Are you suffering from dating exhaustion? Tired of swiping right to disappointment? Kissed too many amphibians in princely clothing?
Well then there was Mr Snufalupagus.
Yes, Mr Snufalupagus. An internet whirlwind. I first saw him shirtless with skin the colour of burnt caramel. He wore dark sunglasses and a religious tattoo adorned his right bulging bicep. Although clearly a gym bunny and selfie buff I was drawn in nonetheless by the one line statement that accompanied his partial nudes…’looking to meet positive people’. It was a match. Thank you Tinder. And upon chatting I discovered that this spicy SriLankan version of Mr. T had a softer side. He owned two dogs, loved talking about his family, was passionate about animal welfare (with a particular penchant for breeding fish), had a cheeky sense of humour, and was looking for a ‘relationship’. Note: He also had a love of wearing skin tight cleavage-sporting T-shirts, spent a lot of time in front of the mirror, was a full body shaver, occasionally dropped a chauvinistic line or two, owned eight times as many perfumes as I, had a strange fascination with my digestive system, owned a schlong that looked like a hello to Mr Snufalupagus, and had a particular penchant for breeding fish (!).
And so, it was lust. I mean, love. Weekends spent in bed with nothing but DVDs, takeaway food and burnt caramel skin, walking dogs and staring into fish ponds. They were sunny days keeping the clouds away. The spice was just right. Pounded to perfection. Sweet, exotic, fragrant, aromatical, fiery, peppery and piquant. Six weeks of unadulterated, explorative, burning bliss.
Until he booked a cruise. And I was invited! Now I know it sounds like romance and I was almost taken in. But when he added “we don’t have to remain exclusive” an unexpected pungence invaded my tastebuds. “Why don’t we travel and experiment with what we have?”, and he went on to make a number of suggestions including an offer to ‘tag team’ me with an unidentified Brazilian guy (?!) I could no longer tolerate the flavour. My palate was dry retching. Hmmm, very fishy indeed.
Well of course I suffered agonisingly in my resultant single state, for approximately thirty seconds. But that empty feeling remained, that wanting to be filled up again…but not by a weight-pulling, woman fearing, fish worshipping, snuffle-trunked Mr. T wannabe. Food would again be my salvation. I needed a whole lot of spice in my mouth to get this bad taste out of my system. And the food gods said, let there be curry.
Varutharacha Goat Curry
1 kg kid goat or mutton, diced into large cubes
1 tsp Turmeric
2 Bay leaves
4 Cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
3 medium onions
7 cloves Garlic
2 inch piece of ginger
5 shallots, diced
3-5 green chillies, to taste
2 tbsp Coriander powder
2 sprigs of curry leaves
1 tsp Garam marsala
1 tsp Fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
Half cup of water
Salt to taste
Roast and grind:
Half cup shredded coconut
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
a sprig or 2 of curry leaves
Brown off the goat pieces in a deep frying pan in a little vegetable oil. Add half a cup of water, turmeric and salt to taste and leave to cook on a low heat until the goat is just soft and tender. Separate the stock juice and keep aside.
Meanwhile add grated coconut in a pan and dry roast it until golden brown. Remove from the heat and add black peppercorns. Grind to a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle.
Heat a little vegetable oil in a pan and add onion, cook until becoming transparent, and then add ginger, garlic, shallots, green chilies and salt to taste. Saute until aromatic. Add bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes on a low to medium heat, until it turns golden.
Reduce the heat and add coriander powder, garam masala and crushed fennel together with 2 tbsp water. Heat through until oil separates. Now add the goat and stir until combined. Add the coconut paste, tomatoes and reserved stock. Cover and cook until thickening. Add salt to taste and divide into serving portions.
Finally heat about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, sizzle, and listen for them to pop. Add curry leaves and shredded coconut. Saute until golden and garnish your servings. Serve with basmati rice.
Heavenly Flavour, for what we are about to receive may our mouths make us truly thankful…..amen.
Unfortunately the curry was so mouth watering, if I do say so modestly myself, that I inhaled it. The only remaining ingredient I had lying around to signify that it ever existed was this sad looking curry leaf sprig. Curry eaten, cleansing complete, bad taste gone.
Acknowledgements: Varutharacha goat curry recipe adapted from http://www.kurryleaves.net