For the ones that are interested in the details about oily seperation in curries; I will quote some text from the book that I just got (from David Thomson). I just had to order the book! He explains in a technical way why and how to fry curries in coconut oil/cream:
"For coconut based curries the paste is fried in coconutcream which first needs to be simmered slowly until it separates and is quite oily. This is important as the paste needs to be fried, not boiled - it makes a marked difference to the final taste. The proces is quite similar to clarifying butter, with the oil separating from the solids: the oil fries the paste, and the creamy solids give the curry substance.
Coconutcream can be separated in two ways. The first is to simmer the cream over a low heat, stirring reglarly, untill it is thick and beginning to separate or "crack". For the second method, several cups of combined cream and milk are brought to the boil and as the cream rises it is skimmed off and simmered in a smaller, separate pan until it has cracked
Either way the paste is added to the oily, seperated cream, worked in and then cooked. Sometimes, if large pieces of meat need to be poached, they are simmered in a coconut cream and milk mixture; the cream that rises is skimmed and used to cook the curry paste andthe remaining liquid is used to moisten the curry, if required after seasoning.
The problem with canned coconut cream is that it has been homogenised, and starch has been added to homogenise, and starch has been added to stabilise i, during its manufacture -making it almost imposible to separate. If using canned , add a little oil when frying the past: this will replicate separated coconut cream..........
...... Another sign that the paste is sufficiently cooked is its appearance. When the paste is worked into the hot oil or fat, it absorbs it, As the water in the paste begins to evaporate, the oil begins to separate from the paste once again, The paste then fries and, as more water evaportates, it becomes oilier. Each style of curry has a required amount of separation, Only a little oil is used cooking a jungle curry and none of it should be apparent in the finished product, whereas red and green curries use more and heave a sheen. The dry red curry styles, like put prik king and panaeng, contain quite a lot of oil, about 5 per cent of the total liquid. A masssaman curry has the most separation, as much as 10 percent. The oil helps to line the mouth and stomach and this prevents the chillies from burning - at least to some degree. It also ensures that the accompanying rice is not too "dry". When the finished curry is kept for some time , the oil rises to the top and froms an anaerobic barier that helps it last linger - a necessary thing in tropical heat in the days befor refridgeration".
I sure hope someone will appreciate this quote, as it took me about 15 minutes to type all this! :):):). Any questions? He does say more in about it in the book which I have laying around here. So feel free to ask. I might be able to look it up for you.
I do have another question about cooking curries btw. But it is a different subject so I will open a new thread for that...
Edited by Dr Cook - 10/24/15 at 12:36pm