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51

You'll sometimes hear television cooking show hosts describe what they're doing as "cooking out" the paste. What they're actually doing is altering the flavor of the chili itself, not manipulating the level of capsaicin that was introduced. If you take a typical chili paste which has been combined with garlic and other things and then saute it in a fat, you ...


30

Well, I've never had whole black peppercorns dissolve. In very long cooking, and depending on the variety and age of the peppercorn, they can soften somewhat. But when adding whole peppercorns to a dish, I either plan to remove them after cooking or be prepared to bite into a serious bit of pepper every now and then. To avoid this problem, I generally at ...


21

Garam masala is a catch-all term for an Indian spice blend. It has no fixed recipe but is likely to contain a combination of cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay, black pepper, star anise, dried chillies, coriander, cumin and maybe more or less. Blends vary according to family tradition and region. Spices are then dried out and possibly roasted, before being ...


20

Thai curry recipes often use a lot, and the flavour is distinctive. You'll need to experiment. Your idea of cashews is a good place to start. What I've often used in Indian curries is ground almonds (almond flour would be better but I can't get it easily). They have some thickening power and quite a suitable taste. You could also try cooking with nut milk - ...


19

Even though it isn't really milk (in the dairy sense), coconut milk still naturally separates into a thick cream and thinner liquid like regular milk. As such, when working with coconut milk you should still follow the same procedures you would to make a milk-based cream sauce. The number one rule when making any creamy sauce is: DON'T LET IT BOIL! Boiling ...


19

Peppcorns don't dissolve. They soften, and they give up a lot of their flavour, but they don't dissolve. Neither does ground pepper but that's pieces too small to spot. I'm not sure why you're not finding the peppercorns but after I cook stock overnight they're whole and swollen. I've tasted them: the peppery taste is present but mild, and they're soft. ...


18

Yogurt curdles at high temperatures. If you curdle a big lump of yogurt, breaking it up well is hard, and it doesn't taste too well. You want to end up with tiny particles evenly dispersed in the dish. So when you add it a spoon at a time, you can mix it really well before it has had time to curdle. An alternative method is to do it the other way round. ...


18

Half and half or heavy cream is a pretty good substitute. It has similar fat/water suspension, reduces and thickens similarly, and emulsifies similarly. You lose the coconut flavor, but it cooks similarly and you keep the texture. You cannot substitute coconut cream, because it is too rich, which changes the texture of the sauce greatly, and doesn't do ...


15

The separation you are getting is caused by inadequate mixing of coconut solids and curry paste. This will happen if you add coconut cream at the wrong time (or the wrong way) and you then cook it incorrectly. David Thompson is a world renowned chef and an expert on Thai cuisine. Here's my adaption of Thompson's technique: Place 5 or so tablespoons of ...


15

I like to add unground spices (cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel, star anise etc. and of course garlic and chili depending what curry I am making) at the beginning, gives a better flavour to the oil. Then I would add meat and/or veggies, stir fry them a little bit, and finally add the ground spices and water. Water will dissolve the spices and will make it ...


13

It sounds like you're assuming that recipes are scientific creations carefully engineered to achieve a precise result. But most "recipes" are an attempt to relay a rather imprecise series of steps based on available ingredients, familiarity, superstition, and habit in a way that is approximately reproducible by someone else. Even within the bounds of ...


13

The second method is FAR more preferable. When you add the curry paste to hot oil on the pan, it releases a lot more of the flavour & aromas, and also cooks out the raw-ness of many of the harsher ingredients such as onions, garlic and galangal (or ginger if you used that instead). When you add these ingredients to boiling coconut cream, you are not ...


13

Let me take a wild swing - I think trying to generate the volume required by using jalapeños would be too hot for your friend & you're right that a regular capsicum/bell pepper wouldn't have enough flavour to water ratio. Also 'bell peppers' don't taste like chillies. How about Hungarian or Banana peppers? Now, this is quite a variable & may ...


12

In most Indian restaurants, one only sees the gravy based curries. This is just one side of Indian cooking. For dry curries, the technique is totally different. For most dry curries, you temper whole spices in hot oil (traditionally sunflower, mustard, canola or groundnut oil). After tempering, the vegetables are added (usually one one kind at a time in a ...


11

There is nothing inauthentic about using sugar in an Indian dish, even a savory one. For example, Gujarati cooks often add raw sugar (jaggery) to daal and curries. Quoth Wikipedia: "It is common to add a little sugar or jaggery to some of the sabzi/shaak and daal. The sweet flavour of these dishes is believed to neutralize the slightly salty taste of the ...


11

I suppose the Belgian "curry ketchup" is similar to the German varieties and no, they are usually not only seasoned with curry powder, but also other spices. There is no standard seasoning mix for curry ketchup, but common additional spices are ginger, black pepper, paprika, cayenne or other chili powders. I also think that some brands contain onions. The ...


10

Allow it to cool, then put it in the fridge for a few hours. The fat should rise to the top and harden, making it easier to scoop away. If you can't wait for it to cool, either skim the oil off with a spoon or use some kitchen paper to soak it up.


10

In North Indian cuisine, oftentimes, cashew or almond paste is used in place of coconuts for lack of availability of the latter. You could soak up some cashew (depending on how thick you want the curry to be) in a bowl of warm water until they get a little softer. Use a food processor to grind it into a fine paste. The other substitute could be tomato ...


10

I've seen and lived curries all my life. So, here it goes: Olive oil is something I won't use for curries. It has a very sweet flavour to it. Unlike suggestions from everyone else to use ghee, I would personally recommend you to use sunflower oil but definitely more than half a teaspoon even if it is non-stick pan. Even though Ghee adds a lot of flavour to ...


10

The most common ones simmered along with curry are onions, carrots, and potatoes. You could even add some sliced apples. Root vegetables are frequently simmered with the curry, and you could consider using variants like sweet potato or squash, kabu, daikon, etc. As a "topping", the sky is the limit; I've seen blanched okra, cooked renkon, roasted or ...


10

A reasonably light cream (about 15% fat) should be fine as a substitute. It will lack the specific coconut flavour, obviously, but that's fine in this case. What's more important is the fat as a flavour carrier, and the creaminess in the texture. A soy based cream, or even oat milk should work equally well here, too. On the other hand, rice milk would ...


10

I think the times you did it with no troubles you used smaller portions, right? These big portions simply do not cool down quickly enough, and the temperature stays too long in the danger zone, say between thirty and sixty celsius. Bacteria grow very quickly around these temps, and so they spoiled your curries. Their waste is lactic acid or alcohol and ...


10

From long cooking, the capsaicin could distribute throughout the food in a way that will make it more palatable, but the capsaicin content will not drastically change. If this does not suffice: In a curry dish, heat is best made more palatable by mixing in an emulsified, fatty, rich component like coconut milk, cream, yoghurt (mind the proper technique here ...


10

None of these is categorically true. Adding it early or late will give different flavor, adding it at the very end of cooking will usually leave you with an unpleasant raw spice taste unless it is a roasted variety of curry powder. It does make a big difference whether the powder is added into oil, water, or an emulsion. For the most "complete" flavor, add ...


10

Substitutes have been mentioned already, but how about going the other way? There are more curries without coconut than there are with it. Many many curries use an onion base for thickness; coconut is a Southern Indian/Sri Lankan twist on what is a continent-full of cuisine. Look down the even just the standard sauces of any take-away menu... Bhuna Madras ...


9

For mouth-feel minus the calories, I make a puree of sauteed onions. It is an old restaurant trick. The onions can be browned or not as preferred but completely soft before blending a minute or more. Freezes well. For flavor and a load of calories, a bit of cashew cream adds wonderful richness. Careful not to boil, though.


9

You will need to cook the spices before adding them, but you can add them in now and it will be fine. You can either dry-roast the spices in the pan or cook them in a little oil like making a tadka. Probably if the cumin is whole, dry roast it until it starts to turn golden then add the turmeric and paprika and cook it for just a few seconds more. If ...


8

Oil and water have different boiling points. Oil has a higher boiling point as compared to water.Spices and aromatic release their flavors only in oil because the compounds in them that are responsible for aroma/flavor are oil soluble.However, they can burn easily in very hot oil. Most Indian recipes require that they are cooked in a mixture of water and oil ...


8

There are two traditional way to eat curry. Indians typically eat their curry with a type of bread. Usually Naan or Roti and use piece of the bread as a scoop/spoon of sort. Thai curry will tend to be eaten, as you suggested, over top of rice. Typically it is separated when it is served so the rice does not get soggy while it is waiting to be served. The ...


8

What do you mean by "traditional/proper"? A lot of Indian food is named simply after the ingredients in it - cucumber salad would probably just be cucumber salad. Sometimes they are named after the type of cooking method or vessel they are made in. Your Karhai broccoli is an example of that; the karhai (or karahi) is a type of pot used in Indian cooking. ...


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