Friday, 20 June 2008

That Cookbook Thing II: Julia's Sauce au Cari stars in a Rather Unusual Brunch!

This is my first contribution to That Cookbook Thing II... this time featuring: Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. I'm so excited to have been asked to take part!! French cooking is not an area I'm familiar with, so it's great to have the impetus to try something new.

The other members of the Thing are:

The recipe selection for this month was the Sauce au Cari - that's light curry sauce to us plebs! I don't eat very much cream, and generally like my curries hot and tangy. So thinking up something to make with a light creamy curry sauce was something of a challenge. It wasn't until I considered that it was basically a spiced bechamel that an idea began to take hold... also in thinking that egg would go well with the creamy curriness of it all...

And I've often liked the idea of spicy foods for breakfast, though the closest I've really come is some barely spiced kegeree... and leftover hot n' spicy pizza after a girl's night in! Bingo - spicy brunch it was, baked eggs with asparagus and Sauce au Cari*!

But, later that week I started planning a roti recipe for Srivalli's Roti Mela, and another idea began to form...

Thick spears of asparagus in a fenugreek spiced roti, served with a soft poached egg and as much Sauce au Curi as you can shake a stick at!

I am so chuffed with the results! The curry sauce was creamy - but because I used stock rather than milk, I didn't feel it was too heavy or rich. It also had just enough spice for a brunch! (Although people less inclined towards chili than me may disagree on this point... ;) The roti were quite heavily spiced, but the creamy sauce, yolk of the egg and crisp asparagus balanced them really well.

I would definitely make this again, either as a brunch or light supper - the whole thing took me less than an hour - including the roti!

A Rather Unusual Brunch: Spicy Roti with Asparagus, Egg and Curry!

Serves 4
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp madras curry powder (Rajah variety - my personal favourite when I'm too lazy to grind it all up myself!)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (for colour!)
  • 1 cup hot vegetable bouillion
  • 1/2 large onion, grated
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 16 thick spears of asparagus
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 roti
  • Cilantro to garnish

Prepare the Sauce...

My take on the curry sauce, adapted from the Julia Child recipe:
  1. I used ghee instead of butter - mostly because I have ghee in the fridge!
  2. I grated the onion instead of finely chopping it - I wanted a smooth finish
  3. I added some mustard seeds, just for fun
  4. Some of the other reviewers had noticed that the sauce was very thick - so I only used a tbsp of flour
Melt the ghee in a small saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and fry for a minute or so. Add the grated onion and any onion juice. Continue to fry on a very low heat for 10 minutes.

Add the curry powder, turmeric and flour to the mix and cook out for 2/3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and slowly blend in the bouillion and a squeeze of lemon juice. I did a quick seasoning check here and added a touch of salt - the bouillion added quite a bit of seasoning though.

Cook for a further 15 minutes at the lowest possible heat, stirring regularly.

Before serving, stir in the cream, taste and add more lemon juice or salt to taste.

Put the Dish Together...

Take one roti per person and pour a little of the curry sauce inside. Place some lightly steamed asparagus onto the roti and fold in half. Place a lightly poached egg on top of the fold and pour over more curry sauce. Finish with a garnish of cilantro.

* I did briefly consider adding smoked haddock into the mix in a weird French-Indo-Scots fusion... but fear of the wrath of the Greek stayed my wandering mind and I limited myself to a simple two way fusion ;)

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Ruth Daniels said...

Frankly I like your version better than Julia's version which I found bland and too thick.

Good to know for next time! Thanks for joining in the fun.

Elle said...

Kittie, this looks wonderful! I love the way you used it. It looks really delicious!

Sara said...

Gorgeous and brilliant! Wow, just great.

Anonymous said...

This crazy cookbook thing is nothing if not flexible and I loved your take on it! If I'm correct (I may not be), that's a slightly hotter version than "standard" curry powders, right? I think I'll use it in my next try at this.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

This looks really interesting and I like what you did with it! You don't hear "curry" and "poached egg" together very often, but it looks like you pulled it off! Also, rofl@wrath of the Greek!

Shaun said...

Kittie ~ I love your adaptation of this subtle veloute. That your roti was made with fenugreek perfectly amplifies that curry blend that you used. A great idea for brunch!

KJ said...

Hi, I've just posted my Taste & Create challenge. It turned out great, I hope you check it out.

glamah16 said...

Very unusual but I bet it worked . Nice vegan alternative. Im going to start calling you Roti queen.

Cynthia said...

Oh my, you make me blush with pride. What a great job!

Elle said...

Kittie, I'm such an arse! I used your post to get everyone's links from, and forgot to add yours. Please forgive me! I've added your link and name in now. so sorry!

Heather said...

Haha at you making fun of Peter.

I like spicy food for brekkie. I always crave a breakfast burrito, or even just hot sauce on my eggs is nice. Yours looks very unusual, but I think I'd like it. :)

Jeff said...

MAFC is probably one of my favorite cookbooks of all time.

I really like your spin on this dish. Awesome job!!

Dee said...

Your roti looks lovely! And Iove the meal you made out of it :) I made some naan for the Roti Mela and it was... odd :(

Lore said...

It all looks delicious but I particularly like the looks of that spicy roti!

Laura Paterson said...

Ruth, it was fun - looking forward to the next recipe!!

Thank you Elle!

Thanks Sara, glad you like it :)

Mike, if you can hunt it down, the rajah madras curry powder is just great - it is a little spicer than some, but not mind-blowing!

Mike #2 - I knew what I wanted it to be in my head - and was so pleased when it all worked!

Thanks shaun (and from your post I now know the difference between a veloute and a bechamel - cheers!!)

Heading over to yours next KJ!

coco - my next stop is stuffed paratha!

Cynthia, thank you!

Elle - lol, no worries!

heather - I don't know if it's available to you, but if you like spicy brekkies you should try haggis, sliced and fried... drool ;)

Thanks Jeff - I can't believe I hadn't heard of it until this challenge :-S

dee, the roti mela is amazing, isn't it! I made naan a few months back - try it with ghee next time!

Lore - I could have eaten a stack of these just with some sauce!! Thanks for stopping by :)

Generic Cialis said...

I just love that cookbook. I think we need more initiative like this one to improve our style. I don't eat very much cream neither but I will do my best try.