The best part of my journey learning and helping others to find new ways of Preparing and Cooking different Indian dishes is what I keep learning when I ask people. I am always being given tips or recipes that I would never have heard of or thought about as some of them have been past down from generations. So as I find out more and more I just wanted to help and share some of these Tips with you.
When a lot of people hear the word frozen or freeze when cooking fresh dishes they can sometimes get a bit concerned. Will it taste the same ? It will destroy the goodness of the dish ! What do I freeze it in ? How long will it Freeze for ? What can and what can’t be frozen? So many questions but let me just let you know my findings .
The Answer to Can you freeze a curry is undoubtedly YES. However you must be mindful that if you use certain creams or milks then when re-heating these may split. So my advice would be if you need to use cream then add this to your dish after it has been thoroughly defrosted and cooked through. Fortunately with most curry dishes they can be placed on a Hob or In the Oven straight from the freezer so as soon as you can tell they are piping hot then just add the cream.
A great tip I learnt on Freezing is when you are preparing Grated Ginger ,Crushed or chopped Garlic and Chopped Chillies then rather than prepare a little every time you make a curry or any other dish for that matter a great way to save time is to grab an ice cube tray or 2.
Instead of just chopping up or crushing or grating one portion of Garlic ,Ginger or Chilli. Do it on mass ! Yep loads of it ! So when you’ve cut for example 20 chillies or grated 20 thumb sized pieces of Ginger up .Simply work out how much a teaspoon or Tablespoon or what ever you require for your dishes and the place them in the cubes top up with a bit of water and there you have it. Ready mad portions of Ginger Garlic or Chilli just waiting for you to pop them out of the ice trays and place them straight into your favourite dish you’re about to prepare .No messing around with chopping or crushing or grating just simply pop them and and place them in. Saves a shed load of time washing up and mess.
GARLIC GONE GREEN/BLUE
Now what the hells gone on here I hear you say ! Hmm believe it or not happened to me for the first time ever a couple of weeks ago. I was preparing a Beef Madras when all of a sudden i looked into my Wok to see loads of green bits in my onions frying away. I was horrified. I had just put some ginger into the Wok and then added the Garlic and carried on preparing some chillies. When I turned back to the dish the colour in the Wok looked just like above. After the panic settled down I turned to my good old faithful Google bar. Thankfully this is where I learnt the following
:- The colors occur when enzymes and amino acids present in garlic react with the sulfur compounds responsible for garlic’s pungent smell. The reaction causes different multipyrrole molecules to form. Different types of multipyrrole molecules are responsible for the different pigments. The multipyrrole molecule most familiar to us is chlorophyll, produced by plants in the presence of light; however, chlorophyll is not produced by the cooking or pickling processes that turn garlic blue.
So don’t panic or worry as this will not cause any harm to the stomach just a little to your eyes and once the rest of your spices etc have been added to your dish you won’t even see the colouring.
There are a few tips I would like to share with you reference to chopping.
First and foremost Health issues . Again this is common sense for many people however some people may just like to have a reminder.When you need to use a chopping board,no matter what type of board Glass,Plastic or Wood make sure you have poured Boiling hot water over it to kill off any bacteria. Even if you have just used it an hour ago to prepare something else and you have swilled it off. BACTERIA is and has killed many people so just don’t risk it.
Always use a different board for vegetables and Meat/Poultry/Fish. If you have prepared veg first then that is not too bad but if you have prepared fish then want to prepare poultry then either use another board or the rear of the one you are using or simply thoroughly rinse the board in boiling water.
Cross contamination can see you or your guests in Hospital . Especially if they are allergic to say Prawns and you don’y rinse the board an Allergic reaction in some cases has caused severe consequences.
So moving on from the chopping boards to chopping itself .
The wonderful onion is probably the most awkward of items to chop unless you have one of these :- https://amzn.to/2FLBUUw
or one of these https://amzn.to/2Vd1A2X. If you don’t and you prefer to use the good ole faithful knife then the best way would be as follows :-
- Holding the knife correctly so that your thumb is on the one side and your index supporting the other side which will give you a really firm grip and more control ,place your Onion on the chopping Board. Cut the onion in half across the middle and then place the 2 halves on the chopping board. Place you one hand on the onion forming like a claw shape ideally with your knuckle slightly out and your finger tips pointing in ,start to chop the onion from the outside towards yourself obviously moving your fingers closer toward you also. When you have got half way the turn the onion on its side and start to chop the other direction therefore producing smaller cubes.I will add a video as soon as possible meantime please check out the youtube chopping videos for clarity.
BULK SPICE MIXES
Why bulk ? Well its easy to buy ready made spice mixes such as Garam Masala, Madras ,Tandoori spice mixes but if there are some different ones for example the Pork Balchao Dish I have in my Recipe section then you can’t actually buy this pre mixed from anywhere yet ?
So every time you need to cook the dish you would have to get out loads of containers with the individual spices,then combine these after grinding them. Which can be messy and also take a long time . So the best thing to do is make a bulk of it.Istead of thinking of cooking the one dish calculate how much you would need for 20 dishes . Combine all the spices together and then place in a container and label. So next time all you have to do is remove the one container and add the mix in one easy move.
Many people like to prepare their own versions of Garam Masala or Madras as they may add different spices into the to give the dish a different flavour or they might just like to have different strengths of Madras to their liking such as a MILD MEDIUM HOT OR HOTTER THAN HOT ! Again by preparing the spice mix for 20 dishes you can save loads of time. Always always label your mixes though as you may not want to give a hot one to your friend who likes a Korma !
Never ever forget that for some people certain foods can not only cause bad reactions like skin irritation and swollen tongues and sore eyes etc Many thousands of people have died from certain food allergies as they are very highly allergic to them. As you can see above there are some common foods so before you start even preparing or purchasing food for Friends or Family .Ask the question ….If you don’t and they don’t remind you it could be fatal.
If you even just prepare a food on the same chopping board as another food someone maybe allergic to then the results could be devastating.Don’t take a risk ask every time.