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Chicken (or whatever) Curry

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Every other Tuesday at my house is curry night. Make some curry (most always chicken), pull out the tv trays, and eat in front of the TV.

The trick with curry is to make it the day before. It's always better a day or two later because it gives the herbs and spices time to wander through the whole sauce.
 
 
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Step 1: About Our Bastardized Brit-American Indian Food

You can find all the Indian cookbooks you want, but you'll never make curry at home as good as your favorite restaurant. It's like that with all restaurants. Either it's the ingredients they have access to, their cooking equipment that gets super hot or can grind anything into a super smooth sauce, or they just don't give a f@#$ and throw in four sticks of butter which we would never think of doing at home.

Disabuse yourself that you'll ever make any of your favorite restaurant dishes at home. The fun of cooking is in chasing those tastes down. You won't find them all, but you'll know more than when you started and probably find something that'll be in your recipe card file for life.

Indian food commonly uses what we in America might think of as pie spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom. The awakening American palate wouldn't have thought to put cinnamon on anything but buttered toast or in an apple pie fifteen years ago. Along with these you'll find those common equator spices: cumin, coriander (seed and leaf - cilantro), ginger, hot peppers, turmeric. And those versatile, ubiquitous alliums: onion and garlic.

Cinnamon
coriander
cumin
cilantro
nutmeg
cardamom
ginger
garlic
peppers
onions
turmeric

That's pretty much all you need for most any curry (not all at once, but you could run across a recipe that does use all of them). A few specialty spices will have you ready for any curry you might encounter.:

Fenugreek (seeds)
Fenugreek (leaves), they will probably be called kasuri methi or just methi leaves
Spice blends like garam masala, chaat masala, tandoori masala, etc.
asafoetida (hing)

If you have these things around you're halfway to becoming a curry head.
I just made this and it came out great, thanks!
hblanton11 months ago
Sounds yummy!
I've been toying with home masala and curies for years. I did find one that is now a mainstay for my family, but we're always up to another option. I understand that getting the "restaurant version" at home is possibly a pipe dream, but damnit... why? There's GOT to be the REAL secret out there or us home cooks. Seriously. Thanks for the ible and good laughs, it was a pleasure to read.
As for naan, we did find a recipe that was good enough - we altered to use high gluten flour and grill it or throw it on the pizza stone.
There IS a secret out there... here it is... just made my first authentic from-scratch curry... then made another...then canned up about 8 - 24oz jars for good measure... lived in the UK for 4 years and absolutely loved the only good food to eat over there - Curry. I had my favorite curry take-away where my friend, Habeeb, knew my usual and automatically put my order in... "Jake, my friend, your usual?" "Yes, Habeeb, you know it"

http://www.amazon.com/The-Curry-Secret-Kris-Dhillon/dp/0716022044

This is the book that teaches you the authentic way to make curry. It is labor intensive and is in basically two steps. You make the curry sauce which takes quite a bit of time and then you use the curry sauce to make a curry dish. (there is also the original book without the "new" but I don't know what the difference is. My friend in the UK came over and we cooked it from scratch once and he turned me on to this book)

Kudos though, for this 'ible as I will definitely use this method and compare notes.

cheers,
first authentic curry from scratch.jpg
dlewisa (author)  iamchrismoran1 year ago
The secret to those restaurant curries has to be a quart of cream or half and half and two sticks of butter . . . on top of a half a cup of ghee. I just can't bring myself to use that much good/bad stuff. I also think that the tikka masala sauce at the curry restaurant I frequent is based on tomato paste rather than whole or canned tomatoes.

Plus how do they make them differing levels of hotness? They'll ask you for a scale of one to ten or mild, medium, hot, but you know they don't have ten or even three different sauces going. Probably some kind of secret Indian Restaurant hot sauce lurking around out there.
neilcp dlewisa1 year ago
To get make them differing levels of hotness, all they do is increase or decrease the amount of "chilli powder" (ground dry Indian red peppers) to the sauce.
yeah, we just cannot bring ourselves to put all the extra milk fats in.
Our fave place to go keeps raising their prices, so it's becoming necessity for us to replicate as closely as possible. I suppose if we KNEW how much extra fat was being added, we might not get from there.
:|
neilcp1 year ago
dlewisa, that looks yummy for sure... Next time, instead of plain Indian red peppers (or Indian Red Chillies), try Kashmiri Chillies.... This variety has an awesome flavour, without as much heat.

Additionally, the next time you make curry (not the Chicken Tikka masala or any other grilled / BBQ'd chicken curry), add the raw chicken a little after you add the blended spices & blended onion. Give it a bit of a 'fry' for 3 - 4 mins in that masala (the blended spices are called the 'masala'), and then continue with adding your water or coconut milk as you normally would.
MrRedwood1 year ago
Oh, yum. I've been dreaming about learning Saag Gosht for years now. Good info.
dlewisa (author)  MrRedwood1 year ago
I was actually making a saag dish at the same time I was making this. We had a bunch of kale and spinach to use. I'd never made it before (I was pretty much making it up as I went) and when it started looking a little too thick I dumped in some chicken stock . . . which after I did I noticed the rancid smell it was giving off. Into the compost it went.
John Sphar1 year ago
I'm feeling dense. I don't see curry powder on your list of spices. Is it that curry powder is a combination of your spices? I learned a wonderful Chinese style chicken (or whatever) curry from Martin Yan (Yan Can Cook) which uses curry powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic. it is a one pot, wok style cooking, which we love over rice with condiments.
dlewisa (author)  John Sphar1 year ago
Curry is just a dish where something is served in a sauce. There are many varieties and none of them usually use what we call curry powder. Curry powder is a kind of generic brit-american blend of spices to approximate an indian-like flavor. An Indian gal I work with actually uses the word "curry" when what we would say is "spice".
Nice, from a Google search, I see that curry powder is a European/American spice concoction from the 18th century of spice trading . You have encouraged me to give your recipe a try. Thanks!
User11 year ago
Impressive! I'll have to give this a try even though I'm a tenderfoot when it comes to curry dishes. I'll give it my best.
Datawolf1 year ago
Any recipe for cheese naans ?
dlewisa (author)  Datawolf1 year ago
I've not been too successful making naans. I'll have to work on that.
maka dlewisa1 year ago
This is the naan recipe I have been using for the last few years. I use a flat cast iron griddle I inherited from my grandmother. I currently have an electric stove (oh, woe! LOL) so I have to be content with just cooking it on both sides on the griddle. But they're still delicious.

Thanks for sharing your delicious curry recipe! I've added it to my collection - I probably have 100+ different curry recipes, and I rarely actually look at them when I'm making curry, because how it ends up tasting is based on what mood I'm in on the day. But I like to read through them to see what different people do with their spice proportions, prep methods, etc. :)
billbillt1 year ago
great
Sunkicked1 year ago
Having enjoyed this dish at dlewisa's house on more than one occasion, I can attest to the deliciousness of this dish. Of course, I'm disappointed that he doesn't make his own naan, but nobody's perfect...
dlewisa (author)  Sunkicked1 year ago
BYOIBP. Bring your own indian bread product.
antoniraj1 year ago
looks delicious...
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