Indian food rut: 20 ways to make you rethink curry

Indian food rut: 20 ways to make you rethink curry

 

Shilpa Vaidya, 2015-11-04, Source

 

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Goan chicken xacuti

 

Originating in the Indian state of Goa, this recipe is all bout Xacuti (pronounced Shakuti)—a spice blend of freshly grated coconut, poppy seeds and large dried red chilies that binds together lamb, fish or chicken.

 

This fragrant red gravy (fiery in appearance yet actually quite mild) is a widely accepted Portuguese rendition of a traditional dish from the western coast of India.

 

Here's a luscious chicken recipe that does justice to this tradition of Xacuti.

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Assamese fish curry

This sour fish dish from the East of India can be your next quick-fix weeknight curry.

 

We found a recipe with juicy white fish fillets that takes only 15 minutes to make, as it calls for using a pressure cooker.

 

The only spices you'll need are turmeric (haldi) powder, mustard seeds, red chili powder, salt and sugar to taste.

 

Note: This dish is traditionally cooked using mustard oil and served over a bed of white rice.

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Kadhi

Kadhi shares its origins across several North Indian states and is a perfect example of what traditional Indian food should bring to the table—familiarity and comfort.

 

Kadhi is simply a spiced soup that you make by thinning out yogurt with water and later cooking it with some chickpea flour.

 

You can pimp it by adding your favorite veggies or make it dense or thin by adding more flour or water.

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Avial—Mixed vegetables

This rustic main course from the South of India is chock-full of fresh vegetables cooked in coconut oil and subtly seasoned with spices.

 

It is perhaps one of the lightest Indian dishes out there that can be eaten on its own (though traditionally it's served with a bowl of rice).

 

Here's a recipe where the flavors of the myriad vegetables shine through without being overpowered by spices.

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Salan curry

Salan is basically green chilies in a tangy, fiery gravy dish that accompanies Biryani (rice pilaf). The heat in this dish comes from the chilies and tamarind and the gravy blended with freshly ground spices and peanuts. If you like to keep things hot and spicy, then Salan is your ultimate curry salvation. If you're sensitive to heat, then cut back on the chilies or substitute with green bell peppers.

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Nadan beef curry

This slow-cooked beef curry is a rendition of a traditional curry from Kerala. Bursting with flavors and heat, this dish is unique to the region and has earned comfort food status among everyone who cooks it. We found a gorgeous recipe that teaches you how to replicate the traditional version using three different cooking methods. So simply choose your style, and you're all set to go!

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Egg curry

This popular dish is all about perfectly hard boiled eggs which are simmered in a spiced tomato onion sauce. The sauce itself is left to cook until the gravy completely reduces to release the essential oils of the spices and until the water content of the tomatoes evaporates. You can also add a bit of coconut milk or heavy cream toward the end for a milder version of this lip-smacking platter.

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Coorg pork curry

This gem of a hunter's recipe from South India is influenced by its surrounding hills, coffee estates and wildlife. The traditional method here involves slow roasting whole spices, cooking pork in its own fat and adding local malt vinegar to impart a deep brown profile to the curry. Not the easiest of curries out there, but definitely a promising and flavorful option to try.

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Chettinad chicken curry

This fiery and aromatic curry from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu in South India is an absolute favorite among curry connoisseurs. The tradition calls for grinding a variety of sundried spices, coconut and chilies using a pestle and mortar. The spice blend is later used to lend flavor to the chicken pieces to make a gravy base. Here's a recipe that really hits the spot.

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Corn Koftas in Spinach Sauce

These corn koftas swimming in a creamy green spinach gravy are probably one of the best curries you will ever make. It takes a cue from a traditional Malwani dish from the region of Maharashtra, except here the coriander is replaced with spinach leaves. If color is crucial to your curry, then try this recipe out for a welcome change from the piquant red.

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Green peas in cream sauce

In this recipe, the lusciousness of the gravy comes from cashew nuts and full cream. So it has an unusual taste and flavor profile when compared with classic Punjabi dishes that employ onion-and-tomato based gravy. And in case you are wondering, methi (a key ingredient) is fenugreek leaves. Indian grocery stores carry them in both fresh and dried varieties.

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