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Recipes for Indian Curry Paste

Updated: May 25


Indian curries are renowned for their vibrant colours, aromatic spices, and complex flavours. But the secret weapon behind many delicious curries lies in the humble curry paste. This flavourful base forms the foundation of countless curries, each with its own distinct personality.


This blog will be your guide to creating delectable Indian curry paste recipes at home. We'll explore basic and versatile paste recipes, delve into dish origins, and even answer some burning questions about this culinary magic potion.


Understanding Indian Curry Paste


The Essential Ingredients


We'll start with a classic curry paste recipe that forms the base for countless curries. This recipe will introduce you to essential Indian spices like coriander, cumin, turmeric, and chilli powder.


Essential Ingredients for indian curry

A classic curry paste acts as the building block for a multitude of Indian curries. It's a concentrated blend of aromatic spices and sometimes other ingredients like chilli, ginger, garlic, and tomatoes. This pre-prepared paste simplifies the cooking process and ensures consistent flavour throughout the dish.


The beauty of a classic curry paste lies in its adaptability. By using the same base, you can create a variety of curries with distinct personalities. Simple adjustments like the type of protein, vegetables, and additional spices can transform the basic curry into something entirely new.


The Recipe Variations


Once you've mastered the basics, we'll introduce you to exciting variations.


Recipe Variation for indian curry

Mastering basic Indian curry pastes opens a door to a world of flavour exploration. By tweaking ingredients and ratios, you can create curries with distinct personalities. Want a fiery kick? Up the chillis and black pepper in your paste for a vindaloo experience.


Craving a rich and creamy curry? Add cashews or yoghurt to create a korma paste with a luxurious mouthfeel. And for a taste of Thai influence, incorporate fresh herbs like lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves into your paste, adding a vibrant citrusy aroma to your favourite Indian curries.


With these simple adjustments, your basic paste transforms into a launching pad for culinary adventures.


Elevating Indian Curry Paste Recipes with Roasted Spices


Fresh ingredients are a game-changer when it comes to infusing your Indian curries with vibrant flavours. Instead of solely relying on pre-ground spices, consider incorporating aromatics like ginger, garlic, and chillis. These ingredients boast a certain liveliness that pre-ground spices can't quite capture.


Indian Curry Paste Recipes with Roasted Spices

Fresh ginger adds a bright, zingy touch, garlic brings a savoury depth, and chillis, of course, introduces heat. You can adjust the amount of chillis based on your desired spice level. To further elevate your curry paste, explore the technique of roasting whole spices.


Dry roasting spices in a pan over medium heat releases their essential oils, intensifying their aroma and flavour profile. This adds an extra dimension of complexity to your curries that pre-ground spices simply can't match. After toasting, simply grind the spices to incorporate them into your paste.


Tips and Tricks


You can master the art of grinding your spices for maximum flavour impact and also learn how to store your homemade curry paste for future use.


Tips and Tricks indian curry

Release the full potential of your Indian curries by grinding your own spice blends. Pre-ground spices lose their potency over time, but freshly cracked coriander seeds, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds explode with aroma when ground just before use. This produces essential oils that translate to vibrant flavours in your curry paste.


For a deeper flavour profile, toast these spices briefly in a dry pan before grinding. This caramelises the sugars, adding a touch of smokiness and complexity to your paste. Don't be afraid to experiment with chillis! For example, Kashmiri chills offer a rich, warm heat, while fresh green chillis provide a bright, vegetal kick.


Adjusting the types and quantities of chillis allows you to tailor the spice level to your preference, creating a truly personalised curry experience!


3 Indian Recipes to Showcase Your Indian Curry Paste


Here are three (3) Indian Dishes to make out of Indian Curry Paste Recipes that will surely transport you to India with one bite:


1. Aloo Matar - Potato and Pea Curry


Aloo Matar is a classic vegetarian curry from India. It features tender potatoes and green peas simmered in a flavorful and aromatic sauce. Aloo Matar translates to "potato" (aloo) and "pea" (matar) - that's really the core of the dish. You'll also find onions, tomatoes, and spices in most recipes.


Aloo Matar - Potato and Pea Curry

While the base is simple, there's room for variation. Some recipes use a richer tomato gravy, while others incorporate coconut milk for a creamier texture. Spices can also vary, with some curries featuring a warm garam masala blend and others highlighting brighter flavours like ginger and cumin.


Aloo Matar is a great weeknight meal because it comes together quickly. You can use a pressure cooker for an even faster version. Aloo Matar pairs well with rice, roti, or even naan. It's a complete and satisfying vegetarian dish.


2. Tikka Masala


Tikka Masala is a delicious debate! While some believe it has roots in North Indian dishes like Butter Chicken, the most popular story claims it was invented in Britain by South Asian chefs, likely Bangladeshi.


Tikka Masala

Here's where Indian curry paste comes in:

  • Traditional View: Tikka Masala might have derived from Butter Chicken, which features a spiced tomato gravy. Indian curry paste, particularly a blend focused on tomatoes and spices like coriander, cumin, and turmeric, could be a base for this gravy.

  • British Innovation View: This theory suggests Bangladeshi chefs in Britain created Tikka Masala to cater to Western palates. They might have used a pre-made curry paste as a base, adjusting it with ingredients like tomato soup or cream to create a milder sauce for the tandoor-cooked chicken tikka pieces.


Regardless of its origin, Tikka Masala is now enjoyed worldwide. Indian curry paste can be a convenient starting point for making your own version at home. You can adjust the paste's spice level and add other ingredients like cream or tomato puree to achieve your desired flavour profile.


To check out Sobhna’s recipe for Tikka Masala, click here.


3. Paneer Lababdar


Paneer Lababdar is a delightful vegetarian dish originating from North India, particularly the Punjab region. It features paneer, an Indian cottage cheese, cooked in a rich and creamy gravy.


Paneer Lababdar

The gravy is where the magic happens. It's crafted with a base of Indian curry paste and tomatoes, simmered together to create a smooth and flavorful sauce. Cream is often added for extra richness, making it a perfect choice for those who love decadent curries.


If you're a fan of creamy curries and paneer, Paneer Lababdar is a must-try. It's a flavorful and satisfying vegetarian dish that's perfect for a special occasion or a comforting weeknight meal. There are many recipes online that cater to different preferences, and you can check Sobhna’s recipe for Paneer Lababdar here.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


1: Can I substitute pre-made curry paste for homemade?

While pre-made pastes can be convenient, homemade pastes offer superior freshness and allow you to control the level of heat and spice. Should you opt for pre-made curry paste, we recommend you do your research for a reputable brand that will surely elevate your curry experience.


A brand like Sobhna’s offers Indian Curry Paste in three variations: Mild, Medium, and Hot, all to cater for your fiery preferences. Sobhna’s Curry Paste is an award-winning curry paste that offers convenience and versatility. This paste packs a flavour punch for up to 1.2 kg of meat or vegetables.


It is also free from artificial ingredients and boasts plant-based goodness, it eliminates the need for frying spices and can even be enjoyed straight from the jar. Beyond curries, this paste adds depth to a variety of dishes!


2: My curry paste is too spicy! How can I fix it?

You can add a dollop of yoghurt or coconut milk to cool things down. The creaminess helps neutralise the capsaicin, the compound that creates the heat sensation in chillis. If you have some on hand, chopped fresh cilantro can also help. Cilantro has a bright, citrusy flavour that can help balance out the spice.


For a sweeter touch, consider adding a bit of honey or brown sugar. A touch of sweetness can help counteract the spiciness. Finally, you can dilute the spice by adding more cooked vegetables or broth. This will help spread out the flavours and make the curry less concentrated.


3: How long can I store homemade curry paste?

For maximum freshness, store your homemade curry paste in an airtight container in the fridge. While it will stay safe for up to a week, flavours will degrade over time. Consider freezing portions in ice cube trays for longer storage; these cubes can be easily popped into future curries.


Now that you've unlocked the secrets of crafting your own Indian curry pastes, a world of culinary possibilities awaits. With a basic recipe as your foundation, you can get on a flavour adventure, tailoring your curries to your personal preferences. From fiery vindaloos to creamy kormas, the variations are endless.


Don't be afraid to experiment with fresh ingredients, toasting spices, and adjusting chilli quantities to create curries that tantalise your taste buds. Remember, the beauty of homemade curry paste lies in its freshness and control.


While convenient, pre-made pastes can't quite match the vibrancy you achieve with freshly ground spices and aromatics. So, unleash your inner chef, explore the tips and tricks within this guide, and get ready to whip up restaurant-quality curries from the comfort of your own kitchen!


Ready to unlock a world of flavour with homemade Indian curry pastes? Explore Sobhna’s recipes, unleash your inner curry master, and share your culinary creations with us using #HomemadeCurryPaste on our social media handles!


Instagram: @sobhnasnz

Facebook: Sobhna’s

You can also get your hands on our Indian Curry Paste and Spice blends at our shop by clicking here.

Learn more about Sobhna’s story here: https://www.sobhnas.co.nz/our-story

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