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Go_slows blog for recipes and general cooking stuff

The Basic Curry Sauce - theres more

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
Chilli mix

Most Indians will make up what is best described in english as a base chilli paste known as a sambal. This is basically chillies, ginger and garlic with a little oil and vinegar. Place the ginger in a food processor and process till it is smooth. Add the chillies and whole garlic and process so that the chillies and garlic are about very small pieces i.e. the size of the chilli seeds. Slow the processor so it is just stirring the mix, and dribble in a little oil and white wine vinegar. This mixture can be stored for quite a long time so most people make up a large batch (1 or 2 jam jars full is what I do) in one go so it is ready to use. The quantities are not a fine science; I add only a little ginger, more garlic and loads of chillis.

Bombay Alloo

One dish I am always asked to cook is Bombay alloo, and I do enjoy them as an accompaniment to meat dish.

1. Par boil some chopped new potato’s, I tend to scrub the potato’s rather then peel but that’s up to you, adding 1 tsp of ground tumeric to the water. Once par boiled drain and run them under cold water. Allow them to cool, I tend to do the potato’s well in advance and put them into the fridge.
2. Make the curry sauce as detailed above but use 1 tin (or the equivalent) of tomato pasata instead of chopped tomato’s and add chilli mix whilst cooking or 6 finely chopped green chillis. Puree the mixture and allow it to reduce.
3. Add the potato’s, mix in to make sure they are coated and simmer for 15 mins or until the potato’s are cooked with the lid on the pan.

You can do the same with cauliflower, broccoli or even brussel sprouts!


Tandoori Dishes

For tandoori dishes I use the tandoori masala supplied by TRS or Rajah as follows;

Mix 2 heaped teaspoons of the tandoori marsala, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper and 450g of yogurt in a bowl.
Cut 1Kg of chicken breast into large cubes and mix into the tandoori mix making sure all the chicken is coated.
Cover the bowl and place into a fridge for a couple of hours (I tend to leave it for 24 hours i.e. make it tonight to cook tomorrow night).

1. Preheat an oven to 200 degrees (needs to be hot) and place the chicken on a grill tray (I place tin foil underneath since as the yogurt evaporates/drips the residue sticks making the pan harder to clean, with foil you can just throw it away). If you don’t have a grill tray then a normal baking dish is fine, again line with tin foil but you will need to turn the chicken more often to prevent it sticking.
2. Cover with excess yogurt and place in the oven.
3. Turn chicken after 10 minutes, should be cooked within 20 minutes, the yogurt will dry up, check to make sure, depending on the size of the chicken it may take a little longer.

Recipes using the Basic sauce

The following dishes are written to give you an idea of what can be made, they are not definitive in so much as you need to adhere the ingredients 100% i.e. make them hotter or milder as want. They are also written using chicken breast but will work with chicken on the bone or other meats, simply experiment to get them to the taste you like.

Chicken Korma

A very mild yet creamy dish, ideal for those who do not like hot curry

• 2 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into bite sized pieces
• 1 inch piece cassia bark
• quarter teaspoon hot chilli powder
• 2 cardamon pods
• 300ml basic sauce
• half teaspoon concentrated tomato purée
• salt to taste
• 4 tablespoons double cream
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped creamed coconut

1. Heat a little oil in a large heavy frying pan then fry the chicken pieces over moderate heat until they are sealed and have turned white. Remove them from the pan and set aside
2. Heat a little oil in a heavy pan over a moderate heat then put in the cassia and cardamon and stir for a few minutes
3. Turn the heat to low then add the Curry sauce, chilli powder, tomato purée and salt. You can add a little more tomato purée if the colour isn't rich enough but no more than another half teaspoon.
4. Add the chicken pieces and simmer on a low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add hot water if the sauce gets too dry.
5. Finally, add the cream and creamed coconut and heat through until the creamed coconut has melted. By the end of the cooking the sauce should be silky and not too thick.

Chicken dhansak

Chicken dansak is a medium hot dish with lentils.

• 50g split red lentils, picked over for little stones and washed in a sieve
• 2 large chicken breasts, skinned and cut into bite sized pieces
• 4 cloves
• the seeds of 2 whole green cardamon pods - just cut the pods open with a knife and take out the seeds
• ½ teaspoon of chilli mix, or for a hot curry 1 teaspoon of the chilli mix or 3-5 green chilli
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seed
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
• 1/2 teaspoon hot chilli powder
• 250ml Basic sauce
• salt to taste

1. Put the lentils into a pan with about 250ml of cold water, bring to the boil and boil vigorously for 10 minutes. During this time skim off any scum that comes to the top. Then reduce the heat and cook with the water bubbling for a further 20 minutes. There should still be a little water left at the end so add a little more boiling water if the pan runs dry. Cover and set aside.
2. Grind the cloves and cardamon seeds as finely as you can in a pestle and mortar.
3. Heat a little oil in a large heavy frying pan then fry the chicken pieces over moderate heat until they are sealed and have turned white. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
4. Heat oil in a pan and add the chilli mix or whole chillies (if using) and fry until they start to swell.
5. Turn the heat to low, add 1 tablespoon of the Curry sauce and stir round. Then add the ground cloves and cardamon seeds, cumin, turmeric, coriander, chilli powder and paprika and fry gently, stirring all the time, for a minute. Take care not to burn the spices or the curry will lack flavour and taste bitter.
6. Add the rest of the Curry sauce, the chicken pieces, the lentils and their remaining cooking liquid and some salt and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is done. Add a little hot water if the sauce starts to catch on the bottom of the pan but the idea is to finish up with a thick lentily sauce.
7. Simmer gently for the last 10 minutes stirring frequently as the sauce should now be nice and thick.


Chicken Madras

• 2 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into bite sized pieces
• 1 heaped teaspoon of the chilli mix or 6 whole small dried chillies
• half teaspoon hot chilli powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 300ml basic sauce
• salt to taste
• half teaspoon garam masala

1. Heat a little oil in a large heavy frying pan then fry the chicken pieces over moderate heat until they are sealed and have turned white. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
2. Heat some oil in a heavy saucepan over a moderate heat and add the whole dried chillies and fry until they start to swell.
3. Turn the heat to low, add 1 tablespoon of the Curry sauce and stir round. Then add the chilli powder, cumin, coriander and paprika and fry gently, stirring all the time, for a minute. Take care not to burn the spices or the curry will lack flavour and taste bitter.
4. Add the rest of the Curry sauce, the chicken pieces and salt and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is done. Stir from time to time and add a little hot water if the sauce starts to catch on the bottom of the pan.
5. 10 minutes from the end add the garam masala.
6. Simmer gently for the last 10 minutes stirring frequently as the sauce should now be nice and thick.

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Categories
Curry Recipes

Comments

  1. Veggie Dave's Avatar
    Can you please tell me the basic ratios between the ginger, garlic and chilli in the chilli mix?

    Bloody marvellous recipes, too!

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