Feb 15 2009

What's w/ the plethora of dreadful Indian chicken curry recipes? Why don't internet recipes taste authentic?

Published by at 2:27 am under Curry

I purchase all of my ingredients from a local Indian grocery, and I take no shortcuts. I'm a seasoned-cook and I know how to both follow recipes (to-the-letter) as well as to cook based upon taste, looks, etc.

Granted, I've only tried about nine different recipes from the internet, but the recipes were from popular recipe sites and all of the recipes were highly rated by many users. One would think that at least ONE of those recipes was "tweakable" into something tasty, but, alas, all of them were completely void of flavor or just completely wrong.

I originally thought to save money by learning to cook Chicken Curry myself, as I eat in in an authentic indian restaurant nearly everyday. But I'm saving no money as most of the food is so awful so as to not recommend itself to be eaten.

I can't very well ask the restaurant for the recipe!

Tips? REAL recipes?

Thanks!
PS I prefer "extra hot", but I still like to be able to taste the rest of the ingredients. Thanks.
I might ask the restaurant after all. I'm aware that there are different types of curries, as well "curry" is just an umbrella term for a combination of different spices.

If you're into curry, you may (or may not) have noticed that there are different blends for Indian curry, and the level of heat in Indian dishes vary depending on which region of India they originate from. A lot of the Indian restaurants in southern California are of that mostly bland variety of curry. Did I say bland? I meant really mild for the American palate.

In Chinese cuisine, there're different types of hot; one relates to actual hotness like the burning sensation you get for eating wasabi; the other is from a warming heat, like from ground cayenne pepper. For a good curry blend, I like one that doesn't overpower the senses with hotness because that's all I can think about when eating. You can always increase the curry sauce hotness with one or two dried seranos, red chilis or other type of hot pepper into the sauce.

Once you find the curry blend you like, that's when you can adapt it to your favorite restaraunt re-creation whatever protein is used (e.g., lamb, chicken, beef, shrimp, gluten, tofu etc.).

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “What's w/ the plethora of dreadful Indian chicken curry recipes? Why don't internet recipes taste authentic?”

  1. silverearth1on 15 Feb 2009 at 2:43 am

    Sorry I had the same problem too . Maybe one of the Indian people on here can help us out .
    References :

  2. Apurva Mon 15 Feb 2009 at 2:56 am

    please try websites like

    http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com
    http://www.bawarchi.com

    They might have a decent collection.
    References :

  3. doodranch_njon 15 Feb 2009 at 3:07 am

    Odds are you don't want to know how much fat (ghee) goes into a restaurant dish. And typically, the internet recipes are "healthier" than the restaurant version and thus, not nearly as good. If you don't see it go into the pot, it didn't…

    You could ask for the recipe. Some restaurants do give out a couple recipes…
    References :

  4. Denise Ton 15 Feb 2009 at 3:43 am

    There are many excellent cookbooks with chicken curry dishes. You will have better luck going to the bookstore or the public library than the Internet. Personally, I like 'The Joy of Cooking' better than any other cookbook. Other people like other types of cookbooks.
    References :

  5. kittikatti69on 15 Feb 2009 at 4:20 am

    It can't hurt to ask for the recipe. Some restaurants will oblige. I used to get a cooking magazine (I THINK it was "Taste of Home", but I could be confusing mags) that featured a different "restaurant specialty" recipe each issue… readers could send in their requests and the magazine would attempt to get the recipe from whatever restaurant.

    I would bet there is an internet site that does the same thing… where you can put the name of the dish and the restaurant, in hopes of finding the recipe.

    Good luck.
    References :

  6. mktgurlon 15 Feb 2009 at 5:08 am

    If you're into curry, you may (or may not) have noticed that there are different blends for Indian curry, and the level of heat in Indian dishes vary depending on which region of India they originate from. A lot of the Indian restaurants in southern California are of that mostly bland variety of curry. Did I say bland? I meant really mild for the American palate.

    In Chinese cuisine, there're different types of hot; one relates to actual hotness like the burning sensation you get for eating wasabi; the other is from a warming heat, like from ground cayenne pepper. For a good curry blend, I like one that doesn't overpower the senses with hotness because that's all I can think about when eating. You can always increase the curry sauce hotness with one or two dried seranos, red chilis or other type of hot pepper into the sauce.

    Once you find the curry blend you like, that's when you can adapt it to your favorite restaraunt re-creation whatever protein is used (e.g., lamb, chicken, beef, shrimp, gluten, tofu etc.).
    References :
    http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article.php?id=184&title=Curry
    http://www.naughtycurry.com/home/2005/10/_the_naughty_cu.html
    http://www.spicenflavor.com/
    http://www.food-india.com/indianCuisine/1001_1050/1008_Curry_Powder.htm

  7. David Eon 15 Feb 2009 at 5:50 am

    You are probably not letting the food "rot" sufficiently to taste good. Did I say rot … I meant marinate … lol.

    I think it's like sausage making. You can never make a good sausage at home, because if you really knew what was in there you wouldn't make it, let alone eat it.

    My guess is that your spices aren't fresh enough, or handled right.

    For Example: Do you fry or toast the (whole or freshly ground) spices in oil first to release the oil … or do you just add them like you were adding oregano to a pasta sauce? If you don't "release" the oils first you don't get the flavor from them.

    This is just one aspect of technique that can make all the difference.

    For example: the recipe calls for yogurt. You go to the fridge and get some cold bland sanitary thick yogurt with all the flavor of school paste, whereas what you really need is some room temperature stinky runny homemade cultures just on the cusp between perfection and spoilage.

    By the way: Ask the restaurant for recipes. Ask to observe the kitchen. Many will say YES. Besides what is the worst that can happen. They say No.

    I know the best Indian Vegetarian restaurant with the absolute worst nan in the world. Why? They have a small kitchen and don't have the room for installing a Tandoor (traditional wood burning clay oven) in which you cook the nan by actually slapping it onto the side walls of the clay cylinder. And without the correct oven … they themselves can't make the nan taste any good either.

    I just watched an Indian cook on Food TV and she was making Aloo Gobi so she started by frying the cauliflower in about an half an inch of oil … but the oil was the same oil she used to fry eggplant before (obviously adding a flavor you would never see written in any recipe) and she explained that in a traditional Indian kitchen they basically have one "wok" like pan that they would use to fry ALL the dishes of the meal (which obviously mingles and builds flavors too). If you are like me, you are probably keeping everything fresh, clean, and separate, and getting sterile results too.
    References :

  8. arun don 15 Feb 2009 at 6:22 am

    Hmm….the problem is timing I think, Western recipes when tell you to sauté something for 10 minutes on medium flame then that is that…Indian recipes are more complex…it comes with practise…and curry is a very very generic term because once again for a specific curry you ought to use certain spices…
    Hope you meet someone who helps you out with cooking Indian recipes…
    References :

  9. trinion 15 Feb 2009 at 6:29 am

    What type of curry chicken are you cooking?
    I think the best Indian curry chicken is made by the Indians in the Caribbean.
    If you will like a Caribbean Indian curry chicken, I will send it to you.
    I will even send you the curry that you can use.
    Curry chicken is one of my most sought after dishes in my restaurant as well as Jamaican Jerk Chicken
    References :

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