Curry is like a good perfume. It can be divided into three separate parts: the base, the heart and the head. Mix of spices is your base. You cannot skip this step. It is not necessary to prepare your own masala, but it’s good to know that doing so is not so hard as you might think. Every masala builds up on three ingredients: fresh garlic, fresh ginger and chili. Chop it finely and than grind in your mortar. Feel free to add spices such as cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, cumin, cloves, etc.
The second important element of your base is onion. It must be fried either light gold or golden brown. The first will result in sweet taste, which I usually prefer. The latest will turn out slightly bitter.
The Heart is your sauce. In Indian cuisine there are usually two types of sauces. It’s either white or red sauce. The first is usually made of yogurt. The second of tomato sauce. Some curries based on yogurt require additional cream to enhance their smoothness and boost the flavor.
The Head is whatever ingredients you decide to add. Every design is based either on three or five elements and I personally think that this works pretty well in cooking.
After this brief introduction you’re ready to make your own curry. If not, feel free to use the recipe below. It’s a minimalist recipe that takes 30 minutes to cook and requires some basic ingredients plus well stocked collection of spices.You can make this simple curry whenever you don’t really have time and inspiration to cook.
Red Chickpea Potato Curry
For 4 servings
2 cm of fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp chili flakes (I’m using Turkish chili – Aci Biber)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1 flat tsp cumin
1/ 4 tsp black pepper
salt to taste
curry leaves (optional)
4 middle-size potatoes, sliced
1/2 cup canned chickpea
1/2 tomato sauce
1 big onion, chopped
olive oil for frying
1 cup water
- Chop ginger, garlic and transfer them to mortar together with the remaining spices. Grind everything until smooth.
- Fry chopped onion in olive oil.
- Once the onion turns light gold add spices and fry for few seconds until you can smell the spices. Don’t overdo it though – meaning don’t burn it.
- Add water, tomato sauce, potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender. Usually about 30 minutes.
- Add canned chickpea and cook for 5 minutes.
- Serve with rice. You can also sprinkle the top with fresh coriander.