We thought we would leave this post to the experts after we found this article by Leah Hyslop of the Telegraph, “Top chefs and food writers share their top 10 tips on how to cook authentic homemade curry”, as part of their feature on curries during National Curry Week in Britain in 2014. We have summarized what we believe to be the key messages and hope you enjoy their helpful tips.
Vivek Singh, chef and owner of London’s Cinnamon restaurants
1. Whenever possible, use meat on the bone. It provides the curries with much more depth and flavour.
2. Where possible, always finish curry with chopped, fresh coriander, fresh ginger and fresh green chillies. In addition, try to add a twist of lemon or lime to give that extra freshness and zing.
Maunika Gowardhan, chef, food writer and presenter
3. Puree large batches of ginger and garlic paste, freezing them in ice cube trays for when you’d like to cook a curry in the future. You can pop them in your sauce pan while cooking, straight from the freezer.
Dipna Anand, food writer and television presenter
4. The secret to making a great curry is cooking out the onions until they are caramelised, not golden brown or see-through: they must be really brown. This is the secret to getting many sauces right.
5. The only spices that you really should be careful with are red chilli powder and salt, because you don’t want to add too much of either.
Vishnu Natarajan, executive head chef at Carom restaurant
6. If you are creating a coconut milk-based curry, add corn flour to the mix to prevent curdling
7. Taste your dish and season well. Even a great curry will be flat without salt, that amazing conductor of flavor, and if you have gone to all the trouble of lovingly making a curry, it seems a shame to fall at the last hurdle.
Rohit Ghai, head chef at Trishna and Gymkhana
8. We use chillies for a bit of heat, but also for the really subtle and complex flavour they can add to a dish, depending on the type of chilli. To make the most of the ingredient, it’s important to consider when to add it into a meal. When added to a curry earlier on in the cooking process, it gives a milder heat.
Cruz Gomes, chef at Kishmish restaurant
9. When preparing your curry, score the meat and gently rub the spices into the meat for five minutes. The heat from your hands will help the spices absorb into the meat and make it lovely and tender.
Aamir Ahmad, co-owner of Zumbura restaurant
10. People normally only think of coriander as the herb to use in Indian food; however, many other herbs are used, such as dill, mint, fenugreek, and curry leaves. Curry leaves are one of my favourites, and add a unique touch to a fish curry or a lentil dish. Temper them in hot oil and scatter at the end, or add a few during cooking.