Creating a mouthwatering Indian curry is all about mastering the art of layering flavours and using the right techniques. And it’s so easy once you know how. Here are mine and mum’s tips that will help you make an authentic and delicious Indian curry.
LAYER THAT FLAVOUR
The difference between a good curry and a great one is learning to layer in flavour. It may mean some extra prep or cooking time, but it’ll make you a curry legend in the process.
If you’re using meat or tofu, marinate in yoghurt, garlic paste and Tandoori Masala for a few hours before cooking to infuse – the extra flavour and tenderness is well worth the extra step.
Cook your onion, ginger, and garlic base slowly until it's caramelised and deeply browned. This forms the foundation of your curry, and is a cooking stage that will make a real difference to the overall flavour of your curry, so don’t skip this step or rush it.
Instead of adding all of your spices at once, try the “beginning, middle and end” method, a technique you’ll find in many authentic Indian recipes. Add whole spices right at the beginning (see spice tempering below), add your ground spices once you’ve thoroughly caramelised any onions, garlic and ginger (and then slow cook for ultimate harmony). At the end of cooking, try adding a pinch of garam masala or some sizzled curry leaves and cumin seeds – this can really help create a rich and layered flavour.
Once you’ve slow-cooked to perfection, achieve the perfect balance by adding a touch of sweet (sugar or jaggery), sour (tamarind or lime), salty (salt!) or savoury (toasted ground fenugreek leaves), or a big handful of chopped coriander – these sorts of ingredients will really make your curry sing.
MASTER YOUR SPICES
We can’t give you a curry guide without talking spices! Here are our top tips.
…and use them often. Dull flavours come from old spices, so give your spices the sniff test and chuck any that are dull and musty. Invest in high-quality vibrant blends and spices will bring depth and freshness to your recipes, like our award winning Garam Masala, Tandoori Masala, and Sri Lankan Curry spice blends.
Mum and I have spent years honing our award winning garam masala, tandoori blend, Sri Lankan curry powder, and so obviously we’d love nothing more than you giving them a try (we promise you’ll love them!). But we also urge you to have a go and create your own, perhaps adding a little ground fenugreek if you like bold aroma and savoury-ness or dialling down the chilli if you prefer things mellow and mild. For the ultimate guide to making and cooking with your own blends, look no further than the Spice Kitchen book.
The smell of spices tempering always reminds me of growing up at home – and there’s no better way of adding flavour at the beginning of a recipe.. Heat oil or ghee and add whole spices like cumin seeds, curry leaves, mustard seeds or fenugreek seeds. Let them sizzle and release their aroma before adding your other ingredients.
Will you be trying any of these tips? Or do you have a favourite tip of your own? We'd love to hear from you! Drop us a comment below.