Curried seal curries favour at Indian Express food truck
A tasty take on an Indian recipe gets a warm reception
Jerry Joy is best known for his butter chicken, doled out from his Indian Express food truck in St. John's.
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."
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.
"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.
"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.