My latest “secret weapon’ in our quest for ‘proper’ Indian curries (ok, proper UK Curry house Indian curries) is a book aptly named “The Curry Secret” by Kris Dhillon. Nick was sold on the “secret” the minute he heard that the book recipes help re-create what you get in a UK Indian restaurant, rather than attempting to make authentic Indian food as they eat it in India. 😉
The basic premise behind the book is that most curry houses use one base sauce. This sauce is prepared in massive quantities, and is then added to specific vegetables, meat and other spices to create specific dishes. The recipe to this “secret” sauce is the backbone of Dhillon’s book. Click here for a lower fat version of the base sauce…use vegetable oil and add another 4 TBS of it for the original version.
In case you were wondering, this is what 2 LBs of sliced onions (on a dinner plate, sliced using a mandolin), 2 oz of ginger and 2 oz of garlic (the main ingredients of the ‘Secret’ base sauce) look like:
Though making the base sauce is a bit time consuming, you can freeze leftovers, which I did in pre-measured portions. So far, I’ve made 4 dishes using my first base (and have 2 more cups worth of sauce in the freezer):
Chicken Tikka Masala: It was very tasty, and deemed the “closest I’ve come to a REAL CTM” by Nick. It was even better the next day, when I doctored it with a bit of sugar and some ground fresh coconut.
‘Aloo Gobi”: I went a bit heavy on the cauliflower I think but it was still mighty tasty. I added a tomato to this recipe.
Chicken Jalfrezi : Flavorful, tasty and the most photogenic of the bunch! 🙂
And our verdict? If you are into UK style curries, this IS the book for you (and no, we’re not getting paid to say this) as the recipes make some nice, solid curries. It has definitely enhanced our home-cooked curry repertoire, though we’ve still not given up on trying to convince a nice Indian family to move to Rincón and start up a proper curry house…