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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

Tomorrow night begins the period of time called "The Nine Days." Coincidentally, it lasts nine days. Tomorrow night is the New Moon of the month of Av. The Ninth Day of Av, or Tisha B'Av, is one of the two major fast days of the year, which means no food or water for twenty-five hours. While Yom Kippur is solemn but joyful, Tisha B'Av is nothing but painful and bad. It commerorates many things, but primarily the two Destructions of the Temple in Jerusalem, which happened on the same day.

We're in the Three Weeks, which is the three week period leading up to Tisha B'Av, during which we do not have weddings or purchase new clothing (or if we do purchase it because to not is to lose the chance, we do not wear it until after it's all over.) No hair cuts, either. These are minor mourning practices.

During the Nine Days, the mourning gets stronger. We do not wear clean clothes (custom is to wear, piece by piece, the outer clothes for those days, before they begin. Just a second is enough. We kinda rub them on the floor.) or bathe unless we are sensitive. We're sensitive. :) We also do not swim for pleasure, or listen to live music, and there are those who avoid canned as well. Men do not shave. And we do not drink wine or eat meat. All of these rules are suspended for Shabbat, of course. More to the point, they are customs, not rules. Which is why we can get around them by wearing clothes ahead of time, or by calling ourselves sensitive, or by arranging required festive meals or taking advantage of them to eat meat during the Nine Days.

Five years ago, for example, good friends of ours had a baby boy, and his bris happened to take place during the Nine Days. We drove down to Maryland from New York...:) What's funny is that the normal stuff served for britot is dairy - bagels and lox and such.

This, then, is why we had beef for dinner last night, and I'm cooking beef now, and we will try to get a meat eal in before sunset tomorrow night.

And this is the true purpose of this post. Any one have a good technique - not a recipe, just a technique - for vegetable curry? Just for something to serve besides fish and pasta.

Vegetable curry slurry

Cut up your veggies, sautee them until tender, then add either a pre-prepared curry sauce or a mixture of flour, water/broth, and curry powder ('curry slurry') to the pan. Simmer until it's all hot-- and if you're using the curry slurry, until the sauce is thickened.

Serve over rice or noodles.

I dare say this would have James B shuddering in horror, but it works.

Re: Vegetable curry slurry

Any special veggies work for that?

And give that it's a main course...what is used for protein?

Re: Vegetable curry slurry

potatoes and cauliflower work especially well with curry.

as for protein, there's an Indian dish that's mostly lentils that you could serve along side it, but I can't remember what it's called. I'll try and come up with the name and/or a recipe soon.

Oh...was the bris you came down for Aaron's? He turned FIVE last week. I can't believe it.

Re: Vegetable curry slurry

Of course it was Aaron!

And I can't believe it, either.

Maybe it's because I only see a lot of these kids once or twice a year, but. Who said they could grow up so fast, huh?

Re: Vegetable curry slurry

he's such a great kid. I ran into him at a local restaurant (and his parents and Becky's parents). It was just a few days until his birthday and he was very excited. He's a very animated, intelligent kid. Accident prone, but intelligent! He's had TWO casts already on the same arm. I've never in my life had a broken bone!

Anyway, hopefully you'll come down and see them soon, so I can meet you! :)

(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Re: Vegetable curry slurry

(at least I think so)

Re: Vegetable curry slurry

Any veggie that doesn't go mushy fast when cooked. I usually use some combo of carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, mushrooms and celery. Fresh green beans or potatoes would be good. Eggplant and tomatoes probably wouldn't.

For protein-- well, I usually use any leftover meat from the fridge, to be honest. When I don't use meat, I just fill up on the veggies and don't worry about a protein, as I tend to get lots of it in my diet.

You could serve a cheese plate as a first course?

Re: Vegetable curry slurry

I'd add chickpeas to the veggies, and serve over rice or another grain; bean + grain = a complete protein.

Re: Vegetable curry slurry

That would probably work, though it'd never have occurred to me, as I generally dislike legumes.

Yet another reason I'll never become a vegan.

You could also add paneer (Indian soft cheese cubes) at the last minute, but I'm not sure there's such a thing as kosher paneer available commercially, and I doubt MamaDeb would want to make her own, so I didn't mention it.


This isn't a typical curry, but it works well either simmered in a skillet or left in a crock pot for a few hours. Use onions, tomatos, yellow squash, carrots, spinach, potatoes if you like, and lots of curry powder. Optionally canned tuna for protein, or serve along with a lentil dish. I usually eat this over rice, but now I wonder how eating it over plain cooked lentils would be. I'll try to remember to report back.

I can't believe Aaron is five already. Wow.

Curry you basically use the same technique as spaghetti sauce, for serious: sweat your aromatics, add your liquids and spices, simmer.

I like to make tofu curries and bean curries work well, too, and I like to add a can of coconut milk to Thai curries about 1/2 hour before I plan to serve them.

If you make a tofu curry, brown the tofu a bit before you add the liquids; beans it doesn't matter.

I love veggie curry. One of my favourite things.

My first rule of thumb: I don't use commercial curry sauces. They're impossible to find Kosher, and they're amazingly high in sodium content (frequently between 30% and 37%).

Any veggie works well in curry. Personal favourites are onions, mushrooms, potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes, squash, chickpeas, or any other kind of legume.

Basic recipe is the same as making stew, except you flavour with a good quality curry powder or garam masala. Other common spices are turmeric, coriander, cumin (usually the whole seeds). I usually puree some of the veggies and add back in to thicken.

You can also just sautee the veggies, add the spices to cook briefly, then add just enough water or tomato liquid to make a thick sauce.

If you want to add tofu, do that at the end of the cooking process, rather than cooking in the stew.

Dal is also wonderful stuff. A good basic recipe for chana dal is to use about a cup of yellow lentils (or any other colour). Boil well in lots of water (remove scum when it appears). Add spices (such as turmeric, garlic (whole cloves) and ginger), then simmer with pot almost covered until lentils are tender. Stir every so often to make sure they don't stick. I love to add cut up cucumber at the very end with the salt, curry/garam masala, whatever I'm adding to make it spicy hot, and maybe some cumin seeds briefly heated in oil.

More information than you wanted? If you want a bit more information about curries, try Epicurious.com and search on vegetable curry.

Why do you add the tofu at the end? I tend to brown mine briefly in a frypan before adding near the beginning; I love the texture it gets then, and it soaks up a lot of flavor from the sauce. What's it like when added near the end? Do you brown it first?

No particular reason. I'm just learning how to cook with tofu. I discovered in one very sad dish that if you add tofu at the completely wrong time, then it gets all mushy and icky. So, I tend to squeeze out water, maybe brown in a fry pan and add about half an hour or so from the end.

Yeah, tofu can go all mushy/spongy if you put it in at the beginning, especially if you're using the soft kind and the dish is liquid-heavy. Browning would probably help that, though, 'cause it'd seal the edges a bit.

I tend to prefer the firm tofu, myself. Better texture.

Deep-fried tofu, OTOH, has the taste and consistency of oily styrofoam. Definitely not recommended.

Wow- thanks for all that info. I found you through tehillim, and though I've been trying to be more observant, it's sorta hard when you don't live in a community and don't remember all the intricacies of the customs.

I knew about Tisha B'Av, but completely forgot about the mourning customs. I just bought some clothing recently, too :(

Thanks for leading me on the righetous path!