Archive of ‘curry’ category

Jettison Japanese Curry

ship2 300x225 Jettison Japanese CurryIt was dark when we set sail.  Of course we had meant to leave during the day, but as with many of the best laid plans, this one fell by the wayside.

I was preparing dinner when the police boat sped up to us.  Who were we?  Where were we heading?, the officer wanted to know.  Did we have permission to go past La Playita?

I apologized and explained as calmly as I could that sailing vessel Umineko was were setting sail for the Marquesas. We had not known that we required permission.  Would it be possible for us to continue on our course?

The officer seemed flustered but I apologized profusely.  He told us to be absolutely sure not to go past La Playita without informing them 24-hours in advance ever again.  I gave him my word that I would never be so inconsiderate again and that seemed to placate him.  We had to be careful of a few ships that night but it was a pretty quiet night so everything would be okay.

Moon 300x224 Jettison Japanese CurryI thanked him again and got off the VHF radio and  back to dinner preparations in the galley.

One of our go-to meals on Umineko is Japanese curry.  When I joined Umineko I loved Indian curry and Thai curry, but I’d never even heard of Japanese curry.  Well apparently Japanese curry is one of the most popular every-day Japanese dishes.

Though extremely popular curry isn’t technically a traditional Japanese dish.  Toshi San explained that British colonists brought curry back on their way from India.  Though curry itself isn’t traditionally Japanese they have made it their own.  Japanese curry isn’t as spicy as many Indian or Thai curries.  Another uniquely Japanese twist is that it is invariably served with fukujinzuke, a sweet pickle mixture.  Well, invariably served on Umineko at least.

Jettison Japanese Curry

Ingredients:Japanese curry 300x224 Jettison Japanese Curry

  • 4 squares Golden Curry
  • 750 ml (2 ½ cups) water
  • 1 carrot, sliced (thick slices)
  • 1 potato, halved and coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups rice
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • Fukujinzuke (optional)

 

Directions:

  • Cook rice
  • In deep skillet, sauté onions in oil  over medium heat
  • Add potato and carrot and cook for 5 minutes
  • Pour in 500 ml water and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Stir in curry squares (broken up) until dissolved
  • Cook another 5 minutes slowly adding remaining water
  • Crack eggs Into curry and cook for an additional minute
  • Serve steaming hot beside rice
  • Enjoy!

Jettison Japanese Curry

ship2 300x225 Jettison Japanese CurryIt was dark when we set sail.  Of course we had meant to leave during the day, but as with many of the best laid plans, this one fell by the wayside.

I was preparing dinner when the police boat sped up to us.  Who were we?  Where were we heading?, the officer wanted to know.  Did we have permission to go past La Playita?

I apologized and explained as calmly as I could that sailing vessel Umineko was were setting sail for the Marquesas. We had not known that we required permission.  Would it be possible for us to continue on our course?

The officer seemed flustered but I apologized profusely.  He told us to be absolutely sure not to go past La Playita without informing them 24-hours in advance ever again.  I gave him my word that I would never be so inconsiderate again and that seemed to placate him.  We had to be careful of a few ships that night but it was a pretty quiet night so everything would be okay.

Moon 300x224 Jettison Japanese CurryI thanked him again and got off the VHF radio and  back to dinner preparations in the galley.

One of our go-to meals on Umineko is Japanese curry.  When I joined Umineko I loved Indian curry and Thai curry, but I’d never even heard of Japanese curry.  Well apparently Japanese curry is one of the most popular every-day Japanese dishes.

Though extremely popular curry isn’t technically a traditional Japanese dish.  Toshi San explained that British colonists brought curry back on their way from India.  Though curry itself isn’t traditionally Japanese they have made it their own.  Japanese curry isn’t as spicy as many Indian or Thai curries.  Another uniquely Japanese twist is that it is invariably served with fukujinzuke, a sweet pickle mixture.  Well, invariably served on Umineko at least.

Jettison Japanese Curry

Ingredients:Japanese curry 300x224 Jettison Japanese Curry

  • 4 squares Golden Curry
  • 750 ml (2 ½ cups) water
  • 1 carrot, sliced (thick slices)
  • 1 potato, halved and coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups rice
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • Fukujinzuke (optional)

 

Directions:

  • Cook rice
  • In deep skillet, sauté onions in oil  over medium heat
  • Add potato and carrot and cook for 5 minutes
  • Pour in 500 ml water and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Stir in curry squares (broken up) until dissolved
  • Cook another 5 minutes slowly adding remaining water
  • Crack eggs Into curry and cook for an additional minute
  • Serve steaming hot beside rice
  • Enjoy!

Backstay Seafood Chana Biryani

seafood biryani 300x225 Backstay Seafood Chana Biryani

 

I slipped on the snorkel and slid off of the paddle board into the shallow aquamarine Bahamas waters.  Looking down I saw the shapes of 5 rays hiding under the sand, their tails sticking up just their eyes exposed, watching warily.  The ethereal form of one meter-wide ray glided gracefully past. He must have given his brethren some sort of signal. I shrieked in surprise (as much as one can shriek around a snorkel) as 5 enormous rays exploded upward in a cloud of sand. That was the start of it.

x dolphin cove 2 300x225 Backstay Seafood Chana Biryani
I had promised to find lobster in the Bahamas.  The last time I was sailing there it seemed that the islands were thick with them, hiding in every rock and crevasse. We had eaten them until we couldn’t face another bite of lobster.  This time was different I had found lobster!  Paddle-boarding up to a fishing boat, but Sato San wanted to actually hunt lobster.  Wild lobster.  Today was our last chance. Our last stop before George Town, then it was on to Cuba.

We anchored off of Leestocking Cay and I looked approvingly at the rocky coastline.  Rocks and crags… this was lobster territory.  We dinghied slowly over to the rocky shoreline to search for the lobsters that were surely hiding there.

x dolphin cove 300x225 Backstay Seafood Chana Biryani

Taira San and Sato San in the dinghy, me in tow on the paddleboard looking for potential dinners.  I stopped several times to pick up a couple of conch and some interesting fan-shaped shellfish that stuck out of the sand.  In case we didn’t find any lobster it would be good to have a back-up plan.

Sato San, Taira San and I split up and did a thorough scouring of the area, checking under rocks and crannies from one beach to the next. Sea cucumbers, dozens of dead conch, thousands of miniscule transparent fish, but not so much as a lobster antenna to be seen.  Near the second beach I saw Sato San again who suggested we head back to the dinghy.  I was all for it, over an hour in the water and I was getting cold.

As everyone else had flippers and I didn’t, I was the straggler.  Not that I minded.  The ocean-life was beautiful, especially in the 3’-8’ waters near the shore.  The porous volcanic rock hosted a myriad of fish and sea life.  Still, I was half on the lookout for dinner.

From out of nowhere, a lithe grey shape whizzed up to me and slowed for a swim-by.  My eyes widened.  A dolphin!  I hadn’t seen a single dolphin since leaving the States almost a month earlier and now one swam right past me!  The dolphin turned tightly to hook back to swim within a meter.

His soft black eye looked inquisitively at me as he swam past. If he had been wearing a cap he would have doffed it.  A few feet further the dove-grey gentleman looped back swimming back towards me.  My heart soared.  I could hardly believe it.  Less than 5’ long, my dolphin friend had to be a teenager. He clearly fascinated by the strange creature in the water.  Still, he had small notch out of his left flipper, maybe curiosity had gotten the best of him another time.

x ray 300x225 Backstay Seafood Chana Biryani

The spritely character swam inclined his cute snub nose to look at me before circling out a meter away and let out a high-pitched squeal. I tried to make a similar high-pitched sound, but dolphin is even harder to pick up than Japanese.  After a few minutes of interaction my new friend swam away.  I watched the tail grow fainter and fainter in the water.

Suddenly, to my delight, the dolphin was back at my side.  He started big 5’ loops around me.  One towards the surface, another diving to examine me from all angles.  Time stood still as he started swimming in faster, tighter circles around me.  I could have reached out my arm and brushed him, but somehow I sensed that wasn’t proper dolphin etiquette.

We danced, me twirling around almost in place his circles were so close.  Not wanting to miss a second of the experience I drank everything in.  The aero(hydro?)dynamic rounded lines that slid through the water with ease.  The trim figure, but most of all the expressive features.  I had read of dolphin’s intelligence, but experiencing it first-hand it struck me deeply.

He drifted out several feet and rolled over on one side exposing his belly to me.  I rolled over in the same move.  When I let my legs drift down, he “stood up” in the water, his tail near the bottom, head near the surface mimicking my upright stance.  We were imitating one another!

When my friend surfaced for air and dipped back under the waves I smiled.  This was another mammal. We had the bond of air-breathers in this underwater world.  I wanted more than anything to be able to communicate.  His deep intelligent eyes and actions, told me the dolphin clearly wanted the same.  But I was the slow ape in his fast-paced world. After 10-minutes I stopped being quite so interesting and my friend swam away leaving me with a warm sense of connection.

It lasted about a minute.  As soon as I turned away and begin to swim back to the dinghy a menacing grey dart-shaped form took my friend’s place.  Ice-cold chills crept up my spine as the razor-sharp lines of a 4-foot barracuda cruised up and hovered a meter away from me.  I wasn’t about to turn my back on this sinister character.  If the dolphin’s eyes had seemed playful, this character’s cold, flat eyes and jutting teeth screamed one thing: danger.  I hoped and prayed the dolphin would come back to no avail.

I called for Sato San and luckily he was nearby with a lobster spear and frightened the predator away.  Luckily, I had taken off my ring.  I had no desire to offer swimming destruction any shiny temptation.  We got back to Umineko the boys lamenting the fact that we didn’t find any lobster.  I opened up the fan-shaped shell to reveal more than just the slimy sea creature.  Two baby lobsters were living in the shell too!  One red and the other clear, both around the size of an eraser!  Hey, they asked me to find lobster – they didn’t specify what size.

I cooked the conch and the disgusting slimy fan-shaped shellfish in a seafood biryani.  The adorable baby lobsters are my new pets and live in a shallow bowl of salt water with half the shell.  I am hoping to find an appropriate home for them in George Town.

Douglas Adams may not have been too far off in So Long and Thanks for all the Fish.  Dolphins might not be extraterrestrial but who’s to say they aren’t as intelligent as humans.  I don’t want to anthropomorphize dolphins.  They are an entirely different species.  Their surroundings have caused their brains to develop in very different ways from us.  But they are intelligent, curious, inquisitive, and interested in exploring and learning about their world.

I think that it would be anthrocentric of us to claim humans are smarter than these creatures.  Intelligent in different ways, of course, but humans could learn so much from these creatures. I long to communicate better.  I know that scientists have been working on it for years, but if somehow we managed to crack the dolphin language…
Backstay Seafood Chana Biryani

Ingredients:
1 lb conch, chopped
1 fillet fish, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 lb squid
2 c rice
1 c chick peas, cooked
½ onion, chopped
½ carrot, chopped
5 cardomom pods
1 t cinnamon
2 t garam masala
1 t turmeric
2 t grated ginger
1 t cumin seeds
½ t coriander seeds
1 t salt
3 c water
2 c rice
¼ c cranberries
½ c cashews
Directions:
Cook seafood in pressure cooker about 20 minutes
Sauté garlic and onions in oil in deep pan for about 3 minutes
Add carrot and cook another 2 minutes
Add spices and stir until veggies are coated
Add rice and stir until coated
Add water and bring to a boil
Steam for 15 minutes
Add chick peas
Drain seafood and stir into biryani rice mixture

Danforth Dahl

IMG 0683 1024x768 Danforth Dahl

Okay, so I took this dolphin picture sailing from Mexico to Florida

Dolphins welcomed us into Norfolk, Virginia.  After a long night sail through a busy shipping channel I was especially delighted to see our marine friends.  Traveling for so long on the Erie Canal we hadn’t seen dolphins in months.   Having a pod gamboling around our bow, guiding our entrance into Virginia the open ocean seemed so near.  The Bahamas were just around the corner.

But not yet.  The chill air billowed in great puffs as we breathed.  Weren’t we in the South yet?  The local accents certainly belied the chill weather.  But Norfolk was just a stopover.  Tomorrow we started our journey down the ICW.  Just to whet the appetite we got our first swing bridge, an enormous bridge that swung aside so that we could pass.  The mechanics of such an enormous structure moving aside for boats to pass many times a day was incredible.  Bridges had moved on the Erie Canal, lifting up a little but nothing on this scale.  It was like a transformer!

Everyone I told we were taking the ICW gaped at me.  “You’re going down the ditch?” they would ask.

We wanted to see a little more of the US, I would reply.  I adore blue water sailing, crossing oceans and visiting exotic locations, but I like trying different things.  Still, I was starting to wonder about the ICW given the regularity of the negative reaction.  Even if the ICW didn’t have the excitement of ocean sailing, it would be interesting to see a little bit of the Southern United States.

Given that this was (hopefully) one of our last chilly days I wanted to make the most of it.  After a long, chilly night passage a hearty stew seemed like the way to go.  We hadn’t had lentils for ages, and (spiced well, of course) lentils are unquestionably one of my favorite legumes.  And my favorite form is dahl.

Indian food is unquestionably one of my favorite cuisines.  After several months traveling in India, learning spicing and seasoning from wonderful women, I came to appreciate it so much more.

Dahl, staple in Indian cuisine, dahl makes excellent boat food for the chilly night at sea.  Hot, fast, and packed with protein this

Dahl, dal, or daal, is an Indian dish made from lentils.  Actually it’s any Indian dish made from lentils as dahl actually means lentils in Hindi.  But the most common one is a thick soup or stew made from yellow lentils.  Like any stew it is better the second day because the flavors have longer to disperse.

In fact, refrigerating the dahl and serving a bit of it (with 5 or 6 other dishes, bread, and rice) over the course of several days is traditional in Indian homes.  Dahl never lasts that long around me though.  I tend to serve it as a main dish rather than one of a vast array of dishes.  This recipe does make quite a bit though so you can certainly keep it around for at least a day or two.

Danforth Dahl

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ t mustard powder
  • 1 ½ cups red lentils
  • 1 T vegeta (or other soup stock)
  • 8 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  •  T grated ginger
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 1 t turmeric
  • 2 t garam masala
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t ground black pepper
  • 1 t 7 chili  seasoning (or cayenne)

DSCN8792 300x225 Danforth Dahl Directions:

  • Fry onion and garlic in oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add the cumin seeds and mustard powder stirring until onions and garlic coated
  • Cook for 5 minutes
  • Add the lentils, water, and vegeta stir well.
  • Stir in ginger and tomato and cook until the lentils are soft, approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Throw in the remaining ingredients and simmer another 5 minutes.
  • Mix well before serving.

You can serve this with rice or by itself, but I prefer it with rice.DSCN8872 300x225 Danforth Dahl

Canal Sal’s Thai Curry

DSCN8750 300x225 Canal Sals Thai Curry“I’ve got a mule, her name is Sal. 15 miles on the Erie Canal She’s a good ol’ worker and a good ol’ pal.  15-miles on the Erie Canal…”

When Sato San first asked me to crew up the Erie Canal with Umineko, I was sure it had something to do with my name.  How appropriate.  Having Sal crew up the Erie Canal.  Maybe I could pull the boat to save on gas too, right?  Surprisingly when I mentioned it, he had never heard of the song.  I guess they don’t teach “Low Bridge” in Japan.

I’d never even thought of sailing up the Erie Canal but it sounded interesting.  It was a part of the US I had never explored; even living in NYC for 7 years, I’d never been further than an hour upstate.  Leave it to someone from another country to show me parts of the United States.

I’ve been making variations of this “Thai” curry for almost a decade and it’s one of my “go-to” dishes.  It’s nothing like the” traditional” Thai curries I learned at a cooking class in Chiang Mai, Thailand, but I like it as well or better.  You can really use whatever vegetables that you like and you don’t have to use seafood.  The sauce is the important part.  I love using broccoli when I have it, though not traditional in Thai cooking, I find that the crowns absorb sauce making each bite a burst of flavor.  I also like having at least one green vegetable, a yellow, and something red because it just makes the dish look prettier.

DSCN8736 300x225 Canal Sals Thai Curry

Canal Sal’s Thai Curry

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ can water
  • 1 T honey
  • 3 T red curry paste
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T siriracha sauce
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 t ground pepper
  • 1 t 7 chili seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 small onion diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ sweet potato cubed
  • 1 branch of broccoli (crown and stem) chopped
  • 2 T grated ginger
  • 1 kefir lime leaf
  • 9 large shrimp
  • 1 c small scallops
  • Peanuts for garnish

Directions:

  • Fry the onion, garlic, and sweet potato over medium heat in 1 T vegetable oil about 5 minutes
  • Add coconut milk and water
  • Stir in bell pepper and broccoli crown
  • Add ginger and kefir lime leaf
  • Mix in curry paste until coconut milk is a warm red color
  • Slowly add soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon juice, and Siriracha,
  • Simmer for 5 minutes
  • Add shrimp and scallops cook for 3 minutes or until shrimp barely pink
  • Add salt, pepper, and 7 chili seasoning to taste
  • Sprinkle peanuts on top