Category Archives: Masalas & sauces

Review ~ Ching’s Secret Red Curry Paste. Recipe for Veg Thai Red Curry

Thai Red Curry _ Foodlyrics

Around 1 year back we tried Thai curry at a restaurant for the first time. We wanted to taste something different, something out of the box which we were sure, we had never tasted. I had heard about Thai curry, but I was very skeptical as I knew fish sauce is added to the curry :( But this particular had an option sans the fish sauce so I immediately opted for it :) :) It’s been a regular order since then. The aroma of the curry, vegetables in it, basil & the mind blowing taste of kafir lime leaves makes the curry to die for.

I found a vegetarian recipe with a huge list of ingredients. I started going through it and THEN it said fish sauce. I kept the recipe aside and started to look for a new one. I did find a few and once again went back to the humongous task of collecting the ingredients. While I was at it, I saw this line on bottles placed on a rack of Big Bazaar which said Chings Secret  Red Curry Paste with a Green Dot. I thought of buying it but then hesitated as it could be very expensive. I went ahead and came back all the way to check the price. I was really surprised looking at the price tag which was Rs 140/-. It was quite unbelievable as such exotic items and preparations cost quite a bomb. I took it right away, raced home and started preparing it. I generally have broccoli, colored bell peppers, mushrooms at my place. Luckily I had picked up baby corn as well. Everything was ready to cook.

I followed the instructions with a few changes from my side and the curry was ready within half an hour. The taste was exactly like what I had in the restaurant. Plus I had the option of making it more spicier simply by adding more paste from the bottle. It’s a super quick way of making this exotic Thai curry without any effort. This fits into “anybody can cook” and “lazy cook” category ;). Perfect for people who don’t like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. You could ask your husband’s to give it a go while you rest and enjoy your timeout. Don’t let me get started with aroma that fills your house!!!

Let’s do a little costing as well. I pay almost double or triple of what I had spent to buy the bottle, vegetables and coconut. The order in the restaurant serves just one person while this served 2-3 people at least. I have used only half of the paste so becomes really worth the buck.

They have put a good effort in making it look authentic. Packaging is really good. Comes in a very cute little bottle with a black lid, excellent for future food photographs.

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My warning – Do not open the lid if you do not wish to make it right away, cause you CANNOT resist the aroma that springs out right into your nose and down to your tummy ;)

This also becomes first review for a product. I hope you’ll all give it a try. The best part is that you get it at any supermarket, you don’t have run around searching for a gourmet store. And it’s quick, there is no hassle of collecting en number of ingredients. If you feel like eating a Thai curry late at night, this is it !

My verdict is, you should give it a try, specially all your vegetarians out there. I would give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Have a go and let me know, how yours turns out :)

Ingredients

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3 tbsp Ching’s secret red curry paste (the pack says 2 tbspn but I feel you need 3)
2 cups (200 gms) of cut vegetables (I used Broccoli, Red, Yellow bell pepper & baby corn)
1 cup water
400 ml of coconut milk
Steamed rice to serve with the curry

Procedure

I have followed the instructions and procedure as per mentioned on the bottle. The only change that I made was the vegetables I’ve used and I add a little more extra fresh holy-basil (It made no difference to the taste). I have also used homemade coconut milk.

  • Take a large saucepan and simmer 200 ml coconut milk along with the water.
  • Add the vegetables, Ching’s Secret Red Curry Paste and stir well.
  • Simmer on low heat for 10 mins till the vegetables are cooked.
  • Now add the remaining 200 ml of coconut milk and continue to simmer for another 3 minutes.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

Tips:

You may also serve this curry with appam or set dosa.

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Rasam Powder

One of the most common powders (masala) you will find stocked in a South Indian home. Its used to make the much loved ‘Rasam’ ( a type of south Indian dal).

You may store this for a long time and use as and when required.

Ingredients –

Cumin Seeds (Jeera) – 3 teaspoons
Coriander Seeds (Dhania) – 1 ½ teaspoons
Fenugreek Seeds (Methi) – 1 teaspoon
Black Pepper – 2 ½ teaspoons
Dry Red chilies – 6-7
Oil – 1 ½ teaspoons
Split Pigeon Pea (Toovar Dal) – ½ cup
Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida – 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves – 12 -15

Procedure –

  • Dry roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, black pepper and dry red chilies separately till brown in color. Keep aside to cool down.
  • Now in a pan add the oil and sauté the toovar dal on medium flame till golden brown in color. Let it cool.
  • Now in a grinder add the roasted spices, toovar dal, turmeric powder, asafoetida, and curry leaves together.
  • Store in an air tight jar.

Tips –

Store the Rasam powder in a cool and dry place and in an air tight jar to retain the aroma.
Always use dry spoon when using rasam powder.

I would like to hear what you think. Do comment.

 

Pizza Sauce

Pizza-sauce

Pizza Sauce is a very important ingredient in pizza making. There are many varieties of pizza sauces available in the market. Pizza sauce gives the pizza a unifying flavor and taste.

Here is my recipe for this ingredient without which even the best pizzas are never complete.

Ingredients –

Red tomatoes – 8 large sized
Oil – 2 tbspns
Butter – 50 gms
Garlic paste – 1 tbspn
Dried red chili flakes – 2 tbspns
Green chili paste – 1 tbspn
Onion (finely chopped) – ½ cup
Tomato ketchup – ½ cup
Salt- 1 tspn
Oregano – 2 tspns
Red chili powder – ½ tspn
Granulated sugar – 2 tbspns

Procedure –

  • Boil the tomatoes in a pan till the skin cracks. After they are cooled peel and deseed the tomatoes. Grind them to a puree.
  • In a non-stick pan/ sauce pan, boil this puree for 7- 8 minutes.
  • In another pan heat oil, butter together.
  • Add the garlic paste, chili flakes, green chili paste, and onion. Sauté it well for 4- 5 minutes.
  • Add the above mentioned tomato puree and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the tomato ketchup, salt, oregano, red chili powder, and granulated sugar. Cook for 3- 4 minutes.
  • Use this sauce on pizza base or for making bread mini pizzas.

Tips –

This sauce can be stored in freezer for 2 months if stored in an air- tight jar.
It can be eaten as a bread spread like butter or cheese.

Goda Masala

Goda masala

Goda Masala is traditional ingredient, commonly used in a variety of maharashtrian dishes. Mix of many different spices, this masala is not very strong in flavor like the garam masala. It is mainly used in curries, dals and vegetables to add a mild flavor to it.

Some of my childhood memories are attached to this masala. Everytime my mother used to prepare aamti (marathi daal) with this masala the aroma used to fill the entire house. WOW..miss those times !!

Ingredients-

Coriander seeds (Dhane) – ½ kg
White Sesame (Pandhare til) – 50 gms
Cumin seeds ( Jeera) – 4 tspns
Caraway Seeds (Shah jeera) – 4 tspns
Cinnamon (Dalchini) – 3 sticks crushed into small pieces
Clove (Lavang) –10
Black Pepper (Kali Mire) – 20-25
Bay leaf (Tamal patra) – 10-15
Dried Red chilies – 7- 8
Dry Coconut – 100 gms
Oil – 8 tspns

Procedure –

  • Grate the dry coconut and roast it in a kadhai (wok) on a low flame till golden brown in color. Remove from the kadhai and keep aside to cool.
  • In the same kadhai add 1 tspn oil. Roast the coriander seeds on a low flame till they become brown in color. Keep it aside to cool.
  • Same way roast all the other spices, every time adding 1 tspn oil to the kadhai before introducing the new spice.
  • After all the roasted spices cool down, grind them into a dry grinder.
  • Store it in an air tight jar.

Tips –

This masala can be added to various dal preparations, vegetable dishes.

Garam Masala

Garammasala

Garam masala is a very important ingredient in any type of spicy Indian recipe. It is a blend of various spices. It add a spice and flavor to the recipe.

Ingredients -

Coriander seeds (Dhane)  – 5 tbspns
Clove (Lavang) – 5 tbspns
Black Pepper (Meeri) – 5 tbspns
Cinnamon ( Dal chini) – 2 tbspns
Green Cardamom – 5 tbspns
Black Cardamon – 5 tbspns
Mace ( Jaipatri) – 2 tbspns
Bay Leaf (Tamal Patra) – 6-7leaves
Caraway Seeds (Shah Jeera) – 5 tbspns

Procedure -

  • In a kadhai (wok) roast all the ingredients on a low flame one by one till they are brown in color. Let it cool.
  • Grind them together in a dry grinder.
  • Store in an air tight jar in a cool and dry place.

Tips -

The spices to be included in a garam masala will vary according to region and personal taste.