Tuesday, August 14, 2012
I really want to learn more about East Indian food and thought what better place to start than with a curry paste? I could make our curry chicken as a test recipe, since we know the dish so well.
I turned to The Spice Bible: Essential Information and More Than 250 Recipes Using Spices, Spice Mixes, and Spice Pastes and chose madras curry paste. Mostly because it sounded like the most basic of their curry paste recipes and... I had all the ingredients!
You will need 2 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp brown mustard seeds, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp ground turmeric, 2 garlic cloves (crushed), 2 tsp grated fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1 tsp salt and 1/3 cup white vinegar.
You need to dry-fry the coriander and cumin seeds in a small frying pan.
Just until fragrant which will take a couple of minutes.
I got out my new cast iron mortar and pestle from Kitchen Stuff Plus instead of my spice grinder. I really wanted to try and grind the seeds myself.
I did crack the coriander seeds open but probably did not do justice to the paste. Oh well, I tried! Next time I will use my spice grinder.
Put the coriander and cumin into a bowl and add the mustard seeds.
Add the rest of the spices, as well as pressing two cloves of fresh garlic into the paste:
Don't forget the ginger and add 1 tsp of salt into the small bowl. Mix together well.
Add in 1/3 cup white vinegar and mix into a paste.
We love curry chicken and it is so easy to make! Get some low fat yogurt and add a few tbsp of the curry paste.
Mix together well and marinade raw chicken in the mixture for quite a few hours in the fridge.
I like to grill the chicken but for some reason, I got zero grill marks. Weird! Guess the grill wasn't hot enough.
Reg loved the chicken even more than usual! I must admit, everything tasted so fresh and clean. The only problem? I found this curry paste too simple. The complexity, for me, was not there.
Also, I wish in the cookbook they described the difference between the kinds of curry pastes. What makes Madras so different then Musaman? Is it just regional? When would I use either? Does one go better with some things than others? Guess I am just going to have to try them out and find out for myself.
I love that the curry paste was so easy to make. I usually have lots of dried spices and herbs at home so for me, this cost me pennies to make. A lot cheaper than buying a small jar for $3-4. Not difficult to make at all in the slightest although next time, I will definitely use my spice grinder.
I give this recipe four out of five wooden spoons. A good basic curry paste with loads of coriander flavour. But I want more. The perfect recipe search continues...
Note: Keep in an airtight jar and the paste will keep for up to 1 month in the refrigerator.