I grew up eating curries in London. My father had fought alongside the Gurkhas (soldiers from Nepal above India who are famous for their bravery) and had learnt how to make curries by blending spices. There is not a single spice called curry, but rather a mix of perhaps 30 different spices. I used to blend my spices but now I use a curry concentrate that lasts in the fridge for about a year. For Chronicle and viewers who are new to curries I bought an imported curry sauce that is combined with raw or cooked meat.
The ethnic section of the bigger supermarkets will often carry these sauces, in about a one pound jar for only a few dollars. They should normally give a description of the flavor and whether sauce is mild, medium or hot. Start with mild versions and progress. For those who like 5 alarm chilis, just sprinkle some crushed red pepper on top.
For Chronicle I used 'Geeta's (brand name) Pudina Tikka, mild, a jar of sauce described as "a seasoning with paprika, cumin and cardamom and a rich, creamy tomato sauce with mint and coriander to give the truly authentic flavor of this favorite Indian curry." I bought this from the British Aisles, an importer of British foods based in Nashua whose web site is www.JollyGrub.com.
There is a huge market in Britain for curries - we love our curries, traditionally eaten after Saturday night at the pub. In fact many pubs offer curries as part of their daily menu and various curries are available ready cooked in supermarkets.
Pallika Bazaar on Amherst Street in Nashua also carries cook-in sauces, pastes and dry mixes. If you want to eat good Indian food I normally go to India Palace either in Manchester on South Willow or on Amherst Street in Nashua. They offer an excellent lunchtime buffet with lots of choices and a gentle heat as an introduction. I always take my students there after we have a class on Indian cooking. My apologies to viewers from further afield.
Method1. In non stick pan, heat oil and stir in spice mix from jar. Cook over medium heat for about one minute.
2. Stir in the cooked meat and gently fry for 1-2 minutes to allow meat to absorb spices.
3. Add sauce, heat until sauce is bubbling gently, cover and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes until safely reheated. If sauce is evaporating away, add a little water or yogurt.
4. Serve with rice.
OptionsAdd baby carrots, baby corn, peas to curry mix.
This recipe is also good for leftover chicken, pork and lamb.
Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers Catering services, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner and has her own series on Merrimack TV. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.