Why does my curry taste like nothing?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by GWestphal, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. GWestphal

    GWestphal Golden Member

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    I used a recipe from the interwebs,

    1 can coconut milk
    1 can bamboo shoots
    1 lbs chicken
    1.5 tsp curry powder

    Simmer for 30 minutes.

    The curry tastes like nothing. I put it on my rice and it tasted like wet rice basically. No flavor at all. I was going a sweet thai curry type flavor, but I got nothing. Should I be putting something else in it?
     
  2. Arkaign

    Arkaign Lifer

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    Maybe the curry powder is bad? That's where all the fun comes from, and if it doesn't deliver, that's probably it. Try again, but with a different curry powder.
     
  3. busydude

    busydude Diamond Member

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    Did you add salt and Chili peppers/chili powder??
     
  4. IronWing

    IronWing Lifer

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    Coconut milk sucks out a lot of flavor and chicken is a pretty bland substrate. Try more curry powder and maybe add toward the end of cooking.
     
  5. PottedMeat

    PottedMeat Lifer

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    thai curry is usually a paste ( shallots, ginger, garlic, shrimp, etc. )
     
  6. GWestphal

    GWestphal Golden Member

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    This is my first attempt at making curry, but I just had a thought, is coconut milk like other cooking milk...is there sweetened coconut milk and unsweetened coconut milk?

    Should I season and sear the chicken before hand then add it in to the curry slurry?

    Not a big heat guy, so I prefer the sweet/curry flavor vs heat.
     
  7. sactoking

    sactoking Diamond Member

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    Curry powder is not curry...
     
  8. GWestphal

    GWestphal Golden Member

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    I see, I read somewhere that paste=powder for all intents and purposes, but apparently not?
     
  9. PottedMeat

    PottedMeat Lifer

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    i've never seen sweetened coconut milk

    whenever i've made thai curry the packet says to cook the paste in with the coconut milk until the oil separates. usually i sear the meat first, make the sauce, then add back in the meat & vegetables.
     
  10. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    I don't know anything about it, but I like curry powder. I like it on fried summer squash, peppers and onions. I use a heaping tablespoon towards the end of the fry. It tastes good.
     
  11. GWestphal

    GWestphal Golden Member

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    hmm, so do I need to add sugar to make it sweet curry or something, because this curry is just blah. Not salty, not sweet, nadda.

    I was thinking that coconut milk+ curry powder was more or less what curry paste was.

    It also isn't very thick, what do I need to add so it becomes thicker?
     
  12. Svnla

    Svnla Lifer

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    Get another brand of curry. May need to cut back on the amount of liquid or increase the amount of curry powder.

    Another thing, different people have different of "tolerate" spicy foods. Ask someone else to taste the food.
     
  13. SandEagle

    SandEagle Lifer

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    that aint curry.

    go to an indian grocery store and pick up real curry powder. bolst hot is my fav

    http://www.amazon.com/Bolsts-Curry-P.../dp/B0029EDWWS

    pick up the following powders too for additional taste: chili, turmeric, paprika, cumin, coriander.
     
  14. ultimatebob

    ultimatebob Lifer

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    Not enough curry powder, for starters. For that recipe, I probably would have used 3 or 4 teaspoons of it.

    I would have also used a hot curry instead. That said, I like a wicked spicy curry that will burn your tongue off if you don't pair it with some sweet chutney. Not exactly what you're going for.
     
  15. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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  16. JulesMaximus

    JulesMaximus No Lifer

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    You sure it wasn't 1.5 T?

    t=teaspoon
    T=Tablespoon
     
    #16 JulesMaximus, Apr 29, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  17. TheSlamma

    TheSlamma Diamond Member

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    Sandeagle said it.. stop getting your spices at the grocery store and go to an Indian grocery, it's night and day the flavors you will get out of the dish.
     
  18. Howard

    Howard Lifer

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    If you're going for a Thai curry, just buy a curry paste from Mae Ploy or Maesri.

    No idea about Indian.
     
  19. GWestphal

    GWestphal Golden Member

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    Well maybe thai curry is not the correct term, I like the yellow stuff that is sweet and coconut and curryish/salty. Is that thai curry?
     
  20. Zeze

    Zeze Diamond Member

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    Curry is curry. And curry is made from cumin.

    The rest is what you add to it.

    cumin + oil + tomato sauce + spices = Indian curry
    [​IMG]

    cumin + coconut milk = Thai curry
    [​IMG]

    cumin + flour = Korean/Japanese curry
    [​IMG]

    I love all 3. I was brought up on Korean curry, then found out about other 2 during college. They're all absolutely delicious in own right.
     
  21. DCal430

    DCal430 Diamond Member

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    1.5 teaspoons seems like way to little for that much Coconut milk. Should be 4 to 6 teaspoons or 1 and 1/3 to 2 tablespoons.
     
  22. MagnusTheBrewer

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    Aside from the amount of curry powder used which has already been addressed, you thought a recipe with 4 ingredients you threw together in a pot was going to set off fireworks on your tongue?

    Give this one a try. It's from allrecipes.com
    3 (6 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
    2 tablespoons white vinegar
    1 teaspoon tamarind juice (optional)
    1/4 cup Madras curry powder
    1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons coconut oil
    1 red onion, sliced
    4 green chile peppers, halved lengthwise
    8 green cardamom pods
    6 whole cloves
    12 curry leaves
    1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, crushed
    1 (2 inch) cinnamon stick, broken in half
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup water
    1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
    3 tablespoons roasted Madras curry powder
    1/2 (14 ounce) can coconut milk

    Directions

    Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Combine the vinegar, tamarind juice, 1/4 cup curry powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat.
    Heat the coconut oil in a wok or frying pan over medium heat. Cook the sliced onion, green chiles, cardamom pods, cloves, curry leaves, ginger, and cinnamon stick until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking and stirring until the onion is very tender and dark brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
    Add the chicken mixture, water, and tomato paste. Stir and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted curry powder and stir until evenly dispersed.
    Gradually stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 2-3 more minutes. (Do not overheat or the coconut milk may curdle.)
     
  23. Howard

    Howard Lifer

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    stereotypes ftw
     
  24. GWestphal

    GWestphal Golden Member

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    Ok, I added more curry powder, salt, brown sugar, garlic powder, and ground ginger. It tastes like something now, perhaps a little too sweet, baby steps. I'll try my hand at more spices next time.
     
  25. Ayrahvon

    Ayrahvon Senior member

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    Curry is just another word for gravy. Cumin does not a curry make. Typically speaking I do not use curry powder for any curries, rather I either make my own curry paste or do a dry curry with spices.

    If you need some heat and flavor choose either some green or red chili's (depending on the color you'd like your thai curry to be) and cut them coarsely and put them into a food processor along with some ginger (galangal preferably but it's harder to get your hands on the good stuff), shallots, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, coriander, cumin, and shrimp paste.

    Pretty simple if you ask me. There are plenty of recipes around and it will result in a far better chili paste than what you can get it at the store. That being said, using a little curry paste in addition to the portion you make on your own can really round the flavor out.