Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Fit Two, Page 15, Panel 2 … Weep on! and as thy sorrows flow, I’ll taste the luxury of Snark
"Let us take them in order. The first is the taste,
Which is meager and hollow, but crisp:
Like a coat that is rather too tight in the waist,
With a flavour of Will-o-the-wisp.
The question of the Snark’s flavor has exercised the minds and palates of the cognoscenti since April 29th, 1876. However, I am possessed of an indolent nature and prone to fits of take-out, such questions matter not a whit to me. The uncooked flesh of the Snark was sufficient for our more distant ancestors but today’s effete gastronomes* must have their Snark curried, tandoori grilled or even minced into seekh kebabs — but never boiled à la anglaise (the hollowness vanishes leaving behind a residue redolent of a fleet of bathing machines saturated in warm, flat beer). In the spirit of this week’s 132nd anniversary of the publication of the Hunting of the Snark, a recipe for cooking Snark follows. Please try it, you won’t be disappointed!
Genuine Assamese Snark Curry
Mix the following together:
• 1 kilo of Snark meat, cubed (if no Snark is to be had, use beef, goat or lamb, preferably with bones)
• 6 medium onions, minced
• small head of garlic, minced
• an inch of fresh ginger, grated
• tablespoon of turmeric
• one cinnamon stick
• one cup of oil
• tablespoon of salt
• a sufficient amount of genuinely hot green chilis, slit
• if you wish to "Indianize" this curry, also add a tablespoon of ground cumin, a tablespoon of ground coriander and a tablespoon of garam masala. This might be preferable for those who are accustomed to the somewhat ubiquitious flavors of Northern Indian cuisine and enjoy a certain familiarity in their curry. However, the authentic Assamese version has a delicious simplicity which is worth trying!
Mix and let sit overnight. Cook on low heat, with the lid on and stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. Add one cup of water, bring to boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. The curry should finish up with a thick gravy, not at all runny. Cook for about 90 minutes or until meat is tender. Taste for salt, etc. The curry can be garnished with ghee and/or tamarind water. If beef, lamb or goat meat was used, serve with rice, vegetables and dahl.
However, if you used Snark, serve with greens, using forks and hope. Wash it all down with copious amounts of Golden Eagle beer and the stimulating gyrations of two dissipated nautch girls named Anna and Paisa. What ho, memsahibs!
* For an excellent discussion of effete gourmands and effete European Surrealists and the virile Protosurrealists who made it all possible, I must refer you to this week’s excellent posting on Stochastic Bookmark. Read carefully whilst chewing your Snark 42 times …
NB. Special thanks to Farah for the genuine Assamese recipe and much, much more …