Saturday, 7 April 2012

Classic Curry Recipes - Create the Perfect Curry - Food - Recipes

In English, at least, they term 'curry' typically refers to a range of spicy dishes originating in South Asia and Southeast Asia and often refers to a dish that is cooked in a sauce. In northern India and Pakistan the term 'curry' typically mans a gravy and often this gravy is flavoured with curry powder which, more accurately is a 'masala'.

Thus a real curry is a combination of the main ingredients in a gravy that's spiced with a spice blend, the masala. Though you can buy commercial masalas (curry powders) the maximum flavour will always be obtained if you roast and blend your own spices. Below is a recipe for a classic marsala and a curry made using it.

Madras Masala

Ingredients:1 tsp black mustard seeds10 curry leaves2 tbsp coriander seeds2 tsp cumin seeds1 tsp turmeric2 tsp dried chillies3cm length ginger, grated

Method:Add a little oil to a large pan or wok and fry the mustard seeds until they begin to splutter and crack then stir-in the curry leaves, ginger and the chillies. Fry for about 2 minutes then tip into a spice blender.

Dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds until they become aromatic then combine with the spices already in the blender. Blend the spices to a fine powder then add all the remaining spices. Use this masala in the recipe below.

Lamb Madras

Ingredients:1kg good quality leg of lamb, cut into 3cm cubes3 tbsp cooking oilMadras masala (from recipe above)1 onion, finely chopped2 garlic cloves, grated1 tsp salt (or to taste)3 tbsp white wine vinegar2 tbsp tomato pure250ml beef or strong vegetable stockgenerous handful of chopped coriander (to garnish)

Method:Pace the meat in a bowl, meanwhile mix the madras masala and the vinegar to form a paste. Add this to the meat and rub in with your hands. Cover and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the oil to a large pan or wok and add the onions and garlic. Fry until the onions are a dark golden brown (about 10 minutes) then add the meat and its spiced marinade. Continue frying until the meat has browned all over then stir-in the stock and tomato pure. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and continue cooking for 1 hour (or until the lamb is tender).

Take off the heat, add the coriander leaves and serve on a bed of plain boiled rice.

This is a classic Indian curry, but these cooking methods have been exported all around the world. The British brought them to Europe, the Malay brought them to Africa and Indians brought them to Polynesia and the Caribbean. Today you will find local variants of traditional curries just about anywhere and the curry has become a truly international dish.

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