1. Untitled Document

The Secrets of British Indian Restaurant Curry Recipes

Discussion in 'COOKING' started by ShiftZZ, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. ShiftZZ

    ShiftZZ Funster

    Feb 19, 2008
    The restaurant food enjoyed in British Indian restaurants for generations is very different to traditional Indian food, largely because the majority of "Indian" restaurants are owned and run by Bengalis, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis. In addition, the original recipes have changed to reflect local tastes and available ingredients. This has resulted in what is today identified as the "BIR" or British Restaurant Curry.

    This recipe has been contributed by a customer who asked to remain anonymous (Thanks again "M"!) who has spent 20 years trying various combinations and recipes - his own personal "Holy Grail" and we reproduce it here exactly as he wishes.

    The Basic Curry Sauce

    (Tip: have a read of ALL of these pages first - pick a curry and ensure you've got all the things you need before starting).

    4 large RED onions, coarsely chopped - yes red onions!
    2oz unpeeled fresh ginger, chopped
    3oz peeled fresh garlic, coarsely chopped
    6tbs vegetable oil
    1tsp heaped salt
    ½ tsp sugar
    240g tin of chopped tomatoes
    1tsp turmeric
    1/2 tsp cinnamon powder (important!!!!)
    1tsp Paprika
    1tbs tomato puree
    1tsp tomato ketchup

    1. Fry onion in 1tbs of oil for 10 mins on a low heat until soft (not browned)
    2. Put in the garlic, ginger and salt then add enough water to just cover the top of all ingredients.
    3. Bring everything to boil then turn down to a simmer for 30 mins (no lid)
    4. While this is simmering, place remaining 5tbs of oil, tomatoes, puree, ketchup and spices into another saucepan - boil then simmer for 10 mins on low heat.

    Separately blend both of the above VERY FINELY and combine, then simmer for another 15 minutes to ensure cooked and well mixed. The blending is vital to the flavour/correct texture. Add water if it ever gets too dry during this phase. The end result should should be about 1600ml of gravy - if it's not, add water to this volume now.

    The Secret Onion Paste (biggest secret!)
    2 lge white onions, chopped finely
    4 cloves garlic
    3tbs vegetable oil
    Pinch of cumin
    Pinch of cinnamon

    Place raw onion and garlic into blender. Add enough water to come about halfway up the side of the blender and blend until WELL smoothed.

    Heat the oil in a pan on a high heat, adding the mixture (it will spit!!!)

    Reduce this down until it gets dryer then add the spices and continue frying until it turns into what looks a bit like bread dough. This may take some time but is worth it for the final taste! Be careful not to burn this as it will be ruined. Taste the finished product - tastes almost "soapy" - remind you of anything familiar?

    Special Spice Mix (not that special)
    Equal amounts of cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala and dried fenugreek. If unsure which brand to buy, try NATCO - especially their garam masala which is superb. I mix up a few tablespoons of each at a time and keep in a Tupperware tub, etc!

    The above are a MUST for all recipes and corners cannot be cut in any way.

    The above recipes could be doubled up for ease and stored in the freezer in pre-measured amounts.

    How to make a basic 'Medium Curry'
    800ml of basic curry sauce (should be around half the basic sauce recipe!? - this is enough for 4 people's main meal)

    5tbs Vegetable Oil
    1 level tsp of salt
    1tsp of ground coriander )
    1tsp of ground cumin ) (This is the special spice mix but listed individually!!!)
    1tsp of garam masala )
    1tsp dried fenugreek leaves )
    ¼ tsp of chilli powder
    fresh coriander leaves

    Add oil and heat. Add basic sauce (along with fresh chicken/other meats if using them) and simmer on high heat for 2-3 mins.

    Add all of the spices and salt and continue for 5 mins or sauce separates from the oil. Add the prawns (if your cooking a prawn curry!) and simmer for a further 7 minutes - add any water if you feel it's getting too dry.

    Although the curry is now cooked, further frying is now required and this must be done in individual portions.

    At this stage (if you've doubled up the quantities) you can measure out lots of bags of 200ml/400ml at a time and freeze them for a quick curry whenever you need.

    You can now take out a bag from your freezer along with a couple of frozen chicken breasts in the morning and be eating within 20 mins when you get home.

    400ml of this basic curry sauce will be enough for 2 main dishes, therefore one entire recipe should be enough for 8 main dishes and so on.

    1. Add some oil to your 'individual curry' pan.
    3. Then add the required amount of sauce and meat/cooked vegetables for one portion (only 200ml of sauce as it's got to be an individual portion for authenticity)
    4. Heat everything up and then add 1 tbs of the onion paste in the final minute
    5. Taste, if necessary add more of the 'special spice mix' - more fresh coriander for garnish

    Voila ! your individual curry!!!

    From this method, you can have people round for a curry and given them all differing ones according to their personal tastes.

    For all of the types below, I recommend having the ingredients to hand as you'll have to work quickly - no time to start raking around your cupboards for stuff once you've started!!!!

    Whilst you are preparing the basic curry recipe, prepare the following

    1tbs of vegetable oil
    1tsp of Cumin seeds
    2 large onions, sliced into rings
    4 green or red chillies, halved lengthways

    Heat the oil and add cumin seeds. 5 seconds later add onions and chillies and reduce heat. Fry until onions are soft and slightly charred.

    Add to basic sauce, check seasoning, serve

    Same as dupiaza but replace 1 of the onions with a chopped green pepper! (easy innit?)

    1 tbs of vegetable oil
    1 tsp of cumin seeds
    1 large green pepper, chopped into chunks
    4 green or red chillies

    5 mins from end, add 1 tbs of ground almonds and 3 tbs of single cream. (It's that easy!)

    Cook the basic korma and add 1" of a standard coconut block, ½ tsp sugar and ½ tsp turmeric 5 minutes before the end.

    Replace ¼ tsp chilli with 1 tsp of chilli. Add some lemon juice if you want. (how easy was that!?)

    Add 4 tbs of Heinz tomato soup (& red food colouring) 5 minutes before end. Serve with single cream on top. (I guess the tomato soup fully justifies the £7.50 price in a restaurant!)

    Replace ¼ tsp chilli with 2 tsp chilli and add 1 tsp of malt vinegar 5 minutes before end.

    Pilau Rice
    Fill and switch on your kettle
    Whilst this is happening heat up a little oil in a pan that comes with a tight fitting lid
    Allow 3oz of BASMATI rice per person (weigh it!!! And it must be basmati - nothing else works! You can also be boring and soak the rice in water first but I never bother)
    Salt to taste
    2 green cardamom pods (split open slightly) per rice serving
    1 whole clove per serving

    When the oil is warm, add the raw rice and spices together
    Mix well, ensuring the rice gets coated in the oil - don't worry if it starts to turn white
    Turn down the heat to minimum

    Quickly pour the boiled water into a measuring jug
    (allow double the fl oz of water to the rice weight) ie for 4 portions: 12 oz of rice and 24 fl oz of boiled water.
    Stir everything around to stop any sticking and place the lid on securely
    Cook for 12 minutes on the lowest heat setting
    After 12 minutes take from heat and leave for another 12 minutes (do not remove the lid - the steam will continue to cook the rice!!!)

    Later take the lid off and you can add a drop or two of food colouring for that restaurant effect ( I use a drop of red at one end of the pot and a drop of green at the other - leave for a while and then mix through the white rice for a realistic effect)

    I would normally make the rice first and, while it is resting, knock up the curry sauce. The rice stays hot like this for a couple of hours if you don't keep removing the lid and let the steam escape!)

    This recipe will give impressive results if you measure/time things accurately.
    A piece of cake….

    (For plain boiled rice, omit the spices and food colouring).

    Hope these recipes are of help - never forget this produces excellent results, but is like watching a film on TV (ie not as good as the cinema) so never forget how enjoyable good company and good food is in an Indian restaurant.
    7 people like this.
  2. johnp10

    johnp10 Funster

    Oct 12, 2009
    North Lincolnshire
    Some good recipes there.

    Indian restaurants are like Chinese ones.
    They sell us what we THINK is authentic Indian / Chinese food.

    Authentic Indian food is beautiful, but in the UK we haver strange ideas.
    For instance:
    Korma is very mild.....not so. Korma is a style of cooking not a degree of heat, can be mild or hot.
    Vindaloo is Indian....No, of Portugese origin.
    Also Vindaloo is very hot....again a style of cooking, can be hot, medium or mild.
    Tikka Masala is Indian.... No, invented by an Indian cook in Scotland. My Son in Law's family are Indian Malaysians, have never heard of TM.
    Balti......Developed in Birmingham, not the sub continent.
    Indians, Pakistanis etc eat red hot curries all the time.....not so, the hottest that they will enjoy would be what we call Madras. (Medium)
    Madras style can also be mild / hot / whatever.
    It's amazing how foreign ideas and foods get into our National Psyche and become part of our culture.
    That's how Nations develop, I suppose.

    If you ever get an invite to an Indian household for a meal, jump at the chance.
    Food to die for.
    Shifty, you would love the sweets.

    I would love a good recipe for authentic Scouse. (Foreign dish originally, to be eaten properly, accompanied by beetroot, etc.)
    2 people like this.

    ROB1CHELSEA1 Funster

    Sep 4, 2011
    Cheers for the recipe ShiftZZ, I love a good curry and our local Munal tandoori is run by Nepalese and its fantastic so if your ever in London (putney) and fancy a great meal give us a shout and we will gladly join you:thumb: but will steer clear of you the next day:Rofl1::Rofl1:phoaarrrrrrr

    I have two brother in laws and a sister that spend five months of the year in India every year and they always bring me back good curry powder:thumb:
    1 person likes this.
  4. johnp10

    johnp10 Funster

    Oct 12, 2009
    North Lincolnshire
    I get mine brought from Malaysia.
    The brand is Baba's.
  5. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

    May 15, 2009
    Why not cut out the middleman when cooked just throw it down the loo Yes I do not like this sort of food:Rofl1:
    2 people like this.
  6. ShiftZZ

    ShiftZZ Funster

    Feb 19, 2008
    So what do you like?
  7. bigfoot

    bigfoot Funster

    Dec 23, 2007
    Johnp10 this is for you

    A Scouse recipe fit for the stars.

    2 lb leg of lamb, cubed, fat removed; 1lb stewing or braising steak, cubed, fat removed, 1pt beef stock, plus extra hot water for topping up, olive oil; 3 onions, peeled and sliced; 2 lb potatoes, peeled and sliced; 2 lb mixture of carrots, parsnips & swede, peeled and cubed, salt and pepper; 1 tbsp fresh thyme
    Preheat the Dutch oven to wood mark 6
    Seal lamb and beef cubes quickly in an iron skillet, turning often over high heat, in a little oil.
    As meat begins to brown, add onions, and cook for five minutes. Stir often.
    Pour into Dutch oven and add all other ingredients (except salt and pepper)
    Add enough hot water to just cover all ingredients.
    Cover with lid and cook in the centre of the fire with ashes drawn up the sides of the Dutch oven for approximately four hours.
    Taste and add salt and pepper.
    Serve with crusty bread for dipping and pickled red cabbage or beetroot.

    Will Redfearn

    The noblest of all the animals is the dog,and the noblest of all the dogs is the hotdog, it feeds the hand that bites it!
    3 people like this.
  8. Chris

    Chris Funster - Life Member

    May 5, 2010
    I love Indian dishes.

    I particularly love Cobra and Bangla beer:thumb:
    2 people like this.
  9. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

    Feb 27, 2011
    Thanks for the recipes. Made me realise how good value the ones from the supermarket are. I will stick with ready made sauces and just add the few extra ingredients I like lol. Saves all the washing up as well:Wink:
    1 person likes this.
  10. Gooney

    Gooney Funster

    Jun 2, 2010

    Jesus Bigfoot
    How many does that serve?, take the 3lb of meat out and make it Blind Scouse and you still feed an Army:RollEyes:
  11. johnp10

    johnp10 Funster

    Oct 12, 2009
    North Lincolnshire
    Cheers Bigfoot.
    That'll be good scaled down to non industrial proportions.
    My sister used to make the daddy of all Scouses.
    Not had a pukka one for years.
  12. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

    May 15, 2009
    Its more a question of what I am able to eat Dave anything with Curry ,Spices,garlic,onion,etc. well you get the idea is out I am afraid as it really upsets my tummy
  13. Chris

    Chris Funster - Life Member

    May 5, 2010
    I went for a curry last night to a place I hadn't eaten in before. I ordered my standard chicken vindaloo with plain rice and plain nan bread( creature of habit).

    When it arrived there were some green things on top of the curry which I mistook for Parsley. I mixed it all in and tucked in.

    Within about 5 minutes the sweat was running down my face and my mouth was burning.

    The green things were hot chillies:Doh:
    3 people like this.
  14. buttons

    buttons Funster

    Aug 27, 2009
    Not into too much curry myself but I have just mailed it to Chicago. My son has several attempts at creating a UK/Indi curry there but never 100% happy with results. Keep an eye out you could become famous over the water. ShiftZZ... curry writer on the Glenn Beck show.:coolthumb:
  15. chrisgreen

    chrisgreen Funster

    Jul 26, 2009
    2 people like this.
  16. chrisgreen

    chrisgreen Funster

    Jul 26, 2009
    i have tried and tried to find an indian curry that i like,and failed,although i have eaten many indian currys there are only 2 that i could say i enjoyed,one cooked by a friend of ours and one cooked by taran las,out of the 2 i think taran las's curry just piped our friends curry by a small margin:Smile:
    chinese for me every time:thumb:
  17. buttons

    buttons Funster

    Aug 27, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  18. chrisgreen

    chrisgreen Funster

    Jul 26, 2009
  19. Stephen & Jeannie

    Stephen & Jeannie Funster

    Aug 27, 2008
    Gobowen near Oswestry !!
    Crikey !!

    Never eaten Snake before !! Surely a Shiraz would be better than a Bangla ???:Rofl1::Rofl1:
  20. MHVirgins

    MHVirgins Funster

    Aug 22, 2011
    South of Scotland
    Glasgow was voted the curry capital of the UK, years ago, no doubt another town/city will have re-claimed it by now:RollEyes:

    However, there is a chain of Ashoka curry houses run by Indians/Pakistanis or whatever, they have thriving curry restaurants all over Glasgow and the surrounding area. They produced a small book called the "Korma Sutra" a while back and we've got a copy of this with loads of great curry recipes, main dishes, desserts and drinks etc

    I always find it amusing when an Indian from Glasgow opens his mouth to speak and you get that half Pakistani/half Glaswegian accent:Laughing:

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