A spicy homemade paste to make the perfect balti...
Whilst shop bought pastes aren't all that expensive, there's nothing quite like selecting, roasting and grinding your own spices and being able to proudly boast your very own homemade paste. Fresh, good quality spices are very important here, or you'll end up with a weak tasting finished result. This recipe is in two parts - the first is to roast and grind the spices and then they are blended with other fresh and wet ingredients.
1 tsp corriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
5 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
Place all the above in a dry fry pan and roast over a medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until the aromas are released. Take care not to let them burn and shake the pan around frequently. Transfer to a blender and process until it becomes a coarse powder.
Now add the following to the spice powder and blend to a paste.
3 tbsp of any traditional curry powder (from any supermarket)
1 clove garlic peeled
1 small inch square piece of fresh ginger peeled
1 small onion peeled and cut into chunks
1 large tomato diced
1 red chilli
2 tbsp vinegar (any will do)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
The washed roots and stalks of a bunch of corriander
To use, just fry gently in a large pan for a couple of minutes and then add your chopped vegetables and either a tin of chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh tomatoes or simply veg stock or water and cook until tender. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and chopped fresh corriander.