The intoxicating aroma around the kitchen and the fragrance of spices are the face of Indian cuisine. Beyond the flavour and taste, Indian spices in its traditional cuisines give health benefits too. The word ‘sauce’ originally comes from French, meaning a magical mix to make our food more relishing. These liquid or semi-liquid foods are devised to make other foods look, smell, and taste better, and hence be more easily digested and more advantageous. In addition to the flavour, the most important element of any curry sauce is its capability to smoother and adhere to whatever it gets dolloped or poured on.
As refrigeration was not possible in the early days, cuisines like meat, poultry, fish, and seafood used to get spoiled easily. Spices and gravies were used to mask the flavour of such foods. The Romans used sauces in order to disguise the taste of the food. Largely flavoured sauces were considerably used to mask the natural flavours of Roman food.
The known five basic sauces are Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, Hollandaise, and Tomato. These sauces are said to be the building blocks for all other sauces around the world. Hence, people consider other sauces that are sweet and savory from around the world as unofficial extended cousins of these five sauces.
Indian Curry Sauces
In India, the word curry is just added to describe the gravy or sauce in a dish. Every single curry has a name, with different words, denoting the presence of sauce including masala.
Indian kitchens greet us with the warm aroma of garam masala, and the classic Indian spices such as cardamom, cumin, cloves, ground peppercorns, and more, enhance our appetite.
Beyond the aroma, the whole spices supplies notable nutritional value for our health benefits. In traditional Indian- style cuisines, dishes bring on an engrossing taste to other foods.
Magic of Cooking
Adding spices generously will not only bring flavour but texture to dishes. One may try out adding or omitting different spices to get versatile flavours in the curry sauces, encouraging one’s creativity.
Cooking style preference of onion, ginger, and garlic provides the deep base flavour of most curries, and varies if applied in different ways, such as frying, sauteing, boiling. For a lighter curry, you can soften them without colouring. Similarly, for a richer dish you can cook them longer and caramelise to get the curry sauce darker.
Planning one or more combinations of ingredients that are going to give your curry sauce a body is essential. It can normally be one, or a combination, of these – tomatoes, pureed peppers or chillies, yoghurt or cream, coconut milk, spinach, or finely diced or pureed onion.
Improvisation of curry sauce preparation can be done by keeping these basic principles in mind. Making a simple and pleasurable curry sauce is easy with experimenting with different combinations of ingredients and spices.
- Instead of oil use ghee or butter to make the dish fuller in flavour.
- Yoghurt can be a substitute of heavy cream
- Use of lemon or lime juice will add on flavour
- Whole peppercorns and garam masala will be useful for enhancing flavour
Experiments with Curry sauce
The Indian curry sauce recipe is quite versatile. Playing around with veggies with some curry sauce and some water will make a delicious dish. Variety of experiments can be done with this gravy. You may add peas and paneer and water along with the curry sauce to make matar paneer. If your choice is protein rich food, with a blend of curry sauce and meat, it can turn out to be a delectable non-vegetarian curry. If you are a vegan, add the curry sauce to the lentils and vegetables.
Tips to Make Delectable Curry Sauces
- Slow-frying of Basic Ingredients.
Slow frying of some whole spices in oil or butter, adding aromatics such as onions, curry leaves, cilantro, garlic, ginger, celery, basil, etc for a delicious curry sauce.
- Marination with Flavoured Ingredients
Marination of chicken or mutton with some minced garlic, red pepper, and various masalas or spice powders will work magically for a delectable curry sauce.
- Use of Whole Spices
As it is less exposed to air, powdered spices retain more flavour than whole spices and are good for a relished curry sauce.
- Inclusion of Curry Sauce Bases
In order to create a hearty texture, sauce bases, some creamy or acidic ingredients are blended or mashed, which in turn gives a variety of flavours to our food.
- Maintaining Balance of Flavour
The right ingredients at the right time will guarantee the quality of taste in Indian food. The use of curry powders in appropriate time
helps to achieve a flavour balance in curry sauces.
- Rely on the Experts
As cooking is an art, experimenting with expert methods, even a little outside your comfort zone will give you better results.
Indian food creates magic among other places in the world. Be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian there is something for everyone in Indian cuisine. Organic spices stores across India are lined up to promote health through a variety of rich spices, encouraging us to experiment with healthy food varieties. The land of spices, Kerala is known for its rich exotic spices. This wealth of Kerala enhances its credibility in the spice trade.