This Workout is Brought to You by Curry

I like Friday mornings.  The Stat Man doesn’t have classes, and we swim at the central campus pool.  The central campus pool is warm.  Not 85 degrees warm, but more of a “its not painful to get into the water” warm.  Now, its not that I like working out in 85 degree water—I’ll take cold over hot.  But warm, ½ hour after I’ve woke up?  That’s a deal I’ll make.

So this morning, I got myself in the tolerable water and started my warm up.  I do the same warm up every swim.  300 free, 200 pull, 200 IM, 100 kick, 200 free.  1000 yards is enough for me to loosen up and feel good in the water.  Today, however, wasn’t feeling good.  My stomach complained the entire warm up.  I was being begged for food.  To be honest, my stomach was being a little Sally.  It’s not like I didn’t shove an entire bowl of curry in it last night.  Little complainer.  By the time I started my main set, it gave up on the whole hunger thing and remembered how to convert cauliflower into energy.  Thank god.  Here is my curry powered work out:

Warm-up:  1000—mix it up

Main Set:

1×300 free on 4:30

3×100 free on 1:30

1×200 free on 3:00

2×100 free on 1:30

Repeat

And here is where the power came from:

Curry Powder

James Peterson Sauces

¼ Cup corriander seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp brown mustard seeds

2 tsp fenugreek seeds

10 green cardamom seeds (husked)

12 cloves

2 cinnamon sticks coarsely chopped

2 tsp black peppercorns

1 Tbsp powdered turmeric

You don’t need to make your own curry powder, it is available at most grocery stores.  However, I highly recommend making your own.  The flavor, and smell in this homemade version are much more robust than the store bought versions we’ve tried.

Start by toasting the coriander, cumin, brown mustard, fenugreek and cardamom in an iron skillet until aromatic.  Place all of the toasted items and the remaining spices into a coffee grinder or blender.  Blend it.  Blend it good.  Blend it real good.  Next, use a fine mesh sieve to strain the powder.  Keep the strained powder separate and put what remains in the sieve back in your grinding apparatus.  Grind again.  Then sieve again.  Now you have your powder.

Cauliflower and Potato Curry

James Peterson’s Sauces

2 Tbsp cooking fat (oil—I used peanut, but vegetable, sesame, or ghee work also)

2 onions

2 Tbsp garlic

2 green chiles (chopped and seeded)

1 tsp grated ginger

2 Tbsp curry powder

3 Cups liquid (I used broth, however tomatoes, coconut milk, milk, or water will work)

2 Tbsp thickner (I used almond butter, but any nut butter or seed past will work)

2 Tbsp acid (lime or vinegar work well)

1 potato (peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes)

1 head of cauliflower (broken into flowerettes)

This is a vegetarian curry, however it is easy to add or replace the vegetables with meat.  If you do want to make a meat curry, brown your meat and set it aside.  The next step (or first step if you’re going vegetarian) is to heat your cooking fat in a large pan on the stove.  Once it is hot, add your aromatic ingredients—onions, garlic, chiles, and ginger.  Lightly sweat your aromatic ingredients.  Next add the curry spice mix.  Heat the ingredients until the spices release their aroma.  Ooo la la.  (Our house likes to maintain this aroma for at least 24 hours)

If you are adding meat, return it to the curry pan, along with the cauliflower, potato, and any other vegetables you would like in your curry.  Next add your liquid, it should nearly cover all of the ingredients.  You can add your thickener right away, or wait until the cauliflower has softened and there is more elbow room—that is usually my approach.  My favorite thickener is tahini because we always have it around.  And by always, I mean not last night.  Almond butter was our understudy-thickener last night.

Let everything simmer until the vegetables and meat are thoroughly cooked and the liquid has reduced into a thicker consistency.  Near the end, lets say roughly 5-10 minutes before your curry is done simmering add your acidic component.  Serve with rice if you plan to swim 3000 yards the next morning.  It’ll get you through it.

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