The non-fried calamari
If there is a one single seafood is cherished almost all around the world it is humble little squid. These little mollusks are treasured part of Asian, European and Mediterranean cuisine alike. We love our batter fried calamari with a little squeezed lime juice in Northern Europe and USA. In Japan it is loved as sushi, Sashimi or tempura. Other Southeast Asia and Mediterranean Squid is prepared by frying or dried or sometimes eaten raw. But we are talking about a different method of preparing this delight. The South Asian spicy curried squid. This lovey fragrant yet unapologetically spicy curry is what you find in many Sri Lankan home cooking if you ever so happened to be around dinnertime.
There are few steps to cleaning squid. We Sri Lankans do not use squid ink while making curry. Because we do not use ink sack first step is to cut off Ink sack then clean inside and remove the outer skin. Then cut the squid into inch thick rings. Soak the prepped squid pieces in salt and juice of half of lime juice and rinse off well with cold water. Drain well.
Today we are using the red curry seasoning base we prepared few days ago to make quick simple curry base. Squid being very tender seafood does not need longer cooking time. So, we are going to make a little change to the way we traditionally cook them and start with making curry base first while the squid marinates in seasoning base. I posted how to make this awesome curry seasoning base last week in a separate post. If you haven’t had the chance yet, please check that out below.
It has a several different ingredients to it but once you have it made and frozen there are lot of dishes including curries, dips, stir-fries you can prepare using the same curry paste combined with few simple techniques. Trust me it is a lifesaver in my Sri Lankan kitchen. I am sure it will be your trusted curry knight as well.
With that being said let’s start making our curry.
Here is what you are going to need
- 8 to 10 cuttlefish cleaned and rinsed. prepackaged calamari two 16 oz packs (32 0z)
- 3 tablespoons of red curry seasoning
- 2 red onions
- Handful of curry leaves
- 4 Thai Green chilis (if you prefer milder version use just one or two, totally up to your spicy level)
- 2 tablespoons of tamarind juice
- 2-inch stick of cinnamon
- If you want extra heaping 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper (or skip it altogether if you want a milder tangy sweet curry)
- I can of thick coconut milk
- Tablespoon of brown sugar
- One chopped tomato
Scoop two tablespoons of curry base and massage over the squid. Let it marinate half and hour. While the squid marinade let us make out curry sauce.
Puree two medium size red onions, 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste, tablespoon of red curry base and green chilies in half a cup of water for curry base.
Heat two tablespoons of coconut oil and cook the curry base with cinnamon stick and curry leaves until sauce is brown, bubbly, and thick about 10 minutes. Add tablespoons of brown sugar, cayenne pepper and coconut cream. Cook until well combined and oil separates for about 5 more minutes.
Add Calamari and cook another two to three minutes low. Taste and adjust salt/sugar to your desired taste.
Turn the heat down and add chopped tomato cook for another minute. Delicious Sri Lankan calamari curry is ready.
Enjoy over steamed rice and salad. Let me know what you think below and give me a follow back and join our curry journey.