Updated: Aug 9, 2020
If you are like me, who grew up eating curry as exotic food, you may have wondered what would be a minimum number of spices needed to create satisfying curry flavors that most curry powders cannot deliver. My answer is three: cumin, coriander, and turmeric.
What are these spices? Coriander refers to the seeds of cilantro. Turmeric gives curry its yellow color. Turmeric's main ingredient is curcumin that reduces inflammation. Cumin seeds are rich in iron. All three spices provide distinct earthy flavors and are enriched with antioxidants. Thanks to these spices, curry helps our body fight oxidative stress that expedites aging. The pungent taste of curry also stimulates our appetite.
Now, are you ready to make this superfood with simple ingredients?
Ingredients for 4-6 servings
Half a sweet onion (thinly sliced)
One small potato (julienned, soaked in water, and drained right before cooking)
One medium carrot (julienned)
One pound of asparagus (cut into 2-inch sticks)
2 sticks of celery (finely chopped)
Half pound of baby portobello mushrooms (sliced)
One red bell pepper (sliced)
A quarter pound of seafood mixture (chopped squid, chopped octopus, scallops, mussels, and shrimps; you can buy a package of uncooked, snap-frozen seafood mixture at any Asian grocery market.)
2 tsp of coarsely ground red pepper powder. You can add more hot peppers if you like your curry to be hot. 2 tsp of cumin powder 1 tsp of coriander powder 1 tsp of turmeric powder 1 tsp of ginger powder Freshly minced garlic
While cooking rice, you can mix all curry spices mentioned above in a small mixing bowl and set it aside.
Next, you will need to defrost the seafood mixture by taking a portion out of the package and immersing it in water. Now it is time to cut all vegetables. Cut potatoes need to be soaked in cold water to remove the starches on their surface and to prevent them from turning brown. Residual starches on cut potatoes tend to be burned easily when you stir-fry them. So it is better to wash them out as much as you can before cooking potatoes.
If you are done with chopping and slicing, you are ready to roll now. Heat up a stir-fry pan over a medium high heat with two teaspoons of canola oil on the pan.
Once the pan is hot enough, stir-fry the sliced onion first. When they become somewhat translucent, add the washed and drained potatoes to the pan. Stir-fry them for a minute or so. Then, add the julienned carrots to the pan. Stir-fry them for another minute. Now add the sliced asparagus and chopped celery to the pan. Sprinkle one teaspoon of salt over the vegetable mixture, mix everything well, and cover the pan. Lower the heat to the medium level and let the water coming out of vegetables steam them for a minute.
While steaming the vegetables in the pan, rinse and drain the seafood mixture.
Open the lid and raise the heat to the medium high level. Add the sliced mushrooms, chopped bell pepper, another teaspoon of salt and the curry spices to the vegetable mixture in the pan. Stir-fry it until the mushrooms are cooked down and add the seafood mixture to the pan. Continue to stir-fry everything for one or two minutes until shrimps turn pink. Turn off the heat, check the final taste, and add freshly ground black pepper, more salt or red pepper powder to your taste.
Put a portion of cooked rice in a deep serving bowl and serve the vegetable/seafood mixture over rice. Now it is time to enjoy your curry!