Saturday, August 30, 2008

100 Simple Chicken Curries

This cookbook lists 100 Chicken curries, greatly simplified, so that a first time cook can easily cook them. The principle is simple – Chicken is pressure cooked first and this cooked chicken is combined with ten different bases and 10 different flavouring techniques to create a hundred different recipes. The ten different bases are listed below

The curry base :
0.: Onion An extra dose of onions is used as a base in the famous Dopyaza ( Double onion curry)

1.: Cream is used as a base to cook up a mild, rich Muglai style curry, the Muglai Chicken

2.: Nuts / Seeds are blended with milk and used as a curry base in the kitchens of Awadh to cook up the Nawabi Chicken.

3.: Herbs - A variety of herbs are used across India as a curry base. Mint chicken , coriander chicken and gongura chicken are regional delicacies.

4.: Yogurt is cooked until dry and is used as a curry base in the Kashmiri cuisine.

5.: Coconut milk is widely used as a curry base in all the coastal cuisines, especially in Konkan, Goa and Kerala.

6.: Tomato is a widely used curry base across the country.

7.: Tamarind is used as a base in the southern states of Andhra, Tamilnadu and Karnataka to cook Chicken Kulambu.

8.: Boiled pulses are cooked along with chicken to cook up the famous Chicken Dhansak, from the Parsi cuisine

The flavouring techniques :
10 different flavouring combinations are listed in the cookbook. You’ll note that each flavouring technique calls for a different type of oil. However, you can safely substitute refined vegetable oil in place of other oils.

0.: Mustard + Red chili fried in coconut oil is chiefly used in Kerala cuisine

1.: Cumin + Ginger- Garlic is a flavouring common in Muglai cuisine

2.: Mustard + Asafetida fried in sesame oil is commonly used in Tamil cuisine

3.: Panchphoran fried in mustard oil is from the Bengali cuisine

4.: Mustard + Curry leaves + Fenugreek is another southern flavouring technique.

5.: Cloves – Cinnamon with ginger garlic paste and garam masala is common in North Indian cuisine.

6.: Fried & Ground spices The mixture of coriander seeds, pepper and cumin is used across India.

7.: Roast & Ground Spices This particular mix of spices is from the Goan cuisine

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"It is extraordinary to me that the idea of creating thousands of recipes by mixing building blocks takes immediately to people or it doesn’t take at all. .... If it doesn’t grab a person right away, ... you can talk to him for years and show him demos, and it doesn’t make any difference. They just don’t seem able to grasp the concept, simple as it is". ( Thanks Warren Buffett !)

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