Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Time Saving Yummy Curries

Hey this is for all those people who want to make delicious food while still running a tight schedule. I am going to tell you about three variations of gravies/curries that you can prepare in advance and use them as and when you want. The advance preparation saves a lot of time.


The preparations that I am about to describe below are best made on a weekend or on whichever day you have time. I would say 30-40 minutes is all you need. The curries that we will discuss below, will actually be in a thick paste form, so that once they are ready and cooled we can store them in the deep freezer and use them when ever we want to make a gravy of that style. We will make the basic gravy paste, which we will fine tune to our requirement later when we make the curries. Each preparation should give you 5-6 actual curries, for 2 people with 2 servings.



Curry type one:
Ingredients: 1 large onion, 250 gms of tomato puree, 15-20 almonds or cashew nuts, turmeric, red chili powder, cumin seeds, coriander powder, salt, water, oil/ghee.

Other things you need: 1 medium sized pan/wok, mixer-grinder, spatula, spoon, plastic container.


Method:
  1. Soak the almonds/cashew in water for 3-4 hours. Peel the almonds and grind them to a paste. It should not be too smooth. Remove from the grinder.

  2. Cut the onions into squares. Put the pieces in a grinder and grind to a paste.

  3. In the pan put about 2 tablespoons of oil or ghee, after it is hot, put in the onion paste, fry the onion paste till they are pink.

  4. Put in the tomato puree, after about 3-4 minutes add the almond/cashew nut paste. Let this cook for 5-7 minutes on a medium flame.

  5. Now add in the spices as per your taste keeping in mind that this is just the base. After adding the salt, fry with constant stirring until you obtain a thick paste.

  6. Allow this to cool and store in a good quality plastic container in your deep freezer.

  7. To make actual curry: Cut a small/medium sized onion, fry it in a pan, add in some cumin seeds, then add in 1 tablespoon of our frozen paste. Fry this until oil leaves the sides of the paste. Add in the other spices as per your taste. Add the vegetables and stir, add water as per the consistency you want. Garnish with coriander leaves.

  8. For this gravy, I suggest Paneer (cottage cheese), Paneer & Peas, Peas & Potato, Peas, Potato & Carrots. I have not yet tried this one with Chicken, but I think it should go well. Only we should add butter when actually making the gravy...you will have yummy Butter-Chicken.

Curry type two:
Ingredients: 3 large onion, 250 gms of tomato puree, 1 inch piece of ginger, 5 cloves of garlic, garam masala, turmeric, red chili powder, cumin seeds, coriander powder, fresh coriander leaves with stalks, salt, water, oil/ghee.

Other things you need: 2 medium sized pan/wok, mixer-grinder, spatula, spoon, plastic container.

Method:

  1. Cut the onions into this slices. Take 1 tablespoon of oil in a thick bottom pan. Fry the onions in this oil until they are dark brown. Be very careful as they might burn.

  2. Once the onions are fried, add the garam masala, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder. Roast all this for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. Once cooled, grind all this with little water.

  3. In another pan take 2 tablespoons of oil, put in the paste we made in step 2. Fry for 4-5 minutes, then add in the tomato puree. Cook this until you get a thick paste.

  4. Cool and store in the deep freezer.

  5. We can eliminate step 3, and add in the tomatoes when we are making the gravy.

  6. Another variation in this curry-paste is adding grated dry coconut (khobra) & poppy seeds, once the onions are fried. The rest remains same. This variation in gravy can be used for Chicken, Mutton dishes.

  7. Something to remember is that this paste is dark in color, which means that it primarily gets its color from the fried onions and the garam masala. So I suggest you add 3-4 teaspoons of garam masala.


Curry type three:

Ingredients: 2 large onion, 250 gms of tomato puree, 100 gms yogurt, 1 inch piece of ginger, 4 cloves of garlic, garam masala, turmeric, red chili powder, cumin seeds, coriander powder, fresh coriander leaves with stalks, salt, water, oil/ghee. In this the ginger, garlic & coriander leaves can be in form of a paste.

Other things you need: 1 medium sized pan/wok, mixer-grinder, spatula, spoon, plastic container.


Method:

  1. Cut the onions into squares. Put the pieces in a grinder and grind to a paste.
    In the pan put about 2 tablespoons of oil or ghee, after it is hot, put in the onion paste, fry the onion paste till they are pink.
  2. Put in the ginger & garlic fry till pink, then add the tomato puree, cook for about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Now add in the spices and stir for 3-4 minutes. Last step after adding the salt is to add the yogurt. Stir continuously. Cook this till you get a thick paste.
  4. Cool & store
  5. I like to use this for Paneer & Capsicum, Paneer & Peas, Potato & Capsicum. Chicken also tastes great with this gravy.

Do try these and tell me about your experience. If you need any help or suggestions do let me know. Till then TC !!

1 comment:

Sonia said...

hi there, neelum, this is fantastic - will definitely try this out - will save me hours of slaving in the kitchen and give me the satisfaction of having made something myself - instead of buying ready-made stuff. The other big advantage is the fact - that we can use entire bottles of tomato purees - or make them out of the whole bags that we buy - will definitely result in less wastage as what remains normally gets thrown out if its not completely consumed.