01 Feb / Secrets to Making a Great Authentic Indian Curry
Indian is a great cuisine to be able to tackle at home; it’s varied, flavoursome, and extremely nourishing. There are hundreds of different styles of curries and side dishes, many options for those with differing dietary requirements, and more flavours than you could ever imagine! Curries can be simple or complicated, they can be made quickly for a family dinner or slow-cooked throughout the day for a feast. There are a few key steps to remember when it comes to making a curry, but the best part is that you have the freedom to play around with flavours and ingredients to cater to personal preferences. Curries can be hot, mild, made with lots of sauce or quite dry.
So, what are the most important steps to remember when it comes to making an authentic Indian curry?
Build a flavour foundation
Curries always start with the spices, which usually come in the form of a curry powder or paste. Whether you purchase a readymade paste or create your own, most will include cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek, ginger, garlic and cardamom – to name a few! Start by choosing or building a curry powder, and then decide how spicy or mild you want your curry. To add chilli, you can use powder, paste, chilli sauce or a whole chilli or two; just make sure you know how hot you can handle it.
Build a deep flavour
The three core ingredients of almost any Indian curry are garlic, onion and ginger. There are a few styles of curries that don’t use garlic to ensure subtle flavour isn’t overwhelmed, but it’s a good rule of thumb that those three ingredients are likely to be included. It’s best to use fresh versions of each of these ingredients, and they will then start off your cooking alongside some oil (ghee is great, olive oil also works). Pop them in the pan and sauté until the onion is translucent, and your kitchen is fragrant. Then add the curry powder and start building on the body of your curry.
Decide on the body and sauce
Each curry will have a base ingredient; whether it’s a type of meat, a group of vegetables, fish, or seafood. This goes in the pan next, and is sealed or cooked for a few minutes with the onion, garlic, ginger and curry powder. Then, depending on what kind of curry you want to cook, you create the sauce. If you want something mild you might go for a korma or butter chicken, which you would use ingredients like yoghurt, cream and tomato puree for. Madras, rogan josh and vindaloo are more tomato based, and curries like vindaloo require lots of spice and chilli paste.
And there you have it, the three major steps to creating a delicious authentic curry! Don’t forget to use fresh ingredients, and think about cooking with leftover meats; it can create a delicious and unique flavour. Or, if you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own beautiful curry, why not head out for Indian food in Perth? Royal India in West Perth have an extensive menu to dine in and takeaway.