Sunday 22 January 2012

Green Masala and cooking with hot chillies

This is a recipe for green masala. As you may have noticed from my Tortola travel blog, I like cooking, especially Eastern and maybe more Indian style cooking.

Here is a recipe for wet masala, which has a myriad uses. This recipe is adapted from a myriad versions on the internet.

This quantity will keep in the refrigerator for about three months. It is still useable even when it ferments. Mine hasn't yet.

Use a dessert spoonful of this mix when frying the onions at the beginning of your dish. The quantity is good for about 500 grams of meat. (1lb) This will enhance the flavours of the dish no end. You need to fry this, else it will overpower the other flavours in the dish.

We used this raw, spread on a baguette, along with butter, tomatoes and cheese in Tortola when we got hungry. Very good, as long as you can stand the very strong garlic and chilli.

The balance of quantities is important, else you get one or the other flavour dominating.



1 cup hot chillies, fresh
1/2 cup fresh ginger, scraped
1/4 cup fresh garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
dash of cooking oil (not olive oil)

Scrape the skin off the ginger and cut it across the grain into 6mm (1/4inch) slices. You need to do this, otherwise you have a very thready mix in the end. Put everything into a blender, add the dash of oil and blend until the mix has become a paste, rather like pesto.

Store this lot in a sealed container in the refrigerator.  Use as described above.
You may go slightly less on the garlic, it tends to overpower the flavours. Olive oil also overpowers the other flavours, so I use the oil in the kitchen, which is canola oil at present.

Scale the quantities up or down as required. This recipe will make about 1 1/2 cupful of the mix. If you eat as much curry as we do, this will not last 3 months.

Cooking with chillies

There is a little art in cooking with hot chilli. It may be somewhat of a secret, but the stuff that burns the dickens out of you is the oleoresin capsicum. This is a volatile oil used in pepper sprays. And all that you need to do to get rid of most of it is to fry the chilli. It is then when the other flavours come out and you end up with a very sensual dish. Keep your head away from the pan...

So just add the chopped chillies to the onions when you fry them at the start of your dish. One small chilli per 500 grams (1 lb) of meat. Our spaghetti bolognaise always get a chilli nowadays, as well as most of the other meat dishes.

Authored by Johan Zietsman
Last updated on 2012-12-12

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