Have you ever wondered what the secret is to cooking a great curry? In celebration of National Curry Week, head chef Maegan Quinto shares her top tips on how to cook authentic homemade curry:
1. Don’t be shy with your spices. I use fresh whole spices such as Galangal, lemon grass and lime leaves, as they’re more authentic and flavoursome. I also use dry spices like cinnamon, whole chillies and cardamom if I want to have a more concentrated, stronger flavour.
2. Never skip the four basics (as we call them in my kitchen): onion, chilli, ginger and garlic. These are the essentials to any curry I cook; they give a body to the sauce.
3. A trick is to caramelise the onion slowly before adding any spices into your curry. It adds extra depth to the flavour. The caramelised onion can also act as thickening agent for the curry.
4. Whether you’re marinating meat, vegetables or plant-based protein, always brown them before adding to the curry – this is a must! Browning the protein caramelises its natural sugar content, creating a coloured crust. The crust from the natural sugar helps the protein retain its shape during the long process of cooking the curry.
5. It’s all about taste, taste, taste! That’s what I always tell everyone in my kitchen when we’re cooking any sort of curry. The taste of your sauce from the first five minutes of simmering is different after 30 minutes, so it’s important to taste the curry at every stage of cooking.
Try it yourself…
Why not have a go at making Maegan’s beef rendang?
Using short rib of beef or oxtail as her preferred meat of choice, Maegan’s top tip for making it more flavoursome is to make it the day before.