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Cooking curry from scratch, I'm doing something wrong

(19 Posts)
CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 16-Jul-13 17:44:27

Are you using enough salt? There's a fairly blanket (laudable) aim to reduce salt consumption but curry really needs it. Also fat.... low-fat curry lacks some depth.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 13-Jul-13 21:23:26


I want to eat out now.

WilsonFrickett Sat 13-Jul-13 21:17:06

ooh just found more web stuff from her.

Make the tandoori chicken, you will not regret it.

WilsonFrickett Sat 13-Jul-13 21:12:35

I very much recommend her book - its not Indian restaurant cooking, it's home-cooking. Her dhals etc are great and there are lots of very simple recipes (in terms of just a few ingredients/spices). I mostly now cook without recipes but 90% of my stand-by curries are based on her book.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 13-Jul-13 21:04:09

Just bookmarked that article, thank you.

Really must try to cook more indian food.

WilsonFrickett Sat 13-Jul-13 20:58:23

You need to cook the spices out till the oil separates - Vicky Bohgal explains it better than me

And a good garam masala is essential. As is salt.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 13-Jul-13 20:57:11

Why do you dry fry them?

Watching Rick Stein in India, i'm sure they use quite a bit of oil. Does that help to release the flavour?

Rummikub Sat 13-Jul-13 20:51:00

You need to be using cumin, coriander, turmeric, plus chilli and garam masala. I use about a teaspoon of each, except the chilli. Add half a teaspoon of chilli.

zippey Sat 13-Jul-13 20:46:57

This is my chicken curry recipe in a quick flash:
Fry onions in medium heat till they turn brown, takes about 10 mins
Do the next bits one after another:
Add chicken
Add a little powdered turmeric, a little powdered cumin and chilli powder to taste
Grind and add a whole fresh garlic and a small piece of fresh ginger in a pestle and mortar and add
Add salt to taste, usually about a tablespoonful
Let it cook for about 15 more minutes
Add a quarter tin of chopped tomatoes and fresh coriander to taste.

crypes Sat 13-Jul-13 20:41:17

I used to have same problem and I started adding teaspoon or two of garAm masala and it gives a bit deeper taste .

twinkletwinklepops Sat 13-Jul-13 20:38:16

Thanks for your input so far.

Spices are not old, am using the usual, mainly cumin, coriander, haldi. I know the spices are fine because a friend cooked at mine a couple of weeks ago and used the same spices and her curry had real depth, so it must be something I am doing.
Cannot ask friend as she is off travelling and not picking up emails.

To use whole seeds do you toast as you go? So toast what you want for a particular dish, grind it and then use it? So you toast all at once, grind and store it?

I will try dry frying my spices first then adding oil etc.

Rummikub Sat 13-Jul-13 20:26:04

Hi which spices do you use and how much of each?

WilsonFrickett Sat 13-Jul-13 20:23:17

I agree - its either old spices or you aren't using enough of them. Either way toasting seeds and then crushing them is best and I think the seeds keep a bit longer than the ground spices. Buy small amounts from an Asian shop or market. The busier the better, because that means the spices havent been sitting on the shelf for months.

fallenempires Sat 13-Jul-13 16:55:28

You will achieve a much better depth of flavour if you buy your spices whole then dry fry them over a medium heat for 1-2 mins.Then grind them to a powder in a spice grinder or using a pestle and mortar.
Check out your local asian shops and you'll be amazed by their range and the prices are a fraction of what the supermarkets charge!

Dumdeedumdeedum Sat 13-Jul-13 14:29:48

I sometimes dry fry my spices first then add oil, onions etc.

Frenchfemme Sat 13-Jul-13 14:08:33

Sorry, just seen you said powdered spices.

Frenchfemme Sat 13-Jul-13 14:07:30

What spices are you adding? Are they freshly-ground or powdered? How old are they? Sorry for all the questions, but it does make a difference.

AuntPepita Sat 13-Jul-13 13:54:15

Are your spices old? They lose flavour with age. Have you tried paste? I get on better with paste.

Deffo add more oil, and a bit of salt.

twinkletwinklepops Sat 13-Jul-13 13:50:22

When I cook a curry from scratch no matter how much spices (powered) I add to the curry the flavours never seem to come through, so I guess I am doing something wrong but not sure what.
Firstly I fry onions, garlic, ginger etc. depending on curry I am making, once they are soft I add the spices and let them fry, but the flavours don't come through.
Are they any curry experts out there that can help?
Do I need to add the salt when frying the spices to help the flavours come through?
Sometimes when frying the spices the oil is nearly gone so the spices are frying dry, does this hinder the flavours coming through?
I thought I was adding too many tomatoes and that was over powering the flavours of the spices but I've tried adding fewer tomatoes but still the curry is bland.
Do I need to add a little water when frying the spices to help flavours come through.
I feel like I've tried everything and cannot identify the blocker.
Help if you can.

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