Curries - Initial Stir Fry

Curries - Initial Stir Fry

To maximize flavors, curries require an initial stir-fry of the 'holy trinity' of spices, garlic and onion (sometimes a forth is added - ginger). This 'initial fry' removes raw and bitter tastes from the spices, and as the garlic, ginger and onion turn golden brown, they caramelize (i.e. they become sweet in taste) and the ingredients become integrated. This 'initial fry' is the most important in the whole curry cooking process, and as it is used in many curry recipes.

  1. Heat the oil or ghee in a wok or karahi until hot, but well below smoking point.

  2. If whole spices are being fried, add them to the boil or ghee and stir-fry briskly for about 30 seconds.

  3. Add the garlic (and ginger, if specified) and continue to stir-fry briskly for a further 30 seconds.

  4. Add the ground spices (if used), stir briskly, then add the onion and mix in well.

  5. Keeping the heat high at first, stir-fry until the onion caramelizes. This will take between 10-15 minutes, depending on the degree of caramelization required. The heat will need to be lowered progressively during this time.

It saves considerable time, smells and washing up to make several batches of fried onion, with or without garlic and / or ginger. Divide what you make into portions and freeze in yogurt pots for future use.

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