Chaotic spice drawer.
You get a bunch of sprouty type things, grated carrot, spring onions, chopped nuts, a few prawns if you’re keen, coriander, mung beans, snow peas, whatever… and wrap them up in rounds of rice paper! Yum. The secret to these is getting your dinner guests in on the action. They’re a lot of trouble to put together on your own, but it’s a fairly good bonding experience for a dinner party.
You can make a dipping sauce for these by mixing sweet chilli sauce and lemon or lime juice. Easy.
Now, for curry.
I have this curry book. It’s amazing. My Mum got it in 1984, and for a long time I was worried, because I thought I’d never be able to find a curry book this useful and authentic. BUT. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I’ve got my hands on a copy!
My two favourite curries at the moment are Fish Ball Curry, and Bengal Eggplant Curry.
I added some kumara to ours, because there was more than a few mouths to feed. Just make sure you add it before the eggplant so that the eggplant doesn’t get overcooked.
Now for the main event. Fish Ball Curry. We’re doing this real. No store-bought “fish balls” filled with who knows what. Get out your blender and put a little time into it. It will change your life.
I am going to shamelessly type up the instructions from The Curry Cookbook, because no one can beat Charmaine and Reuben’s instructions.
1kg white fish (they say jewfish or cod, but I just use whatever looks fresh and not stringy.)
2 1/2 tsp salt
1//2 tsp pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 slices white bread, soaked in hot water and squeezed dry
1 tbsp fish sauce or 1 tsp anchovy sauce/paste
With a sharp knife remove skin from fish. Finely mince fish, taking care to remove bones. Put minced fish in a large bowl, add remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly with the hands. Shape mixture into walnut-size balls. Makes about 24 balls.
1/4 cup light sesame oil or corn oil
3 medium onions, finely chopped
3 tsps finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
1-2 tsps chilli powder , optional
1 tsp paprika, optional
2 tomaotes, peeled and chopped (or a tin of tomatoes!)
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp dried shrimp paste
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsp tbsp lemon juice
Heal oil in large saucepan and fry onion, garlic and ginger until soft and golden. Add turmeric, remove from heat and add chilli powder and paprika (if used), tomato and salt.
Cook gravy until tomatoes are soft. If the sauce gets too reduced, add a little hot water.
Gently put the fish balls in the gravy and simmer over a moderate heat until they are cooked, about 20 minutes. Shake pan gently from time to time. Do not stir until fish is cooked and firm. Stir in the chopped coriander and lemon juice and cook 5 minutes longer. Serve with white rice.
Yum! I like to fry half an onion and stir the rice through it before I cook the rice. Also add star anise – makes all the difference to the flavours of the night.