Do I Make ... ?
Courgette (Zucchini) Curry
| Indian style curry is definitely not
on any Chinese restaurant menu. Neither is the curry
sold in any Chinese restaurant or takeaway in UK! Foshan
City boasts one proper Indian restaurant that is run
by a couple of great Indians from Birmingham UK, albeit
a tad expensive - the food is Pukka!
I do make curry in China using a composite Madras curry
powder I bring out from UK. However, in UK I would actually
make the curry powder or paste from grinding seeds or
using a combination of separate powders specifically
for each recipe. China does not allow me such luxury,
so what can Expats do about it?
Answer: Well without any form of curry powder you are
basically stuck! Chinese supermarkets do sell "curry
powder" and "Curry Paste" in expensive
fancy jars that cost a bomb! The curry powder works,
but is rather bland. Otherwise China doesn't do anything
remotely similar - except in Hong Kong, and at specialist
food cities like the one in Guangzhou. However, Madhur
Jaffrey may just supply something that is very useful
and easy to make given ingredients available in any
Chinese wet market. I have adapted this recipe over
the years, and recently adapted it for use in China.
I proceed in hopes that this great Chef and International
Film Star will not mind me presenting you with my personal
version of her recipe...
Prawn and Courgette (Zucchini) is a very light curry
that does not lie heavily on the stomach. It is quick,
simple, and can be made using the Chinese store bought
curry powder. The essence of this dish is a combination
of delicate flavours and delicious smells.
||Madhur Jaffrey, India
|The original recipe is given in the Cookery
Book: Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery, which was
published by the BBC in 1982. ISBN: 0-563-16491-3
Over the years Jonno has adapted this recipe,
and this is what is given below:
|Let's get started:- Prawn and
|• 1 pound courgette's (Zucchini)
• 1 teaspoon of salt (For preparing
• 1 pound peeled
• 1 wardrobe of garlic,
smashed and peeled
• 3 inch cube
of peeled wet ginger, smashed and chopped
• Small bunch of coriander leaves finely
• 1 mini-jar curry
• Vegetable oil (Corn or
olive oil are best)
• Fresh chopped chilli's to taste -
start with a couple of small hot ones
• Juice of 2 lemons (Can
use lime or grapefruit)
skinned, chopped tomatoes
• Small pinch of turmeric (If you have
heaped teaspoon Chinese 'Ziran' powder
cup boiled water
• 2 heaped teaspoons of corn flour,
mixed with a little water to form a thick creamy
• Ground black
pepper to taste
• Large pinch of
salt to fix the final flavour
1. Chop the courgette's into bite sized
pieces = quarter unless very fat, and chop down to 2-inch
lengths. Lay out inside up, and sprinkle with salt and
rest for 10 minutes. Rinse and use immediately.
You can buy peeled prawns in most supermarkets in China,
but pay extra for large and good quality ones. Defrost
30 minutes before cooking.
Pay extra for good quality tomatoes. To peel them simply
drop into boiling water for 30 seconds, or until the
skin peals away of its own accord.
We are using lemon to 'cut the fat' of the
prawns. You can easily use Lime instead, but also try
grapefruit and sour oranges - they all work just as
well. In particular, sour orange can be sliced wafer
thin (Seethrough) and these delicate strips added about
1-minute before serving - adds a real zest to the meal!
To a saucepan or wok, add a covering of oil, the
garlic and ginger. Cook for a couple of minutes
on medium heat stirring frequently. Do not allow
to go brown, otherwise the dish is already ruined.
Add: chopped coriander leaves, chillies, Ziran
powder, curry powder, turmeric, and black pepper.
Simmer for 2 minutes.
Add: Courgette's, tomatoes, and lemon juice. Cover
and leave to simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
If the mixture is stiff, add the boiled water.
This stage demands the mixture be quite runny,
as we will later firm this with the cornflour.
Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes. Check the
flavour and adjust seasoning to suit. Once you
are happy with it, add a large pinch of salt to
fix the flavour and cook for a further 1 minute.
This is for raw prawns. If using precooked packaged
prawns, halve the cooking time and interpolate.
Prepare for serving: You need to adjust the viscosity
of the liquid base using the cornflour. We are
looking for the texture of single cream; so add
the cornflour sparingly and mix immediately to
stop lumps forming. This will also give a slightly
glazed appearance to the sauce.
Serve on a bed of rice. A side salad works very
well with this dish, as does: French bread and/or
garlic bread, and dips of lentils or pulses. Chinese
supermarkets sell a ready-mixed sesame seed dip
which is quite thick and works well also. Garnish
with a few coriander leaves, capsicum pepper strips,
or whatever is to hand.
|Additional Recipes and Information:
|Prawns and Courgette's in
Black Bean Sauce:
This is virtually the same as the recipe above, but
remove the curry elements (Curry powder, Ziran powder,
and add chilli's for taste only - as these could easily
over power the flavours of this new dish. Still add
the turmeric (If you have it). Instead stir in one large
spoonful of Black Bean Sauce.
|Prawns with Squash:
Using either recipe above, it is very easy to change
the courgette's for anything similar, as China has these
in abundance. There is a slightly bitter and gnarly
sort of cucumber that works excellently with this dish.
There are also things that look a bit like courgette's,
Mango is pretty standard in Guangdong, and can be used
instead, but pay attention to its sweetness. This actually
lends itself more to a sweet and sour, as does Papaya
and Lychee. There is a long dark green marrow thingymagig
sold in all wet markets, and this is ideal if you want
a more subtle flavour (And not so hot).
|Other Meats with Courgette's
We are now entering new territories of culinary delights.
You can substitute such delights as: Abalone, crab,
oysters, and the large triangular things and use instead
of, or as well as the prawns. All of these work instantly
with the main recipe except for the crab - which has
a heavy flavour unique to itself. Therefore whilst following
the recipes above for the other alternatives; I would
cook the crabmeat with Mango and extra chilli and/or
curry sauce. These Crabs can be served whole of course,
and make for a very fine and intense curry.
If serving crabs whole in a curry, provide your dinner
guests with simple plastic gloves for the occasion,
as this does tend to get a tad 'messy'!
I presume that by now you realise I have been cooking
this type of dish for a very long time, and have experimented
with it ruthlessly. Since my time in China I have discovered
one of the most edible of dishes, which just happens
to be a vegetarian (And vegan) curry. I am writing this
as a separate recipe, but it does relate to this one
in many ways.
However, the final option is to add an egg to this dish
(Main recipe above). This should be added one minute
before serving by cracking an egg and pouring the contents
around as much as possible. Leave a few moments so that
it starts to set, and then mix haphazardly with chopsticks
as it is setting.
This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably
supported by our friends and various internet portals.
In addition we personally wish to thank Madhur Jaffrey
and Jonno for sharing with us all their excellent skills