One of my Top 3 restaurants in Madison is called Bandung. Bandung serves Indonesian food that is absolutely scrumptious. My favorite is their Nasi Goreng (Curry Fried Rice). It's even better with a creamy curry sauce piled on top, because, as an old friend once told me, "You know what goes really well with curry? More curry." If there's one thing even a Big 10 university town in the middle of Illinois doesn't have, it's Indonesian food. And that is a damn shame. So, I suppose it's a good thing I can just make my own (who knew??).
Unfortunately, Nasi Goreng just seemed like too much trouble. All fried rice seems vaguely troublesome, unless you have leftover cold rice handy. And I just never plan for fried rice or leftover rice. So, instead I made this Egg Curry from the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. It doubles as Tofu Curry. I fully intended to get tofu, but (surprise, surprise) Meijer's was out. And then I forgot to go elsewhere before Tuesday (surprise, surprise). I made do with eggs.
Sambal Goreng Telor Atau Tauhu (from the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook)
-4 pieces dried galanga (Laos Root)
-1 heaping tablespoon dried lemon grass (**I used the bottom of two stalks of fresh lemongrass, and removed them before serving. It worked great.)
-3 fresh curry leaves, optional (**Technically optional, but if you can find them--and I had to visit 3 specialty groceries before finding them--you should DEFINITELY get them. I really think they made a big flavor difference. And no, you can't just use curry powder. Also, I used about 6 leaves, not 3.)
-1/2 cup water
-1 tablespoon hot chili paste (sambal oelek, found in asian grocery stores)
-1 cup chopped onions
-3 garlic cloves, peeled
-8 peeled almonds (**Or, if you're lazy like me, you just deal with pureed, skin-on almonds. Big whoop.)
-2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar, optional (**I used 1 teaspoon, and recommend it)
-14 ounce can coconut milk
-6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled (or 1 pound steamed or fried tofu triangles)
-Scallions, sliced on a severe diagonal
-Optional: Green vegetables, steamed.
1. Simmer the laos root, lemon grass, and curry leaves in the water until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup.
2. Puree the chili paste, onions, garlic, and almonds in a blender or food processor, drizzling in just enough oil to keep things happening.
3. In a wok (or skillet), cook the above two mixtures until "the oil comes out," which means until the liquid has evaporated and the oil begins to exude or "return." This can take a while, so keep a watchful eye and stir frequently. Add the salt, sugar if desired, and coconut milk, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Finally , add the whole hard-boiled eggs or the steamed/fried tofu triangles and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes.
4. To serve, spoon one egg or several tofu pieces and some of the curry sauce on individual servings of rice. Top with steamed vegetables, if you choose. Garnish with scallions.
-Servings: 4-6, depending on whether this is used as a main or side dish.
Verdict: This was an amazing curry sauce. Allow me to digress for a moment: Another thing you can't find in the middle of Illinois is Curry Squash. Sure, there are Thai restaurants--good ones. But none of them (and I've been to all of them) serve Curry Squash. It's so sad. Anyway, the curry sauce for Sambal Goreng tastes almost exactly like the sauce in Curry Squash. So, the extra-specialness of this great recipe is knowing that I can add in tofu and squash and squee over the tastiness, whilst rubbing my tummy in glee.
I'm waffling over the good-for-you-ness of this recipe. There would be very little fat, were it not for a whole can of coconut milk (I believe I only added about 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil). To make this as wholesome for you as possible, I would use reduced-fat coconut milk (realizing that this will somewhat affect the thick, richness of the sauce), many more vegetables, and steamed tofu. It will still be really, really good--I'm almost positive. I will try it and let you know. Promise!