On the long list of ethnic foods I miss from my NYC days, Malaysian Curry nears the top (ish).
There's a decent version at Cuisine Malaya, but it's pricey. So when I'm both broke and craving dusty, smokey curry, usually I'll do a batch at home. And since I've been delivering this to some GF clients of mine, coming up with a Roti recipe that would work for them was a priority this week.
(Can I just say, for a sec, that gluten free cooking and baking in particular is a tough nut to crack? Reminds me of Chemistry class. I've started actually writing recipes down, because balances are so delicate. Fun!!)
Malaysian curry is really rad because (like most delicious food) it's a melange of regional flavors. There's Indian elements, Thai elements, and of course Indonesian stuff happening. You can purchase Malay curry powders in most ethnic grocery stores, but making your own is easy-peasy if you stock a well-herbed kitchen.
Malaysian Curry spice mix: (per can coconut milk or per 3 servings - increase exponentially for bigger amounts)
Turmeric, 1 tsp
Coriander, 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek, 1/2 tsp
Cumin, 1/4 tsp
Cinammon, 2-3 grates
Fennel powder, 1/4 tsp
Cayenne, dash, for heat
Dash ground cloves
Mix it all in a small bowl and heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-low. Toast the spices for 1-2 minutes, until they're very aromatic. This will help relieve the Fenugreek of some of its bitterness and make for a deeper, richer flavor. (A pregnant client of mine told me that she takes Fenugreek supplements, as prescribed by her Doc - so maybe this is good preggers food?)
Onto the rest of the curry! You'll need:
Cardamom, 2 pods
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups faux-chicken broth
1 tsp salt or tamari
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups fresh, chopped veggies - Zucchini, green pepper, mushroom used here
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small tomato, chopped
1/2 avocado, diced (use a not-quite-guacamole-ripe avocado, if possible - it'll hold up better)
2 hard boiled eggs, to serve (optional, but delicious)
Fried, sliced tofu or seitan (also optional, and used here)
In a wok, heat your oil to medium-high heat. Throw the garlic and fresh veggies in, stir, add a dash of water and cover (steaming the veggies a bit as you fry will quicken their cooking time). Stir once every minute or so for 3-4 minutes, until the zucchini has softened a bit. Add your dry spices, stir to coat. Add your broth, coconut milk, cardamom pods, and cilantro. Stir well and simmer 5 minutes. Add sugar and salt, and taste the curry - you want a savory, salty flavor with a hint of sweetness. Use additional sugar if necessary. When you're digging your sauce, add the tomato, avocado, and whatever proteins you're using (ie, tofu, eggs, seitan) and stir gently. Turn off the heat and let the curry sit 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
Serve piping hot with Roti for dipping. Sooo goood.
makes 4 crepe-like pancakes
1 cup GF all-purpose flour mix
1 tsp baking powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or melted butter
1/4 -1/2 cup milk or soymilk
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
3 tablespoons ghee or butter, for frying
Mix your dry ingredients in a small bowl. In another, mix your eggs, milk, and butter/oil.
While whisking, add your wet ingredients to your dry until well combined. Check for thickness - you want the batter pancake-thick, not crepe-thick. Add additional flour or milk as needed to get there.
Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter or ghee in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Grab a large spoon.
Using a circular motion, spoon batter into your hot skillet, around and around, until you've overlapped enough batter to give the pancake some substance. You'll use 3-4 large spoonfuls of batter for each roti. When you see browning around the edges of your 'cake, carefully edge your spatula under and flip the roti. You want some dark spots, which can take longer with GF flour than normal, so be patient.
Keep the roti warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve. They'll stay softer that way!