I have found this a successful method of producing restaurant style curries at home. The basic sauce freezes very well, and I tend to make a large batch at a time. I don't follow recipes slavishly, so I haven't given precise amounts. Curry is something to have fun experimenting with, and producing it how you like it. To make the basic sauce (enough for 4-6): 1 large onion 1 can plum tomatoes 1 head garlic - adjust amount to taste chopped fresh ginger - adjust to taste, but the same amount as garlic Ghee (clarified butter, available from Asian shops) Spices: Garam Masala (2 teaspoons) Turmeric (1/2 teaspoon) Coriander (1 teaspoons) Cumin (1 teaspoons) Chilli powder (small amount) Chicken, cut into 1.5 in cubes Fresh chillies Fresh coriander Spinach leaves Chop the onions roughly, and fry gently in ghee until translucent. Put the onions, tomatoes, garlic and ginger in a blender and whiz for about a minute or until smooth. At this stage the sauce will be an alarming orange colour. Transfer the sauce back to the pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the spices and stir in well. Note that you may want to vary the amounts of the spices to suit your own taste. The sauce will now have turned a satisfying shade of brown. Simmer very gently for about 15 minutes, then add the chicken. Most importantly, don't pre-cook or brown the chicken. Doing it this way will keep it succulent and full of flavour. Continue to simmer until the ghee floats around the edge of the sauce, usually around 20 minutes. After the chicken goes in, chop the fresh chillies and blend them with a little water. The amount you use will, of course, depend on how hot you like your curry. Add the blended chillies to the pan and stir in, along with the spinach. If necessary, check a piece of the chicken to make sure it's cooked, sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander, and serve. To make a mild curry (korma), add coconut milk just after the chicken. Plain yoghurt also works well. Variations: There are many variations on the theme. Lamb is excellent, or you can use beef - just don't brown or pre-cook the meat. For fishy variations use prawns or firm fish like monkfish. The basic sauce can be varied by adding roughly chopped onions, peppers, fresh tomatoes or courgettes (zucchini). It may take a little experimenting, but you will soon find your perfect curry.
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2/14/05 at 6:17pm