A Guide to Indian Curries and Spices

Curries and Spices are known to be the soul and life of any Indian dish!

The face of modern Indian Cuisine, Anjum Anand, shares with us the secrets behind ‘The Spice Tailor’, giving a few helpful tips when it comes to fresh, healthy and modern Indian cuisine.

Keralan Coconut Curry

The south western state of Kerala is named after its famous palm-lined coastline and unique coconuts and is home to a rich assortment of spices and curries, one of the classics being the Keralan Coconut Curry. The Coconut curry is flavoured with curry leaves, mustard seeds, soured tomatoes and tamarin and is traditionally served with fish or shellfish and has a similar flavour to the traditional chicken or potato stews served by Kerala’s Christian community.

Top tip: Anjum suggests serving the curry with duck, pork or mixed vegetables and rice noodles in a one-pot meal.

Chicken Tikka Masala

This curry originates from the well-known, Butter Chicken curry. Traditionally, the chicken is marinated in a succulent array of spices, lemon juice and yoghurt before being cooked in a cyclindrical clay oven, known as a Tandoor. It is then cut into small pieces and mixed with Masala; a traditional paste derived from a variety of ground spices. In this case, the masala consists of tomatoes, a variety of handpicked spices (including black cardamom, green cardamom, Fenugreek, clove and cinnamon) and a hint of garlic and ginger.

Rogan Josh

Rogan Josh traditionally originated from Kashmir, a politically troubled region of India that is overshadowed by an incredible cultural beauty. It is a simple curry, made from oil, spices and yoghurt; typically featuring black and green cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon, black peppercorns and cloves.

Top tip: Anjum suggests a slow cooked (1-1¼ hours) leg or shoulder of lamb, cut into small cubes and cooked over a low heat.

Korma Curry

Korma was traditionally brought to India by the Mughals in the late 15th century and is known for its nutty and aromatic flavour. The word Korma is derived from the Urdu word for ‘braised’. The traditional curry consisted of slow-cooked meat or vegetables in a mixture of water (or stock) and yoghurt, but has been dressed up by ingredients such as cream, nuts, dried fruit and saffron. 

Spiced Spinach Curry

This curry is inspired by the everyday food of the Punjab, a northern Indian province for adding fresh, seasonal vegetables into their curries to create hearty and unique flavours. Spinach is one of the most popular green vegetables within Indian cuisine and is often accopanied with lamb, chicken or paneer cheese.

Mangalore Herb 

The Mangalore Herb Curry is inspired by the famous South Western city of Mangalore, which lies along the lush coastal areas of India, and is known for its dishes based around regional spices, coconut and cashew nuts. A range of local spices and coconut are often added to create a delicate yet robust dish.

Top tip: The dish blends the flavours of subtle corriander, fresh, poignant chilli, tomatoes and onions to form a unique and vibrant curry.

Punjabi Tomato Curry

This curry is inspired by the northwestern flavours of Punjab, a fertile region known as the breadbasket of India. The region is known for its rich ingredients and curries packed with onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and a range of warming spices. The curry traditionally consists of black and green cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon, black peppercorns and cloves.

Top tip: Anjum suggests taking on your adventurous side when it comes to this curry and truely exploring the ingredients suggested.

For more information, visit www.thespicetailor.com

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