Kerala Sichuan Fusion Curry
Canada has many delicious cuisines. As a Canadian company dealing with Indian foods, it stands to reason that we would explore other cultural traditions that have come to Canada along with our own. 40 dollars at the local asian grocer was all it took to stock our pantry with Sichuanese ingredients. This dish was a modest effort that lead to delicious results.
You can try this dish with chicken or beef. It's a Keralan-style gravy with the protein marinaded in a Sichuanese ingredient known as tian mian jiang or sweet-flour-sauce, which unlike its name suggests has a salty, malty flavour that hits some incredible savoury notes. Since my family is vegetarian, we did Tofu. Let's get this started!
Kerala Sichuan Fusion Curry Ingredients
For the marinade:
- ~ 1 lb protein of your choice (I used medium or firm tofu, cubed)
- 3 tbsp sweet flour sauce (<em>tian mian jiang</em>)
- 2 tbsp chinkiang vinegar
- 2 diced cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup flour (to be set aside)
- 6 garlic cloves
For the curry paste:
- equivalent amount fresh ginger,
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp mustard seed
- 1 tbsp fennel seed
- ~ 1 tbsp cassia bark chips
- 1 rounded tbsp coriander seed
For the sauce:
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp crushed red chilies or Indian red chili powder
Kerala Sichuan Fusion Curry Ingredients1. After your meat or protein is cubed, diced, sliced, toss it in the tian mian jiang and chinkiang vinegar. Let marinade for at least 1/2 hour. Hold aside your 1/2 cup flour.
2. Heat pan to medium-high. Add 1-2 tbsp oil to a pan and the curry paste ingredients. Fry until fragrant.
3. Transfer the paste ingredients to a blender with 3-5tbsp water, and blend until smooth.
4. In the same pan, fry onions on medium-high until transparent, add diced tomato and curry paste.
5. In a wok, heat 1/2 or 1 cup oil over high heat.
6. Add flour to marinading protein and coat by tossing. Add extra flour when needed.
7. When one piece of tofu or meat sizzles vigorously in the oil, then the oil is ready; add the rest of the coated meat to the pan, turning the pieces infrequently to crisp and brown on all sides (about 10 minutes).
8. Once the onion/tomato mixture has cooked a little, add the rest of your sauce ingredients and simmer until the sauce reaches the desired texture.
9. Serve over rice or with naan or paratha. This is a delicious fusion dish, and you will likely find that having a sweet sauce, such as Tamarind Chutney on hand will balance out the tofu beautifully. When we ate this at our home, we wound up mixing the sauce, tofu and tamarind chutney together and ate it with rice and toasted naan.
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