GORDON RAMSAY’S TOP TEN TIPS FOR A SERIOUSLY GOOD CURRY
Whipping up an authentic tasting curry dish for National Curry Week (9-15 October 2011) is simple; just pick up a jar of Gordon Ramsay’s Seriously Good curry sauce, the range he developed to raise money for Comic Relief, and follow his simple tips for a truly tasty meal. www.seriouslygood.com
1. Add plenty of ghee or oil to the pan when starting the cooking process. Oil is essential in all curries as the medium which carries the spices and without it the spices are harsher and gritty with much less flavour and aroma. Excess oil can be skimmed off at the end of the cooking process and can even be kept covered in the fridge for the next time you make a curry.
2. Add a couple of tablespoons of boiling water to your pan before adding the curry sauce. This will stop it from sticking or burning; a lifesaver when it comes to cleaning up after.
3. Using cuts such as lamb neck or beef shoulder is great for curries; they are full of flavour as they are the moving joints of the animal and have a good fat content so won’t dry out during cooking. What’s more, they are a lot cheaper than loins, legs and fillets.
4. Kids not keen on fish? Try making them a curry dish using a robust, meaty fish like Monkfish, Pollack or Whiting. The rich curry flavours will dominate on the palate, and as kids tend to eat with their eyes, a curry looks much more appealing than a whole or filleted fish on their plate. These species of fish are also more sustainable than other more common varieties, so it’s better for the environment too.
5. If you’re making your own naan bread (and you should, it’s fantastic!), ensure you preheat the oven to a really hot heat so that it turns golden brown and fluffy at the same time. I recommend at least 260 degrees Celsius.
6. Rice is a staple in the Indian diet and is a perfect accompaniment to a saucy curry. Making fluffy, perfectly cooked rice, however, can be a bit of a challenge! There are two secrets to making perfect rice – one is to rinse it several times with cold water and then let it soak for 30 minutes before cooking. The second is to cook it in a pan with a tight fitting lid. If your pan’s lid does not fit snugly, cover the top of the pan with aluminium foil before popping the lid on top.
7. Onions are essential for flavoursome curry dishes, but as we all know, chopping them raw can be an eye-watering affair! To avoid the fumes affecting your eyes as badly, place the onions in your freezer for 20 minutes before you plan to chop them. This helps to ‘lock in’ the fumes and will make the process a lot less painful. Just don’t forget about them, solid frozen onions are near impossible to cut through!
8. Using raisins is a great way to add a natural sweetness to your curry without having to add sugar.
9. Make your curry 24 hours in advance as it’ll taste even better the next day. This allows the meat and vegetables to marinate in the sauce, leaving you with a wonderfully rich and aromatic curry.
10. If you don't have access to a tandoor oven, try barbequing or char-grilling your meat or fish before adding to your curry – it really adds to the depth of flavour. This cooking method is also ideal for making your naan or chapatti.