Crockpot Curry: FAIL!

17 Jun

So last week I posted about how we were planning to do a meal in the crockpot every week.  I’m generally a pretty good cook, so I tend to just “wing it” when I’m cooking, and I got the idea to do a curry meal – long-simmering – in the crock pot this week.  I mixed together the veggies and the beef and the spices (I’ve done this plenty of times in a regular pot) and then contemplated the vehicle for the curry sauce.

When making a stove-top curry, I typically sautee the veggies, add the meat, and then add some liquid to simmer it in.  Near the end of the cooking time, I’ll add some sour cream or plain yogurt to make it nice and creamy.  To tell you the truth, I’ve never really considered why I do things in that order.  I just do.

Of course, now I know.

Because on Monday morning, bleary-eyed, I mixed together the veggies, the beef, and the spices directly with the yogurt and turned the crock pot on low.

When I came home, the house smelled divine.  But the thick  creaminess of the yogurt had separated and mixed with the water and juices from the veggies and meat and had become a curdled mess!

I attempted a save, skimming as much of the curdled bits off the top as I could and mixing in a cornstarch slurry.  I added the last of the yogurt that was in the fridge, to sort of attempt a creamy base.  But it was beyond saving, still watery and curdley and just disgusting-looking.

We ate it (with a fantastic batch of nan bread and some decent pilau rice…  although I have to remind myself that the saffron in pilau is seasoning enough for the rice and not to get too creative with it).  The curry flavor was nice, the texture of the meat was perfect (and, given the toughness of the piece I started with, was a real victory in and of itself), and the veggies were well-cooked.  But the long simmering in yogurt had given everything a twinge of extreme tanginess that overtook even the curry’s heat.  It was a real disappointment.  I didn’t even take a photo (although now I think I should have, for posterity) because it was so hugely disgusting.

Of course, I still think it will work just fine – just season the meat before throwing it in (rather than seasoning the pot) and add maybe a touch of alcohol (and NOT YOGURT) for simmering.  Then stir in yogurt at the end to get it nice and creamy…  At least, that’s the plan for next time!


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