This easy aromatic Indian curry with cardamom and lots of other fragrant spices is quick to put together and will impress you with every single bite. (video recipe included)
Mastering Indian cooking artistry
I have to admit that I was only introduced to proper Indian food three years ago, around the time I moved to Edinburgh. Romania’s not big on international cuisines (apart from European and Middle Eastern). Things only started to change as I moved away – now I keep coming across endless new restaurants and bistros preparing Indian, Thai, Malaysian and Japanese food. Living in the UK, though, makes me fairly sceptical to how Romanians tackled Asian food. The UK sets particularly high standards when it comes to it, and I fear they may not be met back home.
Despite not ever being physically in India, I’ve travelled around through different dishes from a multitude of Indian restaurants and takeaways. Indian food is all about mastering spices and bringing them together like the pieces of a complex, beautiful puzzle. They can be roasted, added to the marinade, fried or added at the end. Each will add a different layer of complexity to the dish. Each will change the very core of the dish.
What makes a curry great
Famous Indian chef Gaggan Anand describes the perfect Indian dish as being: sweet, spicy, salty, sour and surprising. Of course the element of surprise is different in his progressive, molecular cooking style and a simple, everyday dish would not be able to carry the same ‘wow’ as an outstanding plating, changed textures and flavours and techniques used only by the best chefs in the world.
From my experience, a great Indian dish is balanced (I totally ruined a curry once by adding too much clove powder), it’s light and juicy (even when it doesn’t have a lot of sauce), has a balanced and fragrant smell and is tasty enough to want more of it the next day. It happened to me, a couple of times, to have made a curry that I enjoyed (a lot!) for dinner but was definitely not wanting more of it the next day. That’s not a sign of a balanced curry!
My easy aromatic Indian curry
I used Mahdur Jaffrey’s black pepper and cardamom curry as inspiration, but developed the recipe to my liking. I added ginger and garlic to the sauce, some extra spices and chillies for a kick (I love spicy food) and puréed tomatoes for the sauce. So far I’ve tested the recipe three times and improved it (to my liking, of course). I didn’t want to go overboard with the ingredients, but wanted to keep some complexity of flavours.
Ok, I’m overexcited now: this is my very first video recipe! I promise my filming techniques will get better in the future, I’m just a beginner at this, right now…
Here’s the full recipe
- 500g turkey breasts (you can also use chicken)
- 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, slightly crushed
- 1 tbsp Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp water
- ½ tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 25g butter
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
- 1-2 pieces of cassia bark
- 1 tbsp whole cardamom pods
- 1 tbsp rose petals
- 2 yellow onions, julienned
- 1 heaped tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 1 heaped tbsp. madras curry powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 400g pureed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp rose water (optional)
- 1 pint of water
- 1 large handful of fresh coriander, chopped
- Cube the turkey breast and place them in a bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to a blender and purée. Coat the meat in the purée.
- Refrigerate while you are preparing the rest.
- In a large pan melt the butter and fry the garlic, ginger and spices for a minute stirring constantly.
- Add the onion and remaining spices and sauté until soft.
- Dollop the tomatoes, water, rose water and coriander, bring to boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the marinated meat and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Serve with rice (and a garlic naan) and enjoy!