Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cooked And Shared A Pot Of Curry

I ran to the Lower Peirce reservoir last Sunday. Nothing unusual of course, except that I’ve not been running in this direction since the beginning of the Hungry Ghost Festival. My friend, a runner and triathlete, had advised me to avoid this route; the winding Old Upper Thomson Road, to be specific, because it’s dark and quiet. Yes, the perfect setting for a ghostly encounter. He’s an experienced sportsman, so I’d decided to take his advice. But it’s also for its tranquility, coupled with the green, natural surrounding and the company of unobtrusive monkeys (and the occasional wildboar) that make this my favourite running route in Singapore so far. At night, especially.

My run began at 8 am (ahah, so this is not a ghost story!) that Sunday, so I completed 14 km around 9.30 am. Brunch at Paradise Pavilion was to start at 1 pm, so I had ample time to shop for ingredients for my curry dish at the neighbourhood wet market. I decided to stop by a tiny shop manned by a middle-aged lady. To be honest, I was rather disappointed with the garam masala that she offered as it came pre-packed. But the cost was only a micro fraction of the Masterfoods version on the supermarket shelf, so it was a compromise.

The lady looked at me curiously as I handed over the plastic basket of mostly spices to be checked out. Boy, what do you want to cook? she asked. I told her of my plan to cook a pot of vegetable curry with yoghurt. She gave me a few cooking tips and seemed pleased that I’m taking on an Indian-style curry. She just didn’t know that that’s the only style that I know of.

Why vegetable curry? I thought a mélange of colourful vegetables would make the dish more photogenic and this post more attractive. This plan of mine was laid out a few days earlier, after reading about the unofficial Cook And Share A Pot Of Curry campaign and receiving an invitation from Keropokman on Facebook.

There were five types of vegetables in my curry – brinjal, cauliflower, long bean, carrot, corn. There were pureed tomatoes too, for a creamy texture; a tip I’d picked up from the lovely Anjum Anand. I’d initially thought of including tamarind paste for a bit of tang and savouriness but replaced that with yoghurt and a light touch of cider vinegar instead. A handful of chopped coriander was mixed into the curry as I left the curry to cool. It’s obviously a simple dish to prepare but the combination of spices like cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, pepper and coriander was really aromatic and appetizing. Soon, version 2.0 will include more fried spices, tamarind paste, curry leaves, chilli paste and definitely more of the full fat yoghurt from the same stall. The yoghurt was so smooth and rich that I’d selfishly saved some to top my own serving.

Coincidentally, I had lunch with a colleague from Bangalore the next day and shared some of my vegetable curry with him. I almost burst into laughter when he said it was very tasty. I’m sure he was just being courteous. He then shared his lunch of more vegetarian curries cooked by his maid (what a lucky man) that made mine tasted like an elementary school science project. Over lunch, we discussed many issues including the curry campaign (of course) and the presidential election. It was an enjoyable lunch, one that I’ll gladly have regularly.

So that’s my Cook And Share A Pot Of Curry story. I had fun that Sunday.

It’s amazing how a Facebook page of such triviality can spice up our lives. As I welcome Cook A Bowl Of Bak Chor Mee Saturday or Fry A Plate Of Hokkien Mee Friday in the future, I should still exercise good judgement before clicking “ATTENDING”, so to not be misinformed and subsequently, misinterpreting and tarnishing the campaign.

Anyway, I don’t see such socio-culinary events taking place in this week. Everyone’s busy choosing their next President. So, happy voting, my Singaporean friends!

13 comments:

choi yen said...

quite some DIY cooking post recently huh.. :)

Life for Beginners | Kenny Mah said...

Ooh, a new challenge could be attempting a Malay or Chinese style curry but giving it your special HairyBerry touch to make it more unique? :D

Pureglutton said...

That curry looks really good - i'm sure it'll go darn well with some roti pratha or thosai!

MelMel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CUMI & CIKI said...

He’s an experienced sportsman, so I’d decided to take his advice - and so u promptly decided to ignore him anyway right:P You mean no ghosts after the HGF one ar? maybe some leftovers..

I thought I was the only one who runs and buy stuff all hot and sweaty after a run. Unlike you, me and Cumi stop by the sec17 market - not the swanky sort of supermarket lk Pav. Shy la.. and don't you feel cold in your wet clothes?! :)

babe_kl said...

I like vegetables curries too in any style. Too bad I was outstation, otherwise I wud hv cooked a pot of curry too but at least I ate curry laksa in support :p

UnkaLeong said...

Like Ciki, I thought I was the only one who would waddle with his bicycle through the SS2 Market to buy groceries after a bike ride. LOL!

I reckon tamarind in curry will make it taste better. But interesting supplement this apple cider vinegar ;)

baDboyzs said...

very impressive effort !

HairyBerry said...

choi yen, yupe. it's fun, actually. and eating out can be an expensive affair also, sometimes...hehe.

kenny, ya know, i've always wanted to attempt ayam masak merah! not sure if that is considered a curry but i sure like the dish very much. hmmmm, now for that hairyberry touch...a bit susah la..haha.

pureglutton, thanks! :) i agree. some thosai would be good. i thought of making some tomato rice but was already quite tired after that. next time.. :)

melmel, try making it sometimes. it's quite easy. :) enjoy!

cumi & ciki, omg, you are so right about the leftovers! a friend said leftovers are the scariest and asked me to offset to a a few days more before running again! hahahaha. i guess we should be clear by now. the other good thing about the wet market is that, everyone's sweating, so it doesn't really matter. :) and i do feel cold! sometimes, i'll pass by the petrol kiosk to get some water and gosh, thermal shock, yo!

babe_kl, it's the thought that counts. your support is much appreciated! :) i hope the next campaign is about hokkien mee...

unkaleong, hi5! maybe we should all go workout and have breakfast at the wet market! that'll be interesting...haha. agree on the tamarind. i'll definitely include that in my curry next time. *fingers crossed*

badboyzs, wooahhhh, long time no hear from you guys! thanks for the support! :)

choi yen said...

wait for me, I'll cook if I have my own kitchen, hope can be very soon *fingers crossed*

HairyBerry said...

choi yen, oooohh, nice! i'll be waiting for your DIY posts! it's gonna be interesting and fun! :)

Life for Beginners | Kenny Mah said...

Apparently the HairyBerry touch includes making his own noodles wor. *bows, bows*

HairyBerry said...

kenny, haha, but i don't think the noodles will go well with ayam masak merah. ooooh, then again, can make mee goreng, the red-red Singapore type hor? hmmm...sounds like an idea....