Nfld. & Labrador

Curried seal curries favour at Indian Express food truck

Jerry Joy can curry just about anything, so a tasty take on an Indian recipe makes sense.

A tasty take on an Indian recipe gets a warm reception

Seal is on the simmer as Jerry Joy blends a tasty curry. (Todd O'Brien/CBC)

Jerry Joy is best known for his butter chicken, doled out from his Indian Express food truck in St. John's.

A vinegar and turmeric bath takes out most of the gaminess and the seal is ready to cook. (Todd O'Brien/CBC)

But Joy likes to experiment.

When he heard about seal flippers for sale at Coleman's, he bought 20.

We make curry out of everything so I thought seal is an interesting meat to work with.- Jerry Joy

"We make curry out of everything so I thought seal is an interesting meat to work with because it has its own flavour. It's unique to Newfoundland so I thought, try it."

A mixture of spices and seal leads to a delicious curry. (Todd O'Brien/CBC)

Joy trimmed meat from the flippers and soaked it overnight in a vinegar and turmeric bath to take the gaminess out of it.

A curry tailored to suit seal

The key was making a curry to suit the meat.

To do that, Joy mixed myriad ingredients into a stainless steel pot, starting with cumin and ending with seal.

Seal curry is on the menu and there are plenty of takers. (Todd O'Brien/CBC)

"Some turmeric, a little bit of chili powder for heat, coriander powder. We roast it here, we grind it here. Want to smell it?" he asked.

Joy is an engineer by training and has been working as a real estate agent.

Food though, is his passion.

"Growing up in India, mostly the boys are not allowed in the kitchen. I always loved food, and I think my love for food drew me to cooking."

While curried bear is his favourite so far, he's curious as to how people will react to curried seal.

Marilyn Freake enjoys a feed of curried seal fresh from the Indian Express food truck. (Todd O'Brien/CBC)

"I don't know. I want to try with a small amount first. If it's a hit, definitely more is going to come."

After the seal is added to the pot, it simmers for two hours.

Customers are pleased

A few hours after making the curry, Joy served customers from his truck in a parking lot next to busy Torbay Road.

People heard seal was on the menu and a handful were waiting as the side window slid open.

"Oh look, that's delicious," said Mike Duke as he dug into his meal.

"Hmmmmm, awesome. You wouldn't expect seal to go with (curry). It's actually really, really nice."

Sitting in the driver's seat of her car, Marilyn Freake had a taste.

"Wow, it's delicious. It tastes like authentic Indian curry. Very tasty. I love seal. It's something different than what we're used to, baking seal flippers in the oven with some pastry."

Joy was pleased with the reaction he's getting. He plans to open a restaurant in Portugal Cove this summer.

Curried seal will likely be on the menu.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.