Friday, February 12, 2010

Basic Curry Sauce

This is the most closely guarded of all the secrets of restaurant cooking.
Once prepared, it has a very smooth texture and a pale golden color. Taste it and it is pleasant with a subtle curry flavor. Every good restaurant has a large pan of the sauce always at hand, with the recipe varying only slightly from chef to chef. It forms the base of all the restaurant curries from the very mild to very hot and spicy. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, although the best restaurants will prepare no more than 3 day' requirement in one go. Together with your spices, the prior preparation of the curry sauce and whatever vegetable you propose to use, a selection of dishes can be made in a matter of minutes.

You will see that the making of the curry sauce is in fact simple with no special equipment required other than a blender. It is essential, though, that you follow strictly the instructions for blending and skimming as these are two procedures that can make the difference between a good curry and a poor one.

The quantities given here are enough for 3 to 4 people. If you do not require so much, you may halve the quantity of each ingredient, or alternatively freeze the remainder of the finished sauce.

Adapted from "The Curry Secret" from Kris Dhillon

For approximately 4 main course dishes.
Preparation and cooking time : About 1 1/2 hours


450 g onions
25 g ginger
25 g garlic
750 ml water
3/4th teaspoon salt
1 small tin(110 g )tomatoes OR can use 2 fresh ripe tomatoes
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika (can substitute chilli powder)

Peel and rinse the onions. ginger, and garlic. Slice the onions and roughly chop the ginger and garlic.

Put the chopped ginger and garlic into a small blender with about 1/2 cup of water and blend until smooth.

Take a large saucepan and put into it the onions, the blended garlic and ginger, and the remainder of the water. Add the salt and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to very low and simmer, with the lid on, for 40 to 45 minutes. You'll see that the water turns green. Don't worry.
Leave to cool.

Once cooled pour half of the boiled onion mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Absolute smoothness is essential. To be certain, blend for at least 2 minutes. Pour the blended onion mixture into a clean pan or bowl and repeat with the other half of the boiled onions.[ To make this more easier, just drain the boiled onions and reserve the water. Simply blend the onions until smooth and combine it with the reserved water.]

Open the can of tomatoes. Pour into the rinsed blender jug, and blend. If using fresh tomatoes, blanch them first by boiling whole tomatoes in a pan of hot water for few minutes and take the skin off, let cool and then blend. Again, it is important that they are perfectly smooth, so blend for about 2 minutes.

Into a clean saucepan, put the oil, turmeric, and paprika/chilli powder. Add the blended tomatoes and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Now add the onion mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil again. Turn down the heat enough to keep the sauce at a simmer.

You will notice at this stage that a froth rises to the surface of the sauce. This needs to be skimmed off. Keep simmering and skimming for 20 -25 minutes, stirring now and again to prevent the surface sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.

Use immediately or cool and refrigerate for up to 4 days.


Priya said...

Thanks for sharing this basic curry sauce...very useful for many of us..

Mallugirl said...

this is great!!

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