Have you ever wondered what the secret is to cook a great curry? In celebration of National Curry Week, our head chef Platini Mascarenhas shares his family’s five top tips on how to cook authentic homemade curry:
1. Be generous with your spices. I prefer to use fresh whole spices rather than ground spices, as they give more flavour and keep longer in the freezer. Cardamom pods, curry leaves, coriander and cumin are my go-to spices from Vegetarian Express.
2. Oil temperature is critical – you want the spices to fry, not boil. Make sure the oil isn’t too hot as the spices will burn and the flavour will become bitter. If the oil is too cold, the spices won’t release their flavour. Once the oil reaches XXX degrees, add the onions with the spices and cook until golden in colour.
3. Love your leftovers. Try to use natural thickening agents such as leftover vegetables, potato, lentils or chickpeas. They give your curry more body and texture, as well as reducing your food waste!
4. Always strain the sauce once you’ve blended it. I often add tomato puree, coconut milk or natural yoghurt – it gives the sauce a thicker texture. Coconut milk works best in masala-style curries as it gives a sweeter flavour, but it needs to be kept on a simmer, otherwise the sauce will split.
5. Curries always tastes better the following day, as time gives the meat a chance to absorb all the spices for a more intense flavour. If you do have time to prepare and cook in advance of serving, it will mean better taste and more prep time – it’s a win win!
Try it yourself…
Why not have a go at making Platini’s Mangalorean chicken curry?