Thursday, 3 December 2009

Fauzi's dinner

I have no idea who Fauzi is or was. But I consulted a friend who speaks several languages, and she explained that the title of this dish, Masak Fauzi, is the Indonesian and Malay word "Masak" for "to cook", with "Fauzi", a name. The recipe comes from a 1970s pamphlet called simply "Curry Recipes" put out by Community Aid Abroad, who are these days known as Oxfam. This is one of the first ever curries I cooked, when I was in my teens, but I haven't made it in, oh, at least a decade. I rediscovered the pamphlet in a recent tidying phase, and decided to give it a try.

And of course you need some greens for a balanced diet, so I tried a veggie dish from the booklet, too. It involves cooked lettuce, which may seem weird but is really quite alright. It's a nice bright look, so that's the photo. Fauzi's yummy brown sludgy thing looks like a brown sludgy thing. Not so photogenic.

Recipe 1: Masak Fauzi
1 lb (450g) meat
5 onions
10 dried chillies
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 carrots
salt and sugar to taste

Slice onions and fry with chillies and a tablespoon of oil, until quite soft.
Pound them to paste.
Brown the cubed meat in the other tablespoon of oil.
Add the onion paste and tomato sauce to the meat.
Simmer until meat is tender and onions are reduced well.
Add raisins and chopped carrots and simmer for another half hour.
Add salt and sugar to taste.

Notes: This is quite sweet, even without adding any sugar, and reminds me a little bit of a sauerbraten with that mix of meat, raisins, vinegar. It's not a normal curry, as there are basically no spices. I used 550g of lamb. I tipped my onions into a bowl and used the stick blender to make the paste instead of a large mortar and pestle. Ah, technology.

If you feel tomato sauce is just too appalling, you could use a tablespoon of tomato paste, a tablespoon of vinegar and two teaspoons of sugar.

Recipe 2: Pea and Lettuce Sambal
2 teaspoons sunflower oil
1 small onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4-6 large lettuce leaves, shredded and rinsed
1/2 medium capsicum
1/2 cup peas
1 tablespoon dessicated coconut
salt, lemon juice to taste

Chop the onion, and fry it in the oil until translucent.
Add the crushed garlic and ginger and continue to fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add the spices, stir for a minute, then add a dash of water and stir well to loosen it up.
Add the peas and capsicum, stir, then add the wet shredded lettuce leaves on top.
Cover pan and simmer 5 minutes.
Stir in the coconut.
Add salt and a dash of lemon juice to taste.

Notes: This is a good use for those larger outer leaves of a cos lettuce, that are a bit strong and tough for salad. Iceberg outer leaves work, too. If you hate the idea, you could try using spinach instead. I used red capsicum, and a few extra green beans, in the pictured one.

By the way, this is a blog post that I had underway two months ago, before I took the break. I made the green veggie sambal again recently; it makes a good side dish for any meat curry. The second time I used fresh peas, and green capsicum.


Jens Knudsen (Sili) said...

I didn't use to like curry as a kid, but I've been considering have a go at making one some day.

Do you have any veggie curries? My dinner friends are (semi)vegetarian and I use them for Guineapigs.

Cath said...

Well, obviously the pea and lettuce dish above. And a few in
my index

There's a couple of dahl variants in that list.

You might also like this one with raw cashews, which I cooked last year sometime:

BJ said...

Welcome back Cath. I'm so glad things are looking up for you. It's been a difficult year in many ways...

For/@ Sili: Cath's 3 tins dhal is great. And if you're looking for veggie curry recipes, google Indian veggo food. IMHO it's just about the best vegetarian food you can get, and it runs the range from deep-fried deliciously crisp saturated fat badness; to bright, delicate steamed greens with pods and spices; and velvet creamy coconut milk stews. Also look out for Sri Lankan ditto (this cuisine is based more on the coconut milk /steaming tradition than the southern Indian deep-fried style).

And last but not least, you might like to look into Thai food. I can't go past that wonderful salad (called ... help, Cath?) of finely sliced green pawpaw, other green things, peanuts and the usual sweet/sour/hot/cool mix the Thais have purrfected. Good luck!