I do not recommend the use of curries. Many food-reformers eschew them altogether. But they are sometimes useful for the entertainment of meat-eating friends, or to tide over the attack of meat-craving which sometimes besets the vegetarian beginner. Of course there are curries and curries. Cheap curry powders are very much hotter than those of a better quality. When buying curry powder it is best to go to a high-class grocer and get the smallest possible tin of the best he keeps. It will last for years. Those who prefer to make their own curry powder may try Dr. Kitchener’s recipe as follows:—
1. CURRY POWDER.
3 ozs. coriander seed, 2-1/2 ozs. tumeric, 1 oz. black pepper, 1/2 oz. lesser cardamoms, 1/4 oz. cinnamon, 1/4 oz. cumin seed.
Put the ingredients into a cool oven and let them remain there all night. Next day pound them thoroughly in a marble mortar, and rub through a sieve. Put the powder into a well-corked bottle.
A spice machine may be used instead of the mortar, but in that case the tumeric should be obtained ready powdered, as it is so hard that it is apt to break the machine. The various ingredients are generally only to be obtained from a large wholesale druggist.
2. EGG CURRY.
1 large onion, 1 dessertspoon curry powder, 1 oz. butter or nutter, 3 hard-boiled eggs, 1 dessertspoon tomato pulp, 1 teacup water.
Shred the onion, put it in the stew-pan with the butter, sprinkle the curry powder over, and fry gently until quite brown. Shell the eggs and cut them in halves. Add the eggs, the tomato pulp, and the water. Stir well, and simmer until the liquid is reduced to one-half. This will take about 15 minutes. Serve with plain boiled unpolished rice.
3. GERMAN LENTIL CURRY.
Use the ingredients given, and proceed exactly the same as for egg curry. But in place of eggs, take 1 breakfastcup of cold cooked German lentils (see recipe for cooking lentils). Use also 2 teacups water in place of the 1, and only 3/4 oz. butter or nutter.
4. VEGETABLE CURRY.
Use the ingredients given and proceed the same as for German lentil curry, using any cold steamed vegetables in season. The best curry, according to an Indian authority, is one made of potatoes, artichokes, carrots, pumpkin and tomatoes.
Note.—A writer in Cassell’s Dictionary of Cookery says:—“A spoonful of cocoanut kernel dried and powdered gives a delicious flavour to a curry, as does also acid apple.”
Never eat boiled vegetables. No one ever hears of a flesh-eater boiling his staple article of diet and throwing away the liquor. On the contrary, when he does indulge in boiled meat, the liquor is regarded as a valuable asset, and is used as a basis for soup. But his meat is generally conservatively cooked—that is, it is baked, roasted, or grilled, so that the juices are retained. If he has to choose between throwing away the meat or the water in which it has been boiled, he keeps the liquor—witness “beef-tea.” For some unknown reason he does not often treat his vegetables in the same way, and suffers thereby the loss of much valuable food material.