Category Archives: BIR

Welsh Lamb & Leek curry

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Serves: 1

Introduction:

This is a great combination of Indian spicing with the fresh traditional flavours of Wales.  Plenty of flavour, but only mild in heat, so a favourite for the whole family. The spring onion and leeks really work well together and don’t forget, make sure the lamb is Welsh!

Ingredients:

  • 1 portion of precook Lamb (Welsh!)
  • 400ml Base gravy
  • 2 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. Garlic & Ginger puree
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 medium Leek (washed, trimmed, finely sliced)
  • 1 tsp. Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. Cumin powder
  • 3 tbsp. finely sliced Spring Onion
  • 1 tbsp. Tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp. Mint sauce
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped Coriander

Method:

Heat the oil in your pan and add the leek and spring onion and stir fry for a few minutes. Add the garlic & ginger puree, stir thoroughly then add the salt, black pepper and dried spices, excluding the garam masala. Cook everything for a minute or so, until the spices become fragrant, then add the lamb. After a minute of stirring the meat through the spice mixture add the tomato puree and half of the base gravy. Allow everything to thicken a little then add the chopped coriander and mint sauce, and stir well. Add the remaining base gravy and garam masala, thicken to your preference and serve, garnished with a little more finely sliced spring onion.

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Korai

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Serves: 1

Introduction:

Another curry named after the cooking dish, as opposed to really having anything to do with the ingredients. Obviously, because of this, Korai recipes will vary wildly. Here’s our favourite!

Ingredients:

  • 1 portion of precooked meat or vegetables.
  • 400ml Base gravy
  • 3 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. Garlic & Ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 Onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2 Green pepper, cut in to chunks
  • 2 Tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 Star anise
  • 2 tsp. Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. Madras curry powder
  • 1 finely sliced red chilli
  • 1 tbsp. Tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. Methi leaves
  • 1 tbsp. Coriander, finely chopped.

Method:

Heat the oil in your pan and fry the onion and pepper until just starting to colour, now add the sliced chilli, tomatoes and, the garlic and ginger paste and stir well. Add the salt, star anise, curry and chilli powder and fry for a minute or so, stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and half of the base gravy. Let the curry boil and start to thicken, remember to scrape the sides of the pan and stir the caramelized sauce back in. Now add the meat or vegetables, the methi leaves and rest of the base gravy. Keep stirring until the curry has thickened to your liking. Now stir in the table spoon of chopped coriander and serve, garnish with a little more fresh coriander if you wish. To add a little authenticity, this really should be served in a hot Korai dish.

Laal Maas

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Serves: 1

Introduction:

A classic Rajasthani hot dish, almost always made using lamb or mutton. It’s very hot but has a deep, aromatic flavour packed with spice and a wonderful warmth from the garlic and ginger.

Ingredients:

  • 1 portion of precooked lamb
  • 300ml Base gravy
  • 4 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. Garlic & Ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. Chilli powder
  • 4 finely diced red chillies
  • 2 tbsp. Tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp. Natural yoghurt
  • 1/2 Onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Methi leaves

Method:

Heat the oil in your pan and fry the onion until just turning golden brown, add the chillies, and the garlic and ginger paste and stir well. Add the dry spices and fry until they begin to release their aroma, 30 seconds should be about right, then add the tomato paste. Now add a splash of the base gravy to create a paste, add the meat and the yoghurt. Stir well and cook until the yoghurt has almost disappeared completely. Now gradually add the methi leaves and the remaining base gravy 100ml at a time, allowing it to thicken properly before adding more. Finally add the salt to taste, simmer for a minute or so and then serve.

Chicken Tikka Masala

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Serves: 1

Introduction:

The classic BIR curry. Sweet, mild and packed with flavour. No wonder it’s one of the most popular dishes in any restaurant!

Ingredients:

  • 1 portion of Chicken Tikka
  • 400ml Base gravy
  • 2 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. Garlic & Ginger puree
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Chilli powder
  • A pinch of cardamom pod seeds (only the seeds, discard the husks)
  • 3 tbsp. Double cream
  • 3 tbsp. Tomato puree
  • 1 block of Creamed coconut (50g)
  • A few drops of red food colouring

Method:

Heat the oil in your pan and add the dry spices including the seeds from one or two cardamom pods, heat them for a minute or so until they are releasing a wonderful aroma. Now add the garlic and ginger puree, the tomato puree, salt and sugar. Once mixed well add half of the base gravy and add the coconut block. Stir well until the sauce is beginning to thicken and the coconut block has melted. Now add the chicken tikka pieces and gradually add the rest of the base gravy, allowing it to thicken. Once at the desired consistency, add the red food colouring (feel free to leave this out) and add 2 tbsp. of the double cream, stir well then serve with the remaining cream swirled over the top as a garnish.

Massanda

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Serves: 1

Introduction:

This spicy, indulgent curry  isn’t found on many menus, in fact we’ve only found this curry in two restaurants during all of our travels. This recipe was given to us by the chef at a wonderful Indian Restaurant in Dumfries, Scotland. It’s definitely worth trying, but be warned, it’s a hot one!

Ingredients:

  • Precooked meat or vegetables
  • 400ml Base gravy
  • 3 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. Garlic & Ginger puree
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. Garam masala
  • 2 tsp. Chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp. Double cream
  • 2 tbsp. Tomato puree
  • 1 block of Creamed coconut (50g)

For the Chilli puree

  • 3-5 whole chillies depending on size and type.
  • Splash of water

Method:

Firstly, de-stalk the chilles and add them to a liquidiser or mini blender, along with the splash of water and blitz until smooth. The type of chilli is completely up to you, we tend to use finger chillies or bird’s eye chillies, or if we’re feeling very brave scotch bonnets, Naga vipers would work too, but we haven’t plucked up the courage yet.

Heat the oil in a hot pan, then add the garlic and ginger paste, stir for a few minutes until cooked. Now add the dry spices excluding the garam masala, salt and the tomato puree, stir well for a few minutes. Now add the chilli puree and a chef’s spoon full of the base gravy to keep things from sticking. After a minute or so add the creamed coconut block, stir until the coconut has melted, then add the rest of the base gravy. Bring everything to the boil and let the curry thicken up, then finish with the double cream and serve with some fluffy pilau rice.

Jaipuri

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Serves: 1

Introduction:

A medium heat Rajasthani dish, the Jaipuri is very simple to prepare and very tasty. The mint sauce adds a wonderful sweetness to the dish, if you prefer it a little more savoury, just use dried, chopped mint. To change between mild, medium and hot, simply vary the quantity of chilli powder used.

Ingredients:

  • Precooked meat or vegetables
  • 400ml Base gravy
  • 2 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. Garlic & Ginger puree
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cumin powder
  • 2 tsp. Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. Ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. Mint sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp. Double cream
  • 1 tomato, diced.
  • 2 tbsp. Coriander, chopped

Method:

Heat the oil in a hot pan, then add the garlic and ginger paste, stir for a few minutes until cooked. Now add the dry spices, including the ground fennel seed, salt and the chopped tomato, mix well for a minute or so before adding half of the base gravy. Add the precooked meat or vegetables and the rest of the base gravy, cook for a few minutes until it begins to thicken, then add the yoghurt. Again allow it to thicken for a minute or two before adding the cream, mint sauce and chopped coriander. Stir well and then serve.

Black Masala Mix Powder

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Introduction:

Black masala is sometimes referred to as Kaala Masala and is a blend of spices from the Maharashtra region of India. It’s referred to as Black Masala as the spices are roasted before grinding, which darkens them signifcantly, however thy’re still not black, more a dark brown.

Ingredients:

  • 2 inch piece of Cassia bark.
  • 2 tbsp. Cumin seeds.
  • 1 tbsp. Fennel seeds.
  • 1 tbsp.  Caraway seeds.
  • 1 Star Anise.
  • 2 Cloves.
  • 2 tbsp. uncooked Basmati rice.
  • 1/2 tsp. Asafoetida.
  • 1 tbsp. Sesame seeds.
  • About 6 Black Peppercorns.
  • 1 tbsp. Salt.

Method:

Black Masala Ingredients

Black Masala Ingredients

Quite simply add all of the ingredients to a small, well seasoned pan and slowly warm through, we used a tried and trusted cast iron frying pan. As the spices roast they will beging to darken and release a wonderful aroma.

Black Masala Ingredients Roasting

Black Masala Ingredients Roasting

After around 15 minutes on a medium heat the spices will have taken on a deep rich hue, at this point take the pan off the heat and allow everything to cool down.

Black Masala Ingredients Roasted

Black Masala Ingredients Roasted

This cooling process is important, especially if you’re going to use an electric spice grinder. Grinding warm spices will cause condensation inside the spice grinder and make everything go clammy and unpleasant. Once the spices have cooled grind them up, you can use a pestle and mortar if you wish, or an electric spice ginder. Blitz it all to a fine powder then store it in a clean, air tight jar away from sunlight.

Black Masala Mix Powder

Black Masala Mix Powder

Shatkora

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Serves: 1

Introduction:

Shatkora is an Asian citrus fruit that is very popular in Indian cookery. Apparently, if you’re unable to source fresh or frozen shatkora, a good substitute is grapefruit, but we’re not convinced by this. Most Asian supermarkets will probably stock shatkora, just ask if you can’t find it on the shelves.

Ingredients:

  • Precooked meat or vegetables
  • 400ml Base gravy
  • 2 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp. Garlic & Ginger puree
  • 1 tsp. Mix powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tbsp. Methi leaves
  • 1 tsp. Cumin powder
  • 2 chillies, chopped.
  • 1 tsp. Chilli powder
  • 1/4 of a peeled, chopped Shatkora
  • 1 tbsp. of Shatkora zest.
  • 1 tomato, diced.

Method:

Heat the oil in a hot pan, then add the spring onions and the garlic and ginger puree. After a few minutes add the chillies, diced tomato, mix powder, chilli powder, salt and cumin. Add half of the base gravy and allow to boil for a minute or so, now add the shatkora fruit and zest, add your precooked meat and the rest of the base gravy. Allow to boil and thicken for a few minutes, before finally adding the methi leaves. Give it all a good stir and serve, garnished with a little extra shatkora zest, or some coriander if you prefer.

Curry recipe resources

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As we’re sure you already know, The Curry Bible isn’t the only curry recipe website available on the Internet. There’s all sorts of resource for the discerning Curry-ista, everything from recipe websites, community forums, on-line shops selling authentic spices and cooking equipment, the list goes on. Here’s a quick run down of some of our favourites.

A great on-line resource is the BIRCurries.co.uk website, it’s an invaluable forum where you can find massive amounts of information from plenty of other curry enthusiasts, both newbies and veterans alike! The forum is organised really well so you can find sections for starters, main dishes, side dishes etc. There’s also a few professional Indian restaurant chefs that  use the forum too! Take a look here: BIRCurries.co.uk.

Although it hasn’t been updated in a long time, The Curry Sauce is an excellent website. Run by Shane and Andy, two curry loving friends the site has a few really good recipes posted, our personal favourite being the Naga / Sylhet and also some reviews and other curry related information.

Cook4One is a fantastic website, but can feel a little overwhelming for new users at first. It’s a website dedicated to cooking single portion food, which is a category BIR curry’s fit in to perfectly. The website caters for authentic Indian, BIR, Chinese, Vegetarian and other types of cuisine. The BIR section is certainly expansive and jam packed with recipes and information. There are at least five different base sauce recipes, each given a code name, so as we say, for the beginner it can be a little daunting.

Dan Toombs, AKA The Curry Guy runs the Great Curry Recipes website and it’s a cracker. Dan has also published a couple of e-books too, the seafood book is seriously worth a look. You can also get in touch with Dan on Twitter and Facebook, he’s a friendly guy, always keen to help out, give advice and generally chat about all things Curry! Dan also runs a small on-line shop where you can buy some excellent spice kits, Curry-centric cookware and the inimitable I.O.Shen knives! The Curry Guy also tends to run competitions from time to time too, so get involved!

Another useful BIR recipe website is The Curry House, the recipes posted are definitely worth a look. They too have produced a recipe book that you can purchase in both physical and electronic formats. There’s also a very useful FAQ section. Here’s the link: The Curry House

Other on-line resources that we love include:

Methi Palak

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Serves: 1

Introduction:

This curry takes it’s name from the key ingredients used, methi (Fenugreek leaves) and palak (spinach). Please note that many restaurants and take-aways use the term saag for spinach, when in fact saag actually refers to any green leafy vegetable. This curry is often served with Paneer (cheese).

Ingredients:

  • Precooked meat or vegetables
  • 2 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 400ml Base gravy
  • 2 tsp. Garlic & Ginger puree
  • 1 tsp. Mix powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Methi leaves
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 tsp. Cumin powder
  • 2 tsp. Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. Garam masala
  • ¼ tsp. Asaefotida powder
  • 1 tsp. Chilli powder
  • 4 tbsp. Puree’d spinach
  • A handful of fresh chopped spinach leaves.

Method:

Heat the oil in a hot pan, then add the garlic and ginger puree, after a minute or two add the cloves, dry spice powders (excluding the garam masala), salt and sugar. Allow the spices to combine with the puree then add a ladle of base gravy, mix well and add the meat or vegetables and the puree’d spinach. Continue adding the base gravy a ladle full at a time, allowing the curry to thicken. Add the garam masala and stir well. Add the fresh spinach, stir again and serve immediately.