Yum, Yum, Yum!

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