Monday, October 8, 2012

Curried Carrots

Sorry to have missed yesterday, but I needed to prioritize school stuff, and I should probably note that the likelihood of my posting daily this MoFo seems fairly remote; then again, we'll see how I do, right? Anyway, I've already noted the important role ascribed to carrots in keeping the home front healthy, and I think this photo does a pretty good job of illustrating the degree to which this idea was accepted and even embraced. "The Children's Best Friend," indeed! Carrots were cheap, plentiful, and easy to grow, so it's no wonder the Ministry of Food wanted to emphasize their nutritional value to a hungry, strictly rationed population. (Apparently, they also help you see in the blackout!)

That being said - and with all due respect to our frugal, self-sacrificing forebears - I must admit that as a "curry" this is just sad. Even if I wasn't an avowed snob when it comes to sub-continental cuisine, the simple fact is that a teaspoonful of commercial curry powder does not a curry make. This is particularly true when that teaspoonful is meant to season a whole pound of carrots and one small onion that has been boiled for twenty minutes (for its sins, one assumes); meanwhile, the carrots are to be overcooked in a separate vessel before being combined with the onions and remaining ingredients.

But beggars can't be choosers, so despite misgivings I decided to give this a go as an accompaniment for leftovers; as the saying goes, "Use it up; wear it out. Make it do, or do without." But although I remained faithful to the original ingredients, I found myself unable to follow the directions with a good conscience because, well, WTF? (That said, imagine my delighted perplexity in finding Marmite listed among the ingredients!) I also confess to playing around ever so slightly with the proportions, but not so much as to render the dish unrecognizable to its wartime prototype. Anyway, the end result was perfectly fine as a side dish: it might serve as an introduction to curry for small children (or picky/pedestrian adults), but let's just say that if you're looking for anything vaguely resembling an authentic Indian dish, this is not going to ring your chimes. But there's a war on, dammit, and food is ammunition - so eat your carrots and shut your gob!

Curried Carrots
~ 1 tbsp. margarine
~ 1 small onion, diced
~ 1 lb. carrots, cut into rounds
~ 1 tsp. salt
~ 1 tbsp. curry powder (I'm sorry, Marguerite, but I just had to!)
~ Black pepper to taste
~ 1 tbsp. flour
~ 1 cup water or stock
~ 1 tsp. Marmite
~ 1 tsp. sugar (optional; I left it out)
~ Fresh parsley to garnish

~ In a large, deep skillet with a lid, melt the margarine and cook the onion over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
~ Add the carrots, salt, curry powder, pepper, and continue cooking another 5 minutes, stirring constantly and adding a bit of stock as necessary to prevent sticking.
~ Stir in the flour, mix thoroughly, and then mix in in the remaining stock and the Marmite.
~ Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and continue cooking another 10 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Remove the lid and cook another few minutes, until the liquid has thickened and reduced slightly.
~ Garnish with parsley and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Have we focused on the carrot lollies in your picture, and the looks on the children's faces, and how we might interpret their response to wartime austerity and propaganda? So very different for children and adults.