Over the millennia, India has been a crossroad for many peoples. Some came to trade; some came to conquer. Some left a small footprint, whereas others left an almost indelible mark on Indian culture and cuisine. Foremost among the newcomers were the Mughals of Central Asia, the Portuguese, and the British.
Unsurprisingly, the cuisine of this large subcontinent varies considerably, influenced by climate, agricultural practices, and religion. Although curry can be found in most areas of India, the ingredients used and the method of preparation vary by region. This is evident in the regional preferences for spices, thickening agents, and even the texture and color of the curry. Because Indian curries may number in the thousands-too numerous to document here-we have chosen five to showcase their enormous variety. We begin with a North-indian recipe.
YIELD: four portions;
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: sous vide equipment;
OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT: centrifuge.
Modern Indian curry dating to the Mughals, then move to a curry from Hyderabad in the south, where Muslim cuisine prevails. Heading southwest to the Malabar Coast, we come to Goa, home of the
fiery-hot vindaloo. Next, we travel south down the coast to Kerala, where Malayali curries feature coconut milk and black pepper. We finish on the southeastern coast in Chennai (formerly Madras), where Masala curry favors green chilies and mustard seeds. Lamb shanks are the traditional backdrop for all of these curries, but other tough cuts oflamb, beef, or pork-as well as chicken or turkey-can also work, and many of the sauces here will complement fish or seafood. Use the sous vide time-temperatures tables or the recipes in Cooking Meat and Seafood as a guide. One of the advantages of cooking the meat so us vide and separately from the sauces is the ability to mix and match easily.
TIME REQUIRED: 60 h overall;
SPECIAL CONSIDERATION: including 20-40 min of preparation and 1 h to reheat and finish
choose one curry, and prepare it with its traditional side dishes.