building blocks required for creating great tasting curries:
Spices, chilli, herbs, seasoning, onions, ginger and garlic, oil etc
Spices are fundamental to all Curry Recipes and there is a huge range of spices which can be used but only a few of which form a basic curry powder. The most important spice for a curry is Cumin seeds, then Coriander seeds and these you will usually see as the most prominent two ingredients in nearly all shop bought Curry Powders. Additional spices in a Curry Powder usually will include Fenugreek, Ginger, Garlic, Turmeric, Cardamom and some others may be included for specific types of curry powder.
|Most sauces outside of Indian cooking are thickened with flour either wheat or cornflour. Indian cooking usually requires pureed vegetables, yogurt, cream, coconut milk or similar in order to either thicken the sauce or create the final flourish to differentiate the dish. Some popular choices are:|
Cream - Korma, Passanda
Pureed Onion - Curry
Pureed Tomato - Madras, Rogan, Jalfrazi
Coconut Milk - Ceylon, Korma
Pureed Chillies - Vindaloo, Phall
Spinach - Sag
Ground nuts such as almonds, pistachioes, peanuts
Combinations of the above
The Curry Method:
following steps are optional and depend on the curry being made or your preference.
- Step 1. Optional. Crackle some whole spice seeds in a hot pan for 1-2 minutes util they crackle.
- Step 2. Put some oil (more is better) into a frying pan on a medium heat, add finely chopped onions and cook until translucent or slightly brown. Each gives a different flavour and texture which you can try to see which you prefer.
- Step 3. Now add the main curry powder or paste and stir in. Then add grated ginger, crushed garlic and any fresh chopped chillies.
- Step 4. Now add the main ingredient. If this is meat you should try and brown it well on all sides to add lovely caramelised browning flavours. Add some stock or water to prevent burning if needed.
- Step 5. Add stock or water to cover the ingredients and simmer until main ingredient is cooked.
- Step 6. Add the sauce body to thicken and/or flavour as required and bring back to a simmer.
- Step 7. Stir in some garam massalla powder thoroughly. Optionally add 1 crushed clove garlic for extra strong garlic taste.
- Step 8. Taste and season.
- Step 9. Optional. Garnish the finished dish with coriander leaves or a dash of yogurt or twirl of cream or some ground or sliced nuts.
|Depending on the main ingredient, most curries are quite tolerant of longer cooking and will keep on a low simmer while other cooking catches up. Alternatively remove from the heat then reheat through just before serving.|
Pour the oil into a large saucepan bring up to a high heat. Add the whole seeds and cook until they sizzle and crackle then add the chopped onions and reduce the heat to low. You can optionally add 1 or 2 Whole Star Anise which help bring out the sweetness of the onions and imparts a subtle aniseed flavour but remove them once the onions are cooked. Cook the onions gently and slowly until they turn a golden brown colour.
Make a paste of the ginger puree, garlic puree, curry powder, Turmeric powder, Chilli powder, with a little water. Add to saucepan and stir in well and fry for a couple of minutes.
Now add your 800g Diced Chicken, breast or dark meat as you prefer stir in well.
Add the fresh chillies
Mix the Chopped Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, together in a jug with the water or stock and pour into the saucepan and mix in well. Turn up the heat until the sauce begins to simmer and leave to simmer for 15-20 Minutes. Stir occasionally.
Finally sprinkle in the Garam masala and stir in well for the final 2 minutes of cooking. Garnish with the Roughly chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve.
Turn the appliance on and grind the spices until it turns into a fine powder.
Store the powder in an airtight container or glass.
Jalfrezi paste2 cloves of garlic / a thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger / 1 teaspoon turmeric /½teaspoon sea salt / 2 tablespoons groundnut oil / 2 tablespoons tomato purée / 1 fresh green chilli / a small bunch of fresh coriander
Spices for toasting 2 teaspoons cumin seeds / 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds / 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds / 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
Rogan josh paste2 cloves of garlic / a thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger / 75g roasted peppers, from a jar / 1 tablespoon paprika / 1 teaspoon smoked paprika / 2 teaspoons garam masala / 1 teaspoon turmeric / ½ teaspoon sea salt / 2 tablespoons groundnut oil / 2 tablespoons tomato purée / 1 fresh red chilli / a small bunch of fresh coriander
Spices for toasting 2 teaspoons cumin seeds / 2 teaspoons coriander seeds / 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
First peel the garlic and ginger • Put a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the spices for toasting to the dry pan • Lightly toast them for a few minutes until golden brown and smelling delicious, then remove the pan from the heat • Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine, or put them into a food processor and whiz to a powder • Either way, when you’ve ground them whiz the toasted spices in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients until you have a smooth paste
-The most popular Indian dish is, of course, the tasty chicken curry ( and our top recipe most months ) – Chicken Tikka Masala
-Over 70,000 staff are employed by the more than 9,000 Indian Curry Restaurants in the UK and, in fact, in London there is a greater number of Indian Restaurants than there are in Bombay and Delhi combined!
-Balti means Bucket
-Indian food is without doubt the UK’s favourite cuisine. According to a recent survey, retail sales accounted for 42% of total sales of ethnic foods and was valued at £250 million.
-According to records, Britain’s first curry restaurant was opened in 1809. (the Hindustani Coffee House which is located in London’s Portman Square)
-Suprisingly enough, the actual word ‘curry’ isn’t often used in India – rather there are a variety of curry style dishes, which have their own regional characteristics
-Nottingham Trent University studies show that people begin to crave for a curry mainly due to the fact that the spices arouse and stimulate the taste buds.
-There are two indian restaurants to every one chinese restaurant.
-Two thirds of all meals out in the UK are Indian Food and this is worth 3.2 billion pounds a year!
Bipins Masala Baroda Murgh Tikka - Havenly
- 600g Chicken thighs off the bone
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 4 servings green leaf salad leaves
- 1 red onion. thinly sliced
- 1 zest of lemon
- 1 juice of lemon
- 1 Bipins surti masala or Bipins methi masala
- 1 tsp sunflower oil
- 1 coriander roughly chopped
Chicken Curry Pot
- CURRY PASTE
- 2tsp cumin seeds
- 2tsp corriander seeds
- 1tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
- 1tsp tumeric
- 1 large green chilli
- 2 onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3-4inches ginger root
- CHICKEN POT
- 1 pack chicken thighs / drums
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tin coconut milk
Keema (Indian Lamb Curry)
- 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
- 1 x 2.5cm cinnamon stick
- 4 Green Cardamom Pods
- 2 Black Cardamoms (large)
- 1 bay leaf
- 450g lean minced lamb
- ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 150ml coconut milk
- 1 can (230g) tomatoes
- 100g frozen peas
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 Green chilli, seeded and chopped
- coriander leaves for garnish
- Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion until light brown. Add the cinnamon stick, green and black cardamoms and the bay leaf. Continue frying for another minute.
- Add the minced lamb and sprinkle over the turmeric, chilli powder, coriander and cumin. Mix well and fry for 2-3 minutes to brown the meat. Add the coconut milk and tomatoes, curry powder and salt. Cover and gently simmer for about 10 minutes until the mince is nearly dry. Uncover, add the peas and continue cooking over a gentle heat for 10 more minutes.
- Serve garnished with coriander leaves and the chopped green chilli.
The staples of Indian cuisine are Bajra, rice, atta (whole wheat flour), and a variety of pulses, of which the most central to this cuisine are masoor (most often red lentils), channa (bengal gram), toor (pigeon pea or yellow gram), urad (black gram), and moong (green gram). Pulses may be used whole, dehusked – for example, dhuli moong or dhuli urad – or split. Split pulses, or dal, are used extensively. Some pulses, like channa and mung, are also processed into flour (besan).
Most Indian curries are cooked in vegetable oil. In northern and western India, peanut oil is popular, while in eastern India, mustard oil is more commonly used. Coconut oil is used widely along the western coast, especially in Kerala; gingelly (sesame) oil is common in the south as well. In recent decades, sunflower and soybean oil have become popular across India. Hydrogenated vegetable oil, known as Vanaspati ghee, is another popular cooking medium. Butter-based ghee, or desi ghee, is used very frequently, but still less used than before.
The most important or frequently used spices in Indian cuisine are chilli pepper, black mustard seed (sarso), cumin (jeera), turmeric (haldi), fenugreek (methi), asafoetida (hing), ginger (adrak), coriander (dhania), and garlic (lehsun). Popular spice mixes are garam masala, a powder that typically includes five or more dried spices, especially cardamom, cinnamon, and clove. Each region, and sometimes each individual chef, has a distinctive garam masala blend. Goda masala is a comparable, though sweet, spice mix that is popular in Maharashtra. Some leaves commonly used for flavoring include tejpat (Bay leaf), coriander leaf, fenugreek leaf, and mint leaf. The use of curry leaves and roots is typical of Gujarati and all South Indian cuisine. Sweet dishes are seasoned with cardamom, saffron, nutmeg, and rose petal essences.
INDIAN CUISINE FACTS:
Ø Traditional Indian food has only ONE main course. Instead of a number of courses, food is based around a single main dish (rice or bread) served with a collection of savory side dishes. Ø The Paneer, or cottage cheese, is a famous Indian delicacy. Cooked with gravy, fried, or added as a garnish over pilafs, paneer is the heartthrob of many yummy North Indian dishes.Ø Traditionally, rice is cooked in water and the excess water with the excess starch is drained away. This is a healthy way of cooking rice. However, when it comes to the aromatic and delicious Basmati, the quantity of rice is balanced with the water used for cooking so that there is no water left to strain away once the rice is cooked. This preserves the rich flavor and taste of Basmati.Ø Indians use a variety of milk products in their diet. Fresh, creamy yoghurt is added to vegetable curries. It is also used to make the ‘Lassi’, which is nothing more than a milk, er, yoghurt shake! Ø All Indian cooking is carried out in a variety of vegetable oils like sunflower oil, mustard oil, groundnut oil and coconut oil. Animal fat is never used in cooking. Ø Almost all recipes from India are rich in nutrients. Ranging from the heavily spiced curries to the rich desserts and ‘halwas’, these recipes make use of local vegetables and fruits.Ø Indians use gur or jaggery instead of sugar. Known as ‘medicinal sugar’, this contains minerals, vitamins and iron. Thus, it is one of the most wholesome and healthy forms of sugar known to man. Ø Ever wonder why the Indian curry is so spicy? Well, it’s stuffed with a lot of stuff like turmeric, chilly, garlic, ginger and mint which is good for you.Ø The flatbreads from India (chapattis and Naans) can be made without oil or yeast. When they are made from whole grains, these items are rich in vitamins and fibers.