Curry favours

Curried duck    Photo courtesy Amit Mirhai - Amit Mirhai
Curried duck Photo courtesy Amit Mirhai - Amit Mirhai

Curry is deeply woven into our culinary fabric. Brought to us not only by the indentured labourers from India who came to work on the plantations, but also from the colonial landowners, who became so enamoured with the flavour whilst in India, they brought their own cooks with them, and pretty soon their own version of curry as well.

All these influences came together through the years and today we have a vast assortment of locally-manufactured curry powders to choose from. Use a lighter colour for vegetables, fish and seafood, a darker colour for gamier meats like duck and goat. Remember to replace your curry powder every few months to ensure the best flavour every time.

Curried seim and pigeon peas

1 tbs coconut oil

1 onion thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tomato, chopped

2 tbs curry powder, dissolved in ⅓ cup water

1 lb fresh seim, cut into one inch pieces, string removed

1 cup cooked pigeon peas

¼ cup coconut milk

Heat oil in sauté pan, add onion, garlic and pepper, cook until fragrant and onion begins to turn brown, add tomato and stir, add curry paste and cook until water has evaporated, add seim and stir to combine.

Add pigeon peas and stir, add coconut milk and cover, cook until tender, stirring occasionally and only adding water when necessary.

Cook for 30 minutes until tender.

Serves 4 to 6

Curried tofu with ginger and garlic

1 lb firm tofu, cut into one inch chunks

1 tsp good quality curry powder

1 tbs fresh lime juice

1 tsp sesame oil

1 onion, sliced

2 tomatoes, cubed

1 tbs chopped garlic

1 tbs grated ginger

½ hot pepper, seeded and chopped

2 tbs chopped cilantro or chadon beni

2 tbs vegetable oil

Dry tofu with a clean towel, toss with curry powder and lime juice.

Heat oil in a sauté pan add ginger, garlic, hot pepper and onion stir and fry until light brown in colour, adding a little water to prevent sticking, cook for about five minutes.

Add tomatoes and stir, add tofu and fry until brownish in colour on all sides.

Add sesame oil and a little water to prevent sticking, season with salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Cover and cook for about 10 minutes more.

Sprinkle on cilantro and serve with rice.

Serves 4

Curried duck

1 5lb duck, cut into small pieces

1 lime

4 tbs vegetable oil

2 onions, thinly sliced

2 pimento peppers, seeded and chopped

1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 tbs duck and goat masala

2 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper

6 chadon beni leaves, finely chopped


½ cup Trini green seasoning, freshly made

6 chadon beni leaves, ground

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbs unflavoured yoghurt

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 tbs dark rum

Wash duck in plenty of tap water with the juice of the lime.

Drain, combine all the ingredients for the marinade, rub onto duck pieces.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Next day:

Bring duck to room temperature, add 2 tsp salt and combine well.

Combine curry with about ⅓ cup water.

Heat oil in a large heavy pan, add onion, peppers and garlic, cook until fragrant.

Add curry paste and cook until almost dry, now add the duck, a few pieces at a time stirring to coat all the pieces with the curry paste.

Add black pepper and stir, add half the chadon beni and cook until duck starts to release its juices.

Cover pot tightly and simmer stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Cook for about 45 minutes until duck is tender. Add the remaining chadon beni and taste and adjust seasonings.

If you are cooking this duck to enjoy as a cutter, then at the last stage of cooking remove cover from pot, increase heat and dry the liquids up.

Serves 6 -8

Curry-stewed chicken

1 3½ lb chicken

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbs green seasoning paste

1 tbs chopped celery leaves

¼ cup French thyme

1 onion sliced

2 pimento peppers, seeded and chopped

1 tbs red wine vinegar

1½ tbs curry powder

1 tsp salt

2 tbs veg oil

2 tbs brown sugar

1 tsp roucou

Wash chicken well with lime, cut into parts or smaller if you desire drain.

Rub on garlic, herb marinade, add fresh herbs, sliced onion and pepper, vinegar, black pepper, curry powder and some salt, cover and marinate for about 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Heat oil add sugar and caramelise to a dark brown colour, add chicken pieces one at a time turning well to colour each piece, add the rest of seasonings. Add roucou.

Cook uncovered until chicken starts to release its juices.

Cover and simmer until cooked, about 20 to 30 minutes turning occasionally.

Don't add water, chicken will release juices on its own, then will reabsorb the juices, at this point your stew should be cooked .

You should have a rich brown gravy with a slight oil separation.

Adjust salt and serve .

Serves 4


"Curry favours"

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