Hello, and welcome, to the long awaited and severely procrastinated Season 2 of Lvl.1 Chef! We’re not pulling any punches today as we jump right into ta crazy spicy dish inspired by the most popular pink protagonist in all of Popstar, Kirby! I hear his new game Plate Robobot is pretty awesome, so what better way to kick off the season than with a recipe for the iconic Superspicy Curry. Although it made its debut in Kirby’s Dream Land for the original Game Boy, it’s probably more well known from its Super Smash Bros. incarnation.
I want to thank my friend, and fellow Kirby fan Derek Rose, for his help in the conceptualization of, and inspiration for, this recipe. We decided this dish should be a combination of extremely spicy Indian style curry and the more mild Japanese style curry as it’s shown in the artwork. To this end, we will begin by making a sauce from some traditional (I use this term loosely) red curry paste ingredients.
Speaking of ingredients, the dish gets its super spicy kick from the inclusion of dried ‘Ghost Peppers,’ also known as Bhut Jolokia. And at over 400 times as hot as a Jalapeño, they are considered to be among the top 5 spiciest chiles in the world and definitely helps this curry live up to its namesake! It may take some searching, but I was able to find ghost peppers in the dried chili section of a large local grocery store.
Just to clarify, when I this recipe is super spicy, I mean it! Although if might not make you shoot fireballs out of your mouth*, please feel free to dial back the spice to suit your palate. I’d rather have you make something that tastes good rather than something “accurate.” Always cook responsibly and try to avoid the following scenario:
*Lvl.1 Chef is not responsible for any fireball related damages
As usual, click ‘Continue Reading’ below for the recipe and detailed procedure! Happy cooking, everyone; it’s good to be back :].
+ Ghost Pepper Chili Sauce +
|Ghost Peppers (dried)||1-2 each|
|Small Red Chilies (dried)||20-30 each|
|Cumin||1 1/2 tsp|
|Black Peppercorn||1 tsp|
|Lemongrass||1/3 cup (~2 stalks)|
|Galangal, or Ginger||1 TBSP|
|Shallots||5 small each|
|Lime Zest||1 lime|
|Salt||1 1/2 tsp|
|Water, or Vegetable Stock||2 cups|
- Medium Bowl
- Plastic Wrap
- Sharp Knife
- Food Processor
- Large Bowl
- Medium Sauce Pot
::WARNING:: We are using some pretty dan hot chilies in this recipe, so you might want to wear disposable gloves if you have them. If not, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling the chilies, and be careful to keep any residue away from your nose and eyes (it will sting!).
Traditionally, these ingredients would be ground together in a mortar and pestle instead of a food processor to create a thick curry paste. I tried the recipe both ways and found that using the food processor saves quite a bit of time. Coupled with the fact that I believe food processors to be much more common in household kitchens, I’m going to take a little shortcut here. If you’d like to try hand grinding the spices, by all means be my guest, but be forewarned, it’s a workout!
1) Remove the stems, and as many seeds as possible, from your dried chilies before placing them in a medium sized bowl of warm water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap to retain the heat and set aside to soak…
2) Bruise the lemongrass by whacking it against the table a few times to release the oils. Cut off the very bottom of the stalk and make a cut crosswise about 5-6 inches above that so you are left with the thickest part. Slice lengthwise, remove the dry outer leaves, and chop. These ingredients are being put in a food processor, so the chop doesn’t need to be too fine.
3) Galangal looks very similar to ginger, but with a pretty different flavor (kind of like a spicy lemon balm/mint.) I found some in the freezer section of my local asian market, but feel free to sub in regular ginger if you’re having a hard time tracking it down. Peel and chop your rhizome of choice.
4) After about 15 minutes, remove the plastic wrap covering your soaked chilies (they will be pretty pungent at this point!) and strain them. Place them along with all other ingredients (except the veg stock, water, and cornstarch) in the bowl of a food processor and blend until very fine. You may find that adding a few tablespoons of water to the mix helps it blend a little smoother.
5) Remove your paste from the food processor and transfer it to a pot on the stove. Add 2 cups of vegetable stock or water, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. Now your kitchen is really going to start to smell like curry!
6) After 5 minutes, pour the contents of the pot through a strainer over a large bowl to reserve the liquid. Rinse out the pot and add the spicy stock back to it and set aside to cool slightly. Any chunks left in the strainer can be discarded.
7) In a small bowl mix together ¼ cup of cold water along with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. This is called a slurry and it helps the prevent the cornstarch from clumping. Add the slurry to the spicy curry stock and place over medium heat while stirring.
8) You’ll notice the liquid begin to thicken as the temperature increases. Once you see it start to boil, maintain the heat for another minute while stirring constantly to help cook out the starch flavor. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool and thicken.
Whereas the recipe above took cues from Indian curry, this part of the dish is a Japanese curry. It’s almost like we’re making fusion cuisine! (even though they were at one point already the same haha.)
+ Grate Vegetable Curry +
|Carrot||1 large each|
|Russet Potato||2 medium each|
|Onion||1 large each|
|Curry Powder||2 tsp (I used S&B brand for this)|
- Sharp Knife
- Food Grater
- Large Bowl
- Medium Sauce Pot
- Spatula or Wooden Spoon
- Medium Frying Pan
1) We’ll be grating all of the veggies here to achieve a smooth lava-like texture. Start by peeling your potatoes and grating them fine. Place the grated potatoes in a large bowl and cover with cold water in order to remove excess starch.
2) While the potatoes are soaking, cut the onion in half and grate it against the larger side of the grater. Place the grated onion with a teaspoon of vegetable oil in to a medium sauce pot and cook over medium-high heat to begin caramelizing them. Stir occasionally.
3) Peel the carrot and grate fine. Once the onions begin to caramelize and turn golden, add the carrots. Any onion bits that had become stuck to the bottom of the pot should release easily now thanks to the added moisture of the carrots.
4) Now strain out the water from the potatoes and add them to the pot. Add the salt and cook for an additional 2 – 3 minutes while stirring to combine. Add ½ cup water and reduce the heat to low.
5) To make the roux with which to thicken the curry, melt the butter in a medium sized frying pan over low heat. Once it is completely liquid, add in the flour and curry powder while continuously whisking. The mixture will tighten up and begin to bubble (panel 2 below.) Let it cook for 30 seconds (while still whisking) in order to cook out the starchy taste of the flour.
6) Take a scant ½ cup of the vegetable mixture and stir it into the roux (panel 3 below.) Much like the cornstarch used to thicken the chili sauce, this helps disperse the roux evenly when added back to the pot.
7) Add the contents of the pan back into the pot and mix thoroughly. Adjust the salt if necessary.
To plate, start off with a layer of your favorite rice and place the curried vegetables over top. Apply the Ghost Pepper Chili Sauce sparingly! It IS super spicy after all :p.
I like to garnish the top further with a little soy sauce and Ra-Yu (or La-Yu) chili oil. They definitely help boost the flavor and the fact that they make the curry look more like lava is a nice bonus as well :].
Hey! Thanks for reading all the the way to the end! You’re awesome :D! If you haven’t already and are looking for more nerdy food stuff, consider following me on Twitter, Facebook, tumblr and Instagram. I post a lot of work in progress pictures for the blog as well as some stuff from my real job as a pastry chef. If that sounds like something you’d be into, please check out those links above! Anyway, take care everyone and I’ll see you next week with an all new recipe!