Monday, 10 May 2010

Bipin's Masala

Eating curry has become very popular in many British households over the years, but not many people make it from scratch. Preparing it using all the component spices can be time consuming, leading many people to resort to using ready-made sauces or pastes for ease and speed. I often make my own curries from raw ingredients, as so far I’ve been disappointed with the results from shop bought mixtures – this means that I only make them when I have more time.

When I was given the opportunity to try a spice mix from Bipin’s Masala, I was keen to give it a go, as the masala is made from entirely fresh ingredients.
Based in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, Bipin takes pride in creating authentic masalas, using a blend of Gujarati spices, that are tasty as well as healthy – there’s no need to add oil or salt. They are are gluten and dairy free and completely vegetarian, unless you add meat to your curry of course. Having no colourings, flavourings, additives or preservatives, they are completely fresh and natural and this very much appeals to me.

Five varieties are available; Surti, Jeera, Methi, Machi and Garam, I used the Surti Masala.
It certainly looked appetising in the pot, a deep red, flecked with green coriander leaves. As soon as I opened the lid a gorgeous aroma wafted out – it smelled as if it had been made just moments ago. My pot contained enough for a four person meal, it didn’t look like much, but the masala is so concentrated you don’t need a lot.

I used chicken and a little sautéed onion and mixed them together with the masala in a heavy casserole and put it in the oven. There’s absolutely no need to brown the meat and cooking it this way allows the beautiful flavours to infuse the meat fully. No water is required either, as during cooking, moisture is released from the meat giving the right amount of liquid.
Towards the end of cooking some cream or yogurt can be stirred through, I chose to use yogurt as I like its zingy flavour. Some roughly chopped coriander leaves are a nice addition too.

The end result was a revelation and the flavour definitely authentic. It was good and spicy with just the right level of chilli heat – not tongue-burningly so, but a pleasant lingering warmth. The other spices revealed themselves in layers of taste, so that each one was discernible and readily appreciated. A well balanced curry indeed that left me wanting more.

For more information visit Bipin’s website: www.curryfusion.net
Read Bipin’s blog for news and recipes: bipinscurrypot.blogspot.com


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