Books by Richard Sayce
Karahi Curry Recipe (BIR):
This curry is named after the cast iron cooking pot (korai or karahi) it is often cooked or (more probably) served in. In most British Indian restaurants and takeaways the karahi is a relatively simple curry, mimicking both balti and jalfrezi. The Misty Ricardo version is a more sophisticated affair – with the extra time afforded to us in the home kitchen, it’s worth the extra effort.
A special paste, made just before the start of cooking, along with toasted and freshly ground coriander and cumin give this dish a distinct character that sets it apart from other curries.
Serves 1-2 people. Scroll down for the video.
- 4 TBSP (60ml) Oil
- ½ tsp Fennel Seeds
- 2 Cloves
- 1 Black Cardamom Pod, split open (optional)
- 2 Green Cardamom Pods, split open
- ½ tsp each of freshly toasted and ground Cumin and Coriander Seeds
- 1 tsp Ginger/Garlic Paste
- 1 tsp Mix Powder
- 1 tsp Chilli Powder
- ½ tsp Garam Masala
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Kasuri Methi
- 3 TBSP Special Hot Green Paste. Chop and blend the following (makes more than the 3 TBSP required):
- ½ medium Onion
- 2 Green Chillies
- ¼ Green Pepper
- ¼ Red Pepper
- 2 TBSP fresh Coriander Stalks
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- ¾ inch chunk of fresh Ginger
- Add a little oil to help blend it
- Prepare the ‘special hot green paste’ (see the ingredients section above).
- Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan on medium heat for 45-60 seconds or until the seeds brown and the aroma intensifies. Allow to cool a little, and grind the seeds to a fine powder. Use a coffee/spice grinder or a pestle & mortar to do so. Set aside. You can use shop-bought pre-ground cumin and coriander for convenience, but the flavours will be inferior.
- Heat a korai, wok, or frying pan to medium high heat, and add the oil.
- When hot, add the fennel seeds, cloves, green cardamom, and the optional black cardamom. Fry for 30 seconds to allow the spices to infuse the oil with flavour.
- Next add the cumin and coriander powder (1 tsp total) and the ginger/garlic paste.
- Stir diligently for 20-30 seconds until the whole caboodle turns darker and the sizzling sound lessens, meaning that it all might start burning soon if you don’t do anything about it!
- Add the kasuri methi, mix powder, chilli powder, garam masala and salt.
- Fry for 20-30 seconds, adding a splash of base gravy to give the spices time to cook properly. Stir appropriately.
- Now add 3 TBSP of the ‘special hot green paste’. You will have some spare so feel free to use it in whatever way you like. May I suggest spreading the leftovers on bread and toasting it, sprinkling on some finely chopped green chilli… But that’s another story!
- Add the tomato paste, stir, then turn up the heat to high and leave to fry for 45 seconds.
- Then add the pre-cooked chicken, lamb, tikka, vegetables, etc.
- Add the first 75ml of base gravy, scrape and stir the mixture all together, then leave until the sauce has reduced a little with small, dry craters forming around the edges of the pan and oil surfacing to the top.
- Now add a second 75ml of base gravy. Stir and scrape once then leave to fry for 30-45 seconds, or until the craters reform around the edges of the frying pan.
- Pour in 150ml of base gravy, mix together once, and then leave to cook for 3-4 minutes. Allow the heat to get to the curry – resist stirring it. By leaving it to caramelise on the bottom and sides of the pan a lot of superb flavour will be imparted.
- If you eventually feel the urge to fiddle, do so only if it appears the curry might burn. You can add more base gravy during cooking to adjust the consistency
- Taste, and adjust with extra salt and sugar if desired.
- Add the fresh tomato quarters and the fresh coriander leaves.
- Stir and leave to cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
- Dispatch a search and rescue helicopter to retrieve the 2 missing cloves and cardamom pods.
- After all that effort, if you have the energy, serve, sprinkling a little extra coriander on top.
- All spoon measurements are level (1 tsp = 5ml, 1 TBSP = 15ml).
- For the ultimate and most authentic experience, cook this curry in a korai or wok (a metal bowl that gets hot). You could instead use a regular frying pan.
- Black cardamom has a smoky and unusual flavour which you may or may not like. I suggest you taste one first before you use it in a curry.
- As an alternative to adding the split cardamom you can instead use the seeds scraped from within, and discard the outer pods. This is a little extra effort to start with, but saves the pods having to be fished out later.
- Enjoy this Karahi curry recipe, and please visit the Misty Ricardo’s Curry Kitchen YouTube Channel for lots of Indian recipes.