Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Create recipes with varieties of curry base

What to cook today? This is everyday's question to everyone who is cooking for the family or self.

Here is the simple and innovative ways you can create the varieties of the tastes and styles to experiment your cooking that would bring the change in your routine menu or help you creating your new recipe schedule.

All three of us have no allergy of any kinds of food and that's why I used the various curry bases to create the varieties of recipes using limited vegetable or other vegitarian options such as tofu, cottage cheese (paneer) or soya chunks, or steamed besan (chickpea powder) chunks and so on

I use many vegetables such as cauliflower, eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, pumpkin, okra, raw papaya, raw banana, cabbage, capsicum etc. and all the following curry based can be used for them. However, I do not use them with green veggies or broccoli.

Based on my experiments, I created the various curry options. You can use one of following curry options to create your curry. I use 2 teaspoon of one of options mentioned below for cooking a small bowl of curry for one person. you can reduce or increase the quantity of the curry base option based on your preference of thickness or richness for your curry. This simply can be used along with your 5 basic spices i.e. turmeric powder, chili powder, cumin power, coriander powder and home made garam masala (mixes spices). I prefer to roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds or whole garam masala separately on low flame and grind it into powder that I store in glass jar and use it on daily basis.

1. Onion paste: Please chop onion and grind it into paste. Please fry it in oil along with 1/4 tea spoon of ginger and 1/4 tea spoon of garlic paste before you add spices while frying. It will improve the taste. Later you can add your veggies and water and cook.

2. Onion + tomato Paste: Please chop and grind onion and tomatoes separately. I usually fry onion paste along with 1/4 tea spoon of ginger and 1/4 tea spoon of garlic paste, add spices and later I add tomato paste and cook. once the tomatoes are cooked (in 2-3 min), I add vegetables and water, and cook it util all veggies are done.

3. Poppy Seed Paste: Poppy seed paste is very popular in Bengali and Bihari cooking. Please grind poopy seeds into fine powder. You can add couple of spoons of water (or more if needed) and grind it into a fine paste. You can add half a cup of water  to dilute the paste and strain it and used the strained poppy seed paste for curry. Please add this poppy seed paste towards end of cooking. I usually add when the vegetable are cooked. After adding the poppy seed paste, you may cook it for two to three minutes to thicken the curry before turning off the gas burner.

4. Mustard Paste: Please select yellow mustard seeds for making mustard paste. Simply grind it into fine powder and add little water and again grind it into fine paste. You can half cup of  water to dilute the paste and strain it and use the strained mustard paste for cooking. I add mustard paste to the half cooked vegetables and cook it for four to six minutes before turning off the gas burner. Little cooking helps to create nice curry. Please remember that mustard has sharp taste, so avoid adding additional spices. only 1 green chili and turmeric powder would complement the mustard curry. And recommend to avoid other all spices if you can. This is Bengal specialty.

5. Cashew Paste: You can soak 4-5 cashew nuts for 30 min and grind into fine paste and use it for cooking.

Please add this cashew paste towards end of cooking. I usually add this paste to into vegetables when they are almost cooked and cook it further for three minutes more before turning off the gas burner. For richer and creamer taste, you can add one to two tea spoons of whipped cream just one minute before turning off the gas. Please do not cook whipped cream longer or the cream will disintegrate.

6. Whipped Cream: You can create a quick party recipe using whipped cream. You will get it in any supermarket as most of the dairy manufacturing companies sell it. I use Anchor brand. You can cook your mixed vegetable (I use frozen carrot, peas and beans) and cook it with little extra spices (chilli powder, turmeric powder and Garam masala and salt). When the vegetables are cooked (after 7 to 8 minutes) I add 5- 6 spoons of whipped cream and half a spoon of sugar. Just stir it, and cook it for another 30 sec and turn off the gas burner. This is your creamy, spicy and weet mixed vegetable that can be served with plain Basmati rice or Indian fried rice.

7. Coconut Milk: You can use the mixed vegetables (cauliflower, small green eggplant, potatoes, pumpkin and peas (optional), carrot substituted with coconut milk. Can optionally add 2 spoons of grated fresh coconut to your curry. This is south Indian or Thai style curry. Please tamper mustard seeds and curry leaves as it will bring additional a flavor to your curry.

Rice and Chickpea Powder for Curry
8. Peanut powder: You can roast and make coarse grinder powder that can be used as curry base or for other cooking. I use 2-3 spoons of roasted peanut powder along with spices and cook the vegetables. You can create another variation by adding dry coconut powder. This taste good with basic spices. This is popular Maharashtrian style and used in stuffed eggplant.

9. Chickpea powder: I use 2 spoons of roasted chickpea powder (besan) while adding spices and fry them together with vegetable and add water and cook together. I usually add tomato to it once all the spices are fried and cook before adding my vegetable. This is healthy and tasty curry option.

Please ensure that you roast the chickpea powder (besan) on low flame until besan turns light golden color or you will have uneven powder with raw, burnt besan and the burnt one will taste bitter.

10. Roasted rice powder: You can wash and roast rice. once it cools down, you can grind it into powder. This powder taste good with coconut milk and can be used as a curry base. This is popular in Sri Lankan style.

11. Hot and Sour curry: Just add chopped tomatoes and tamarind paste (as per your choice and taste) or half tea spoon of raw mango powder. Hot and Sour curry. You can add sugar if you like.

Black Masala or Spice Curry
12. Black Masala (Black Spice): you can cut the dry coconut into small pieces and chop onion. Take little oil and fry 1cloves and 2 black pepper and 1 dry red chili together. Later fry dry coconut pieces and chopped onion. Please fry them separately. Once all the ingredients are cool down, you can grind them together into paste. This is ready to use spice that can be fried in two spoonful of hot oil and fry it further for a minute on low flame. Please add turmeric powder and chili powder as you prefer and salt and cook your vegetables or cooked soya chucks (or chicken or mutton). This is black masala popular in Kolhapur region in Maharashtra. You can add other species as you prefer.

13. Plain Yogurt: plain yogurt is simply great in taste as it adds richness to curry and reduces sharpness of spices. You can mix it with any of the above curry base, except whipped cream and coconut milk at the end of the cooking. Please remember to beat the yogurt in bowl with egg beater to bring the consistency before adding it to the curry. Please do not cook more than 2 min.

14. Green Curry: we can use fresh coriander leaves, ginger, green cilili and fresh coconut to make green curry. Please grind all these ingredients into green paste. You can use this paste along with 1/4 spoon of turmeric powder to create green curry. I don't add any other spices as it ruins taste of the fresh herbs. This is better curry base is best if you are steaming vegetables or fish in banana leaf. This is Parsi style, similar to Patranu Macchi.

Please note: If you are using additional black pepper or reducing curry base paste/powder, please ensure to reduce red chili powder as well or it will be very spicy to handle.#Curry #IndianCooking #VegitarianCooking, #food, #lifestyle, #culture, #HealthyFood, #Health, #cuisine #Recipe #InnovativeDinner #PartyMenu #SandhyaJane #SecondSpring #BusinessAnalysis #Life

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