It took me a while to learn how to cook perfect Indian curry and as with everything, I learnt that practice makes perfect. Growing up with my extended family, I gained a lot of knowledge about cooking from my grandmother and aunties. They would make me do tasks to perfection, scolding me where needed and explaining the reasons behind their disappointments. My grandmother and aunt would supervise me while I was cooking. More often than not, I was stopped from rushing to the next step because if the right order wasn’t followed, the food wouldn’t be as delicious as it should be. The whole family should enjoy the meals and not just eat them for the sake of it!
Although at the time I would get incredibly frustrated, I now realise how patient I am when cooking because of their guidance. My food tastes much better when I take my time and am not rushing to get the job done. Looking back, I realise how fortunate I have been to get that one-on-one education. It was never about perfection but more about learning to do things the right way; to save time, effort and precious resources. I have learnt many valuable lessons in cooking and one of them is that as delicious as they are, curries are very tricky to master in one go.
To perfect the Indian curry you must have patience. Curries rely heavily on their base ingredients which are onions and garlic and they need to be cooked through. Before adding masala or other ingredients, you need to make sure the onions and garlic are sizzling and golden brown. It is important therefore, to make sure that everything is at hand because that golden period passes by really quickly and your ingredients will burn to a black mess. There’s nothing worse than burnt onions in your curry – except for raw garlic. Onions take a while to cook so check out my quick tip on getting them done quicker here.