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British Restaurant Style Curry Sauces

Basic Curry Sauce*Chicken Do-Piaza*Chicken Balti*Chicken Korma*Chicken Madras*Chicken Dhansak*Chicken Masala*Chicken Pasanda*A Quick Curry*

Basic Curry Sauce

Description

This is the basis for many of the restaurant-style curries you'll find here. The recipe makes between 8 and 9 fl oz of Sauce which is enough for 2 main course curries or a main course and some side dishes. The recipe doesn't work as well if you try to make a smaller portion. It will double nicely if you're making a number of curries but you will need to extend the cooking time a bit. If you have some sauce left over it will keep in good condition in the freezer but only for a few weeks. Even small amounts are useful for making a quick one-portion curry, it goes a long way. Remember to wrap it up well or your ice-cream may take on a strange taste!.

Ingredients

· 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)

· 1 medium onion - finely chopped

· 4 cloves garlic - peeled and sliced

· 1.5 inch piece root ginger - peeled and thinly sliced (it should look about the same volume as the garlic)

· (optional) 2 mild fleshy green chillies - de-seeded and veined then chopped

· half teaspoon turmeric powder

· half teaspoon ground cumin seed

· half teaspoon ground coriander seed

· 5 tablespoons plain passata (smooth, thick, sieved tomatoes, US = purée) or 1 tablespoon concentrated tomato purée (US = paste) mixed with 4 tablespoons water

Method

1. Heat the oil in a heavy pan then add the chopped onion and stir for a few minutes with the heat on high.

2. Add the ginger, garlic and green chilli (if using). Stir for 30 seconds then put the heat down to very low.

3. Cook for 15 minutes stirring from time to time making sure nothing browns or burns.

4. Add the turmeric, cumin and coriander and cook, still very gently, for a further 5 minutes. Don't burn the spices or the sauce will taste horrid - sprinkle on a few drops of water if you're worried.

5. Take off the heat and cool a little. Put 4 fl oz cold water in a blender, add the contents of the pan and whizz until very smooth. Add the passata and stir.

6. Put the puréed mixture back into the pan and cook for 20 - 30 minutes (the longer the better) over very low heat stirring occasionally. You can add a little hot water if it starts to catch on the pan but the idea is to gently "fry" the sauce which will darken in colour to an orangy brown. The final texture should be something like good tomato ketchup. Warning - it WILL gloop occasionally and splatter over your cooker, it's the price you have to pay!

Chicken Do-Piaza


Description

I always try the Do-Piaza when I go to a restaurant for the first time to see what their ordinary curries are like. "Do-Piaza", I understand, means "double onions" and that's what you get. Firstly puréed in the sauce then in largish pieces in the curry. Medium hot.

Ingredients

· 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee

· 1 large onion chopped into biggish pieces

· 2 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into 1 inch cubes

· half a batch of Basic Curry Sauce

· half teaspoon hot chile powder

· 1 teaspoon ground dry-roasted cumin seed

· 1 teaspoon methi (dried fenugreek) leaves, washed in a sieve then left moist for at least 10 minutes. N.B. your kitchen will smell of fenugreek for days but you can't make a curry without getting a smelly kitchen, now can you?

· half teaspoon garam masala (Indian mixed spice, bought or home made)

Method

1. Heat the oil in a big heavy frying pan

2. Add the pieces of onion and fry gently until translucent but not brown (well not too brown)

3. Remove the onion pieces from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside

4. Drain off the oil, put the pan back on the heat and fry the chicken pieces over moderate heat until they are sealed and have turned white

5. Put the curry sauce, chicken, chile powder and the ground, roasted cumin into a heavy pot and cook for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time

6. 10 minutes from the end add the fenugreek leaves, garam masala and the reserved onion pieces. By this time you should have a rich, thick sauce (it will darken during the cooking)

 

Chicken Balti


Description

Balti is actually the name of the cooking pot and serving dish. A decent wok is a good substitute. My balti has red and green sweet (bell) peppers in it and looks very colourful. Tastes pretty yummy too. If you have individual balti pots, heat them up and serve the sizzling curry in them. Use nan bread to scoop out the curry from the balti. Spoons or forks are NOT allowed!

Ingredients

· 2 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)

· 1 red and 1 green sweet (bell) pepper - cut into half-inch squares (well, sort of)

· 1 medium onion cut into biggish pieces

· red and green chiles - deseeded and veined then coarsely chopped. The quantity and variety if chiles is up to you. But, as a guide, I would use 3 red and 3 green fleshy chiles for a medium heat. You can always add some chile powder half way through the cooking if it's not hot enough

· 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

· 4 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into bite-sized pieces

· 1 teaspoon good paprika

· 1 teaspoon turmeric

· half teaspoon ground cinnamon

· A whole batch of Basic Curry Sauce

· 1 teaspoon concentrated tomato purée

· salt to taste

· 1 teaspoon garam masala

Method

1. Heat a little of the oil in a wok or balti pan over a high heat

2. Add the peppers and stir fry until they go a little brown at the edges. Remove the peppers from the wok and set aside

3. Put a little more oil into the wok, heat through, then add some of the chicken pieces and stir fry until they are sealed and have turned white. Remove the chicken from the wok and set aside. You will need to stir fry the chicken in 2 or 3 batches otherwise it will just stew

4. Add the rest of the oil to the wok and heat through on a medium heat

5. Add the onion pieces, chopped chiles and cumin seeds and stir fry until the onion is translucent but not brown

6. Add the paprika, turmeric and cinnamon on stir fry for 30 seconds

7. Return the chicken pieces to the wok along with the Basic Curry sauce, tomato purée and salt

8. Bring to a simmer then cook on a low heat for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Add a little hot water if the sauce gets too thick.

9. 10 minutes from the end, stir the peppers and garam masala into the sauce.

Serve in heated individual balti pots. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander

Chicken Korma


Description

I wasn't completely satisfied with the original Korma recipe on The Curry House pages. So .... after lots of experimentation I've come up with a revised version. I think this recipe is spot on now and is a good domestic version of the popular restaurant favourite. It is a fairly mild, creamy curry.

Ingredients

· 2 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into approx. 1 inch pieces

· 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee

· 1 inch piece cassia bark

· 2 cardamon pods

· two thirds of a batch of Basic Curry Sauce

· quarter teaspoon hot chile powder

· half teaspoon concentrated tomato purée

· salt to taste

· 4 tablespoons double cream

Method

1. Heat a little of the oil in a large heavy frying pan then fry the chicken pieces over moderate heat until they are sealed and have turned white. Remove them from the pan and set aside

2. Heat the rest of the oil in a heavy pan over a moderate heat then put in the cassia and cardamon and stir for a few minutes

3. Turn the heat to low then add the Basic Curry Sauce, chile powder, tomato purée and salt. You can add a little more tomato purée if the colour isn't rich enough but no more than another half teaspoon.

4. Add the chicken pieces and simmer on a low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add hot water if the sauce gets too dry.

5. Finally, add the cream and heat through. By the end of the cooking the sauce should be silky and not too thick.

Chicken Madras


Description

This is a hot, simple curry. Hike up the chiles for a vindaloo !!! Watch out for the whole dried chiles though - they heat up the dish slowly so don't adjust the chile level too soon (unless you're a Chile-Head, in which case add a few more !!)

Ingredients

· 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee

· 2 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into 1 inch cubes

· 6 (more for a vindaloo) whole small dried chiles (Bird's Eye or Thai Hots)

· half teaspoon hot chile powder

· 1 teaspoon ground cumin

· 1 teaspoon ground coriander

· 1 teaspoon paprika

· half a batch of Basic Curry Sauce

· salt to taste

· 1 teaspoon methi (dried fenugreek) leaves, washed in a sieve then left moist for at least 10 minutes.

· half teaspoon garam masala

Method

1. Heat a little of the oil in a large heavy frying pan then fry the chicken pieces over moderate heat until they are sealed and have turned white. Remove them from the pan and set aside.

2. Heat the rest of the oil in a heavy saucepan over a moderate heat.

3. Add the whole dried chiles and fry until they start to swell.

4. Turn the heat to low, add 1 tablespoon of the Basic Curry Sauce and stir round. Then add the chile powder, cumin, coriander and paprika and fry gently, stirring all the time, for a minute. Take care not to burn the spices or the curry will lack flavour and taste bitter.

5. Add the rest of the Basic Curry Sauce, the chicken pieces and salt and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is done. Stir from time to time and add a little hot water if the sauce starts to catch on the bottom of the pan.

6. 10 minutes from the end add the garam masala and fenugreek leaves.

7. Simmer gently for the last 10 minutes stirring frequently as the sauce should now be nice and thick.

Chicken Dhansak


Description

I love the combination of the chicken, the earthy lentils and the rich spicy sauce. The basic recipe is medium hot but you can add the whole dried chillies if you want a hot curry.

Ingredients

· 1 oz split red lentils, picked over for little stones and washed in a sieve

· 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee

· 2 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into bite sized cubes

· 4 cloves

· the seeds of 2 whole green cardamon pods - just cut the pods open with a knife and take out the seeds

· for a hot curry 4-8 whole small dried chillies (Bird's Eye or Thai Hots) - omit if you want a medium curry

· half teaspoon ground cumin seed

· half teaspoon turmeric

· half teaspoon ground coriander seed

· half teaspoon hot chilli powder

· 1 teaspoon paprika

· half a batch of Basic Curry Sauce - about 4 fl oz

· salt to taste

· (optional) 1 teaspoon methi (dried fenugreek) leaves, washed in a sieve then left moist for at least 10 minutes.

Method

1. Put the lentils into a pan with about 10 fl oz (half a pint) of cold water, bring to the boil and boil vigourously for 10 minutes. During this time skim off any scum that comes to the top. Then reduce the heat and cook with the water bubbling for a further 20 minutes. There should still be a little water left at the end so add a little more boiling water if the pan runs dry. Cover and set aside.

2. Grind the cloves and cardamon seeds as finely as you can in a pestle and mortar.

3. Heat a little of the oil in a large heavy frying pan then fry the chicken pieces over moderate heat until they are sealed and have turned white. Remove them from the pan and set aside.

4. Heat the rest of the oil in a heavy pan over a moderate heat.

5. Add the whole chillies (if using) and fry until they start to swell.

6. Turn the heat to low, add 1 tablespoon of the Basic Curry Sauce and stir round. Then add the ground cloves and cardamon seeds, cumin, turmeric, coriander, chilli powder and paprika and fry gently, stirring all the time, for a minute. Take care not to burn the spices or the curry will lack flavour and taste bitter.

7. Add the rest of the Basic Curry Sauce, the chicken pieces, the lentils and their remaining cooking liquid and some salt and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is done. Add a little hot water if the sauce starts to catch on the bottom of the pan but the idea is to finish up with a thick lentily sauce.

8. 10 minutes from the end add the fenugreek leaves if using.

9. Simmer gently for the last 10 minutes stirring frequently as the sauce should now be nice and thick.

Chicken Masala


Description

This is one of my favourite curries. It is very spicy, medium hot and the fennel seeds and coconut give it a wonderful, exotic taste.

Ingredients

· 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)

· 1 small onion - finely chopped

· 1.5 inch piece cassia bark (or cinnamon)

· 2 green cardamon pods

· 4 whole cloves

· 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

· 1 inch piece fresh ginger - very finely chopped

· 2 cloves garlic - very finely chopped

· 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

· 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed

· 3/4 teaspoon good chile powder

· 5 tablespoons Greek-style full cream yoghurt (3/4 of a 150 gm tub)

· 1 teaspoon (or a little more) concentrated tomato purée

· salt to taste

· 2 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into 1 inch pieces

· 1 tablespoon chopped up pieces from a block of creamed coconut

· chopped fresh coriander leaf (cilantro) to garnish

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy pan then add the chopped onion and stir for a few minutes with the heat on high

2. Add the cassia, cardamons, cloves and fennel seeds and stir a little then turn the heat down to low and cook for 10 minutes

3. Add the ginger and garlic, stir and cook for another 10 minutes on low heat stirring now and again to make sure nothing browns or burns

4. Add the turmeric, coriander and chile powder and fry gently for a minute

5. Add 1 tablespoon of yoghurt, stir round and turn the heat up so the yoghurt sizzles in the oil (don't worry, it won't split if you've used full cream yoghurt)

6. When the yoghurt has lost a lot of it's moisture add another tablespoon. Stir and fry as before.

7. Repeat until all the yoghurt is incorporated (the last tablespoons won't sizzle but it doesn't matter)

8. Add the tomato purée and stir in. The colour of the dish should now be similar to the background colour of the recipe list page - a rich orangy yellow with red flecks if you've turned the graphics off.

9. Stir in lots of hot water - enough to make the mixture very fluid

10. Bring to the boil and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes

11. Add salt to taste

12. Heat a little oil in a large heavy frying pan and stir-fry the chicken pieces over a moderate heat until they are sealed and have turned white

13. Add the chicken to the sauce and simmer gently for another 20-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Stir from time to time. If the sauce gets too dry add a little hot water

14. 10 minutes from the end add the creamed cocunut pieces and stir to melt them. Adjust the consistency of the sauce with some hot water as the creamed cocnut will thicken the sauce

15. At the end of the cooking you should have a fairly thick, creamy sauce with little patches of oil appearing at the top. Remove the cassia and cardamons (if you can find them! Don't worry about the cloves)

16. Serve, garnished with chopped fresh coriander leaf (cilantro)

 

Chicken Pasanda


Description

This could be described as a "Royal" dish. It is spicy, but not hot, rich and creamy. The addition of the nuts makes it rather special.

Ingredients

· 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)

· 1 small onion - finely chopped

· 1.5 inch piece cassia bark (or cinnamon)

· 2 green cardamon pods

· 1 inch piece fresh ginger - very finely chopped

· 2 cloves garlic - very finely chopped

· 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

· 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed

· half teaspoon good chile powder

· 5 tablespoons Greek-style full cream yoghurt (3/4 of a 150 gm tub)

· 1 teaspoon (or a little more) concentrated tomato purée

· salt to taste

· 2 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into 1 inch pieces

· 2 tablespoons flaked almonds prepared as in Method

· chopped fresh coriander leaf (cilantro) to garnish

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy pan then add the chopped onion and stir for a few minutes with the heat on high

2. Add the cassia bark and cardamons, stir a little then turn the heat down to low and cook for 10 minutes

3. Add the ginger and garlic, stir and cook for another 10 minutes on low heat stirring now and again to make sure nothing browns or burns

4. Add the turmeric, coriander and chile powder and fry gently for a minute

5. Add 1 tablespoon of yoghurt, stir round and turn the heat up so the yoghurt sizzles in the oil (don't worry, it won't split if you've used full cream yoghurt)

6. When the yoghurt has lost a lot of it's moisture add another tablespoon. Stir and fry as before.

7. Repeat until all the yoghurt is incorporated (the last tablespoons won't sizzle but it doesn't matter)

8. Add the tomato purée and stir in. The colour of the dish should now be similar to the background colour of the index page - a rich orangy yellow with red flecks if you've turned the graphics off.

9. Stir in lots of hot water - enough to make the mixture very fluid

10. Bring to the boil and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes

11. Add salt to taste

12. While the sauce is cooking, heat a frying pan at low to moderate then add the flaked almonds. Move the almonds around the pan so they don't burn and heat until they have just taken on a brown colour. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. When cool, crush them up with your fingers into smallish pieces.

13. Heat a little oil in a large heavy frying pan and stir-fry the chicken pieces over a moderate heat until they are sealed and have turned white

14. Add the chicken and almonds to the sauce and simmer gently for another 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Stir from time to time. If the sauce gets too dry add a little hot water

15. At the end of the cooking you should have a fairly thick, creamy sauce with little patches of oil appearing at the top. Remove the cassia and cardamons (if you can find them!).

16. Serve, garnished with chopped fresh coriander leaf (cilantro)

A Quick Curry


Description

This is an easy recipe for a curry sauce which you can make into whatever sort of curry you like. The last time I made it I used a drained tin of chick peas to make it a veggie curry and it worked well. The previous time I used chicken and it was just as good. So it's up to you. The recipe makes enough sauce for 2 generous servings.

Ingredients

· 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

· 1 medium onion - finely chopped

· 2 cloves garlic - finely chopped

· 6-10 dried Bird's Eye chiles - whole (I use 10 which makes a hot curry)

· 2 whole cardamon pods

· 1 teaspoon ground cumin seed

· 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed

· half teaspoon dry ginger powder

· half teaspoon turmeric

· half teaspoon concentrated tomato puree

· salt to taste

· 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves washed in a sieve and left moist for 10 minutes (optional, but they do give the curry that elusive "restaurant" taste)

Method

1. Heat the oil over a highish heat and add the onions.

2. Stir fry for a few minutes then add the chiles and cardamons and fry for a few more minutes until the spices have increased in size.

3. Add the garlic, stir, turn the heat down to low and cook for 10 minutes (or longer if you've got the time).

4. Add the cumin, coriander, ginger and turmeric and leave to fry over a low heat for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring occasionally

5. Add about 10 fl.oz. hot water, the tomato puree and the salt and leave to simmer for 30 minutes. If you are using chicken then add it now, cut into bite size pieces. Stir the sauce from time to time and add a little hot water if necessary.

6. If you are using the fenugreek leaves add them 10 minutes before the end of the cooking. If you are making a chick pea curry add them now too. At the end of the cooking there should be hardly any liquid left just a thick, hot sauce.

 

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