This recipe is mainly for my cousin whose husband reacts quite badly to any onions or leeks. So it means that food can be a problem for them when they go out as it can be for my husband and me. Not that WW gets ill but he doesn’t like even a whiff of onion.
This little recipe can be made and used as a side dish for onionless curries with any excess being frozen in ice-cube trays for future use. You can also use it as a base for onionated curries if you like.
I used Cibouli onions (less strong, more spring onion tasting) and tinned chopped tomatoes because that was all I had. I did have the fresh garlic but had to use a sliced and bottled ginger because I didn’t have any. I am not very purist about these things these days anyway.
The other thing I am no longer purist about is spices. I know that I could use whole spices, grind them and garner the full flavour of cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and cumin. I do have cumin seeds and tend to throw them into the oil first off.
The other thing I do is buy green and red chillies fresh and chop them up very finely and put each variety into ice-cube trays. I find it preferable to having fresh herbs around that don’t get all used up and become stale and wrinkled. It is bad enough that I am getting that way without my food ingredients emulating it!
Enough preamble. This recipe is taken from Asha’s contribution to Indian cooking.
Get the ingredients ready first.
2 Cibouli onions chopped quite finely
2 cloves garlic also chopped finely
1” or equivalent of chopped ginger
3 med. skinned and chopped tomatoes or equivalent – I used about 300g tinned chopped variety
3 tbsp oil
1 teasp each of powered cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and a bay leaf. Use fresh crushed equivalents if preferred
1 green chilli (deseeded if less heat is required)
Salt to taste
In a skillet (I used my wee wok – I really love this little baby) heat the oil and put in the spices, stirring so they don’t burn. Turn heat down to simmer and add the onions. Cover and simmer for 6 mins. You may need to add a little more oil. Stir a couple of times during cooking.
Now add the ginger and garlic and simmer for 2 mins.
Add salt and green chillies. Stir and simmer until oils separate from the mixture.
Add the tomatoes and stir. Cover and simmer until sauce thickens.
Add some turmeric and red chilli powder for flavour. Add more salt if necessary.
When the mixture is cool enough, blend it into a wet paste. I have this nifty little Kenwood blender that I saw on a YouTube cooking video with Simon Hopkinson. It is absolutely perfect for this sort of use.
Use some and freeze the rest. Easy as.