Jan 21, 2009

Get the Indian curry basics right

Having been through many recipe books as a cooking newbie I realised that there is enough in there to confuse the novice. That has been the motivation to post powder recipes in my cookery blog. Today I tackle the curry, in a generic way. Essentially most curries have the same base to which a multitude of vegetables and after-thought ingredients are added to pamper different palettes.
There are two forms of curry that is made in India - dry and gravy.

Dry Curry

What you need to make Dry curry


  • Mustard seeds (rai) - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric for its antiseptic properties as much as the colour - 1/4 tsp
  • Kadlebele (Split Yellow Chick peas/Channa dal) - 2 tsp
  • Uddinbele(Urad dal) - 2 tsp
  • Red chilly powder - 1 tsp / 2 red chillies broken into pieces / 2 green chillies cut into small rings

Optional Ingredients for Seasoning

  • Coriander leaves - 2 strands, finely chopped
  • Curry leaves - 10, finely chopped or as is

Preparation to make Dry Curry

  • Wash curry leaves and dry thoroughly in the sun. It should not have any moisture in it
  • Wash coriander leaves thoroughly.

Method to make Dry Curry

  • Heat oil in a pan or kadai (heavy bottomed vessel).
  • To the oil add all the seasoning ingredients.
  • Wait for the mustard seeds and cumin seeds to splutter, kadlebele and
    uddinbele to turn golden brown and chillies to be fried well.
  • Add any vegetable of your choice. The vegetable could either have been steamed earlier or be raw(which means it will have to cook in the pan).
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Optional for Dry Curry - Yennegai Powder could be added at this juncture to get a different taste.
Gravy Curry
What you need to make Gravy Curry
Same as Dry Curry plus
  • Onions - 1, blended or cut into small pieces according to convenience
  • Tomatoes -2, blended into a puree
Optional ingredients
  • Garlic - 4 pods, mashed or cut into tiny pieces
  • Ginger - 1/2 inch piece, mashed or grated
Preparation to make Gravy Curry
  • Same as for Dry curry
Method to make Gravy Curry
  • Same as for Dry Curry
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