Curry / Friday Challenge / Vegan / Vegan MoFo

Two Curry Pastes (Jamie Oliver Recipes): Friday Challenge!

I decided to do curry pastes this week because although I was learning by cooking with spices I wanted to really get to grips with mixing spices and the different effects of different flavours.

I have made the odd curry paste here and there but it’s always been very basic, and I have of course blended spices before but I’ve always been safe and stuck to ‘paprika and chilli powder’ or ‘ground cumin and coriander’ so it was fun to haul all of my spices out of the cupboard and use a bit of everything! I’m one of those people who will go and buy the spices needed for a recipe but then they just get put back in the cupboard and mostly forgotten. Spices like fenugreek  and cloves haven’t seen the light of day for quite a while in my kitchen. Luckily that meant I already had everything I needed for these curry pastes, all I had to buy was groundnut oil!

My random collection of spices – some posh ones in jars, some market ones in bags!

I found some recipes on Jamie Oliver’s website (click here) and decided to try them, I don’t know about you but I have never made a bad Jamie recipe. He has a perfect mix of recipes being impressive, delicious, simple and wholesome…LOVE HIM!

First I started with a mild Korma and then I made a much spicier Vindaloo. I wanted to see what ingredients were used to either tone it down or spice it up.

Korma Curry Paste

Base Ingredients: Garlic Cloves, Fresh Root ginger
Whole Spices: Cumin Seeds, Coriander Seeds
Ground Spices: Cayenne Pepper, Garam Masala,
Mild Flavours: Desiccated Coconut, Ground Almonds
Wet Ingredients: Ground Nut Oil, Tomato Puree
Fresh Ingredients: Green Chillies, Fresh Coriander
Seasoning: Sea Salt

I’ve split the ingredients down into the ‘base ingredients’ which are in every curry paste recipe I’ve seen so far and the base of most curries. The Whole spices have to be toasted in a dry frying pan before being ground and the aroma was amazing. Use your nose to know when they are done, the smell will hit you! This recipe only uses two other spices and although they are not exactly mild, they are still out numbered by the mild flavours of the coconut and almonds.

Not only do the coconut and almonds give it a gorgeous nutty flavour, but they also give it a much thicker texture than the vindaloo. I can imagine this will be lovely and thick when added to coconut milk!
Ground nut oil has a very mild flavour too which is perfect for the curry pastes as you want it to just bind the flavours not take over. It suits Indian cooking very well.

A Spicier, Deeper coloured Vindaloo Curry Paste

Base Ingredients: Garlic Cloves, Fresh Root ginger
Whole Spices: Black Pepper, Cloves, Coriander Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Fenugreek Seeds
Ground Spices: Turmeric
Spicy Flavours: Dried Whole Chillies
Wet Ingredients: Ground Nut Oil, Tomato Puree
Fresh Ingredients: Red Chillies, Fresh Coriander
Seasoning: Sea Salt

This recipe uses a lot more whole spices that need to be toasted to release the flavour and aroma with only turmeric as the ground spice (which I think would be to add colour?). I added 4 dried chillies with all the seeds so I knew this was going to be really spicy and it was! It was a much wetter paste and would suit being mixed with tomatoes and fresh vegetables to balance out the spice.

The black pepper adds a nice kick too. I love black pepper and forget that it is used a spice and not a seasoning! I really enjoyed using my pestle and mortar, it all looked so pretty when slightly smashed up! Also as you are leaning over you get hit with the amazing aroma of all the mixed spices as you are grinding them, something you wouldn’t get in a food processor! (although it did make me sneeze quite a bit!)

Beautiful Fennel Seeds, Coriander Seeds, Cloves

I’m not actually going to be cooking with these today I have just made them for the purpose of this post so I looked up how to store them and found out you can freeze curry paste! This makes sense since there’s nothing really un-freezable in them. I used an ice cube tray to portion it then wrapped the ice cube tray in foil to protect it. One cube for a small curry and a couple for batch cooking.

Do you make your own curry pastes? Did you know you cold freeze them? Whats your favourite curry? (mines a Kashmir with lychee in it!)

15 thoughts on “Two Curry Pastes (Jamie Oliver Recipes): Friday Challenge!

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  5. I freeze all kinds of things but never thought of making a big batch of curry paste to freeze–genius! Once you get all the ingredients you might as well make a big batch. 🙂

    • It make sense as an ice cube tray has nice little portions in it. I’ve got a feeling I’ll never get the colour or curry smell out of it though so it will have to always be my “curry paste tray” hehe

  6. I love Jamie Oliver too and have blogged about quite a few of his recipes! Straightforward and always so tasty….you cant go wrong hey!! I also made one of his curry pastes a while ago and really loved being able to make my own, more healthy, curry paste. I did however find that it made the curry I was making a little too spicy – next time I will pay more attention to how many chillies are in the curry paste combined with those in the curry recipe! Hope you enjoy them! 🙂

    • That’s a very good point! I would normally add some fresh chillis in to a curry but if using these spicy curry pastes then maybe I’ll leave it out or it’ll be waaay too spicy!

  7. Yes, you can freeze curry paste and basically curry at any stage (add the meat and veges when ready to cook)…in fact the flavors intensify and deepen during the freezing process…Your curry pastes look delicious and very authentic:) And that’s a perfect collection of spices!

  8. my mum likes to buy obssesive amounts of carrots, its part of her weekly ritual, so i make sure i always have lotsa red curry paste made up in the freezer, and some tins of coconutmilk, to make a quick thai red curry carrot soup to save wasting them.

I love hearing what you all have to say!

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