I'VE FOUND a fantastic Chinese Curry Sauce mix. Got it from a Chinese market stall. It's the complete shebang: wheatflour and coconut paste included, just add water and there you go. The spice mix is almost exactly right. (All takeaways vary; this could pass 100% as takeaway-authentic...) The orangey colour is the same as that illustrated: Chinese curry is never brown... The pack cost me about £1 for 10 portions, which means I'm spending 10p a time, rather than £1 a cupfull as the Chinese demand...
Coconut paste was the missing ingredient I suspected was in there but was unsure about. Chinese curry has no overt coconut flavour, though it does have onion and garlic (both in my industrially-bought mix) and these kind of tail into the mellowness of the coconut and the further smoothness of salted-up MSG. It's a work of genius that I got precisely right last night with a mushroom curry (no ££ for chicken!!)... today I'm off to get a pre-roasted chicken (so cheap it's not worth buying the salmonella'd uncooked variety) that along with mushrooms, onions and peas shall make a fantastic curry (Godwilling). Why peas are always in the mix I shall never know; but they are. Up and down the country Chinese chicken curry means chicken-onions-peas (and mushrooms if you're lucky. Or so many mushrooms there's barely any chicken if yours is a credit-crunch curry...)
I was toying last week with the thought of coconut for my curries but didn't know what form to buy. Dessicated is a bit too 1970s British (add boiled eggs and sultanas: yuck!) Coconut milk powder would probably make a wonderful starting stock. I've seen coconut cream or paste before but last week it was beyond the glimpses of my eyes and so I went without... I did get garlick paste (v useful for nongarlic eaters like me, who leave it in the cupboard until it sprouts...) Plus an authentic light soy sauce brand that comes in a pretty squat container with Chinese writing down the side and actually does taste of soy (unlike the vulgar market leader Amoy).
My robbies were running around like a mini donkey-derby last night after plunging into the pineshavings-filled diggery. They tilt up to a near vertical angle and disappear right in, each following the trail of the other. Sometimes great caves are formed below in which they pause sometimes for a roborovski-picnic. (Wise animals, Itchy keeps her pouches packed nearly all the time, which I always assumed was a size-adding measure to counter her being the tiniest of all the trotters.)
I've still been very depressed and heavy limbed and mind-crushed, which is the main reason not to have been online posting very much. Well I'm back now so HELLO HELLO again!!
PS why am I so obsessed by my curry sauce chase?
This from my commments should explain what/how:~
Good grief, gledwood, are you still on the hunt for Chinese curry sauce?!!!
Sorry, I've not been by for a while. I've come in via Robyn in Australia again. Seems to work well this way.
12 October 2008 20:48
Found an industrial version (just add water and stir continuously)... but want to know PRECISELY WHICH SPICES and to be able to make from scratch. I hate feeling in the pocket of the industrial multinational food business and am sure Chinese takeaway chefs don't use industrial premade mixes! I'm sure they would know precisely which spices to add and in what quantities and that's what I wish to do...
13 October 2008 11:13
Phooey! - Husband has lost weight on holiday while I have put on far too many pounds. Not a happy bunny. But I enjoyed it all.
4 hours ago