LOOKING for: Curry Sauce

mangomoonMarch 10, 2008

I am looking for a good basic curry sauce recipe.

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There is really no such thing....
You add curry to the foods you are cooking...like you add cinnamon to things or garlic of blkack pepper.
You can have a cream sauce with curry a butter sauce with curry a sour cream or a beef with curry or lentils etc.
What do you want to make?
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 3:04PM
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Mangomoon, I bought a bunch of spices from Penzeys a few years ago to make Indian dishes. I was never satisfied with them. I go to the Asian markets now and buy premixed spices for the type of curry I want to make and have been very happy with the results. You can pretty much duplicate what you got at the restaurant at home. Here is a site I bookmarked a while back. It sounds good but I haven't tried it yet.

Here is a link that might be useful: basic curry sauce

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 3:39PM
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Here's one from Craig Claiborne that's good with seafood or chicken:
CURRY SAUCE (about 1 1/2 cups)
4 1/2 TBL butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
3 TBL chopped carrot
2 TBL flour
2 TBL curry powder
1/2 bay leaf
2 parsley sprigs
2 thyme sprigs or 1/2 tsp dried (I use more of the dried)
1 3/4 cup chicken stock
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat 3 TBL of the butter in a saucepan & add the garlic, onions, celery & carrot. Cook, stirring until the onions are wilted. Add the flour & cook, stirring about 3 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, bay leaf, parsley & thyme.
Using a whisk, continue to stir briskly while adding the stock. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Put the mixture including the soft vegetables, through a fine sieve, using a wooden spoon. Swirl in the remaining butter by rotating the pan gently & add salt & pepper.~~

INDIAN CURRY SAUCE (about 2 cups & can be frozen)
1 small onion, minced
2 TBL vegetable oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (about 1 TBL)
1 TBL minced or grated fresh ginger
1 TBL curry powder
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp honey
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 TBL lemon juice
Salt & pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Cook the onion, oil, garlic, ginger & curry powder in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the broth & simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 30 minutes.
Whisk the cornstarch & honey into the cream until dissolved, then whisk the mixture into the simmering sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice & season with salt & pepper to taste.
To Store: Let the sauce cool, uncovered at room temperature for 25 minutes. Transfer to an airtight container & refrigerate up to 4 days.
To Serve: Warm the sauce in a small saucepan over medium-low heat or in the microwave on high power for 5-10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. Season w/salt & pepper to taste & add the minced cilantro, if using.~~The Best Make-Ahead Recipe.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 4:47PM
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Thanks James, I will review the site. Ginger, the Indian Curry is the one I want to try. I made a curry sauce this weekend, and want to start making more. I just wanted to see what I might be missing in preparing the sauce. I have read about plain yogurt as a substitution for the cream. Probably lower in fat as well.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 6:06PM
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Wow, that's a tall order. First, curry is essentially a gravy or stew and it varies widely by region. Japanese curry is very different from Thai curry is very different from Indian curry. And of course, within each country exist many many many different kinds of curries-- South Indian food tastes nothing like North Indian food, etc.

Japanese curry is the easiest to make because they sell the roux blocks in grocery stores. Meat, potatoes, carrots, onions, and any other veggies you like plus the roux and you have an awesome meal. A Japanese home staple (and the fuel that keeps college kids going!)

Thai curry is the next easiest, as you can also buy pastes in grocery stores. They come in small jars or bottles and they have simple recipes included on the label. Since many Thai recipes call for curry paste anyway, this is the easiest route to follow. The only things you might have to seek out and add (other than meat and veggies) would be ginger, lemon grass, kafir limes, etc.

Indian curries are the most fun to cook, but require the most time and ingredients and have a habit of making your house smell like curry for days (maybe weeks?) afterward. But it's so worth it. Using curry powders/masala mixes alone will not give you the complex flavors that you want, and with your own spices you can control what you want to bring out. For instance, if you want a spicier curry, increase the chilies. If you want a zestier but not necessarily spicier curry, add more ginger and a little turmeric. And if it is too spicy, slop in lots of yogurt after it's on your plate to tone down the heat.

Almost everything listed below can be easily obtained at an Indian grocery store for much cheaper than at a retail grocery. As far as Masala mixes go, there are many many types that you can find, each representing the regional tastes. My current roommate is Pakistani and his premixed masalas taste very different from the Hyderabadi and Tamil mixes that I normally get. What you eat in most restaurants will generally be more northern or western, like Punjabi or Gujurati.

I tend to make mine similar to a Tamil roommate that taught me, so I'll give you the general recipe that I follow:

One hour or one day before cooking the dish:

1 pound skinless boneless chicken (breast or thighs-- it doesn't matter), diced into 1" or smaller cubes
cup plain yogurt
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp curry mix
1 tsp salt

Mix all of the above ingredients, cover, and refrigerate.

4 tbsp oil
4 whole cloves
4 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 bay leaf
2 whole dried chilies
2 2-inch pieces cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp fenugreek/methi seeds (optional)

¾ medium onion, diced
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 medium very ripe tomato, diced

½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp red chili powder
1 tsp curry mix
1 tsp ground coriander

Chicken and yogurt mix

Salt, to taste

Heat oil over medium high heat in a wok or a deep saucepan. When oil is hot, add the first list of spices and fry them until they start to sputter and the seeds take on a light golden color. Add the onions and fry them for about a minute, then add the ginger-garlic paste. Cook until the onions are translucent, then add the tomatoes. Cook this until the tomatoes are soft and separating from the skins, and stir in the second list of spices. Add the chicken and yogurt mixture and enough water to cover. Simmer until the water evaporates to form a gravy. If desired, cook further for a drier consistency.

*Note: the ginger-garlic paste is just a 1-1 ratio of ginger and garlic pulsed in a blender with either water or oil to make a paste. I find it's incredibly convenient

Also, since you can't make a meal of curry alone, here is a general recipe I use for veggies:

2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch fenugreek seeds
1 dried red chili, broken in half

1 pound vegetables
Some good vegetables to cook this way:
Fresh or frozen green beans, cut at steep angles or French-cut
Cauliflower, with stems cut into small pieces and florets separated
Green or red cabbage, cut into small strips or squares
Broccoli, with stems cut into small pieces and florets separated
Okra, cut into ¾ inch wheels

2 cloves garlic, crushed under flat side of knife blade
¼ medium tomato, diced (optional), or 1 tbsp water

½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground chili powder

1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp salt
Additional salt, to taste

Heat oil in wok or skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the first list of spices and fry them until they start to sputter and the seeds take on a light golden color. Add crushed garlic and cook until aromatic, about a minute. Add tomatoes and cook until soft, then stir in turmeric, chili powder, and salt. Add vegetables and cook until desired softness is achieved. If omitting tomatoes, add spices, vegetables, and then water. Take off heat, add coriander and any additional salt. Gently combine, then serve.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 12:45AM
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Correction to the above recipe-- that should be 2 pounds of chicken, not 1.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 12:47AM
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