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Messages - stewpot007

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Curry Base Chat / Re: Questions about Curry Base Sauce
« on: December 31, 2004, 03:52 PM »
Most of the sauces I have seen when peering over a takaway counter as they cook it seem to be of a very thin consistency and darkish brown in colour.? I am yet to get into a kithchen.?

In Brick lane in London they do curry cooking nights on a Monday. :o? its ?25 and you can cook a starter, main and rice dish.
I'll post the link when i find it again.

S ;D

Here is another curry gravy for you to try

Curry Sauce
2lb/900g Large Onions sliced into thick chunks
1 Large tin Chopped tomatoes (400g)
1 Tablespoon Tomato Puree
10 Cloves of garlic, crushed
4 inch piece of root ginger, skin removed
1 Teaspoon curry powder
1 Teaspoon garam massalla
1 Tablespoon Turmeric Juice of
1 whole lemon
3 Pints chicken stock
1 Teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Bring the water to boil in a large saucepan with the salt. Add the sliced onions ,garlic and ginger into the pan and bring back to the boil.

When it has boiled, reduce the heat to allow the contents to simmer, cover and leave for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile mix the curry powder, garam massalla, Turmeric with the lemon juice and tomato puree to create a thick paste (add a little water if necessary).

Pour the tinned tomatoes into a food processor and puree for 3 minutes to a smooth sauce.

Empty into a container and wash and dry the food processor.

When the onions have simmered for 30 minutes drain off the liquid using a sieve into a container for use later.

Place the remaining onions, garlic and ginger mixture into a food processor and puree for 2 minutes (You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of the food processor).

Wash and dry the pan that the onions were cooked in and put in the oil and bring up to a medium high heat.

Once the oil is hot stir fry the thick paste for 1 minute and then add the pureed tomatoes and bring to the boil.

Once boiling add the pureed onions and mix the contents well together.

Bring back to the boil and then simmer on low for 30 minutes skimming off any froth on the surface every couple of minutes. You can now use the curry sauce immediately or freeze or refrigerate it

British Indian Restaurant Recipe Requests / Bombay Aloo
« on: December 24, 2004, 11:04 AM »
Does anyone know a good recipe for Bombay Potato ???

Lets Talk Curry / Greetings
« on: December 24, 2004, 11:03 AM »
Ok i'll start us off then how close have you come to the "real thing", do you think it possible to create it in the kitchen or do you really need to cook in big quantities to get that elusive flavour. ;D

I have tried the garlic and ginger browning and think i have come as close as i can to getting the proper taste but it always gets you down when you go out to a restaraunt and realise your way off :'(

So come on lets help each other out

Curry base #2

After much experimentation I think I?ve finally got a grasp of the grail of restaurant style taste. The secret, I?m convinced, comes down to the preparation of the base. In particular it comes down to the way the onions - the main component of the base ? are treated. Put simply, they need to be fried in order to draw out their natural sugars ? this is the ?authentic? sweetness you get in a takeaway or at a restaurant. The blend of spices is less fundamental. They may give each restaurant its subtle differences, but it?s the caramelised onions that give the authentic similarity we all seem to crave. It?s a long, protracted and messy process but worth it!
  Because it?s such a hassle you might as well make a largish batch (like a restaurant). This make 1 litre (approx)


2kg chopped onions
10 good cloves of garlic
1 ?thumb? of ginger
1 medium potato boiled and then pureed in half a cup of water
2 bay leaves
6green cardamom pods split
1 dessertspoon of ground coriander
1 dessertspoon of ground cumin
1 dessertspoon of paprika
1 dessertspoon dried garlic powder
1teaspoon hot chilli powder
1teaspoon turmeric
1teaspoon of salt
1 litre of rapeseed oil


Stage 1
 Place onions, garlic cloves and ginger in a large pan with as little water as you can get away with to stop it sticking. About half a pint to a pint should do it. Put a lid on, bring to boil and then simmer over a low heat. The onions themselves should give up some moisture and collapse down a bit.
 After an hour puree with a hand-blender (it should look similar to apple sauce). Now, with the lid off, (but definitely with a splatter guard on) cook down gently over a lowish heat for a further hour. Stir regularly to stop it sticking. What we?re actually trying to achieve is to remove all the water from the onion puree. This takes time. 
 Stage 3
After an hour add the litre of oil. It will spit horribly. Continue to cook down, with the lid off but a spatter guard on, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced significantly, almost stopped steaming and pretty much stopped splattering. Depending on your pan, initial water content of the onions, etc, this could take anything from 1-3 hours.
Stage 4
Now here?s the critical part. The alchemy. Raise the temperature to medium and allow slowly to become darker in colour (20-40mins). This is the natural sugar in the onions caramelising. As it gets darker it should taste increasingly sweet. It should begin to sizzle rather than gloop when stirred. It?s about right when it reaches a dirty, sandy colour.
 Add the spices, fry for a further three minutes.
Take off the heat and allow to cool for an hour. Then decant off the oil (don?t throw this away ? use it to cook the final dishes). What oil?s then left over can be added to make up a litre of oil for the next batch of base sauce. The taste should improve with every subsequent batch of base you make!
 Finally, add the potato and salt to the base. Refrigerate for at least 24hrs. This serves 2 purposes: firstly, the taste improves even more; secondly, there?ll be another deposit of oil that can be subsequently removed.

Tip. Once it?s removed from the heat and cooled a bit, it?s a good idea to pour it into a taller container. This makes decanting the oil off easier.

Madras / Prawn Madras
« on: December 23, 2004, 09:43 AM »
Basic Prawn or Chicken Madras recipe (my own) ? comes out really good you will scare yourself.

This makes 1 curry so just increase for 2
Black mustard seeds (small amount about 20-30 seeds
Ground fenugreek powder (1.5 teaspoons)
Long thin Green Chilli?s (optional but adds that extra)
Chilli Powder
Pinch garam massala
Vegetable Oil (pour in a good glug)
Fresh Bunch Coriander (leaves and use the stalks)
Tomatoes x 2 (I use tesco finest on the vine)
Onion (half a small red or white onion ? dice this really fine, or cut them long and thin)
I packet of fresh prawns from tesco or 1 diced chicken breast (pre-cooked)
2.5 ladles of the curry sauce you just made above and have stored in your fridge

?   Heat oil in wok on highest level.
?   Add mustard seeds wait till they pop, add fenugreek powder, stir this with a small spoon fast for 40 seconds
?   Add Green Chilli (cut up, whole or with the ends cut off) - optional
?   Add onions and watch them fry for 1 minute or a tiny bit more
?   Now add the tomatoes and prawns (don?t pour in any prawn juice, rinse them first) and fry for another 1 minute.
?   Add 2.5 ladles of the curry sauce made earlier
?   Stir all the time and turn down heat to low
?   Add half a cup of warm water (cook this out, i.e until sauce is think again)
?   Add chilli powder (1 teaspoon or 2)
?   Add some diced coriander stalks
?   Add some chopped coriander
?   Add a pinch or so of Garam Masala
?   Stir and cook for 7 ? 8 mins (this will reduce the cup of water down)
?   Take off heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes
?   Pour over basmati rice and top with fresh coriander.

Curry Sauce ? proper from a restaurant

2 Onions
1 can plum tomatoes
1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
1 teaspoon Coriander powder
? teaspoon chilli powder (you could use less)
? teaspoon garlic powder
? teaspoon ginger powder
? teaspoon turmeric powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Sugar

Cooking pot, the ones with the lids
Wok or large frying pan

Step 1
Roughly chop onions and fry on a medium/high heat until golden brown, i.e. keep it going for at least 15 minutes?this releases all the sweetness that?s why your curry tastes so good.? Use some oil to fry them in a good glug will do it.
Remember the longer you cook the better the end result and taste.

Step 2
Now mix all the spices, salt and sugar together in a small plastic pot and put to one side.

Step 3 (while the onions are cooking)
Open the can of plum tomatoes (I use tesco 19p ones)? Now liquidize them down.

Step 4
Add the liquidized tomatoes to the cooking pot and heat on a low heat now add the spices in and stir for a bit.

Step 5
Liquidise all the browned onions down, do it for good couple of minutes.

Step 6
Add onion mixture to cooking pot, stir for 60 seconds, replace lid, leave for 40 minutes on lowest heat?make sure the lid is on as it splats everywhere.

(I have been told you can add a half a cup of water as well if you like and chicken and vegetables to add to the taste.? I don?t bother with this though)

Step 7
Transfer to a plastic container or glass bowl with a lid put in fridge and use to make your curries. (You can get away with using this sauce for 4 days)? (2 ladles of sauce = 1 curry)

Please note this recipe makes a small amount of sauce.? I usually use 6 or 7? onions and 2 cans of plum tomatoes and just double all the spices required this makes a good batch and increases the flavour.

Curry Base

All Curry Gravies are made in separate stages.
No one seems to agree exactly how to make them.
You can?t exactly duplicate the flavour, but you can get close.
Here?s what is a good attempt.

Ingredients 1
1 kg onions roughly chopped
3 teaspoons crushed garlic (or bottled)
3 teaspoons of minced ginger (or bottled)
10 (yes, ten) tablespoons of oil

Ingredients 2
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground chilli
? teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala

Ingredients 3
1 small can of tomato soup
Same volume of water
1 bay leaf
4 green cardamoms
1 black cardamon (very important)
2 teaspoon of Methi (dried fenugreek, also very important)
Mix all the above to a stiff paste with water

In a large pot add the oil and stir fry the onions for five minutes on high
Turn down the heat and cook for 40 minutes, checking that they don?t stick and burn.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook another ten minutes.
Turn off the heat and let it go completely cold.
If possible leave for a day
If it?s not cold you will ruin the flavour.
Remove what oil you can and then blend.
Put all the oil (except 2 tablespoons) back into the blended mixture.

In another pan, on a gentle heat, fry with the saved 2 tablespoons of oil, ingredients 2 for two minutes.
Stir constantly and take great care not to burn.
Add this to the onion blend along with everything else.
Boil thirty minutes and it?s ready.

You can add precooked curried ingredients to this or use in other recipes to make Vindaloo, madras korma etc

15th September 2004 (thanks to Pete again)

4 onions
2 teaspoon salt
600ml of water
1 cup oil
2 tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 huge spoon masala (a huge spoon is about 4 desert spoons)
1 ? huge spoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon chilli
2 teaspoon garlic powder

Slice the onions
Add to the pan with the water
Add salt and oil and bring to the boil
Cook for 20 minutes
Add garlic and chopped tomatoes
Cook five minutes more then puree
Add Masala mix
Simmer five minutes and add tomato puree and chilli powder and garlic powder
Simmer again for five minutes
That is it!
The sauce is much runnier than I thought.
I was little disappointed but maybe if it?s left a day it improves.

Masala mix proportions are:-
4 curry powder, 2 cummin,2 coriander,2 turmeric and 1 garam masala

Curry Gravy (Thanks to Pete from in2curry)
600 ml oil
1 ? bulb of garlic
? quantity of ginger pureed together with water
2 cinnamon sticks
1-teaspoon black pepper
4 black cardamoms
8 onions chopped
2 inch of creamed coconut block
1 ? teaspoon salt
3 bay leaves
6 breakfast spoon curry powder
1 ? breakfast spoon cumin
1 breakfast spoon turmeric
1 ? tins tomatoes

Heat the oil and cook garlic/ginger until golden and add the cinnamon stick and peppercorns and cook until garlic/ginger is brown not golden but Brown THIS BROWNING STAGE IS THE MISSING FLAVOUR It will go sticky, be very careful it doesn?t stick to the pan Add onions and water; enough to come just under the initial height of the onions Add everything except tinned tomatoes Cook until onions are soft (about an hour) Now add the tomatoes and cook for a further hour Remove the whole spices, and puree Return the whole spices to the mixture (they continue to add flavour) Put it somewhere cool It will keep four days because of the oil.

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