August 11, 2014

Butternut Squash Katsu Curry

For over a decade now my signature dish has been Chicken Katsu Curry. When I was a student in London in 2003 Wagamamas was the restaurant du jour for poor students and the CKC was by far my favourite. When I went back to uni in New York I craved katsu curry like nothing else. So after a few trial and errors I found a way to make it (and I think its better than the original, but I may be biased).

Since I've stopped eating meat this dish has been off the menu, much to my husband's disappointment. A month or so ago we went to a street food market in london called Kerb and I got Pumpkin Katsu Curry. I was really surprised, not by how good it was because I have long loved pumpkin, but by how well the pumpkin held its structure.

So for the past few weeks I've been scouring the internet for recipes for pumpkin curry. There are loads out there but in the end I decided I'd make it exactly the way I make Chicken Katsu Curry but with one difference- I used 'vegan eggs' aka flaxseeds as the binding agent. I again am amazed at the powers of the flaxseed. I think it binded better than eggs.

Now I should say that I am of the mind that anything that comes packaged is bad and there is probably a way to make it better (and more healthily) yourself. This includes things from fajita and chilli mix (seriously this just takes about 6-10 spices that you probably already have in your spice rack) to cake and brownie mixes (I grew up using these but now everything bake is from scratch and therefore much better. It is so ingrained in my family that the last time I was home and I made my brownies- which are amazing if I do say so myself- and my sister asked what box mix I used! Pah!!).

That being said I have never found a way to make the golden curry sauce that is as good as this one. I will endeavour to find a good recipe one day but until then I will go to the Asian food store and use this one. Honestly when I open the package it fills the entire room with magic curry aromas that if you're not careful to fully clean-up after cooking will continue to fill the room the next day when curry smells may not be as welcomed.

Seeing as how it is August there was nary a pumpkin to be found and instead I used butternut squash. As every good southern girl knows, the secret to good fried chicken is coating it with seasoned flour before putting it in the egg mixture. After I cut the squash I dipped it in wholemeal flour then into the flaxseed and water mixture then into the Panko (Japanese bread crumbs that are a must for this recipe). I was really chuffed with how well the Panko stuck to the squash (which I par-boiled for five minutes but will probably not do the next time as the squash was a little too soft).

Then I baked the squash until the Panko was golden brown. We paired it with brown rice, golden curry sauce, and the all important edamame (soy beans- mmm).

I was really happy that I was able to adapt my recipe to be vegetarian- well I guess it was actually vegan. I think the squash was probably a little too sweet and I needed to slice it thinner but it was still good. I definitely want to try again when the pumpkin comes into season.

No comments:

Post a Comment