Indian Takeaway Hack #1
Tips from your local Indian Takeaway in Astley.
The Indian Curry Base Hack
A question we are often asked is how do Astley Tandoori manage to quickly cook the same dishes with flavour, texture and consistency every time. The answer is the special ingredient of every Indian food restaurant or takeaway; a secret recipe guarded by chefs which makes a curry base or gravy, which is used for the majority of Indian restaurant style dishes.
Onions, garlic and ginger feature heavily in any good Indian curry base, whether it is slow-cooked for hours or cooked in a matter of minutes in the takeaway kitchen. Spices are plenty, with flavours from a blend of coriander, cumin, and turmeric amongst others.
Authentic cooking methods can take hours to produce the flavour and consistency of home-style South Indian food, and so to work effectively in a fast-paced kitchen, the secret of gravy is a must-have ingredient.
Batch cook for quick meals
Scaling this recipe up will result in you having plenty of Indian curry base to store in the freezer ready to use for a quick meal without the need to cook for hours to get the authentic flavours achieved from the slow cooking of traditional dishes.
Versatile South Indian Dishes
The beauty of having your own stash of Indian curry base is that you can add a variety of ingredients depending on how you feel on the day, or the taste preferences of the guests you are serving. A hot, fiery Jalfrezi or a flavoursome Makhani can be made in minutes using this pre-made curry base.
Indian Curry Base Recipe
Below you will find an easy to make, simplified recipe for you to use at home. We have left out the chilli and salt from this gravy base so you can decide how much heat your final dishes have by adding chilli powder or fresh chillies at the final cooking stage, and if you have a low salt diet, you can be the judge of that too.
2 tablespoons of Ghee or vegetable oil
3 Onions – finely chopped
2 Carrots – finely chopped
1 potato – diced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger – sliced
4 cloves of garlic – sliced
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1. Place a pan on the heat and melt the ghee. Add the chopped onions, carrots and potato to the pan and cook on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a further 1 minute.
2. Mix all of the spices together. Turn the heat down slightly, and add the mixed spices to the pan, coating the vegetables and frying for 1 minute.
3. Add enough water to the pan to cover the mixture, bring to the boil and simmer until all of the vegetables are softened.
4. Turn the heat off. Allow to cool down before using a stick blender or food processor to blend the contents of the pan into a sauce. If the consistency of the sauce is too thick, add a little more water and continue to blend until smooth.
COMPLETE! Now you have your very own Indian gravy base to use with other ingredients, you will want to use it!
Vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or omnivore, you will find this Indian curry base creates the foundations of any dish, just use your imagination and go wild.
If you are a heat-seeker when it comes to spice, you can add green chillies or chilli powder. Whole spices such as bay, cardamom or cinnamon, cumin, nigella, coriander or fenugreek seeds and any combination of the above with chicken, prawns, vegetable or pair them up like here in this chicken and potato dish.
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