Thursday, 10 July 2008

Basic Curry Sauce

The Basic Sauce

Caution: The making of this sauce requires that a little water is added to hot oil.
This should be attempted with care because the mixture can splash back so it is recommended that this sauce is cooked only by adults.

The following amounts are for two people.

· Cumin - three heaped teaspoons (big heaps!)
· Coriander - same as above
· Turmeric - one level teaspoon
· Chilli Powder - half teaspoon
· Salt & Pepper - quarter teaspoon each
· A good half cup of sunflower oil

You will also need a tin of chopped or whole tomatoes and a couple of tablespoons of natural yoghurt (optional).

This is the basic mix for most of my curries which you can adjust to your own taste.

Cooking Method and Basic Sauce

Before you start have an open tin of chopped or whole tomatoes ready and a cup of hot water.
Heat a saucepan on the stove (on high) then add the oil.
Add the spices then start stirring and keep stirring (don't let the oil burn).
Add about a tablespoon of hot water and be careful not to let the oil splash back - you should get a big hiss!

Do this several times over a period of a minute or two then start to add the tomato juice then a tomato or two from the tin over the next couple of minutes and use about half of the tin. You will only use about half the cup of water but remember to keep stirring or the oil may burn.

You should notice that the spices change from an oil/sand mixture to an oil/mud consistency.
Turn the heat down to simmer and let the mixture cook for five to ten minutes.
You should see that by now you have a lovely brown/red muddy mixture.
Add the yoghurt just before serving for a creamier consistency.

To make "Special Banana Curry" mash half a banana with a fork and add it to the sauce.
Cook for another ten minutes then add the other half of the banana sliced.
To give the curry a more complex deeper taste, add a tablespoon of dried fenugreek leaves that have been soaked in water for ten minutes - it is powerful stuff!
You could also add pieces of chicken or prawns.
Two tablespoons of tinned/chopped spinach instead of banana.
Double the chilli powder and add tomato puree to the sauce for a madras.

The important bit is adding the water to the oil and spices without getting burned! However, this part of the cooking process is essential to making a good curry sauce.

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