Monday, May 5, 2014

Savoy Truffle? Snark Trouble.

This on-going analysis of my GN version of The Hunting of the Snark is still wending its way through the alimentary canal of Fit the Second … I'm feeling a bit peckish, aren't you?

The question of the Snark’s flavour 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 ancestors but today’s 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 this carnivorous spirit, a recipe for cooking Snark follows. Please try it, you won’t be disappointed!

Genuine Assamese Snark Curry

Mix the following together in a large bowl:
• 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
• you can 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 Northern Indian cuisine. The authentic Assamese version has a delicious simplicity which is worth trying … although the North Indian style will probably be more popular with North American diners. 

Mix, cover and let sit overnight. Transfer to a sufficiently large pot and 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 dal.

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!


  1. I take responsibility for a clumsy attempt at translating this recipe in French.
    Would you be kind enough for giving a look at my hodgepodge - and, perhaps, providing some tasty piece of advice?

    Mêlez ces ingrédients dans un grand bol:
    un kilo de Snark détaillé en cubes (à défaut de Snark, on peut prendre du bœuf, du chevreau ou de l’agneau, de préférence sur l’os);

    6 oignons moyens, émincés;
    une tête d’ail moyenne, émincée;
    un doigt de gingembre frais, râpé;
    une cuillerée à soupe de curcuma;
    un bâtonnet de cannelle;
    une tasse d’huile;
    une cuillerée à soupe de sel;
    piments verts à volonté, émincés.
    On peut aussi ajouter une cuillerée à soupe de cumin (moulu), une cuillerée à soupe de coriandre, une cuillerée à soupe de garam massala afin de complaire aux palais habitués aux saveurs de la cuisine indienne du Nord - le style de l’Inde du Nord a la faveur les gourmets nord-américains. Mais la version authentiquement assamite, dans sa délicieuse simplicité, vaut bien le détour.

    Les ingrédients bien mélangés, couvrez et laissez reposer pour la nuit.
    Transvasez dans une cocotte couverte et démarrez à feu doux, en tournant de temps à autre, pendant 30 minutes. Mouillez d’une tasse d’eau, portez à ébullition, baissez le feu et laissez frémir jusqu’à réduire le curry à une consistance épaisse, pas trop liquide; comptez pour cela 90 minutes. Vous pouvez aussi arrêter dès que la viande vous paraît bien tendre. Rectifiez l’assaisonnement en sel, etc.

    Le plat peut être accompagné de ghee ou d’eau de tamarin.
    Si la viande est du bœuf, servez avec riz, légumes et dal.
    En revanche, si c’est du vrai Snark!… accompagnez de légumes verts servis avec espoir et fourchettes.
    Pour faciliter la digestion, l’absorbtion de copieuses rasades de Golden Eagle et l’observation attentive des évolutions giratoires de deux nautch girls nommées Anna et Paisa sont vivement recommandées. What ho, memsahibs!

    In advance, I apologize for any impropriety!

  2. C'est exact! Bonne idée, cette recette en français, mais, je dois le corrigée … "une cuillerée à soupe de coriandre moulu, (pas les feuilles)" … de coriandre frais fait un bon garniture après.

    Apologies for bad French, typing fast! Let me know if you like the recette … and also today is another one, with fish.

    J'ai faim!

    1. Thanks so much for correcting! I also noticed belatedly another mine mistake, I profusely apologize for: as fond as I am of garlic (I'm a pure product of the Mediterranean shores), it should have been obvious to me that it's une PETITE tête d'ail, not une tête d'ail MOYENNE that's needed: my eyes were probably wandering on the wrong line from your recipe as I typed this silliness.
      Perhaps a precision is needed to your European readers: how are the ghee or tamarind water to be served? In a side dish, a saucière, or otherwise?

  3. No, we are both correct … use as much garlic as you like. More is better than less, and the same with onions.
    Onions are the secret to a good curry. The ghee or tamarind water are poured into the curry at the end and made warm … I do not recommend them. Ghee is very heavy and tamarind is very bad for the stomach. To prepare tamarind water, here it is on you tubes: … tamarind is very sour …
    The Assamese recipe, plus the coriander/cumin/masala is the way that most people will like it, I think.
    This is the easiest and fastest way I know to make a decent curry … it is not pukka but it is good for a busy cook who must feed a family and also work and clean and do the shopping and etc.