Crawfish Curry with Mango Chutney

Another gem from Chef Susan Spicer at Bayona, in the French Quarter. She's a master at combining local ingredients with techniques and flavors from other parts of the world; here Louisiana meets Thailand and India in a sweet, tangy dish that you don't have to be too adventurous to love.

The mango chutney:  Sauté onion and ginger in the oil, then add the diced apple and let it pick up some color. Add the mango, sugar, vinegar and raisins, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Let cool.

The curry:  In a 2-3 quart saucepot, sauté the onion, peppers and garlic in peanut oil over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with the flour, then stir and cook for 2 more minutes. Whisk in the stock, pineapple juice and curry paste. Bring to a boil, whisking all the while, then turn down the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, longer if it needs further thickening.

Shortly before serving, sauté the crawfish or shrimp with the apple in a large sauté pan with a little bit of peanut oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the curry base and simmer for 5 more minutes. Season with salt and red pepper, or you may add a bit more curry paste if you like. Serve hot over long grain or jasmine rice, and your choice of the suggested condiments.

YIELD:  4-12 portions, depending on how much of an oinker y'all wanna be


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Chuck Taggart   (e-mail chuck)