Curry up for a flavour hit
UNTIL I started in the spice business (about seven years ago) I didn’t have a particular go-to curry that I favoured. Butter chicken was close but as I tried new flavours and spice combinations over the years, that has changed.
There are so many different styles of curries, which, of course, is all down to the spices in the spice blend. In India, each region has its own style of curry. The south of India predominantly uses coconut in their curries whereas the north has more water-based and tomato-based curries.
So what’s your favourite curry? Is it Sri Lankan, Indian, Thai or perhaps Malaysian?
At the moment I’m going through an Asian curry phase, with the Cambodian “amok” spice blend at the top of my list.
Amok means steam-cooking a curry (usually fish), traditionally in banana leaves. It is known as Cambodia’s national dish.
Words cannot describe the amazing flavours of this curry. The spice blend contains turmeric, garlic, ginger, paprika, coriander, cumin and pepper, which are standard spices in most curries but the ingredients that make amok stand out from the crowd are kaffir lime leaves and lemon myrtle leaves. Just yum.
Vicki’s prawn and scallop amok curry Serves 6 INGREDIENTS:
500g large green prawns, peeled, tails off
350g scallops, washed and clean (roe optional) 1 brown onion, peeled and diced
1 tsp good-quality fish sauce
1 tbs palm sugar
1 tsp salt 1.5 tbs Herbies Amok spice
1 cup frozen peas
½ cup reduced salt chicken or fish stock
1 can (400ml) coconut milk
METHOD: Using a sharp knife, cut the prawns from top to tail, removing the vein (don’t cut all the way through). If the scallops are huge, cut them in half. In a mortar and pestle, grinder or food processor, blend onion, sugar, salt, fish sauce and Amok spice together to make a paste. Heat a fry pan or wok on medium-high heat and cook the paste for two-three minutes, adding in the stock a bit at a time. Add coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer. Add prawns, scallops and peas and cook for about 10 minutes. Taste and season accordingly. Serve immediately with basmati rice.
LEAF IT TO ME: Kaffir lime leaves are a key ingredient of the Cambodian amok curry.