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Curry leaf muffins March 24, 2010

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Cheese, Recipes, Vegetables.
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I have invoked the ‘relapse’ tag.

Archie Goodwin, Nero Wolfe’s assistant, states that when Nero Wolfe has a relapse he is suddenly not interested in his detective work any more, and instead retires to the kitchen to dream up strange and unusual meal experiments with Fritz. Archie is sent all over New York to chase up odd ingredients, and dinner becomes a gamble – sometimes it is sublime and other times, it is inedible.

I can’t say I fell into full relapse mode but I came up with this idea going home one day, and decided to see how it would turn out. On a whim, I had purchased some curry leaves from a store near where I work. I’d made a couple of curries but still had quite a few leaves left. Then it struck me: why not make curry leaf muffins? It couldn’t be much different from other savoury muffins, right? I mentioned my idea to H when I got home and he seemed a little skeptical, and perhaps not as enthusiastic as I was expecting….I didn’t think they sounded too crazy!

I started by once again looking up my trusty Ratio app. I only had 1 cup of milk left so I adjusted the ratio to suit. The recipe said to combine all the dry ingredients, and all the wet ingredients, and then mix them together. I started with the wet ingredients: melted butter which I let cool a little bit, milk, eggs, cubed pieces of feta cheese, and grated pumpkin. Doesn’t it just look delicious so far?

Next I prepared my dry ingredients: flour, spices (cumin, cayenne pepper, normal pepper, mustard seeds), and of course the curry leaves.

I chopped the curry leaves up fairly fine, and mixed them in with the flour. Then, I took the wet ingredients and tipped them into the dry ingredients. It didn’t need much mixing to bring it all together, and I spooned the mixture into my muffin tin.

I baked them in a 180°C oven for about 20 minutes. Here was the result when they came out:

And as for the taste: this was definitely a positive relapse, instead of a negative relapse! The curry flavour came through nicely but was not overwhelming. It was nice getting a mustard seed every now and again, and the feta added a nice tartness to the muffin. The pumpkin tied it all together. I hope my next relapse into inventing of strange combinations goes as well as this one did!

Now this is a bit self indulgent of me but I decided write up a semi-proper recipe of this creation – this is mainly so I can find it again but since it is a slightly odd combination maybe others will be interested too. Just be warned it may lead further down the ‘relapse’ path – while I and Nero Wolfe will be proud of you, the people in your life may not fully understand…

For 12 large-ish muffins, you will need:

250g self raising flour
250ml milk
2 eggs
125 g butter
15-20 curry leaves (to taste – mine were fairly mild)
100g feta cheese, chopped into small cubes
100g grated pumpkin (sweet potato would probably work too)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (again to taste, depending on how spicy you want it)
A few grinds of pepper
(If you wish, you could also add a small amount of curry powder as well).

To make them:

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Melt the butter, and let it cool slightly so it is still runny but not boiling hot. Add the milk. Slightly beat the eggs and add them to the butter mix. Chop your feta and grate your pumpkin and add them to the butter mix. Stir it all a few times to combine.

In another bowl, mix together the flour and the cumin, mustard seeds, cayenne pepper, pepper (and curry powder if using). Take the curry leaves and chop them fairly finely. Add them to the flour mixture.

Take your butter mix and tip the whole lot into the flour mixture. Stir until they both combine. Spoon into muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes. You could also make it in a loaf tin and do a kind of curry bread-thing.

Serve to your friends and loved ones, and watch while they think you’re completely mad.

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