Namasti, Salaam, or just plain Hello

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It you want to cook curry from the Indian subcontinent pay attention you are going to need one or two things a karahi a few spices and a love of Indian food is good for openers,  trust me it will be worth it in the end, enroll for my curry making blog and get free recipes tips and hints for the beginner and experienced cook alike.

I’m not saying that I am the greatest curry cook on the planet, but the curries that you will find here will all be made from scratch and will not feature any tinned or bottled concoctions that are common and assist those that can’t be bothered or don’t have the time. These recipes I hope will all come from the heart

So loads to keep you interested

If you are an absolute beginner and don’t know the herbs the spices you need to get started , my “fillin the Dabba” article may well be a good place to start.

Ever wondered how the Indian Restaurant can produce any curry out of the 100 that appear on the menu in about 15 minutes, well I will let you into that secret too; check out my Daag it….. Curry in a hurry…..Tells you exactly how that’s done

This Blog future, past, and present will take you through all the things you need to cook, enjoy, and understand the food of the curry wide world that brings the best of  India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to the table.

Page by page line by line all of the things you may want to know or learn, from the most basic ingredients, through to the equipment and the complexities of all that is Indian food.

I will write of the ethos of the cookery and the food and help you in the understanding of the what, and the why, for information on the backroom details to curry have a look at “Curry the Mystery Unfolds” from some of the health issues through to the spiritual and Ayervedic leanings of this great food.

The meanderings that you read here really fall into two camps the traditional recipes where I have tasted and tested those recipes that you will find on the table of everyday India, and with that experience the recipes I have created that are  Demonology, where the tradition meets my ideas and the result is  hopefully something new!

You won’t need to encompass all that I say word for word; cookery and especially curry cookery is not like that, a lot of the time passion and enthusiasm make up for a lot, so drop your email address into the” follow me” section for the blog that will offer you regular recipes and updates on the food that has something for all!

I can’t Guarantee that there will be a recipe a day coming your way, but there will be lots to keep you interested and your taste buds a quiver, In fact a recipe a week may be too much but |I will certainly try!

Feel free to contact me and request any indian, or curry recipes that you feel you might want to try I literally have thousands of recipes and all can be delivered  by currydemonology:)

Simply Punjabi Salmon

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Currydemonology

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The Skeleton of the following recipe was given to me by my friend Gopal who I mentioned that I had an Indian food blog to, his response to that little bombshell was to send me an email at work with some random business stuff that I deal with on a day basis and the recipe at the foot of the message  he thought I and  you curry demons out there might like something that he and his wife like to eat. Nice one Gopal:)
I don’t know how traditional it is as I have not been given a traditional name so I have called it something appropriate to the roots of ts origins as I understand them……

When I say this recipe was given to me as a Skeleton it was about 9 lines in total and that included the list of ingredients and as such I have had to use a little…

View original post 788 more words

Sweet and Sour Mixed Fish Curry

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SAM_3467 In tow with Mrs Demonology round the local supermarket is never my chosen pastime, for my part I would have it delivered but Mrs Demonology is very particular preferring to inspect, feel and caress all that is natural that we purchase on our weekly expedition to spend. spend. spend.  That said whilst on this recent sojourn I espied a pack of fish made up of Salmon, and some various white fish, and finished off with some of that strange yellow smoked fish assembled by the supermarket for a Fish Pie, a dish I enjoy very much but also very useful to those intent on the Fish Curry front just add a few prawns and bingo away you go!

This recipe is my own and one that I really enjoy making as it takes no time and can be made and left to stand, which in my opinion does much to improve it. My best advice is make the curry sauce, set aside then marinade the fish for about four hours then cook the final dish for your tea or supper. Its like it says on the label sweet and sour and for this I use Jaggery for the sweet. I love Jaggery its a very rough unrefined sugar that has a rich sweet caramel taste, if you cant get your hands on it Demerara sugar will do just as well but you may need a little more. The Tamarind comes in a jar and can be found on the shelf of the local supermarket or from your favourite Indian supplier for sure!

The What’s in it

1 tbsp. Ghee

12 Curry leaves

1tsp Fenugreek whole

1tsp Coriander whole

1tsp whole Black Peppercorns

1tsp Aniseed whole

1 red Onions

1 tsp Turmeric

3 green Chillies chopped & Deseeded

2 cloves Garlic

1 inch Ginger

3 Tomtoes chopped

2 cup(1/2Pint) Fish stock

165 ml Coconut milk

2 tsp Jaggery

1 tsp Tamarind

1/2 tsp red Chilli Powder

1 tablespoon Garam masala

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The Marinade

Place the fish and Prawns in the fridge soaking up the marinade for about 4 hours, or longer

2 tbsp. Lime juice

1tsp Ground Aniseed

1tsp Amchoor

1tsp salt

Fish

Prawns

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The How To

Heat the ghee and add the Curry leaves, fenugreek, Coriander, peppercorns, cook for a minute or so then add the onions.

Cook the onions long and slowly on a low to medium flame. I cant say it often enough take your times with the onions they are the vital ingredient and the base for much that follows.

After a good fifteen to twenty minutes and the onion is golden brown add the  chilli, garlic,  ginger, and  cook through for another five minutes or so.

Remember that once you add the Garlic and ginger the onions will not brown any more and it is this onion colour that will reflect in the final dish, so have patience.

Add the Turmeric and  Tomatoes and continue to cook through until the moisture has cooked out, at this point you can  add the fish stock, a good indicator of this is that the turmeric will be catching on the bottom of the pan

Once you add the stock the Peppercorns will float to the surface and I like to remove them picking them up with a fork an exercise that goes a long way to prove patience is a virtue!…..

Bring everything back to the boil and then stir in the Coconut milk, Jaggery, and Tamarind  and allow to reduce to a thick gravy, taste and adjust the seasoning adding the extra Chilli powder Garam Masala and Salt as you feel.

At this point I cover and set it aside make the marinade have a beer, wime fruit juice or just kick back for four hours or so, however if you have made the marinade drain the fish and prawns from the marinade and add to a hot sauce and cook the fish through this shouldn’t take more than 5 to 10 minutes before its ready to serve with whatever you fancy, Naans for me!SAM_3466

Shevandi Kada…King Prawn and Baby Onion

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SAM_3457Two of my most favourite things in the world prawn and onion and this “nearly” traditional recipe which features both in a symphony of taste. Although you really will have to love onion to fully appreciate this recipe the sauce is unctuous  and full of the sweet and sour flavours of the Jaggery and the tamarind with chopped onion making the basis of the sauce and if that’s not enough onion for you, whole baby onions or shallots bringing a final hint of sweetness, truly delicious, and all held together with some juicy large king Prawns to bring that extra texture and taste that make for a fantastic seafood curry!

I have “demonised” the recipe as the original I was gifted essentially had no seasoning or spice and a very large glass of Goan fire water “Feni”, made from coconut or cashew nuts and in Goa & kerala where this recipe originates and available everywhere in those two provinces, however in downtown Nottingham I have to admit I couldn’t find it anywhere. The recipe also demands baby pearl onions, these may be a bit tricky to lay your hands on too but shallots will do just as good a job using the smallest you can get.

So there is no alcohol, is that a loss…. Nah don’t think so!

The What’s in it (2 persons)

5 or 6 baby onions or shallots per person

Salt to season

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3 Tablespoons Mustard oil

8 Curry leaves

1 large Onion finely chopped

1inch Ginger

1heaped teaspoon garlic paste

2 green chillies de-seeded and finely chopped

1tsp fenugreek

1tsp turmeric

1tsp Garam Masala

25oml Fish stock

2tsp Tamarind paste

1 flat tbsp Jaggery/brown sugar

1 fine chopped Tomato

1tbsp Plain yoghurt

36 pearl onions(Shallots as many as you think for 3 persons) peeled and kept whole

350 gm  RAW prawns as large as you can find, peeled and deveined

Salt to taste…..

The How To……

Peel the baby onions or shallots and boil in salted water for about fifteen minutes until soft set aside until required

Bring your mustard oil up to heat add the curry leaves, and fry for no longer than a minute or two or until the curry leaves change colour, add  the onions and fry until golden brown, take your time with this as this is the base of the sauce. Then add the green chillies, the ginger and the garlic pastes and fry for a minute or two longer until the garlic smell has dropped away. Add the Fenugreek , Turmeric and Garam masala cook for a further couple of minutes, then add 250ml fish stock, and the jaggery and Tamarind paste, the chopped tomato and reduce to a thick sauce. Finally adding the baby onions and yoghurt for the last five minutes.SAM_3455

Now you can add the prawns and cook them  through this shouldn’t take more than five minutes, serve with whatever you like to eat your Indian food with!

Bhare Baghare Tamate (Stuffed Tomatoes)

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SAM_3450 I have been very quiet lately principally I believe if you have nothing to say then do that….. quiet is something that it is very difficult to find in the world that surrounds us all and as such one of the few things that can always one hope be done quietly is eating good food. Todays dish is a traditional one  that is not something you can bring together in ten minutes it will take you at least 90 minutes in the initial preparation and perhaps 30 to 4o minutes in the cooking so don’t undertake this recipe if you are looking for something quick. Its vegetarian all the way and one of those dishes that needs little else to help it along , but if you must have some more protein a fillet of white fish would compliment it for sure

The Whats in it

4 Beefsteak Tomatoes

Salt

For the Filling

Unsalted butter, for frying

150g/5oz (2 cups) chopped mushrooms

250g/9 oz Paneer, grated or crumbled

1 tablespoon chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves

4 green chillies, slit in half lengthways and de-seeded

24 cashew nut halves

1 teaspoon black cumin seeds

For the Paste

4 tablespoons peanuts, roasted

2 tablespoons desiccated (dried flaked) coconut

4.5 tablespoons sesame seeds

250g/9 oz (2 small) onions

4 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

For the Sauce

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1.5 teaspoons chilli powder

125ml/4.5 fl oz (0.5 cup) vegetable oil

0.5 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

16 curry leaves

150g/5oz (1 medium) onion, sliced

3 tablespoons Ginger Paste

1 teaspoon Garlic Paste

100g/3.5 oz Fried Onion Paste

0.25 teaspoon Tamarind Extract

The How To do It

Blanch the tomatoes by putting then in a large heatproof bowl of boiling water for 30 seconds, then plunging them in cold water.  Remove the skin and slice off the top neatly with a sharp knife, then remove the core, taking care not to pierce the flesh.

To Make the Filling

Melt the butter in a large, heavy based pan over medium heat.

Add the mushrooms and lightly fry for about 2-3 minutes, or until the moisture has evaporated.

Transfer to a bowl, then add all the other ingredients for the filling, season with salt and mix together.

Put a portion of the filling in each of the blanched tomatoes and set aside, until 20 minutes before you wish to serve

Place in an oven at 180 degrees for as you begin to make the sauce if you prefer your tomatoes cooked through, then add to the sauce and follow the “sauce” part of the recipe

To Make the Paste

Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor, with a little water if necessary, and process to make a paste.  Set aside.

To Make the Sauce

Put the turmeric and chilli power in a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons water and stir together.

Heat the oil in another large, heavy-based pan over medium heat

Add the mustard and cumin seeds and stir-fry for about 1 minute or until they start to splutter

Add the curry leaves, stir

Add the onions and lightly fry for about 2 minutes or until they are translucent.

Add the ginger and garlic pastes and stir fry for about 5-10 minutes or until the onions are golden.

Add the ground spice mixture to the pan and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes or until the moisture has evaporated

Add the pastes and stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes or until the oil has separated out.

Pour in 750ml/1.25 pints (3.25 cups) water and season with salt.

Bring to the boil then stir in the tamarind extract.

Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is a thin sauce consistency

Place the stuffed tomatoes in the sauce, cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Uncover and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce is thick.

Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Serve and enjoy, fantastic with a Naan!

Lamb Pasanda the REAL Moghul McCoy!

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SAM_3432Walk into any high street Curry House and one of the stock bulk standard Daag dishes you will find on the menu is a popular North Indian and Pakistani Pasanda, originating from a dish served in the Courts of the Moghul Emperors. The word is derived from  Urdu word “pasande,” or “the favorite one,” which refers to the prime cut of meat traditionally used within, and the fact that everyone loves this dish it is a catch all so this is a true no risk curry creamy that is  low’ish on the chilli heat front, so if your looking for the hot and the dangerous I suggest you go elsewhere, as this is a dish of subtleties and flavour variations and is truly delicious, and does not require the fiery heat of chilli to make it memorable….

Pasanda was originally made with the steaks cut from the  leg of lamb, then beaten to tenderise it  flattened into strips and marinated before  cooking. In the present day, in most restaurants the Pasanda comes as fish, chicken, prawn or any other protein that can make the restaurant a shilling or two; make no mistake though this is a princely dish and one that traditionally uses the finest cut of lamb so being the lover of tradition that I am if it was good enough for the moghuls its good enough for me.

There’s a fair few ingredients but the essence of this dish is the marinade once that is assembled and together its all easy from there

The first and most important element is of course the marinade and this can really be anything that is the essence of what you like to taste in my particular example I like the sweet and the sour so my marinade reflects that. I have also used Coconut cream but you can just as easily use yoghurt or sour cream, feel free to flex you creative muscle here as the end result is really about the Lamb that if you follow the cookout will be soft melt in the mouth succulent surrounded by an unctuous sauce that you will want to cook time and time again.

1 Tomato

6 dried apricots

1 small onion

3 cloves garlic

2 green chilli inc seeds

1inch fresh ginger

150ml coconut cream

1 tbsp. white vinegar

1tsp turmeric

1 tsp amchoor

2 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp red chilli powder…..

Assemble that little lot in a blender and blitz to a smooth paste…..this will make enough marinade for at least 2 persons

Now for the meat you should have some nice leg steaks here to place them between some sheets of clingfilm and flatten to about 10 mmm thickness using a steak mallet or a rolling pin.

when that’s done coat the steaks in the marinade, then cover and refrigerate for no less that a couple of hours, overnight is probably best!

the only other Ingredients your going to need is

1 heaped tablespoon of Ghee

2 inch cinnamon stick

2 black cardamom

1 tsp whole Coriander

1 tsp garam masala

Now for the cooking, you have a couple of options but essentially you need a pan that you can seal, traditionally a karahi with a lid that you seal with a dough paste made of flour and water…. too much hassle/

then use a large heavy based saucepan with a tight fitting lid that you can further seal with a tin foil cover over the pan before you put the lid on……..

melt the ghee in the pan and add the Cinnamon, Cardamoms, Coriander and fry for a few moments before adding the meat and all the marinade spread the meat out over the base of the pan cover as tightly as you can and cook on a very low heat for One hour. Five minutes before you serve sprinkle in the teaspoon of Garam Masala then all that’s left to do is dish it up, and gobble it down! SAM_3433SAM_3434

Chicken & Drumstick curry…..Korioora Munakkai

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      One of the things I really like to do is get an ingredient that I have never tasted and never prepared before,bingo this recipe has one “drumstick“…. that’s right I said drumstick, or to give it its correct name…..Sahjan Ki Phalli this being a core ingredient and most poplar vegetable  in southern india cuisine and is often found in sambhar.Sahjan Ki Phalli Sahjan is in fact the immature long green pods of the Moringa tree another species that you will not find throughout Europe, you can also eat the flowers and leaves of this tree so a vital ingredient and crop to the food of the villages I suspect In this particular case we are using it in…..

Korioora Munakkai

 

A spicy delight of chicken and tamarind not too mention the aforementioned drumstick vegetable that with only one look you can SAM_3425understand how it gets its name.SAM_3423

I am so lucky to have a large Asian community in the city I live in and even more lucky to be able to access the raw ingredients that appear so unusual and are really at the end of the day just fruit and veg that is yet to reach the supermarkets that determine what we all eat … that being an argument for another day.

so a visit to the Indian supermarket was the order of the day and yes success they of course had it although it doesn’t come cheap but why should it it has come halfway round the world and everyone involved needs to get paid … ouch my food miles are totting up I can always plant yet another tree though that seems to do the trick and salve the conscience….

The following recipe is easy enough although there are a lot of ingredients and I didn’t use a whole chicken I just used the crown as it was only for two….

this recipe is for four persons

The Whats in it

 

180gm Ghee

2 bay leaves

3 cinnamon sticks

4 cloves

1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds

1 tsp Kalonj(Nigella)Seeds

3 onions Sliced

1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric

1/2 tsp Ginger pasteSAM_3419

1/2 tsp Garlic paste

1 tblsp Ground coriander roasted

1 tsp sesame seeds

1 large chicken cut into chunks on the bone

1 small tomato

1 tablespoon ideally fresh coconut but soaked desiccated will do!

2 tsp chopped red chilli

15 Curry leaves

4 tablespoons of Toddy, beer will do if you can’t get Toddy

6 drumsticks (Sahjan Ki Phalli) peeled and cut into 6 cm pieces

12-15 black peppercorns

250ml Tamarind extract

1 Tablespoon Gram Flour….

1 Pint of water or chicken stock

Salt

To garnish

6 green chillies

1 Bunch coriander

6 sprigs Mint….

The How to

Heat the ghee in a karahi or large frying pan over a medium heat, add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves and fenugreek and kalonji seeds and stir fry for about 1 minute.

Then  add the onions and stir fry for about  until golden brown frying for ten to fifteen minutes usually does the trick.

Add the turmeric, ginger and garlic pastes, and stir fry for a couple of minutes more, before adding the ground coriander and sesame seeds and giving it all a good stir.

When the oil rises to the surface, add the chicken and continue to stir fry until it releases its juices, then continue to fry for about 8-10 minutes, or until the liquids have evaporated and the chicken is brown.SAM_3422

Add the tomatoes, coconut, red chilli and curry leaves and cook for a further 3 minutes.  Add the toddy or beer and cook for a few minutes until the liquid is absorbed.

now you can add the drumsticks, black peppercorns, 750 ml/1.25 pints (3.25 cups) water or chicken stock and the tamarind extract.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken and drumsticks are cooked.

Dry roast the gram flour on a tawa, or griddle or in a small frying pan (skillet) for about 1 minute to remove the raw smell, then transfer to a bowl.  Add 250 ml/8 fl oz (1 cup) water and mix well.  Add to the curry to thicken the sauce, then mix well and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.  Add more water if it is too thick.  Garnish with green chillies, coriander and mint leaves.

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The trouble with a curry blog is sometimes

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Sometimes I just like to sit, resting after a day at the coal face of life watching television enjoying the life that is mine. Curry for me is not a life style it is something I like to eat nothing more, and as such it is not my religion or my raison detre. I say this as I have not posted much recently owing really to the simple fact that I haven’t cooked much, well not anything that I would wish to write about.

The trouble with blogging especially on a recipe site where you are under a certain obligation to at least try the things you are posting as recipes, is what happens if you don’t like the result?

Do you still post it and enthuse that it was a fantastic little recipe and let the people decide or do you say it is not to your taste!

Answers at the foot of the page if your that way inclined!

The next problem if that is the right word is one of you only really eat your dishes once and you to some extent are relying on what has to be regarded as the taste buds of time, put simply if it is a traditional recipe then tradition cannot be wrong, now there’s an assumption! Further still because you have a busy life revisiting a previously published recipe means you may not, as is most often the case where I am concerned publish anything that week at all as you have had your curry fix for the week and gluttony well that’s a sin.

Where there is a case for Demonology(click to see more) or for the uninitiated  those recipes that I claim as my own or have taken ownership of; well they take time to conceive as I am not a natural chef, and although I have been much blessed with a copious and ever overflowing imagination find perceiving tastes a very unusual concept to say the least, and therefore  take a long time to reach the page that is this blog, hopefully that is time well spent and is evidenced by the tasty result, or not as may be the case!

I do like to write too and therefore a blog is a fantastic vehicle to help in the achievement of that want, but a recipe blog is sometimes not, as it is the recipes that dominate and not really the writing.

That then is the reason for this Saturday morning minor monologue which I hope you have enjoyed and will “Like” as only bloggers can…. there will hopefully be a recipe coming later today traditional this time  so watch this space for more on

Korioora Munakkai

A chicken delight flavoured with tamarind and more than enough spice to keep you as happy as a spice seller in a Bombay bazaar

later’s Curry lovers