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Old 10-12-2004, 12:08 AM   #1
 
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MADRAS Style Curry Paste



1 cup coriander
1/2 cup ground cummin
1 tabsp Ground black pepper
1 tabsp Turmeric
1 tabsp Black mustard seed
1 tabsp Chilli powder
1 tabsp Salt
2 tabsp crushed garlic
2 tabsp Finely grated fresh ginger
Vinegar for mixing
3/4 cup oil

Combine ground spices and salt in a bowl. add garlic and ginger and sufficient vinegar to mix to a smooth, thick, puree.
Heat oil in a saucepan and when very hot turn in the spice mixture and reduce heat.
Stir constantly until spices are cooked and oil separates from spices.
Cool and bottle.
Use about 2 tablespoons of this paste for each 500g (1 lb0 of meat, fish or poultry.

Add extra spices such as cardomom, fenugreek etc for varying flavours.

Tip: For a nice thick curry gravy (DO NOT use thickeners like cornflour) Fry the onions and curry leaves (if used) on low heat in sesame oil until onions are soft and then add canned tomatoes, stir in curry paste and fry for 2 minutes.
Place all in blender for 1-2 minutes until you have a nice thick, smooth sauce with the most amazing aroma. You can then add any yoghurt or coconut milk if desired.

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Old 10-12-2004, 12:25 PM   #2
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Thanks - 2 quick questions

> does it matter what kind of vinegar - what do you recommend

> I'm assuming the sesame oil is not the toasted kind - am I right?
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Old 10-12-2004, 11:28 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subfuscpersona
Thanks - 2 quick questions

> does it matter what kind of vinegar - what do you recommend

> I'm assuming the sesame oil is not the toasted kind - am I right?

I use Apple Cider vinegar as preference for health reasons but white vinegar is excellent.
Yeah, the brown sesame oil stuff you get in the Chinese grocery store, I presume it is toasted.
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Old 10-13-2004, 09:36 AM   #4
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thanks Wayne

More questions -
> what kind of oil do you use for the curry paste? Will any neutral, refined vegetable oil do or do you recommend a specific kind?
> should the paste be refrigerated? Or is it better to store it at room temperature?
> if stored at room temperature, what's the shelf life?

I've been experimenting with making my own masalas for about 2 years. I am still confused by the various techniques for using the masala, though. Some recipes require a paste, some have you mix the ground spices with a little water or oil before fying, some have you fry the ground spices in a little fat at the beginning, and some recommend adding a small amount of masala right at the end. I assume the different techniques are aimed at different effects but I'm still trying to figure out the underlying logic.

BTW, on your recommendation, I got Solomon's Complete Asian Cookbook from my local library. Good reading and wonderful pix tho a little light on vegetarian dishes, which is my primary interest.

Thanks for all your great posts.
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Old 10-13-2004, 04:38 PM   #5
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Hi Sub, here are my 2 cents worth on this topic and being from India it may help :-).

I would ask to steer clear of any curry paste even creating your own and storing it. It's immensely confusing with all the options available today and to top it off regions claim their own curry pastes and powders (popular one is Madras and there is nothing special about that particular powder)

A good approach is to make two make two spice powders if you like Indian food and sometimes want to experiment with it.

Garam Masala being one of them (here is the one I use and works for almost all recipes, can't think of any it does not work on)

2 sticks of cinnamon
4 cloves
4 cardamom pods
6 whole black pepper corns
1 star anise
1 black cardamom pod (if we are being too technical. This is different from it's green cousin and I don't believe are related at all)
1 tsp of grated nutmeg
1 tsp of black cumin seeds (again only if we are being technical. This is distinctly different from the regular cumin seeds you get in super markets)

Dry roast, grind and place in an airtight container

Make a curry powder (here is how I make mine)

2 dried arabol chillies
2 tbsp of corrainder seeds
2 tbsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of fennel seeds
1/2 tbsp of mustard seeds
1/2 tbsp of fenugreek seeds (again if we are being technical)

Dry roast, grind and save in an airtight container. You can mix this with some turmeric about 2 tbsp and some paprika also about 2 tbsp for color.

To make any curry, saute your onions first in a fat medium (any oil is fine, I have even used light olive oil for cooking). I don't think we Indians cook with just ghee as indicated by the Western culinary world. It's funny I don't even have ghee at home. I am not a huge fan of using saturated fat.

After the onions cookdown, add the ginger and garlic (finely grated). Next add the curry powder you prepared and also a 1/4 tsp of garam masala (it's strong stuff so don't add too much). Next add tomatoes, tomato sauce, coconut milk, yogurt, cream (whatever your cooking base is even water or stock is fine) and meat and veggies and you are all set.

I have never seen this fail and it is a much better option than making different kinds of pastes and storing them in your refrigerator where the smells can get into other foods.
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Old 10-13-2004, 06:00 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakuta
Hi Sub, here are my 2 cents worth on this topic and being from India it may help :-).

I would ask to steer clear of any curry paste even creating your own and storing it.
I refute your assertion.
Are you really sugesting that your curry powder, as good as it may well be (going by the ingredients) is in any way superior in flavour to my paste.
I have been making this for years now. It stores exceptionally well. No probs with flavours affecting other foods in the fridge.
Surely in India in 2004 screw top lids and possibly even Tupperware is used. Well they are in America and certainly in Australia.
Maybe all those members who have been using and commenting on the Patak's (an Indian family business) Curry Pastes and even the Sharwoods brand, have been out of touch and should not be using such fine products and go back to curry powder.

I would suggest that by roasting the spices, as in your recipe, before grinding them would give a Sri Lankan curry flavour NOT Indian. See my recipe for Sri Lankan curry powder.

The vinegar and oil plus the garlic in my paste preserves it well. It is fully cooked as well. No different to making any other preserves. One does not have to make heaps of jars as other spices can be added for different flavours when cooking the curry.

Maybe we should tell the Italian members to steer clear of making and storing their own tomato paste and sauces.

One of my daughters inlaw comes from China but she would be the last person I would consult for info on Chinese cooking, in fact she regularly gets tips from me.
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Old 10-13-2004, 06:57 PM   #7
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As I indicated that was my 2 cents worth and take it for what's it worth.

You did not have to go that far and compare me to your daughter in law. You know nothing about me or my experience with cooking. There are a lot of accomplished cooks who carry on their ethnic traditions and then there are others who don't have a clue. I have met both myself.

Cheers.
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Old 10-13-2004, 07:20 PM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by Yakuta

You did not have to go that far and compare me to your daughter in law.

Cheers.
I did not compare you to my daughter inlaw. I was making the point that because a person comes from a particular country, that does not make them an authority on the cooking practices of that country any more than the cliche "just like grandma used to make", assuming that all grandma's are good cooks.

What I took exception to was you telling people to steer clear of using or making ANY curry pastes.

I realise it may have seemed like a personal attack on you, not intended, but the way I wrote the reply was the only way I could express my thoughts on this subject to others. This whole slanging match would not have eventuated had you just given your recipes, and not suggested that because you come from a certain area, that they should not use curry pastes. I like the Garam masala recipe, which I will actually give a go.

Let's just agree to disagree.
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Old 10-13-2004, 09:52 PM   #9
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Bet your daughter in law just loves getting tips from you.
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Old 10-13-2004, 10:06 PM   #10
 
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Bet your daughter in law just loves getting tips from you

Especially Asparagus, drizzled with butter and sprinkled with Parmesan.


Now lets's dispense with the bitchiness and enjoy ourselves on this forum. Go to the Joke section and cheer up.

I am not taking this any further. By all means continue if you wish.
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