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The Hirshon British Indian Restaurant Madras Curry

The Hirshon British Indian Restaurant Madras Curry


  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 ¼ cups pre-cooked boneless meat (TFD prefers chicken breast, but thigh is more traditional)
  • 2 Tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)
  • 5 green cardamom pods, outer husks removed
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger paste
  • 4 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 green jalapeño peppers, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • ***
  • 1 ½ tsp. Indian restaurant spice mix made from:
  • 4 Tbsp. coriander powder
  • 2 Tbsp. cumin powder
  • 4 Tbsp. turmeric powder
  • 3 Tbsp. paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp. Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. coarse-cracked black pepper
  • ***
  • 2 tsp. hot madras curry powder (or more to taste), made from:
  • 2 Tbsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. powdered fenugreek
  • 3-inch piece Ceylon Cinnamon bark
  • 12 whole green cardamom pods, outer pods removed
  • 1 tsp. whole black pepper
  • 5 Kashmiri chiles, dried
  • 25 small fresh (not dried) curry leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. ground turmeric
  • ***
  • 1 tsp. Kashmiri chili powder
  • ½ tsp. kasoor methi – dried fenugreek leaves
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ***
  • 3 cups heated curry base sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut milk (or more to your taste)
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ***
  • 3 Tbsp. mango chutney
  • Fresh coriander to garnish
  • A pinch of garam masala to garnish
  • Naan bread

Instructions

  1. Make the spice mix and the Madras curry powder.
  2. For the Madras curry powder:
  3. Toast the first 7 spices, one at a time, in a hot, heavy pan until fragrant. This can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute per spice. Place each in the same bowl and let them cool completely.
  4. To toast curry leaves, place in the same hot pan. Shake the pan to crisp up and toast the leaves, about 1 minute. When they are fragrant, brown around the edges, and crumbly, remove them from the pan and let cool in the bowl.
  5. Place the toasted spices, curry leaves, and ground turmeric in a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Sieve if necessary.
  6. Dilute the tomato paste with enough water to get to the consistency of thick tomato juice and reserve.
  7. Heat the curry base to warm in a separate pot and reserve.
  8. Heat your frying pan (don’t use non-stick) briefly over medium heat. Add the ghee.
  9. When the ghee starts to shimmer add the garlic ginger paste, the minced jalapeño and the cardamom pods. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture stops sputtering.
  10. Turn down the heat and add the Indian spice mix, the Madras curry powder and all the remaining powdered spices – this is the critical step. Stir it constantly for 30 seconds. If it starts to darken, lift the pan off the heat. You want the spice mix to cook in the oil but not burn.
  11. Turn the heat up to medium high. This is important. The heat is what caramelizes the onions in the curry base and gives the curry its Indian restaurant flavor.
  12. Add the diluted tomato paste and stir until bubbles form (the oil will likely separate). This takes around 30 seconds to one minute depending on the heat.
  13. Add 3 oz. of curry base. Stir until bubbles form (little craters really), around 30 seconds. Think lively boil. Watch the edges of the pan. The curry can stick here. Sticking is OK. Just scrape it back into the base. Burning is bad.
  14. Now add 6 oz. of curry base and stir briefly. Let it cook until the bubbles form again. This takes 1-2 minutes.
  15. Add the rest of the curry base and let it cook until the bubbles form. Add the lemon juice, mango chutney and coconut milk. Turn the heat down to low and add the pre-cooked chicken.
  16. Let the curry simmer for about 5 minutes. If it gets too thick, add a bit more curry base. Don’t add water. Taste and adjust heat levels to your preference – it should be spicy but not devastatingly so.
  17. Garnish with a bit of chopped fresh cilantro and a bit of garam masala and serve with naan bread.
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