I went over to Susan's yesterday and worked until 6-ish (she was writing a paper on epic poems). I managed to finish 18 pages of the history paper yesterday -- I think I have about 6-10 to go, which I hope to do this afternoon. I would be working on it now, but I'm too busy fretting about my driver's test; I leave in about an hour to go take it (annoyingly far away in Sandy; an hour on the bus. Each way.) I'm been clearing away old e-mail instead of paper-writing, which I think is okay; I'm pretty sure I sprained my brain yesterday. There came a point when I couldn't focus on anything anymore -- not books, not tv, nothing. I spent the rest of the evening talking to Roshani, then David, then Kevin.
Will you still love me if I fail my driver's test? I haven't driven a car since July...
Anyway, too scattered still to concentrate on anything. I'm going to give you a recipe instead, that someone wrote in and requested. I feel a bit guilty for not giving you this long ago, to be honest -- you can't really make Sri Lankan curries without this. Well, some of them. But not any of the meat or fish ones.
Curry PowderOne of the main characteristics of Sri Lankan cooking is that the spices are dark roasted. This gives them an aroma and flavor that is completely different from Indian curries! Do not simply substitute that boring yellow curry powder in my recipes! I recommend buying the bulk spices below at an Indian grocery story if possible, and then making up the curry mix fresh when a batch runs out. You will need a jar to store this in. If you can't find an ingredient, just skip it -- but if you skip too many, it won't be as good.
- 1 c. coriander seeds
- 1/2 c. cumin seeds
- 1 T fennel seeds
- 1 t. fenugreek seeds (aka methi seeds)
- 1 cinnamon stick, about 2 inches
- 1 t. whole cloves
- 1 t. cardamom seeds
- 2 T dried curry leaves
- 2 t. red chili powder
- In a dry pan over medium heat, roast separately the coriander, cumin, fennel and fenugreek, stirring constantly until each one becomes a fairly dark brown. Do not attempt to save time by roasting them together -- they each have different cooking times and you will only end up half-cooking some and burning others.
- Put into blender container (I use a coffee grinder that is dedicated solely to spice grinding -- it works well, though you have to do these in batches and then mix them) together with cinnamon stick broken in pieces, the cloves, cardamom and curry leaves.
- Blend at high speed until finely powdered.
- Combine with chili powder; stir well.
- Store in airtight jar.
1:00 p.m. Didn't pass my test. Sigh. I am too timid a driver -- I didn't do anything egregiously bad, but I was a little too slow, a little too heavy on the brakes, a little too skittish in general. I'll try to practice in the next couple of days if I can find a friend with a car, and then I'll retake the test Wednesday. It really would be nice to get this out of the way before I leave town. We'll see.