Pick up the menu in one of the Indian restaurants in the Non-Indian suburbs and you will find a surprising addition, Madras curry. Rather unusual by name and fame, this hot and spicy curry is a favourite among Indian cuisine lovers. Today we tried our version of this madras curry with cauliflower, pumpkin and snap peas.
Taste-testing the madras curry.
Before we made our own, we decided to taste test the curry from a popular restaurant near us. No wonder, the lip-smacking curry is made at every restaurant, it is damn delicious!! While choosing the curry we said medium heat! Thank God! The curry is certainly on the spicier side of curries (like vindaloo). We testes out at a different place the second time to receive a curry that literally burnt our mouth(quite unusual for Australia!!) Now we knew our flavour balance and it’s time to test it at home.
What makes restaurant curries so quick and tasty?
I have not personally worked in a restaurant, but here are some basic ideas. Most restaurants do not make curries in bulk and reheat! That will taste awful and is not customisable. Rather they rely on curry bases like the buna masala we made earlier. These are made a bit milder so that the heat can be adjusted. The flavours too based on the curry powders can be customised from the base recipe. In addition, sauteed onion paste and ginger garlic paste are the basic other ingredients that make a world of difference in the curries.
When these base ingredients plus the curry powders come together for a quick mix under high heat (and excess oil) it becomes a flavour bomb!
Fixing up this madras curry
If you have made a couple of Indian curries you should not have any issues making this curry. The curry base is the same whether you choose meat or veggies to add to the recipe. Then comes the heat, assess which suits you better or add a little at a time to build up. Do a thorough prep work and madras curry is yours in no time at all.
Here are the ingredients you need to get ready with and the step by step directions to get this spicy vegan cauliflower curry at home.
- 1/2 head cauliflower florets seperated
- 4 wedges pumpkin diced as big chunks
- 8-10 snap peas or beans
For curry base
- 1 cup buna masala
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 bayleaf
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 2 dry red chillies serrano pepper variety, spicy ones.
- 1/2 tsp jeera
- 2 cardamom
- 1 clove
- 2-3 pods garlic
- 1/4 tsp fresh ginger root chopped.
for the gravy
- 1 cup coconut milk thick
- 1 cup coconut milk thin
- 1 cup drinking water
- 1.5 tbsp madras curry powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp red chilli powder avoid for mild curries, 1/8 tsp for medium curries.
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp coriander leaves chopped.
- 1 tsp kasuri methi dried fenugreek leaves
- Prep the veggies, ginger and garlic.
- Set a deep pan on medium heat.
- Add oil, fennel seeds, bay leaf, whole spices and cumin.
- Saute till they turn aromatic,
- Then add garlic and ginger and saute for a minute
- To this add the smooth buna masala and saute for a couple of minutes.
- Add the madras curry powder, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric to this and mix well.
- Add the thin coconut milk and mix well
- Add the chopped vegetables and 1 cup of water.
- Cover and cook till vegetables are tender.
- Once the vegetables are cooked, simmer and stir in the thick coconut milk.
- Let this simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Add chopped cilantro and kasuri methi ( optional) and the curry is ready to serve.
Pair this madras curry perfectly.
The lip-smacking vegan cauliflower curry like this need a good flatbread to map up the juices. Go for thin phulkas or ghee parathas.
The rice on the side could be simple steamed rice or millet. Take it up a notch and add jeera rice or kalonji rice to the mix.
These spicy curries need something to cool your young with on the side. It is best done with the basic cucumber raita or bablimas raita.
Once you see curries it is natural to fill up quickly. Break down the binge with a good salad side on the plate. I love thakali sambola or kachumber on the side. You can choose a leafier salad to add.
To add to the classic restaurant effect, fry up some popadoms with a chutney.
Finish off this treat with some upgraded gajar ka halwa tarts or classic basundi.
This is the effect of madras curry.
The current theme for the Shh cooking secretly challenge is experiencing restaurant-style dishes made at home. This theme was suggested by Aruna Saras Chandra is one of the lesser-explored fields on my blog. The challenge was exciting as experiencing Indian food outside India is an entirely varied experience. With curries that are curated to cater to a different palate, it doesn’t feel own, yet is amazingly tasty. This Global experience is what I am exploring through this theme. So, get the naans ready!!
My partner for this theme is Priya VJ, who has on her blog featured some tasty restaurant-style recipes. She chose coconut milk and cauliflower. The cauliflower instantly prompted me towards the vegetable Madras curry that I had tasted before. Enjoy the recipe.
If you go looking for madras curry in south India you will probably end up with a bowl of sambhar. If you are visiting us, I will treat you to the fire blazing store one and then to my version. For you, you need to try it out for yourself.
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Stay safe and see you at the next post. Wish you a great holiday season with plenty of edible treats.