South of the Orient: Part VIII

Mangalorean
Everyone has their special recipe – grandma’s marinara, a secret chocolate chip cookie recipe, dad’s favorite BBQ sauce. For Tom, his recipe is this beautiful Mangalorean Curry. Chunks of swordfish are slowly cooked in a curry sauce that will knock your socks off. He’s made this for me several times, and I’ve been dying to feature it on the South of the Orient Series. This is a dish that he has updated and perfected over the years, making it absolutely perfect for special occasions. A word of warning: this may become your new favorite curry…in fact, I can guarantee it.
155775_1693169418572_4572868_n This isn’t just a recipe Tom found in a Williams Sonoma cookbook, but rather one that harkens back to his travels in India. Tom shares more about what led him to this recipe:

“Certain curries reach a legendary status with the culinary elite on the subcontinent. The Mangalorean Fish Curry was a dish I’d heard about as far north as the Nepali border, so when I found myself in Karnataka, its birthplace, I couldn’t resist taking the train, a full day off-course, to track down the recipe. Mangalore is a gritty, medium-sized port city on the Indian Ocean which makes a living through trade. I fought through the honk and bustle for a couple of days, talking to chefs at local restaurants, the ladies preparing dinner in homestays (the real founts of gastronomic knowledge) and consulting spice markets, and rendered this recipe, which I believe captures the spirit of the thing.”

Mangalorean 1
The base of this curry is a fragrant paste of chilies, aromatics and seasonings, all of which give the curry its unparalleled flavor and gorgeous hue. As I mention above, this curry packs a punch: two types of chilies and a healthy dose of spices take this recipe the extra mile, but air on the side of caution for those who can’t take the heat. For those who can, I promise this is curry for you.
Mangalorean 2
We enjoyed the curry with a side of our favorite Saag Paneer (using kale in lieu of spinach) and a dollop of yogurt, since Tom made this particular batch a little spicier than we were used to. Needless to say, it is a beautiful dish and fantastic way to impress any guest. What is truly remarkable about a favorite recipe is that it feels like home, no matter where you are or who you are with – why else do you think I am so in love with cooking? Click HERE to see the recipe for this fantastic dish. Mangalorean 3
This recipe’s complexity and storied introduction make it a special one, deserving of a piece that is both notable and unique. The curry is an homage to generational traditions, while also being the signature of Tom’s own style and culinary craft. So for this particular osvaldo_golijov_2pairing, I chose Osvaldo Golijov’s Oceana, for Vocalist, Boy Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra. Composed in 1996, the work was a commission for the Oregon Bach Festival’s “Cantatas of the Amercas” concert series. The festival was seeking to premiere new works that pay tribute to the genius of Johann Sebastian Bach – THE father of cantata writing – while also establishing a voice in this new day and age. Golijov’s work also draws musical inspiration from his native Argentina and Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Oceano consists of seven movements, alternating between passionate choral refrains and pensive interludes. The score calls for a “Brazilian jazz-style vocalist,” a boy soprano, two choirs, two guitarists, and an orchestra consisting of a piccolo, three flutes, alto flute, percussion, and strings.      This recipe’s complexity and storied introduction make it a special one, deserving of a piece that is both notable and unique. This curry is an homage to generations of cooking tradition, while also being the signature of Tom’s own style and culinary craft. So for this particular pairing, I chose Osvaldo Golijov’s Oceana, for Vocalist, Boy Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra. Composed in 1996, the work was a commission for the Oregon Bach Festival’s “Cantatas of the Amercas” concert series. The festival was seeking to premiere new works that paid tribute to the genius of Johann Sebastian Bach – THE father of cantata writing – while also illustrating a contemporary voice. Golijov’s work draws musical inspiration from his native Argentina and Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Oceana consists of seven movements, alternating between passionate choral refrains and pensive interludes. The score calls for a “Brazilian jazz-style vocalist,” a boy soprano, two choirs, two guitarists, and an orchestra consisting of a piccolo, three flutes, alto flute, percussion, and strings. The following video features the first movement of the piece (the remaining movements can easily be found on YouTube) – enjoy!

Sources Cited:
Bromberger, Eric. “Program Notes: Oceana,” La Jolla Symphony and Chorus
Osvaldo Golijov photo courtesy http://www.osvaldogolijov.com

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