Winner, Winner, Curry Noodle Dinner
An unexpected leftover treat.
My love for food knows no bounds. I go to sleep thinking about it, dream about it, wake up and cook. I also spend an inordinate amount of time watching cooking videos. As such, I've found a few online cooks and foodies, I truly admire.
As a Trinidadian, I have absolutely fallen in love with the Eat Ah Food(EAF) YouTube channel that showcases new takes on Trini fare. I'm especially fond of their Mmm Hmm series featuring Baidawi — one of the channel's lead producers. I say that to say that he recently posted a recipe that left me salivating . I just had to try it! There was only one issue...
He — Baidawi — made a curry beef recipe but as the kid's say, the gag is I'm plant-based, now. So I veganized it by choosing to make an eggplant and sweet potato version.
I swapped out the beef for two large eggplants, and one small sweet potato diced into bite sized pieces.
Instead of cooking for 6 hours because veggies just don’t need that long, I cooked the curry down for about an hour after adding the eggplant. At that point, the eggplant was cooked all the way through and began to melt into the sauce.
Everything else, I did according to Baidawi's recipe, check it out below:
You might asking why I'm not giving you the blow by blow on how I veganized the curry because that's not what this post is about! SEE THE TITLE.
Don't get me wrong, the curry was a standout meal served over rice but I'm the ONLY person in my house that eats eggplant. Therefore, I was left with enough and plenty curry. Furthermore, I don't about you but eating the same thing — the same way — over and over again is not my thing.
I had to figure out what to do with the leftovers and like a flash of genius, it came to me, curry noodles!
Calling all winners
This was the simplest yet most profound leftover transformation I've made in a while. I was low-key surprised at how well it turned out.
I was over rice, so pasta was a welcomed change. I wanted a short cooking time. Therefore, I went with a quick-cooking favorite of mine, thin spaghetti.
I took a large stock pot filled it halfway with water, salted it until my ancestors rose up and whispered "it is the sea," and then added a drizzle of olive oil.
I like adding olive oil to my pasta water, if you are a pasta purist and find the practice offensive, OMIT IT. Do not however comment lecturing me or giving me a science lesson about it. My granny and my mom did it this way and my daughter will probably do it this way because that’s our business. However, you do it is your way because that’s your business.
As the water boiled, I heated up a large ceramic skillet. You can use a wok or frying pan, if you have a large one. I put the fire on a medium heat and proceeded to heat my curry all the way through.
Once, my pasta water was at a rolling boil — rough waters on the sea style — I added my pasta. I then set the kitchen timer for six minutes. Overcooked noodles are not appetizing, so, I never take chances.
When the curry was warm, I lowered the fire and added coconut milk. I use a powdered version that requires being mixed with warm water. You can use fresh or canned if you have a preference, whatever you have on hand will work. I added just enough to make the curry lusciously creamy and retain its greenish hue. I stirred it thoroughly to incorporate it properly. I wanted the curry to remain star of the show. Thus, I was conservative with the amount of coconut milk.
When my pasta was just short of al dente at that six minute mark, I dropped it into the sauce. I kept the pot on a very low fire. Using a large fork, I jostled it around the pot to combine and coat each strand. If you’ve got tongs, this is a great job for them but both of mine were broken long ago and never replaced hence my forking around.
Once it was all combined, I cracked some fresh black pepper over the top and voila, winner, winner, curry noodle dinner!
And the crowd was wowed
Surprisingly, it was a hit with at least one of my eggplant-hating crew, my daughter ate it. That day, I had a full house with my sister and her nine-month-old visiting. When I tell you that my niece TORE IT UP, the ‘mmms’ coming out of that baby’s mouth confirmed that this was a success. My sister asked for leftovers to take for her husband and informed me that he loved it as well. We ate it up so fast that I forgot to take a photo — next time!
You cannot go wrong with this creamy delicious dish, trust me.
Melissa writes about a plethora of things here on Medium but is extremely passionate about food. She even has a newsletter and IG account dedicated to it, follow her here or @reciped_sub on Instagram for more food stories.