As if there are no other holiday destinations – but really – we have been to France, in particular, southern France so many times that we could memorize some places along the road and highway quite well. Although we do not tend to visit the same place twice, we seemed to be re-visiting Saint Rémy-de-Provence quite often, at least four times since 2006!
We enjoyed the lovely Mediterranean temperatures that were not overly hot (August), the colours, the smell, la cuisine provençale (the Provencal dishes) and the many walking trails.
Last summer, I spiced up our Provencal holiday with this simple dish, which was… erm… planned at the eleventh hour
The spice that bites the dust?
Well, almost 🙂
Actually, I got 4 packets of Baba ’s curry powder (2 meat curry powder and 2 fish curry powder) from a girlfriend who was going back to Kuching for her holiday and at the same time planning to replenish her kitchen pantry with new inventories. Lucky girl (if you are reading this post, kam sia, my dear):-D
Well, a month more to shelf life was not that bad. We left for Saint Rémy-de-Provence in the 2nd week of August and the curry powder expired in September. Perfect timing so to speak!
The White House
For the subsequent 2 weeks, we stayed in a lovely holiday cottage, owned by an English couple – La Maison Blanche (The White House). By the way, there were and are many English speaking ‘locals’ in Saint Rémy-de-Provence 😀
This was the kitchen that became my Provencal domain last summer *wink*
While the guys were watching the 2012 Summer Olympics on the telly, the lady of the house (ahem!) slogged away in the kitchen with her creative throw-in-the-pot chicken curry soup dish. LOL!
That’s right, what you see is what you get!
These were the main ingredients I used to cook my curry dish.
You need the following –
4 chicken breasts (ca 695 gm)
2 small packets Baba’s meat curry powder
8 potatoes, halved
1 onion, chopped
Garlic – I used 4 cloves, minced with coarse sea salt
4 cm piece ginger, grated
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
6 dried chillies
2 green cardamoms, crushed
1 tsp fennel seeds
Curry leaves (I used the dried ones)
1 tomato (chopped)
Salt, to taste ( I also added 2 chicken stock cubes)
Black pepper, to taste (not in the picture)
1 can chickpeas
Cooking oil (I used olive oil)
2 x 125 gm tub plain yoghurt (not in the picture) – I did not use coconut milk
If you are wondering – yes – the spices ‘followed’ us all the way on the road for some 975 km! As I said earlier, it was a “planned but last minute packing” 😉
Very simple. Sauté the chopped onion, minced garlic and grated ginger until fragrant; add in the cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, cardamoms and fennel seeds, stir frying for one minute before adding the chicken slices, yoghurt and chopped tomatoes. Add water, chickpeas, potatoes, dried chillies, salt and pepper to taste and finally the curry powder.
Mix well to combine the curried mixture. Simmer until the chicken pieces and potatoes are cooked and season to taste before serving. As you can see, my Provencal curry was not made the traditional way as far as sight (visual) is concerned, but the taste was 100% curry. My guys like their curries a bit soupy. I served the curry with steamed basmati rice and stir fried Chinese cabbage with green chillies and sun-dried tomatoes.
By the way, curry has never tasted so good. I daresay, it was YUMMY 😉
I love Wednesdays at Saint Rémy-de-Provence because it’s market day!!
The colours, the smell and the sights were just amazing….
Oh by the way, did you know that Saint-Rémy-de-Provence was the birthplace of Michel de Nostredame, better known as Nostradamus, the 16th century author of prophecies? We visited his birthplace which was not far from the Market square.
The Dutch painter, Vincent Van Gogh was voluntarily confined and treated in the Asylum of Saint-Paul de Mausole, near Saint-Rémy. It was here that he painted the two most remarkable works: Starry Night and Self Portrait.
During our many visits to the Provence, we have followed the trails of Vincent Van Gogh (including Arles). It was a real eye opener for us. We started to appreciate the man and his works even more.
Mossy Fountain with a spicy end
After spending the entire morning until slightly after noon at the Wednesday Market, we were famished. We drove to Salon-de-Provence, about 32km from Saint Rémy. The most striking landmark – which cannot be missed – in Salon-de-Provence is the Fontaine Moussue (Mossy Fountain), which is the real mascot of the town. Tourists and locals, especially children would throng around the fountain, which looked like a giant moss-covered mushroom 😀
We did not walk very far and sat ourselves at a table for four on the terrace of a nearby restaurant. Strangely, we did not realize that the restaurant was not French. I guess we were too hungry to gallivant any further. The resto– can you believe this – was Indian?! I was over the moon 😀
For a price tag of Eur 20 per person, our meal included a starter, main course and dessert.
Conclusion: We licked our platters clean. A bargain meal, worth every penny 😛
A spicy Hat trick
Oh no, not again!
But, oh YES – this post would not be captioned “spicy” summer for nothing. Our curry treats for three consecutive days!
I bought some baguettes, sliced and served them with the leftover curry.
My husband and I had these –
My sons had equally delicious leftover curry meals, which I added cooked instant noodles, hard boiled eggs, stir-fried french beans, chopped tomatoes and roasted chicken slices.
This was one “spicy” summer adventure that will not be easily forgotten 😀
I am submitting this entry to Little Thumbs Up event with the theme “CURRY”, hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats well in Flanders, organized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of my little favourite D.I.Y.
By the way, I DID have some free moments. While the boys patronised the swimming pool almost every day, I read Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s, fantastically intelligent literary thriller, The Angel’s Game. The year before, I read his mind-boggling, complex and absorbing novel, The Shadow of the Wind. A talented writer. I was totally gripped and could not put down reading his novels. If you like Dan Brown’s novels, you will like Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s 😉
Have a great weekend.
Related Posts –
- Beef Rendang – by special request
- Easy-breezy hassle-free Curry Puffs
- Crispy Roday – a tribute to my late dad
- The Irresistible Sarawak Laksa
- Scurry Chicken Curry – A labour of LOVE
- I amsterdam
- Accidental “Kolo Mee” somewhere in the South of France…