Spice Advice

Curry Spice From The Market In Jo'burg

Next Monday is reveal day for The Heavenly Housewife’s and Stevie’s challenge to cook a Biryani.  With that in mind I thought I would share some curry making tips from Chef Aktar Islam who won Gordon Ramsey‘s search for the best local restaurant.

Mixed Peppercorns From the Jo'burg Market

  • When toasting whole spices use a heavy bottomed pan for even heat distribution.  As soon a you smell the aroma remove the pan from the stove and the residual heat in the pan will finish the process without burning the spices.
  • When using powdered spices, mix with a little water before adding them to the dish.  If you add ground spices directly to a hot pan they will burn and leave a bitter taste in the curry.
  • For something simple try sauteing your vegetables with finely sliced onions, a sprinkle of cumin seeds and a dash of turmeric.
  • When cooking curry we often add salt early in the process to help soften the onions.
  • At the final seasoning stage add a few drops of lemon or lime juice and then taste.  You may find that your curry doesn’t need more salt.
  • Add fresh herbs to a dish after you have removed it from the heat and it has stopped boiling, this will preserve the colour and fresh aroma.
  • Use Greek strained yogurt in marinades, it will cling better to the meat rather than ending in the bottom of the roasting tin.  Particularly useful for skewers of meat.

Marrakesch Spices


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14 Responses to Spice Advice

  1. Great tips for the spices! And that powder looks as fiery as an angry mother in law! :P

  2. Great tips, thanks! I checked out your blog and subscribed to it as soon as I saw what you were about. Thanks for your kind words about my Day of the Dead posting.

    • GG says:

      Thank you for subscribing. I’ve always been fascinated by the Day Of The Dead but only ever seen the most obvious pictures. Yours were great. GG

  3. I love this post!
    1) I love Aktar Islam. Mr P and I adore his restaurant: Lasan. We go there as often as we can.
    2) I love that picture of mother in law hellfire chilli– so appropriate LOL!!!
    3) Awesome tips. I always use greek yogurt :D
    I just started my biryani today. I am making kind of a complicated one. So far so good, but its the rice part that I’m worried about. I hope its going to be worth it
    *kisses* HH

    • GG says:

      Thank you. I’m looking forward to reading what everyone has chosen. I’m sure you will make a fabulous dish. Biryani is quite complicated but I just love making fiddly food. GG

  4. They were fantastic tips on curry making. This is one type of food that I never quite feel I have nailed when I make a dish. I will have to learn from your tips.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog, I am so glad I found your website too.

  5. Great tips, and I love the name of that curry powder :)

  6. Nazneen says:

    I don’t like my curries fiery hot, you can’t taste anything but your burning tongue. I do love the colour though. Great tips, I follow those always…ok, maybe not always. I look forward to everyone’s biryani results. I have my “family” recipe that I stick to. I am interested to see if anyone makes any drastic changes..

  7. Stevie says:

    Good advice!

    Did you by chance try the “home made hell-fire-mother-in-law curry powder?” I am quite curious about its flavor.

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