We all love curry – it has become the nations favourite food. We can save money by making curries at home following these simple instructions. Unlike other recepies we will not specify exact quantities we are going to discuss the style of cooking and allow plenty of room for experimentation.
Fresh Chillies – according to taste (The seeds are the hot part so for mild take out the seeds)
Tamarind paste – Can be made as an tea like infusion from dried Tamarind but discard the pulp first. (Optional and some people use lemon Juice instead.)
Coconut milk (Optional but makes a nice creamy curry, you can also use cream, yoghurt or similar.)
Meat or meat substitute.
Cooking oil – Walnut oil is the best but any will suffice (BE GENEROUS WITH THE OIL)
Tomatoes (lots of them and the fresher the better a tin can be used)
Onions (about half the weight of the tomatoes finely chopped)
Ginger (Stick of ginger about 1 inch long peeled and crushed with the end of a knife)
Garam Masala – the main mix of spices roughly 1 tablespoon to every 4 tomatoes.
Cardamom pods – Allow about 3-6 per person these add to the flavour and should be split open to release the flavour.
Chilli powder – according to taste
Pinch of salt (to Taste)
1 inch of cinnamon stick crushed into splinters.
Optional ingredients for variation in future curries.
Tumeric – for colour
Red food coloring
Experiment with other spices
Heat the oil and add the spices making a paste if the spices are still dry you need to add more oil. TOAST the spices in the oil – keep them moving all the time and as the colour changes to a dark brown you know you have unlocked the flavours. This step is the most vital of all for flavour.
Add the onions and stir well until the onions turn brown.
While this is happening :- Grill the Tomatoes and caramalise the tops.
Add the meat and stir into the spices, make sure the meat is browned on the outside.
Add the Tomatoes and break them open in the pan at this point also add other veg leaving mushrooms till last as they don’t require much cooking. Simmer for 20-30 minutes in a covered pan stirring every 5-10 minutes.)
If the curry is too hot then you can add cream or coconut milk and this will reduce the chilli’s effect.
Serve with rice. Although boil in the bag rice will come with instructions to stand in boiling water for 20 minutes you will get burnt feet so just put the bag of rice in boiling water! Serve up and impress your friends.
Experiment with different quantities for different flavours of curry. Balti tends to use coarsely chopped ingredients so every mouthful tastes different but still follows the ingredients above.