Love Indian Food? Love Spicy Food? Want to cook Indian Food? You do? Excellent...keep reading :)
Indian food especially curry based is known for exotic spices and mouth watering taste. It also has a bad reputation of being hot & spicy in nature. Many have a notion of setting bathrooms on fire after a Indian dinner in a restaurant (you know what I mean ;D ). I would not doubt it because it can surely be the case if you are not use to of eating spicy Indian food or made a wrong choice of restaurant.
But above all Indian food is delicious and too tempting not to give a try. Best of all if you can cook the same exotic taste in your very own kitchen. Also not all Indian gravies are hot, some of them are aromatic and mildly sweet.
But what's so Magical? Great question. Consider this , you can put anything in between two slices of bread and make a sandwich so long as it tastes good... right? Similarly.. How about creating an Indian curry that allows you to make many recipes like Egg curry, Butter Paneer Masala, Aloo Masala and what not with great taste & aroma easily. I would call it magical indeed.
In this instructable I will show you my very own version of Indian Curry. Call it fundamental India Curry. With some basic ingredients and spices , it is healthier & gentle on stomach. We call it Magical All-in-1 Indian Curry.
All right...lets make some curry
Vegan: Yes, the curry without cream
Preparation time :15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
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Step 1: Ingredients
You would need following items to make just the Indian Curry, other items are part of specific recipes which are mentioned in steps ahead .
- 4 Tomatoes (my tomatoes are smaller in size like eggs)
- 3 onions (same size as tomatoes)
- Handful of Cilantro (aka Coriander) (finely chopped)
- 1 inch of ginger root.
- 5-6 garlic (mine were very small like the size of green cardamom)
- 1 Green Cardamom
- 1 Black cardamom (also known as hill cardamom, Bengal cardamom, greater cardamom, Indian cardamom, Nepal cardamom, winged cardamom, or brown cardamom)
- 4 one inch long pieces of cinnamon bark (not too thick or thin)
- 2 Tablespoonful of Fresh cream (omit if you want a Vegan curry)
- Red Paprika (Red Chili powder) as per taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of Turmeric powder
- 1 & half tablespoon full canola oil or oil of your choice.
- 2 Cloves
- Optional Bay leaf to garnish
Optional Green Chilly
Kitchen Tools and Utensils
- Cutting Broad
- Pressure cooker or food steamer to steam.
- Non stick Deep frying pan.
- Small deep frying pan or shallow pan to roast spices.
- Mixer grinder
Mortar and pestle (if you don't have it you can coarse grind spices in a grinder, I avoid it to preserve the aroma of spices)
Step 2: Preparing the Veggies Paste
From health point of view this curry stands apart because its not deep fried instead we use steamed veggies and just 1 & half tablespoon of oil.
See images above and follow:
Steaming the veggies
- Peel Onions and cut them in half.
- Cut Tomatoes in half.
- Put Cut tomatoes , onions , garlic and ginger in an pressure cooker or steamer.
- Steam for 2 whistles in pressure cooker or 10 minutes in steamer.
- While the veggies are getting steamed, you can jump to next step and prepare the spices .
Making the paste.
- Let the steamed veggies cool for a while. NOTE: Don't throw away the water with veggies that collected due to steam, keep it in a separate bowl, it is flavorful and we shall use it later to adjust the consistency of the curry.
- Grind onions, garlic and ginger together to fine paste.
- Grind tomatoes to make find paste.
- Keep the paste separately.
Step 3: Making the Spice Masala Powder - the Aroma Sceret
Keep a note of this spice masala recipe, it has a variety of uses.
See images above and follow :
Roasting the spices
- Put cinnamon , cloves, green cardamom, black cardamom in a small pan.
- Roast them on medium flame stirring continuously.
- The cloves will roast faster so remove them when they appear swollen.
- You will notice that both cardamom will begin to swell too.
- A sweet and spicy aroma is the indication that the spices are roasted. NOTE: If the cinnamon bark is thick , break it into smaller pieces before roasting otherwise it may burn.
Making the masala
- Remove the spices from cook top and place them in Mortar and pestle, let it cool for while.
- Once cooled make a coarse powder of spices, remove leftover skin of black cardamom.
- Keep it covered to preserve the aroma.
All right.... Preparations are done... now lets cook some curry.
Step 4: Cooking the Curry
See images above and follow:
- Heat up oil in deep frying pan.
- Put onion, garlic and ginger paste.
- Cook the paste on medium flame stirring frequently, you will start noticing that water in onion is getting dried and it is turning light golden brown (5th image)
- Add tomato paste, mix it well.
- Cook the mixture of paste on medium flame (or simmer if its sticking on pan surface) stirring frequently.
- Once you notice that the paste begin to release hints of oil (9h Image), add spice masala, paprika as per taste, turmeric and mix well.
- Add fresh cream and mix well.
- Add coriander and mix well.
- Remember the left over steam water, add it to paste slowly , stirring continuously, keep adding till the curry has consistency like tomato sauce not too thick or thin.
- Cook for a minute and remove from flame.
Congratulations !!! your magical indian curry is ready. I bet at this moment , the aroma is intoxicating your senses.
Few things to notice:
- The steaming greatly reduces the cooking time, requires less oil and makes the curry overall healthier than restaurant style.
- If you don't want to add cream, you can add paste of cashews and almonds, thus making it vegan.
- I know its time for me to change my cookware ;D ha ha.
- Do you know that such gravy is known as Red gravy because of tomatoes, there is a yellow gravy too :).
And now comes the most exciting part, the magic of using this curry in a variety of recipes.
Mouth watering isn't it? :D
Step 5: Make Exotic Egg Curry
Just add boiled eggs (cut in half) to curry, mix it and leave it covered for 10 minutes. If you want you can deep fry or stir fry boiled eggs , poke holes in the eggs and mix with curry.
Your exotic egg curry is ready :)
Yup!! that simple :)
Not an egg fan, no problem, lets see what's there for you in next step
Step 6: Make Butter Paneer (or Tofu) Masala
Butter paneer masala is a very popular Indian recipe and something to try on first if you are trying Indian food for the first time.
Just add 1 teaspoonful butter in the curry, put some paneer cubes in hot water and when they are softened, mix them in our magical curry.
You can also add deep or stir fried paneer cubes
Your sweet and spicy butter paneer masala is ready :)
If you are vegan, add tofu instead.
Paneer or tofu not your thing? No problem... I have something for you in next step
Step 7: Make Aloo (Potatoes) Masala
Cut small pieces of boiled potatoes (optionally stir fry them with dried fenugreek leaves (aka kasuri methi) ), add some dried fenugreek leaves and mix well in the curry.
There you go. your Aloo masala is ready :)
Still not satisfied?
No problem... how about adding some veggies of your choice to the gravy like bell pepper, or corn or stir fried eggplant or french beans. You see... the possibilities are endless.
Want some meat? No problem... how about adding some barbecued or fried chicken or fish or meat of your choice to the curry. Call it chicken curry or Lamb masala:)
Step 8: Final Thoughts
Cooking is about experiments. Cooking is also hacking into old recipes. Call it a hacked version.
Trying to host a DIY wedding dinner, how about some Indian Food
Go make it tonight for dinner and impress your friend and loved ones.
Thank you for your time to read this ible. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I did while making it. Please do share your thoughts, feedback and suggestions in the comments below.
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You are awesome.
Secret Tip: Take 3 slices of bread, spread this curry on one, spread this Chutney(Dip) on other, place a cheese slice on third. Make an Indian Curry Sandwich. Howzzaat :)
Runner Up in the
Cooking Basics Challenge