Curries and all things Curryish...

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Curries and all things Curryish...

Postby lucy » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:04 pm

I love curry and love making curry. Actually blending spices and getting lots of great flavours out of them is one of my favourite things to do. A thread by Janey prompted me to start this one and post some of my favourite recipes.

Curry though, is not an easy thing to make if you are not using pastes, pre mixed powders etc and I made a lot of mistakes when I was first learning, even though I had a lot of Indian friends who taught me heaps. There are a few basic rules to follow to get the best flavours out of your curries.

1. Always use fresh whole spices. I only ever buy small packs of spices and blend and grind them myself using one of those cheap electric 'coffee' grinders with the wizzy blade.
2. Do not over roast or cook your spices. They are delicate and if over roasted or fried in oil they can go bitter.
3. Use Ghee or Ricebran oil (although I do use olive oil from time to time when I have run out of the others.)
4. Do not add the next ingredients until the oil has separated from the curry mix (or floated to the top)

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Re: Curries and all things Curryish...

Postby lucy » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:22 pm

OGs favourite Chicken Curry

This is one by Charmaine Soloman (The complete Asian Cookbook) and I have been making it about 30 years since I was given one of her cookbooks.

1.5kg chicken thigh cutlets with skin on
2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
10 curry leaves
2 large onions, finely chopped (I chuck them in a blender, less tears :smile: )
4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground fennel
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
6 cardamom pods, bruised
1 stick cinnamon
1 stalk lemon grass
1 pandan leaf*
1 cup thick coconut milk

Heat ghee and fry fenugreek and curry leaves about 20 seconds.

Add onions, garlic and ginger and fry gently until onions are quite soft and transparent.
Add turmeric, chilli, coriander, cumin, fennel, paprika, salt and vinegar and stir well.
Add tomatoes, whole spices and lemon grass.
Add chicken and stir over medium heat until chicken is thoroughly coated with spices. Cook, covered, over low heat for 40 to 50 minutes.
Add coconut milk, taste and add more salt and a squeeze of lemon juice if desired.
Do not cover after adding coconut milk.
Serve with rice

Do not add water as the natural juices from the chicken come out and form a beautiful gravy.
*If you cannot get a fresh (or even frozen) pandan leaf, leave it out.
Last edited by lucy on Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Curries and all things Curryish...

Postby shaza » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:12 am

oooh - love curries

Going to have to give it a go

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Re: Curries and all things Curryish...

Postby lucy » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:27 pm

This is actually my personal recipe that I came up with a few years ago. It is not a fast recipe as the gravy requires a lot of time to develop flavour. It tastes awesome though and even better the next day. This is a large recipe as I have found it best to make up a large batch and freeze in small containers for later or as I do, place individual serves into zip lock bags (IKEA are best) and freeze. I have also doubled the gravy recipe and cooked it up until adding the coconut milk then divided it into 2 or 4 batches and frozen it. All I have done from then is remove it from the freezer, reheated, added the required coconut milk and the koftas and continued to cook. NB if doubling the gravy recipe for freezing only use 1 cup of water

Chicken Kofta Curry
Kofta are basically small balls that are cooked in a curry gravy (sauce). Most commonly they are made of chicken or lamb, and there are also vege ones around too. I find the best thing to use are chicken thigh fillets with the skin off. I mince them myself with a hand mincer or you can ask your butcher to do it.

1kg skinless thigh meat, minced
1 egg yolk*
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs**
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ras el Hanout ***

MIx all ingredients except the lemon juice together mixing and 'kneading' them for a few minutes. I am unsure how, but doing this tenderises the meat.

Put aside in the fridge. (If you add the lemon juice too soon it will 'cook' the proteins in the chicken and they will not hold together and become tough).

about 1/2 cup ghee or neutral oil like rice bran or canola or a blend of the two
2 large onions finely chopped (I pulse in the food processor)
4 garlic cloves crushed or minced finely on a microplane
3 tb grated fresh ginger (use a microplane)
1 tablespoon Coriander (cilantro) seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
10 green cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons ras el hanout
1 tin crushed tomatoes or 500g fresh very ripe tomatoes blended until smooth and pushed through a sieve or mouli to extract the seeds.
1 cup water (if doubling the gravy recipe for freezing only use 1 cup of water)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
The roots and stems of a small to medium bunch of coriander (cilantro) finely chopped (save leaves for later)
250 ml coconut milk

Heat oil/ghee in a large heavy based pan over a low to medium heat. Add Onions and sweat down until very soft and caramelised. This takes a long time but is worth it.

Add ginger, garlic and coriander/cilantro stalks and cook for a few minutes being careful not to burn the garlic. There should be enough moisture in the coriander stems to prevent this. When you see the oil starting to separate from the mixture move on to the next step.

Place all of the whole spices into a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Mix with the powdered spices. Add to the onion mix and stir through, do not allow to burn or they will become acrid and bitter. Again, watch for the oil to separate out from the gravy.

Add the tinned or fresh tomatoes, sugar and salt and bring to a very low simmer. Simmer 40-50 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent the gravy from catching on the bottom. Look to see if the oil is starting to raise to the top, although I have found that sometimes it doesn't.

Add the coconut milk and keep simmering, do not allow it to boil as it will separate and go yucky. This is when you can start making your kofta.

Add the lemon juice to the chicken mixture and mix in well. Leave to stand about 5 minutes.

Put on a pair of kitchen (those food prep ones) gloves and rub them with a little oil. This prevents the meat from sticking to your hands. Roll the mixture in walnut sized balls and drop into the gravy one by one. As they start to fill the pan, shake it a little to evenly distribute through the pan. This also prevents them from sticking together or falling apart.

Once all kofta are in the dish cover and bring to a simmer. Remove the lid and cook 15-20 minutes.

Roughly chop the coriander/cilantro leaves and stir 2/3 into the gravy. Cook for a further 5 minutes.

Serve on rice with reserved coriander leaves sprinkled on top and condiments like pickled lime, mango chutney, and mint or assorted raita (I will put recipes on this forum)

*Do not use the egg white as it will make the koftas to firm to eat.
** I make my own with fresh sourdough bread, including crusts that I wizz in the food processor and leave to dry on a tray and store in a container.
Last edited by lucy on Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:10 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Curries and all things Curryish... Raitas

Postby lucy » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:03 pm

Raita is a yoghurt based sauce that can be used as a dip and accompaniment to curries and other Indian/Pakistani/Sri Lankan foods. They are quick and easy to make and basically you can add what you like depending on taste. These are my recipes, based on what we like.

The method for all of these is the same. Just mix them all together, adjust to taste and put aside in the fridge for about 15 minutes to develop flavours.

Mint Raita
a good handful of fresh mint leaves, very finely chopped
1/2 cup thick greekstyle natural yoghurt
squeeze of lemon juice 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar
pinch salt

Tomato and cucumber Raita
1 medium size tomato deseeded and cut into 5mm (1/4 inch) dice
5 cm piece of lebanese cucumber peeled & deseeded, cut into 5mm (1/4 inch) dice
1/2 teaspoon of roasted ground cumin seeds*
pinch chili powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup thick greekstyle natural yoghurt
squeeze lemon juice

* To roast cumin seeds place a dry frypan over the heat and add the cumin seeds. Swirl around until they start to brown slightly, about 20-30 seconds. Remove from heat and tip onto a cold plate. Place in a spice grinder and grind to a powder. I usually do a few tablespoons of this at a time and store it in a glass jar.

Coriander Raita
a small handful coriander leaves finely chopped
1/4 ts garam masala
1/4 ts roasted cumin seeds
pinch (to taste) chill powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup thick greekstyle natural yoghurt

Pineapple Raita
1/4 cup pineapple (fresh is best) cut into 1cm (1/2inch) dice
1 cup thick greekstyle natural yoghurt
1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
1/4 tsp finely chopped green chili 1 tsp sugar
1/2 coriander leaves (finely chopped)
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch salt

Banana Raita
1 banana sliced into rounds
1 cup thick greekstyle natural yoghurt
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch salt

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Re: Curries and all things Curryish...

Postby The Ghost of Case » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:23 am

I am DROOLING just reading this thread....

I will have to try some of these. I love making a nice curry.
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Re: Curries and all things Curryish...

Postby Ireneb » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:04 am

Here is my favourite curry recipe, adapted from a Waitrose leaflet. Dead quick, easy, healthy and delicious. Apologies for not converting metric to imperial, but Google will do that for you.

Keralan Fish Curry - Serves 4

700g Haddock skinned and cubed (any white fish is good, you can buy it frozen and chop it up yourself)
2 tsp ground turmeric
Vegetable oil spray (I use a spoonful of peanut oil myself)
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp cumin or black mustard seeds (or ½ tsp of each)
400ml can Half Fat Coconut Milk (or whole fat even better)
1 tbsp Tamarind Paste
5cm piece fresh ginger, shredded
225g trimmed mangetout, halved lengthways (or blanched thin green beans, carrot match sticks, whatever)
2 salad onions, thinly sliced
2 red chillies, seeded and thinly sliced

1. Sprinkle the fish with the turmeric and set aside.

2. Put oil in large frying pan. Cook the onions with the seeds for 5–10 minutes until golden. Add the coconut milk, tamarind paste and shredded ginger and bring to a simmer.

3. Add the fish and mangetout to the pan, cover and simmer gently for 3–4 minutes until the fish is cooked. Scatter with sliced salad onions and chillies and serve with basmati rice.

You can perk this up with a little ground chilli. It is a simple, foolproof recipe that works every time for me.
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Re: Curries and all things Curryish...

Postby Mao Mao » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:07 am

All these curries sound delicious. I'm afraid my efforts are limited to opening a jar of ready-prepared curry paste and adding whatever is available in the cupboard, fridge or freezer!
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Re: Curries and all things Curryish...

Postby wolfsdawn2 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:11 am


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