On Saturday night, due to extreme exhaustion and a early morning tutorial near their house, I ended up staying with my parents. In fact it was just my Dad in the end as my Mum had a night shift at work.
Usually when I have to stay at my parents’, I get a take-away. They aren’t exactly into cooking (for stories on my Mum’s cooking see this post from when I started the blog!) and I always find the lack of basic storecupboard ingredients a little offputting. However last night I thought that I’d brave it since I had some king prawns which wouldn’t last much longer.
On the phone to Dad, he asked what I was going to cook. I said I’d be doing a prawn curry of some kind. Since Dad has recently started eating seafood again after many years as a veggie, he wanted to try some so I agreed to let him be my kitchen assistant for the evening.
Firstly I asked him what he had at home that I could use. He seemed unsure of what to answer. So I asked more specific questions.
“Do you have any natural yoghurt or cream?
“No. But you can have natural cottage cheese.”
THIS is why I rarely let them cook for me. They think substituting cottage cheese for a yoghurt and cream curry base is a good idea!
I thought I’d not risk asking him for anything else and emptied everything in my cupboards into a carrier bag before heading to Surrey. Due to a series of mishaps (inclusing Dad’s car breaking down), we didn’t get home until 10:30. So much for an early night then. I set about cooking a mughlai korma: a curry involving mild spices based on yoghurt, cream and almonds.
Having Dad as a kitchen assistant is interesting. He has a tendency to tidy things away very quickly, usually before you’ve finished with them. Also, despite living for thirty years in the same house, he has NO idea where anything is.
I found out quickly that even typical Sri Lankan ingredients are hard to get hold of in my parents kitchen. I asked, “Do you have curry leaves for the breadfruit?”
“No, but there are these things I found in the freezer.”
“What are they?”
“I don’t know but they look like leaves.”
I decided to avoid the unidentifiable green objects and went looking for a grinder to grind some almonds. You would not believe what we found. I would have taken a picture but Dad was too embarrassed to let me.
Literally this grinder was covered in about 6 years of fungal growth. It was hideous! Dad ran off to disinfect it. Meanwhile I found a pestle and mortar and completed the curry.
Essentially, I made the curry by frying onion with a bay leaf, ground cinnamon, garam masala, crushed ginger and garlic then stirring in a mixture of natural yoghurt and saffron. Ground almonds, cumin, chopped coriander and double cream are stirred in and finally the prawns are added and heated through.
We tried to make a breadfruit curry too but that became a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. I like plenty of gravy with my curries but Dad apparently doesn’t. I put my usual amount of curry powder in with the breadfruit but when Dad took over he only added about half the water and coconut milk that I would have done. The breadfruit ended up a bit overspiced.
The prawn curry turned out very well. It is a lovely creamy curry and the spices lend a delicate flavour. I made caraway seed rice to go with it too.
And finally, here are recipes. King Prawn Muglai Korma, and my version of Breadfruit Curry.