Make your favourite curry at home
What type of dish does your curry paste make?
I have been asked this question so many times and I don’t have an answer. My response, has been, that we don’t use the names of the dishes that you see on restaurant or take away menus and that its just our family recipe. I thought it would make an interesting blog, I hope you think so too.
My experience of the dishes I have had in restaurants or from take-aways have all been very different, even if I believe I have ordered the same dish.
What are the different dishes?
Balti and Karahi Dishes
Balti is the pot in which these dishes are made, it’s the small metal pots with the circular handles. Both vegetarian and meat dishes are made in these pots and the information available suggests that this dish originates in Pakistan and or Kashmir and was made popular in Birmingham in the 1970’s by the respective native populations.
Karahi dishes are similar in that it’s the name of the pot that it is made in. It appears to be the word for a sizzler! It’s a cast iron pot and is used by various regions to make an array of dishes. For this reason Karahi dishes can be very different. According to Wikipedia, the Pakistani version of a Karahi doesn’t have bell pepper or onions in whereas the North Indian version has onions.
A dry dish where the spices are fried in oil and the meat is added and cooked in its own juices. There is very little sauce or a thick sauce, it contains onions and possibly bell peppers. Described as a medium / hot curry.
To make a Dilishque Bhuna use half a tub of curry paste (25g) and fry on medium heat in a table spoon of oil (you can use more oil if you wish, however you don’t need to) for 10 to 20 seconds then add 500g meat and cook. When the meat is almost cooked add onions and bell pepper (optional). You can always add a little tomato puree to thicken the sauce…just a thought!
Mmmmmmmm, if you’ve heard our story then you’ll know that this dish was my biggest motivator for helping my mum mix spices.
Slow oven baked rice and meat flavoured with spices, from southern India, I believe. From what I have read there are many versions of the origins of this dish. I myself have enjoyed many variations growing up especially when we have been invited out to friends’ homes for a meal. Biriyani is traditionally a dry dish. However, my grans version is delicious and thanks to our curry paste I can make this meal relatively easily.
Biriyanis can be vegetarian, or meat filled so its entirely up to you.
Restaurant made biriyanis are not usually oven baked, purely because of the time constraints. If you want to try your own, then look out for our biriyani recipe.
A Persian dish that can have Gujarati influences along side the Parsee flavours.
The meal is made up of lamb, vegetables and a lentil base (or a lentil puree) and is described as a hot sweet and sour dish. It is made this way using red chilli powder, sugar or pineapple and lemon juice.
If you’re not keen on fruit in your meals and don’t want to add sugar, see my ‘make it sweeter naturally’ tip – Top Five Tips for using Dilishque Curry Paste.
This dish is traditionally served with rice.
This dish originates in India and Pakistan and is with double the onions and is the translation of the word.
There are two ways in which you can double the onions:
1. Double the weight of your meat to give you the amount of onions you require, so if you’re using 500g of meat then you’ll need 1kg of onions.
2. Use an onion base and then add chopped onion to the dish as it finishes cooking.
The bhuna is used as the base recipe and then you can follow the directions above to turn it into a dopiaza. This appears to be a medium to hot dish, but I suppose it depends on how hot the onions are as well as the spices and chillies.
It is thought that this dish has Anglo-Indian roots and the meaning of the word is ‘hot-fry’. At the time of the British Raj the dish was adapted to stir-fry cold meat and veg to make a curry. The version in restaurants today has evolved into a hot flavoured dish that cooks fresh meat and veg with green chillies. Added to this you may find tomatoes, onions and bell pepper.
As this is a method of cooking and not a dish as such you can always adjust the heat when making the dish at home.
This dish is known for being a mild one! Made with a blend of spices, nuts namely almonds and cream or coconut milk. A creamy mild meat/fish dish with vegetables is what you will find in most restaurants.
What I have found interesting is that Korma is a style of cooking and the meat is braised, usually after marinating in yoghurt. The long, slow cooking process produces a tasty meal with a lush thick sauce for dunking your naan bread in. Yum! My mum has made this for me with the paste and I love it. See tip five in Top Five Tips for using Dilishque Curry Paste.
We have had many people say that they add coconut milk to their Dilishque curries and that it makes a really tasty meal.
This one is interesting, apparently it has nothing to do with the place and varies considerably from restaurant to restaurant. It is a hot dish, but this dish has no rules, it can contain tomatoes or not and it can contain yoghurt or not. That’s it! I think the name relates most to the heat level of the dish.
This is an Urdu word and the meaning appears to be ‘like’ but there is mixed information as to whether the dish is a well-liked meal for the whole family or if the word ‘like’ refers to a good quality piece of meat, traditionally lamb. The dish contains spices (with an emphasis on cardamom), yoghurt and or cream and nuts such as almonds or cashews. I have recently started to enjoy cashew nuts in a meal, especially stir-fries…. Mmm cashews are lovely though!
This dish was served to Moghul Emperors and originates from Pakistan and Northern Indian regions.
Another Parsee dish that has made its way to India and traditionally was used with fish. A hot, sweet and sour dish, not too dissimilar to the Dhansak, this time the sour flavourings come from vinegar rather than lemon juice. It is made with a hardy white fish, but restaurants have also made the dish popular by using prawns.
A medium heat curry from Kashmir and Northern India and is known as a lamb dish. It is red in colour and this is from the tomatoes, red bell pepper and red chillies. Not food colouring as you might suspect.
To make this dish using Dilishque curry paste you could use lamb and add red bell peppers and garnish with chopped fresh tomatoes and coriander.
Another traditional lamb dish, however now it is also made with other meats and veg. The second important ingredient in this dish is spinach or alternative green leaves like methi or fenugreek leaves. Methi is a strong flavoured little leaf that really adds another dimension to any dish (it’s nice with Bombay potatoes).
Tandoori and Tikka
As I am sure you know the tandoor is an oven and therefore this a style of cooking that creates the flavour rather than solely the ingredients used. See Top Tip No. five for our favourite style tandoori chicken. Made with yoghurt it a simple tasty dish that is cooked in the oven or on the hob.
From what I can see the Tikka is the dish that is made in a tandoor, but a tandoori dish uses bigger or whole pieces of meat where as the tikka uses smaller pieces.
The Tikka pieces are marinated pieces of meat cooked in the tandoor oven and then added to the masala. The masala is a mild, creamy dish with coconut and the red colour is from food colourings.
Originating in Goa, India from Portuguese settlers, traditionally a pork dish made with vinegar/wine and garlic.
Restaurants have adapted the recipe using other meats and by adding potato. The vindaloo is a hotter version of the madras and the madras is a hotter version of a traditional curry.
Things I have learnt whilst writing this blog
• There are just as many styles of cooking as there are dishes.
I find this exciting as it allows us to experiment and try different things. Therefore, I like using Dilishque curry paste, I know I like the flavour so when I do experiment, I know I can’t go too far wrong. After all, the point of cooking is so that I can eat something tasty…and fill my belly!
• More dishes than I suspected are meant for slow cooking.
We all know that curry tastes better the next day. All the spices blend and you have a fuller flavoured meal. Once my Dilishque curry is cooked, I must leave it on low for at least 20 minutes (this is my mums doing, she always told me to let it cook a little longer, she said I’d never be disappointed, she was spot on). It makes such an exponential difference to the flavour.
• There really are no rules
You can experiment and add in whatever ingredients you like from meat to fish to vegetables and even salad.
Gujarati cuisine is predominantly vegetarian and what I have known, but only consciously noticed, is that there are so many fab lentils and vegetables out there that I’d love to share with you.
Our curry paste can help you make all the dishes above and to make them to your taste. I hope that you can experiment freely, and you can use the paste as a base or as your only flavouring. We all lead busy lives, we want to experiment, but we also want to get it right first time.
I hope this has helped you with ideas for meals and given you the impetus to make a different meal to one that you are used to.
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