Curried Rice and Fried Vegan Chicken with Brown Bajan style Onion Gravy
I went through a period of my life when I was cooking curried rice almost 3 times a week. I was about 14 and I realized my love affair with curry. I would curry most dishes until my father asked me if I couldn’t make anything other than curry. Well the answer was no because who doesn’t like the spice and flavour of curry. Ok enough of my curry memories. Curry rice can be spicy as you like it but I like mine mild so that I can add a spicy onion gravy on it. Right now I am using Colombo Curry one that they use in Guadeloupe. The lady at the spice tray told me it taste better than most of the curries out there and I was not convinced but now I am sold on Colombo curry. It is a full flavour curry but not very spicy even if u burn it. It is my favourite curry over Madras for now. I never use curry paste in my cooking I did not even know what that was until I saw it on some vegan blogs. It is not common to use curry paste where I am from but nothing is wrong with it. I plan to make some and try it out myself. You may also notice I never mix coconut milk and curry together. I had it already and I was grossed out by it to be honest.It prob works best with more Asian style curries than the Madras and Colombo that we have around here. It is something that is not common where I am from but I am willing to try again. We usually make our curries but burning the curry and adding spices etc to the dish. I think the curries that are made in the Indo- Caribbean community vary a little bit than the curries made in India. Barbados did not have a big Indian community in the past but it has increased so has the curry based dishes. I find that adding some cornmeal to your curry gives a thicker sauce and it is very flavourful but do not overdo it. Here is a simple version of curry rice. You can add frozen sweet peas to this to make a more colourful rice. If you visit the Caribbean you would see yellow rice made with mixed vegetables but it may not be curried rice.
Some curry treats you can get in the Caribbean are Doubles, Roti and curried protein of your choice. I find that some of the veggie mock meats cannot handle my curry they wilt from the sight of the Spicy god. They say no we just want to have a dry rub and pan seared. So that’s why I have not curried this mock meat here today. When I make some vegan style chicken I will do a pot of curried seitan my style and post it asap that would be in 2 weeks or so. For your curry to be great the sauce has to be absorbed in whatever you are using almost 70 percent. Garlic is your friend and adding the garlic at the end really enhances the flavour. Cornmeal is great as it is yellow so it blends in with the curry and it gives the curry body.Burning gram massala with the curry gets things going. I fry up cayenne with my curry if I want a spicy dish. Turmeric helps to enhance the natural colour of curry and it gives the sauce a better appearance. I love Trini style curries but Guyaneese style curries are my favourites. If you want a really good curry do not get the regular brands of curry from your supermarket. Go to an Indian grocer or pick some up when you travel. I found some curry in my husbands cupboard when I first moved in and there was no flavour no taste at all it was a French brand so thats why as they do not like a lot of spice in their mouth but lucky for him he met me and he cannot eat enough spice now. He sweats now after eating the meal not 3 seconds into eating. He can handle his spice and I am a proud mama!
Easy Curried Rice
1 cup of rice washed of your choice 1 medium onion chopped,1 tsp vegan butter for flavour,2 tbs oil , 1 1/2 tbsp Colombo curry powder, 1 tsp Safran/ tumeric,1 tsp salt or more,1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tbsp chopped red peppers, pinch of thyme.
Fry up onions in oil, add curry powder and fry for 5 mins. Add rice, water and tumeric( tumeric should never be burnt like curry). During halfway of cooking add salt and vegetables. Taste and adjust your salt. Serve hot.
Vegan Fried “Chicken”
For the fried chicken you can use a vegan chicken alternative of your choice and rub wet Bajan seasoning all over it. Leave for 20 mins. Add coating of breadcrumb, flour and yeast flakes. Fry dry.
Onion Gravy is very popular in Barbados and it is vegan friendly most of the time. Restaurants make brown gravy which is beef sometimes chicken and lamb but they do one other one and it is a called onion gravy and it is for the vegetarians. It is brown and tasty and a great accompaniment for your rice or potato dishes. I make mine different all of the time depending what I have. I made one today with onion , shallots and celery as the base added a bit of tomato paste some soy sauce, mustard some black pepper ,paprika and a a drop of hot Bajan pepper sauce and salt. The result is a brown rich gravy. I whisked in crushed garlic at the end since I did not use garlic in my rice. I have a little herb garden now and I would use some fresh herbs if I wanted to in this onion gravy. I love dill so when I get dill I would add a few pieces. To make your onion gravy even more brown you can use my browning recipe but note your have to make this browning and take a little from it since the burnt sugar is very bitter so do not go crazy with the browning. For some dishes where I want an extra kick in my onion gravy I add a little Bajan seasoning. I did not use it in this one since the gravy was so good like that.
Questions comments? 🙂
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