This article is in continuation to the earlier one on – Understanding Basic Indian Spices 101
Who doesn’t love to play around with different variations of curries and yes when I say curry its an umbrella of things underneath it. Not all curries from the East/Asia is made using the same principle. This is a basic Indian curry base which keeps varying with the combinations across various Indian cuisines. (Let Op (Beware): Just because you love curry doesn’t mean you love Indian curry, a Thai or a Vietnamese curry will be very very different from each other, trust me on that!)
Recipe to make the curry base:
Making Basic Indian Curry Base
In the pan add 2 tbsp of oil of your choice (I cook mainly using Sunflower Oil).
Once the oil is warm enough, add cumin seeds and let them splutter for a few seconds.
This is the stage when you will be adding the chopped onions and sautéing them for a good 3-4 minutes will light golden brown (cook on a medium flame).
Meanwhile, using a pestle mortar or a grinder make a paste of the ginger and garlic. Add them when the onions have cooked. Sauté them in the same oil for another 5 minutes till they lose their raw odor.
Add the cubed tomatoes and mix everything well. Tomatoes should start sweating in less than 5 or 6 minutes. Once they are soft and mushy, use the back of your cooking spoon, ladle to further mash them. (Using Tomato Ketchup as a substitute to this step wouldn’t be the best idea but using Tomato puree will be a great idea)
Now add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder to this mixture. Remember to add spices always on a low to medium flame as adding them on a high flame can burn them and can give your curry a burnt taste.
Mix everything well and let them cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Finally add some salt to taste.
Add this stage you can change this curry to a potato curry but adding par-boiled potato cubes or to a chicken curry but adding small cubes of chicken breast or any curry of your choice and water to make it a wet gravy.
And once cooked, garnish the curry with a generous amount of fresh coriander leaves (Indians can swear by their love for coriander leaves, trust me!).
This basic curry paste can be stored in an air-tight container upto a week in the fridge and upto 3 months in the freezer.
And voila, Congratulations you are NOW an Indian Chef! Do try your own combination and let me know your experiences
You can see me make this curry paste just to know the process better.
(This is Part 2 of the article originally written for Cooking With Yen and follow this space for more on spices and things to do to understand them better)