There is no debate in Denmark about the basic recipe for curry sauce. It is flour and curry powder melted in butter and gently simmered into a thick or thin sauce with a liquid medium that will be milk for general preparations or the cooking liquid of the meatballs with this dish, a family favourite, made with commercial curry powder that is mild and mellow, with just a hint of spice.
For many years meatballs in curry sauce was a tame affair. The meatballs were made with a combination of pork and veal, loosened with egg and a large quanitity of milk offset by white wheat flour, and flavoured with onions or shallots and black pepper and salt. The ingredients for the sauce remained constant.
Gradually this began to change. Intrepid home cooks and innovative restaurant chefs began to experiment. The onions or shallots were puréed in a small amount of milk and the flour was omitted. This method produced harder meatballs that had a stronger meat taste. Suddenly the meatballs that were accompanied with curry sauce fell into two categories.
- Soft meatballs with a mellow meat taste served with a mild milky curry sauce.
- Hard meatballs with a strong meat taste served with a strong aromatic curry sauce.
Inevitably the two versions began to merge. Apple flavour in the shape of cooking apples and apple vinegar became essential ingredients. Milk was replaced with chicken, meat or vegetable stock. Garlic added an aromatic flavour. Cream was used to balance the flavours in the strong version. The sauce began to include onions and then shallots were preferred and gradually the quantity was increased. The curry power was made fresh or commercial preparations from the Indian sub-continent were preferred over the Danish packets.
This is our interpretation of the traditional dish, with a home made curry sauce.
- 10 g turmeric powder
- 5 g allspice, ground
- 5 g cumin seeds, ground
- 5 g fenugreek seeds, ground
- 5 g garlic powder
- 5 g icing sugar
- 5 g mango powder
- 5 g paprika, ground
- Cinnamon, ground, large pinch
- Ginger, ground, large pinch
Grind the seeds in a blender, add the ground spices, blend for a few seconds, until there is an even colour.
- 500 g pork mince or 250 g pork plus 250 g beef or veal
- 75 g onion, puréed in 60 ml milk
- 1 egg
- 30 g white wheat flour
- Salt, large pinch
- White pepper, large pinch
- 600 ml cooking water from meatballs
- 75 g onion, finely chopped
- 30 g butter
- 30 g curry powder
- 15 g white wheat flour
- Salt, pinch
- White pepper, large pinch
Combine the minced meat, puréed onion, egg, flour and seasonings. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Form meatball mixture into walnut-sized balls. Place in hot water a few at a time and cook for 10 minutes until they are firm.
Sweat onion in butter for about 15 minutes. Add curry powder and flour. Add meatball cooking water, whisk into a smooth emulsion, reduce into a thick or thin sauce.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper and carefully add the meatballs. Leave to allow the meatballs to absorb some of the sauce.
Serve with rice and a green vegetable.