Pathia is a wonderful Indian dish that has it’s roots in Persia. Sweet, hot and sour it hits all the right notes in out household.
Obviously you can alter the level of heat to suit your taste by using more or less Chilli powder and fresh chillies.
Chicken & Paneer Pathia Made With ‘Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala
For this recipe I used chicken thigh as the main ingredient with a little added paneer. If you are using chicken breast it may take a little less cooking.
You can use whatever main ingredient you like though. Prawns work really well. If you are using lamb or beef remember they will need longer cooking or try par-cooking first. If you want a vegetarian version You can use whatever you like. If using root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots try par-boiling before adding to the sauce. They will then cook quicker and take on more flavour from the sauce.
1teaspoon'Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masalaor any other brand of masala
400gramchopped tinned tomato
3wholeIndian bay leaves
4tablespoonoil or ghee
6clovesgarlicfinely chopped or grated
1thumb sized piecegingerfinely chopped or grated
1 - 3teaspoonchilli powderto taste
1tablespoon'Ome Made B.I.R Curry MasalaOr any other brand of your choice
1tablespoonKatsuri methi (dried fenugreek leaf)
2teaspoonsaltor to taste
3 - 6smallchillessplit in half
Base Curry Sauce
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the sliced onion and salt. Cook on a low heat for 20 minutes or so stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic and ginger and continue to fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the diced carrot and pepper and again fry for a minute or so before adding the curry masala. Cook gently for a minute, stirring so it doesn't catch.
Stir in the tomato puree followed by the chopped tomatoes.
Add around 4 litres of water and give a good stir. Bring the sauce to a simmer, throw in the coriander stalks and continue to cook for 45 minutes or until the carrot is soft.
While waiting prepare the Spicing Essence.
Blitz the sauce with a hand blender until smooth. The sauce wants to be the consistency of (full fat) milk. If it's too thick add a little water. leave on a low heat while you prepare the curry.
Add all the ingredients to a pan. Put on the heat and bring to a simmer. cook gently for around 40 minutes. After this time the water will have reduced and you should be left with a thinnish syrup.
Drain the syrup in to a bowl until needed
Heat the oil in a pan or karahi and add the garlic and ginger, gently fry for 20 seconds.
Add the Kashmiri chilli, stir in and add the curry masala followed by the chilli powder. Cook the spices for a couple of minutes. If it looks like its going to catch, add a little of the base sauce.
Once the spices are cooked out add around 1/3 of the base sauce to the garlic, ginger and spices, using a ladle. Careful as it will probably spit and splatter.
Cook on high until the sauce has reduced to a thick paste. If you are worried about the mess, partly cover the pan with a lid. You only need to stir very occasionally as you want the sauce to caramelise. Make sure you scrape the caramelised bits round the edge back in to the sauce!
Once the first lot of sauce has thickened, add the rest of the base sauce to the pan. Continue to cook until this has reduced to a thickness that you are happy with. You can now add the chicken. Cook gently, for chicken thigh around 40 minutes, chicken breast around 20 minutes.
Once your main ingredient is nearly cooked, add the rest of the ingredients and spicing essence. Continue to cook for 15 - 20 minutes more.
Serve with rice of your choice and some naan bread or chapatti.
Chicken Tikka Masala is a favourite in the ‘Ome Made house. Only thing is, we have to have it a little hotter. Madras hot is about right for us. Paneer is also a great addition. If you’re not a fan or you’re struggling to get hold of some, it can always be left out.
Chicken Tikka & Paneer
For this recipe I use chicken breast which I coat with a basic Tandoori Marinade and bake in the oven. I also coat the paneer in the marinade as well and bake that alongside the chicken.
For this recipe I use 1kg of chicken and 400g of paneer. This will feed the six of us with a little left over for 2 more light meals. If you want less just halve the ingredients.
For the marinade I take 4 teaspoons of ‘Ome Made Tandoori Masala (you can use your own mix or another brand) and mix that with about 4 tablespoons of plain yoghurt. I also added about half a teaspoon of red food colouring powder, this is optional as it’s purely cosmetic.
I leave the chicken breasts whole, just scoring the tops of them slightly to help the marinade stick. I also leave the paneer whole in a block. It’s a lot easier and less fiddly to cut the paneer in to blocks and slice the chicken after they’re cooked. I also like the contrast of the red marinade on the outside against the white interior of the chicken and paneer.
The chicken and paneer want cooking in a pre-heated oven at 200℃ for around 25 minutes.
Quite often when I’m cooking curries I will purée the onions, garlic and ginger before frying. However for this recipe I fry sliced onions with a little salt until they are starting to caramelise. I then add sliced garlic, ginger and fry some more before adding some chopped coriander stalks, some diced red pepper and sliced chilli. The mixture is then cooked to soften the peppers before being left to cool so it can be blended in a food processor.
This paste is the fried again before adding the spices and everything else.
This method gives a lovely deep and sweet, from the natural caramelisation of the onion, base to build the curry on.
For this curry I use my ‘Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala which is a Madras style masala with a few added extras to give that authentic Indian restaurant flavour. Of course you could make up your own masala, or use one of the recipes from the many curry chefs out there such as Mistys, Dans or Als! And of course you could use any shop bought curry masala/powder.
I also use Kashmiri Chilli powder. This is mainly to give a deep rich red colour. If you haven’t got any either leave it out or use a little sweet paprika instead. Also I add some chilli powder for some heat. If you don’t want extra heat and prefer a more ‘traditional’ Tikka Masala, then leave the chilli out.
For the tomatoes in this curry I use a little tomato purée and tinned tomatoes. The tinned tomatoes get blitzed in the food processor for that smooth texture that you get in an Indian restaurant or takeaway.
If you haven’t got a food processor you could get a way with cooking the onion etc and instead of pureeing them as described above you could carry on adding the spices, tomato purée and then use a stick blender to blitz the whole lot in the pan.
1teaspoonTamarind concentrateoptional (add a splash of vinegar if you have none)
1tablespoonKatsuri methi (dried fenugreek leaf)
300ml creamI used double but whipping or single is fine
Heat a little oil in a heavy based pan. Add the onions and 1 teaspoon of salt. Fry on a very gentle heat for around 20 minutes until starting to colour light brown.
Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and continue to fry gently for a couple of minutes.
Add the peppers and chillies and fry very gently for around 10 minutes.
Turn the heat off and add the coriander stalks to the pan and stir in. As the mixture cools any caramelised juices that have stuck to the pan can be scraped off and stirred in to the mix, it's all flavour you wan to get in there! Leave the mixture to cool before blending well in a food processor.
Once the mixture has been blended add some more oil to a pan (2tbsp). As long as the original pan is reasonably clean you can just use the same one. Once the oil is hot add the onion mixture to the pan. heat through on a medium heat for a couple of minutes.
Add the Kashmiri chilli to the onion mixture and stir through. Add the curry masala to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes. If the mixture is sticking you can add a splash of water to loosen the mixture.
Add the tomato puree to the pan and continue to fry gently for a minute.
Add the tinned tomatoes and water and stir through. Once the sauce begins to splutter and form little craters turn to a low heat.
Add the sugar, tamarind, coconut block, methi and mango chutney. heat gently, stirring until the coconut has melted.
Add the chicken and paneer to the pan and continue to cook gently for twenty minutes.
Add the cream and fresh coriander and cook for a further 15 - 20 minutes.
Serve with Pilau rice and some naan bread or chapattis. Finish with a drizzle of cream if you want a fancy picture for you Instagram page!Don't forget to share your pictures to www.facebook.com/omemade.
I have done a post before on British Indian Restaurant Curry but thought with the amount of people wanting a recipe for a base sauce I’d do a separate recipe.
Make It Your Own Curry Base Sauce!
Remember, you can add what you like, leave out what you don’t have or add more or less of an ingredient to suit your own taste. I see people ask “What’s the best base sauce” well my answer to that is, your own!
So see this as a guide or a starting point and then make it your own.
Don’t Believe The Hype
B.I.R curry has a lot of followers. Some of these people will tell you that so and so’s curry base is the best. Some will tell you that certain ingredients shouldn’t go in a base sauce. If you add something to a recipe and the result is not very nice, then, yes, you probably shouldn’t of added that. On the other hand you might think “that recipe needs this” and you may just happen to create the perfect base sauce.
My advice is start off simple and start building the flavour layers from there.
I’ll let you in to a secret. No two base sauces I make are the same. I don’t follow a recipe and it all depends on what I have in the fridge.
Don’t let all the long winded methods some chef writers use put you off making a base sauce. It can be as simple or as complex as you want. And if all else fails reach for that tin of carrot and coriander soup, water it down and use that. Or alternatively purchase one of my Curry bouillon pouches!
Buy ‘Ome Made Masalas!
You can buy ‘Ome Made Curry Masalas at the ‘Ome Made Online Shop. You will even find a handy Curry Bouillon on there if you don’t have the patience to make a base sauce or if you want a standby for emergencies!
There are a ton of curry related pages on Facebook. Search The Secret Curry Club or British Indian Restaurant Curry and it will come up with plenty of pages. And of course there is the ‘Ome Made Facebook page where I post curry dishes that I’ve made.
1TbspCoriander stalksCut the stalks off fresh coriander leaving leaves to finish your curry off with.
Gently heat the oil in a large pan.
Add the onions and salt. Fry on a gentle heat for 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and fry for another 5 minutes.
Add the chopped pepper and carrots and give a quick stir.
Add the curry masala/powder and fry gently while stirring for 2 minutes. If the spices are sticking add a splash of water to loosen them.
Add the tomato puree and stir in for another 30 seconds
Add the water and give a good stir to make sure it's not sticking at the bottom of the pan. Bring up to the boil.
Once the sauce has come to the boil turn the heat down so it is just simmering. Add the sugar and the coriander stalks.
Continue to cook for around 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes check that the carrots are soft. Once they are, the sauce can be blended using an immersion blender or stick blender. You could use a food processor or jug blender but you would have to do it in batches and let it cool first.
Once the sauce is blended you can continue to cook it for another 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you are going to be freezing some of the sauce you may want to continue cooking so the sauce is reduced and thicker. It will take up less space in the freezer and you can just thin it down when you want to use it.
Optional extras you can add to your base sauce include extra peppers, a small amount of white cabbage (roughly 30g), a small amount of fresh chillies, a few fresh tomatoes, coconut powder (1tbsp) or creamed coconut block (around 50g).To use the base sauce you want around 200ml for 1 person. There are plenty of recipes for British Indian Restaurant classic dishes on the internet and you tube that you can use this base sauce in or you can look at my earlier post British Indian Restaurant Curry for a couple of pointers.
British Indian Restaurant Curry And how to Make It!
Scroll down for a basic recipe for Curry Base Gravy and how to use it!
Just like any other food curry has it’s trends and opinions on how to make it. In this article we will find out what British Indian Restaurant Curry is and how to reproduce it in your own home.
I have been following the trend for British Indian Restaurant (BIR) style curries for many years, starting in the 90’s when Pat Chapman started his series of books. Recently Dan Toombs,Misty Ricardo and a handful of other curry aficionados have taken over the mantle.
The British Indian Restaurant style of cooking curry relies on the use of a basic curry powder and a special ‘mix powder’ as well as the use of a ‘base curry sauce’.
Base Curry Sauce
The base curry sauce is basically a thin type of stock/soup. Onions, garlic and ginger are sautéed in a pan before a little spice is added. Carrot and peppers are often added along with fresh coriander stalks and I’ve even seen cabbage added, in fact I’ve used it myself!
The problem I have with the British Indian Restaurant Curry method is that;
1, it usually relies on cooking base sauces and ingredients in bulk and then freezing in portions.
2, it’s best cooking one or two main dishes at a time as it relies on high heat to reduce the base sauce quickly and caramelise in the pan. this is difficult to achieve if like me you are cooking for a family of six (even more if I’m cooking extra for another day!). Also do you want to spend the rest of the night cleaning your cooker top after curry has spat everywhere? I mean it’s bad enough when I just normally cook!
If you’re cooking for just yourself or two people and you haven’t got Kids to look after, the second point may not bother you too much, in fact, I remember those days! If that’s the case you can find some great recipes online. Here’s a couple places to get started:
Romain at Glebe Kitchen has some amazing recipes. Easy to follow and explains every stage in detail but without the process sounding like you need a science degree to put some food on the table!
Misty Ricardo has some great recipes on his You Tube channel, or check out his books on Amazon.
Dan Toombs also has some great recipes on his website and again he has a few great books out.
Julian Voigt is somebody else that is worth having a look at. Again he posts lots of ‘how to’ videos on You Tube.
The BIR Curry Masala is a cheeky little thing. I’ve combined the ingredients you would normally find in a standard curry powder (minus the copious amounts of salt, flour and all the other fillers it would have) and added extra spices that would make up the Indian Restaurants ‘special mix’. Obviously they would add more or less of the curry powder and mix depending on the dish but I have found this is a pretty happy medium and we’ve had fantastic results with it when I was trialling it at ‘ome.
Obviously there are plenty of standard curry powders out there for you to try and it’s really easy to find out what the basics are of a BIR ‘special mix’ powder are if you want to make your own. Or you could just use a standard curry powder without the extra spice mix.
Back To Base!
Now on to the Base Curry Sauce.
If I have the time I do, nowadays, make one.
Do I follow a recipe? No. I don’t always have everything that ‘should’ go in to it so sometimes you just have to go with what you have.
Oh, and here’s a tip. If you really can’t be bothered with making a base sauce try using one of those fresh, chilled Carrot & Coriander soups you find at the supermarket. Never done it myself but I’ve read it gives great results! I have also just developed a Curry Bouillon which is a dried blend of onions & vegetables. This is simply fried for a few seconds before adding water and simmering for 10 minutes. You then have a curry stock which you can add to your curry or use as a substitute for base gravy if you haven’t had the time to make one or you’ve emptied your freezer supply!
So, even though I don’t use a recipe myself, here’s two recipes for a base sauce! If you haven’t got some of the ingredients leave them out or replace with something else. See this recipe as a starting point, adapt and customise it how you will and to your taste. It’s the best way!
The first recipe is a bit more complex. The second is about as basic as it comes and you should be able to memorise it after a few goes. If I was honest I use the second one more than the first!
Base curry sauce No. 1
Makes enough for approximately 12 portions of curry. It will keep in the fridge for 3 days or can be frozen. if you don’t want to make so much just halve the ingredients.
coriander stalks (if you have them, basically if you are using fresh coriander to finish your curry off cut off the stalks now to add to your base!)
big dollop of tomato paste (you could use a squirt of tomato sauce if you don’t have any)
2 litre of water, ideally hot from the kettle.
1 heaped teaspoon of sugar/jaggery/palm sugar
optional extras; few fresh tomatoes, white cabbage, extra peppers, a little coconut powder (or coconut milk or creamed coconut)
Heat the oil in a pan and add your onion. fry gently for 10 minutes before adding your garlic and ginger, fry for a couple minutes more. Add the curry masala/powder and fry for a minute or so. If it’s sticking add a splash of water. Now add your carrot and peppers and give a stir around. Add the tomato paste and cook for 20 seconds or so. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Now add the coriander stalks and cook gently for at least an hour (and up to 2 hours). If it’s starting to look a bit thick or the liquid is disappearing just add some more water.
Once all the veg is soft you need to puree the sauce. The best way to do that is with am immersion/stick blender. It can be done in a blender but let it cool a little and don’t overfill!
Once your sauce is blended it needs to cook for 30 – 60 minutes more. it should be the consistency of a thin soup.
Base Curry Sauce N0. 2
This is a handy one for us as it does enough for 6, exactly the number of people in our household! It can be doubled up and again it will keep in the fridge for three days or you can freeze it.
4tbsp of oil
3 large onions, sliced
1 tsp salt
3 cloves of garlic
1 inch cubed piece of fresh ginger
3 tsp ‘Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala (or another curry masala or 1 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander & turmeric)
1.2 ltr water
a handful of coriander stalks (if you have them)
1 x 400ml tin of tomatoes (chopped or whole as they get blitzed)
1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Once hot add the onions and salt and gently fry for 10 minutes or until the onions are starting to soften. 2. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a couple more minutes 3. Add the curry Masala or spices, along with a splash of water. Give a quick stir and mix and then pour in the water 4. Bring to the simmer and cook for 45 minutes, lid off 5. Add the tinned tomatoes and coriander stalks 6. Bring back to the simmer and cook for another 30 minutes 7. Take the pan off the heat and blitz with an immersion blender until you have a smooth sauce 8. Put back on a low heat ready for adding to your curry. If it looks a little thick add some water. It should be slightly thicker than full fat milk. 9. Use in a curry recipe as directed.
I have made this sauce in less time than it says, giving it 30 minutes before adding the tomatoes and coriander and then cooking for only another 20 minutes. It was still good! Of course you could fry your ingredients off and then add to a pressure cooker or soup maker along with all the other ingredients and it will still be just as good. Just follow the cooking times for a soup. This base works really well in a curry when you use the method of adding diluted tomato paste to you cooked out spices. For 4 people use 2 tbsp of tomato puree diluted in 300ml of boiling water. Add this to your curry when you have fried your onion, garlic, ginger and spices and let it reduce down so you’re left with a thick paste. Then you can start adding your base sauce as normal.
Basic Medium Curry British Indian Restaurant Style.
serves approximately 4
2 tablespoon of oil (not olive) or ghee
1 1/2 medium onions, roughly chopped
4 fat cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
small piece of ginger (to taste) roughly chopped
4 heaped teaspoons curry masala/powder
a half portion of Base sauce No. 1 or all or nearly all of base sauce No. 2
600g of your main ingredient (uncooked chicken, lamb, vegetable, prawns etc)
fresh coriander, chopped
a pinch of garam masala or grind of black pepper
salt to taste
Blitz your chopped onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor, grinder or blender (you may have to add a little water to help) to make a paste. If you haven’t got a food processor you could use a pestle and mortar or just chop finely.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion paste, careful as it may spit a little. Fry the paste gently for 10 minutes or so, don’t worry it will probably turn green!
Add the curry masala/powder and cook gently, if it is sticking add a splash of water, a little at a time. You want the spices to ‘cook out’ the oil will start to split from the paste when this happens and the mixture will spit in little eruptions.
Now add your main ingredient and give it a good stir. Add just enough base sauce to just cover the main ingredients and simmer gently until cooked, if it’s looking a little dry add more sauce. once your chicken, lamb or whatever is just cooked turn the heat up and add more of the base sauce a little at a time until you have your desired consistency. If it’s to thick add a little water. Add the chopped coriander and season to taste with garam masala or pepper and salt.
And that’s it! not exactly BIR style but good enough to give your favourite Indian restaurant a run for their money!
Once you have the basics it’s easy to tweak a recipe to make a lot of different dishes.
There’s some variations you can follow further down the page. Keep Checking Back as I will keep updating and adding recipes and ideas.
The ‘Ome Made Tandoori Masala can be used to make your favourite Tandoori and Tikka dishes.
If you just wanted something quick you can literally rub a little of the Masala in to some chicken, prawns or whatever you fancy before grilling, frying or barbecuing.
For a simple tandoori or tikka marinade just add some of the masala to plain yoghurt to coat your main ingredient.
If you want to go the whole hog, fry roughly 1 heaped teaspoon of Tandoori Masala per 200g of main ingredient (chicken, king prawn, lamb, paneer etc.) in a little oil. This then needs adding to some plain natural yoghurt (Greek yoghurt is fine).
For four people you want roughly 800g of main ingredient and 250g of yoghurt.
If you want a truly authentic flavour add a splash of lemon or lime juice, a teaspoon of grated garlic and ginger, some chopped chilli and coriander. You may want to season with salt and pepper or Garam Masala.
‘Ome Made Tandoori Masala has some beetroot powder in it to give it a slightly more reddish colour but it won’t be the vibrant, garish red that you get in an Indian restaurant. If you want that you need to add a small amount of red food colouring.
To cook I use the oven on a relatively high temperature. Once your chicken, lamb or whatever is cooked, you may want to just give it a blast under the grill to get those nice charred edges. I actually use a blowtorch. Of course if the weather is good Tandoori and Tikka is great cooked over charcoal on the BBQ!
Madras Curry British Indian Restaurant Style
This is as simple as it gets for a British Indian restaurant style Madras curry!
Follow the Basic Medium Curry above to frying the onion, garlic, ginger and spices. Once you have done this add the following;
400g chopped tinned tomatoes (blitz smooth in a blender or food processor if you want a restaurant style curry)
2 Tablespoons Tomato Puree
Cook this for a couple minutes then add your main ingredient. Add a little water or base sauce to thin the sauce a little then leave to cook.
Once your main ingredient is nearly cooked you need to add the coriander, garam masala, salt and the following;
1 tablespoon ground almonds
2 tablespoons of lemon juice, fresh is best but bottled will be fine
3 teaspoons of sugar
2 – 3 teaspoon of chilli powder.
Cook for another 15 – 20 minutes before serving. Simple!
Ceylon Curry British Indian Restaurant Style
Again follow the above Basic Medium Curry recipe. go easy on the base sauce as you are adding more liquid later.
once your main ingredient is nearly cooked add the following;
1/3 of a block of creamed coconut (i usually grate it straight in t the pan) or 3 tablespoons of coconut milk powder
150ml of milk
1 tablespoon of lemon juice, ideally fresh but bottled will work as well.
1 – 4 fresh green chillies chopped (or more or less to suit your taste)
cook for a couple of minutes before adding the garam masala, salt and fresh coriander and cooking for another 15 minutes or so before serving.
Again once you have mastered the basic recipe for a curry you should be seeing now how easy it is to tweak it and make lots of variations.
Ok, this is another easy adaptation to a basic medium curry.
To me Karahi is about the lovely fresh taste of ginger along with some nice fresh peppers and tomatoes. I usually add fresh chillies as well. To be fair when you add fresh chillies this dish is virtually indistinguishable from a Jalfrezi so this is almost a two in one curry!
So follow the recipe for medium chicken curry above EXCEPT add more fresh ginger. You want a piece roughly as big as your thumb. Also add a teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of chilli powder (more if you like it hotter) when you add your curry masala.
about 15 minutes before you’re ready to dish up add some chopped peppers (1 red, 1 green or whatever you have), 4 tomatoes cut in to quarters and some optional fresh chillies, and of course the chopped fresh coriander.
I’d love to see and hear about your own variations. Remember to post your creations on my Facebook page – www.facebook.com/omemade or Twitter account @Omemade
Remember to keep checking back here as I will add more recipes!
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