Hi, Ray here again.
Following on from last weekend’s great beef massaman curry, I decided to try out another beef curry (sorry to all you vegetarians out there).
I have a weakness for a good patia (pathia) which is a popular, spicy, sweet and sour curry that features on most curry house menus.
So the beef patia curry recipe seemed just the thing to make me happy.
I went back to my newly found butcher and got some more beef and picked up the pumpkin and aubergine during my weekly shop.
I must admit that I did not really read the recipe too closely and made a bit of a mistake in that I did not notice that most ingredients had to be blended before adding the beef.
Anyway, the cooking started on time and, when I reached the step to blend the ingredients. I realised that the dinner would be about 30 minutes late since I had to let the cooked ingredients cool before doing the blending.
Oh well, 30 minutes is nothing to really worry about.
The first alarm bells went off in my head when I tried to get the beef and blended ingredients to a good simmer.
The blended ingredients had created a thick, smooth paste and getting this mixture to a good simmer was very difficult. Why? Because the mixture acted a bit like one of those bubbling mud pools that you see in Hawaii or New Zealand. There were random eruptions of escaping air that hurled blobs of the mixture out of the saucepan.
So I had to bring the curry to a gentle simmer and couldn’t really get the heat much higher. I put the lid on the saucepan to keep the ingredients in the saucepan but it was obvious that the beef was taking a long time to cook.
I gave an extra 30 minutes to the cooking time but still the beef was not cooking very well.
The meal was an hour behind schedule and the beef was still tough. In fact, the beef was more or less inedible.
So plan B was put into place. The curry was abandoned and an alternative meal was prepared out of a couple of pans and packets that were in the pantry.
So there was no curry this weekend. For the first time in about 6 years of recipe testing. A total failure. A taste score of 0 out of 10 with a spice/heat rating of “Unrated”.
I heated up the curry the next evening and cooked it slowly for another 90 minutes. There was no way that this was going to be thrown away. There were 3 of us in the house for dinner so I served up the Beef Patia on basmati rice.
It was awful. It badly needed salt – I avoid putting too much salt into meals but this had none. And it was neither sweet nor sour, which is what a patia curry is supposed to be. The beef was mostly edible although there were a couple of cubes that were still very chewy. The sauce was thick but very bland. But who needs a smooth sauce? Especially a bland one. If I had put this forward for rating, it would have been hard pressed to get 4 out of 10 and would have had a spice/heat rating of very mild. A patia is not supposed to be mild – if anything, it is supposed to be hot.
So there we have it. A complete failure. Hopefully next week will be completely different.