Food & Drink Magazine

Know how-Perfect Gravies

By Harini
Whenever we hunt for a curry or gravy recipe,the word that grabs our attention the most would be "restaurant style" gravy or curry right?. Most of us should have wondered what makes the gravy in any north Indian side dish in a restaurant so tasty with perfect consistency or curry with perfect texture.When we attempt to make the same in our kitchen we have something missing in spite of using all fresh and real ingredients which is by far doubtful in restaurant dishes.But the point is with very teeny tiny tips we can make our gravy and curry one step high in all taste look and color wise than any restaurant that too without any coloring or non prescribed ingredients.Here I am comprehending few tips and tricks to attain "that" perfect gravy.But as "perfect" is something similar to learning curve which should keep converging I am still hoping to add more pointers here as and when I learn :)Here we go :)
Know how-Perfect graviesOnion-tomato based gravies:
1.Always use fresh firm and well ripe tomatoes in gravy.Blanch and peel the tomatoes if the recipe calls for pureed tomatoes.
2.Cook the pureed tomatoes with little salt and sugar to speed the cooking and also to enhance color.
3.Same way add a pinch of sugar while frying onions to bring out the sweetness in onions.
4.In general adding sugar helps in retaining the natural and vibrant color of any ingredient while cooking
5.You can add a small piece of cooked carrot along with tomatoes for more flavor,color and nutrition.This way you can avoid food color or excessive usage of chilli powder.
6.Add a pinch of turmeric powder for deep flavor.
Tomato sagu
Schezwan paneer gravy
Lentil based gravy(Dal variates)
1.Always soak toor or gram dal for at least 20 minutes before cooking for soft and mushy dal.
2.Cook toor dal with little turmeric and salt for faster cooking and bright color.
3.If dal is not mushy enough,blend it for a minute and heat with little water
4.Use the water drained from cooking dal to the gravy or use for any grinding in that gravy
5.Make tadka in ghee for any dal based gravy
6.Add some coriander powder to increase flavor and texture.
7.In any gravy that calls for moong dal,cook dal with little asafoetida to avoid the strong smell of moong dal
Know how-Perfect gravies
Curd and coconut based gravy
1.Always make sure curd is at room temperature and whisked well to avoid curdling
2.Adding a bit of cornflour can help in perfecting the texture.
3.Add a pinch of salt to coconut while grinding for a smooth paste and use warm water for uniform grinding
Know how-Perfect graviesMixed vegetable gravy
General tips:
Know how-Perfect gravies
1. If you are out of fresh cream to top the gravy mix 1/2 teaspoon softened butter with 1 tablespoon milk and use instead of cream
2. Cook in low to medium flame to retain deep flavor
3.For any gravy varieties if possible use vegetable stock for cooking to increase flavor.
4.Using freshly pound pepper,cumin,coriander,chilli flakes,ginger garlic definitely takes finished dish one step high.
5.The short plump variety dried red chillies are hot and long varity is of medium.Choose accordingly.
6.One problem often faced while making gravy is texture.Sometimes it becomes watery,try any of the following to thicken the gravy for a smooth uniform textured gravy
a.mashed potato
b.corn flour mixed with 1/4 cup cold water/milk
c.Wheat/maida mixed with 1/4 cup cold water/milk
d.5-6 cashews and 1/4 milk ground to paste
More gravies here

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