Radish Curry

IMG_2153I learned an important lesson about radishes in making this curry:  Radishes lose their zing when cooked.  I know, who’d've thought, right? After our stellar brunch date of simple Bread and Buttered Radishes, this dish tasted flat. Kind of like . . . say you watch this really weird French movie with the Someone From the Checkout Line. You see the artistic styling of the plot, the authentically lame characters, and the poignant theme all wrapped in a  beautifully rendered screen composition. This movie has explained a bit of yourself to you. Ready to have a deep meaningful conversation, you look over at the Someone . . . and he is texting. That’s what I mean by flat. I was expecting so much more, and there just wasn’t.

However, I don’t think it’s necessarily the radish’s fault. I believe this dish can be improved to have all the complexity a curry ought to have. It’s just a matter of understanding. Let’s go back to the problem of the Someone and the French movie. If you resist jumping to conclusions (You useless human being! You’re not good for anything but passing the time in the check out line!), you might find out that the Someone is nearsighted and couldn’t read any of the subtitles and therefore didn’t know what was going on since the first “bonjour.” So, take a minute to understand the radish instead of accusing it like I did (You useless vegetable! You’re not good for anything but bagged salad!). You see, what I didn’t realize was that radishes mellow out as they are cooked, taking on the flavor of whatever they are cooked in, much like tofu. Far from useless, this can be an appealing quality. Think of the possibilities. Radishes can now go in all kinds of things – from spaghetti sauce to jambalaya – without overpowering it. It just means you have to pay extra attention to the cooking medium, which I did not do for this dish.

What follows is the recipe I used for this dish. In italics are my suggestions for adding flavor to sauce and enhancing the curry overall.

Radish Curry

15 radishes with greens
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 dried jalapeno peppers, minced
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbs crushed coriander seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 cup crushed tomatoes (fresh if in season, or from a can)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 can coconut milk

salt and pepper
Unsweetened coconut flakes

Clean the radishes and cut them as you would slice an apple. Clean the leaves, if you want to use them in the dish, and I highly suggest that you do. Not only do they add flavor, but they also swing a punch of color. Tear or cut them into smallish pieces. In a pan, add the coconut oil. When it is hot, add the mustard and coriander seeds. When the seeds splutter, add onions. Saute for 3-5 mins till they are translucent. Add the garlic and chilis, curry, and turmeric. Saute for about a minute or even less, until you can smell the garlic. Add the radishes, mix well and add salt. Cook, stirring frequently, till the radishes start to soften. Once the radishes seem soft, add the tomatoes, 1/4 cup of the cilantro, and coconut milk.  Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered, until the sauce is thick and bubbly and the radishes are soft. This should take about 7-10 minutes. Add the greens, stir,  and cook for another minute or two, till the greens are wilted and tender. Turn off the heat and add the rest of the cilantro. Serve over rice and garnish with coconut flakes.

Radish Tally: 21 down, 161 to go

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Posted in Uncategorized 13 years, 7 months ago at 9:58 pm.

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