Event: Curries of the World

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Chef Ranjan DeyLocal chef and restaurant owner Ranjan Dey will share the history and stories of curries from around the world, including the spread and cultural effect of curry in Southeast Asia. Learn about curry and get a chance to sample it as well at this presentation put on by the World Affairs Council Young Professionals International Forum.

Ranjan Dey not only runs a successful restaurant in San Francisco, New Delhi, but also is the creator of a line of spices and seasoning mixes. I have used several of the spices and really like them. If you don't cook Indian food frequently, and don't have a set of fresh Indian spices, using prepared spice mixes is easy and convenient. It is also much tastier than using prepared sauces.

You can also find good Indian spice mixes and pastes at local spice shops and Indian grocery stores such as Bombay Bazaar in San Francisco and Viks in Berkeley.

What: Curries of the World, History & Tasting

Where: World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter St, 2nd floor, San Francisco

When: November 25th, 2008 6 pm to 8 pm (arrive early for registration)


How: Purchase tickets, $15 and $10 for World Affairs Council members.

Why: Every week there are lots of culinary programs and events to choose from, but only occasionally do I find one that is such a bargain to attend. Tickets for this talk and tasting with a large sampling of curries, are only $15.

Here is a mild curry recipe that can be made using any Madras style curry powder.

Shrimp Curry

Serves 4

1 large onion, quartered
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
1- 2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 to 2 fresh serrano chiles, halved lengthwise, some seeds removed if desired
1/2 cup water
1 14-oz can unsweetened coconut milk (not low fat)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 lb large shrimp (21 to 25 per lb)

Pulse onion, ginger and garlic in a food processor until finely minced. Cook onion mixture with salt and sugar in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder and chiles and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes. Stir in water, coconut milk, and lime juice and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile peel shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Add shrimp to sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt to taste and serve over rice.