Taster Session - Indian Cookery.
Another Kirklees College Cookery course.
My oldest friend Mick's wife Cathy sent him out to learn some cookery, and I went with him for moral support.
And of course because of all the cookery I like to do.
It was great fun, if a little hectic, and as per usual I was one of the last to finish up.
At least this time I have someone to blame it on!
curry side veg vegan
Onion Bahjis with a hint of potato.
Makes about Ten
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 potato, thinly sliced
- bunch coriander, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- gram flour
- chilli powder
- garlic salt
- madras curry powder
Pre-heat a deep fat fryer to 170°C.
Halve the onion, cut the ends off then slice thinly lengthways.
Peel the potato , quarter then slice thinly.
Chop a bunch of coriander, stalks and all, add a slice a clove of garlic and mix everything together with a good dash of salt.
Season with your choice of powdered spices.
Mix in a half dozen heaped tablespoons of gram flour, or more to generously coat the onion, then gradually splash in water until the mixture coheres.
Shape into balls or discs, slightly smaller than a golf ball, and deep-fry for about 5 minutes until they're nicely golden.
Drain on kitchen roll, and serve immediately with raita dipping sauce.
main curry fowl
Aaron introduced me to a couple of novel approaches as he guided us through making this curry:
The first was the sheer quantity of ground spices he used - somewhere between ½ and 1 cup in total!
I have ordinarily used only about one teaspoon of each of my spices, but here Aaron must have used a heaped tablespoon
(though probably not including the chilli!).
The second was Aaron's suggestion of (carefully) dry-frying the ground spices before using them.
I have often dry-fried whole
spices to better release their oils and flavour before grinding them to powder,
but had never tried doing it with the already-powdered spice.
Aaron suggested this would be effective at reducing the unpleasant powdery
quality he often finds present in curries.
Perhaps this is somehow related to the enormous quantity of ground spices he's inclined to use?
My extensive research
suggests it's uncommon to dry-fry the ground spices,
and that doing so may greatly reduce their more volatile flavours. Which may explain why such large quantities of them were required or at least, were not then overwhelming.
Still, there's no arguing with the result - which was excellent!
- oil or ghee for frying
- 2 " ginger
- 1 onion
- 6 garlic cloves
- 4 boneless chicken thighs
- 2 tblsps tomato purée
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 bell pepper
- fresh chillies
- water, as required
- 1 tomato, quartered
- 4 tsps ground cumin
- 4 tsps garam masala
- 5 tsps madras curry powder
- 3 tsps ground coriander
- 2 tsps paprika
- 3 tsps ground fenugreek
- 3 tsps whole cumin seeds
- 2 tsps mustard seeds
Measure out your preferred vast quantities of the ground spices into a bowl.
Peel the ginger and slice or mince.
Peel the onion and slice or dice.
Peel the garlic and slice or mince.
Cut the chicken into fat bite-sized chunks.
Quarter the tomato vertically, and remove the hard core .
Slice the chillies and de-seed - (the hottest part of the chilli is the pith around the seeds).
Core and de-seed the bell pepper and slice it.
Heat a large frying pan and briefly dry-fry the ground spices without burning until their aroma develops, then tip them out and leave to one side.
Add a generous puddle of oil to the pan over medium-high heat and fry the onion, then add the ginger, then add the garlic.
You want to end up with some caramelisation around the edges.
Add the powdered spices and stir until any harshness cooks off and the spices are fried through.
Add the chicken and stir through until sealed.
Stir through the tomato puée and cook off any bitterness, then add the tinned tomatoes.
Stir thoroughly, mix in enough water to lubricate, add the pepper and fresh chilli.
Lay the tomato quarters on top.
Reduce the heat to low and allow the curry to cook off for half an hour or so until the sauce is rich and thickened, almost dry.
Add more water if necessary, but avoid stirring too much so as not to break it up.
curry staple bread
- 120ml/½ cup yoghurt
- 150g self-raising flour
- 1-2 tsps baking soda
- flaked almonds
- coriander, chopped
- garlic, minced
Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat.
Mix self-raising flour, a dash of salt, and a couple of teaspoons of baking soda into the yoghurt until it coheres into a slightly sticky dough.
Add any extras you might fancy such as garlic, flaked almonds, chopped coriander.
Flour a work surface and roll into a circle or an oval.
Dry-fry until the surface darkens, flip and fry the second side.
curry sauce veg
- cucumber, diced
- mint, chopped
- lemon juice
Cut a section of cucumber into quarters lengthways.
Cut away the watery seeds from the centre of each quarter.
Chop the cucumber as finely as you like.
Strip away the mint stalks and slice or mince the leaves.
Mix them all into the yoghurt with a squeeze of lemon and salt to taste.