Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Curry Sauce

A good curry has to have a decent base. Without a base, you don't have anything to layer the taste on.

The Spice Guy at Irene Market keeps me in various shades of red (depending on the curry mix I buy). His masala mixes have all sorts of goodies in them like star anise, cardamum pods, bay leaves....

For this all purpose curry sauce, I used :

3 Tbsp medium masala curry powder mix
1 Tbsp hot masala curry powder mix
About half a tsp of dried chilli flakes
1 Tbsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp crushed peppercorns
4 Tbsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp dried coriander
2 tsp sugar
2 Tsp fennel seeds
2 medium onions, peeled and finely diced (or blitzed in a food processor)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
couple of bay leaves
2 410g tinned tomatoes
olive oil
extra sugar
Mrs Balls chutney

Mix the curry powders, chilli flakes, turmeric, ginger, crushed peppercorns, parsley, coriander and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat up about 4 to 5 tbsp of good quality virgin olive oil. Add the finely diced onion and fennel seeds. Cook on medium heat until the onion starts going golden brown and then add the garlic, cook for a few more minutes. Add the curry mixture, add more oil if necessary, and cook the mixture for about 2 minutes stirring constantly. Add the tinned tomatoes and bay leaves, stir well and cover, then cook on a low heat for about 25 minutes. Stir in about 2 tbsp of Mrs Balls chutney, then cover and cook for a further 5 minutes. At this point, taste your sauce. If it tastes too acidic, add a bit of sugar and cook for a few minutes before tasting again. Once you have a good balance of sweet, acidic and hot, add whatever meat or vegetables you wish. Cook through until the meat and veg is tender, taking care not to let the sauce burn. Add a splash of water if necessary. Serve over basmati rice.

* I made meatballs by combining 800g mince with 1 egg, tsp of crushed garlic, 1 small onion finely diced, about 2 tbsp spice mix for mince (Robertson), salt and pepper and forming meatballs with a heaped tbsp full of mince mixture. Plop them in the sauce to simmer.

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