Here you will find some cooking tips, answers to frequently asked questions and a few suggestions on how to create a proper authentic Indian cuisine.
Bipins Masala FAQ and Useful Tips to making a proper authentic Indian cuisine.
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What is a masala? Masala is a Gujarati word, literally translated it means; "a handmade pesto of fresh Indian herbs and authentic freshly ground whole spices" . This is the masala that is used to create traditional authentic Indian cuisine at home. In the true sense of the word bipins masala are not a curry sauce but is best described as distant relative of the curry paste as we know it.
How do I use the Bipins Fresh Masala Curry Pastes?
Simply add the masala to 600g-800g of meat or vegetables and cook under low heat in a covered pan to retain moisture. There is no need to add anything else, all the fresh herbs and spices have been professionally brought together to deliver the real Indian Curry experience. Guaranteed!
Do I need to add any water to the Bipin's masala curry paste?
It is optional to add 1-2 tbsp of water, normally it is not necessary if you cook in a covered pan / foil covered baking try, as there is plenty of moisture in the core ingredients such as chicken, lamb, vegetables. You'll be amazed. Its best to ensure cooking is a a gentle pace to avoid burning the spices and herbs as well as drying out the protein or vegetables.
How long do I need to cook with the fresh curry paste?
Cooking in a lidded pan using diced Chicken breast will take 15-20 minutes on low heat while chicken-on-the-bone (my favourite is skinless thighs, its has a flavour and works really well with Indian cooking) will require a little longer around 30-35 minutes, similarly with Lamb. Best to cook on low heat till meat is tender, it will remain succulent.
Vegetables are best diced or cut into equal sized chunks for even cooking, again normally would take around 15-20 minutes, possibly little bit more.
Fish takes much less time, baking or grilling or pan frying around 10 minutes. Best to use the masala sparing with fish, the spices are highly flavoursome and very potent so you only need to use small a amount, a tsp per fillet is sufficient to impart the flavour and fragrance.
Raw prawns cooked till they're pink throughout will be around 5-10 minutes cooking time. Cook prawns carefully as you want avoid over cooking. Over cooking prawns lose their texture become rubbery and deteriorates the natural sweetness. Best work on low heat, lidded pan or in the oven and let the masala work their way into the meat and release the flavours and aromas.
Do I need to add anything else?
Bipins masala "Curry paste" The blend of fresh Indain herbs and whole ground authentic spices has everything you need to make authentic tasting Indian Cuisine. No need to add any oil either and the masala is seasoned too. If you feel you need to add a little seasoning to taste -a small pinch or two to taste. Finish off the dish with a good helping of freshly chopped coriander and a squeeze of lemon.
How do I use cream, yoghurt and coconut milk?
Best to gently fold in the half a cup or 3-4 tbsp of single cream or yoghurt or coconut milk once the meat / vegetables are cooked. Let it rest for 5 minutes so everything settles down, the meat relaxes and the flavours penetrate into the depths of the meat. There is no need to add these items at the beginning as you will only subdue the flavours.
How about cooking with onions and tomatoes?
To make a saucy curry with a little sweetness, use a large onion finely chopped, brown it off till soft, but not caramelised in a tbsp of sunflower oil add a tin of tomatoes with 1 tsp of the masala, cook in a covered pan to retain moistures till you can see the oil separating. Then add the masala together with the meat / vegetables cook on low heat. This will result in a an aromatic full of complex flavours. Using fresh tomatoes will add a totally different dimension to the flavour.
How many servings ?
Each masala pot or now in the eco-friendly foot-print packet contains a pure mix* of all the fresh herbs and ground spices required will make 4+ servings of the main dish. Adding 600-800g of the core ingredient (protein or vegetable) together with 100-150g of cream/coconut milk/yoghurt plus the optional 250-300g of onion and tomato base will create at least 900-1000g+ of the final finished dish. Using less core ingredient, say 400g will create an over overpoweringly spicy hot dish. So its best to use little as the intensity of flavours and aromas is intense simply because we only use pure unadulterated herbs and spices.
*no onions, no tomatoes or any other bulking stuffs that makes up the typical jars of curry sauce
Hob, Oven, Grill Slow Cooker, Aga Cooking?
The fresh masala cooking is best on low heat in a covered pan or use foil to cover a baking try. The aim is to retain the moistures, and prevent burning the delicate and complex flavours of spices and herbs. If you find its too liquidly you can always reduce them down by leaving them on the low heat a little longer. Slow cooker and arga cooking is ideal. I prefer to cook on a hob and in the oven, its simple and easy.
Can I use the fresh masala in a stir fry?
Use 1-2 tsp of the masala and gently fry it in a little sunflower oil for no more than 1 minute, this will release the aromas and flavours to make the dish more aromatic. Then again gently stir fry your ingredients adding a further 1-2 tsp of the masala. Finish off by folding in a 2 tbsp of cream or coconut milk.
Should the meat browned off?
There is no need to brown the meat off, it best to use fresh uncooked chicken or lamb so the flavours infuse into the surfaces. Simply mix in the fresh masala and cook.
Can I marinate the meat?
If you prefer you can marinate the meat overnight or for just 30-60 minutes. There is no real need to marinate the meat unless you plan to bbq then its best to marinate the meat. Add a tbsp of natural yoghurt to the masala and use this mixture.
How much meat should I use?
Aim for 600g of off the bone or equivalent per masala for a traditional strength curry.
How hot is Bipin's?
The traditional masala range consisting of Surti, Methi, Garam, Jeera, Sheek and Machi are all traditional strength -medium chilli heat, they are perfectly balanced so you get all the flavours and aromas with a little bite. If you want dampen down the heat then add 1-2 tbsp yoghurt or cream or use a little less of the masala.
For a fiery experience for a real hot curry and a real authentic Indian flavours the special edition of Marchi, Agni and Naga masala are the ones for you.
How do I vary the chilli heat level ?
For a milder experience use 800g of meat per masala pot or use less masala. Or if you prefer a hotter experience drop in a tsp of Bipin's premium Kashmir chilli sauce
How best to store the Bipins masala?
Bipins masala is a professional blend of fresh Indian herbs and whole ground authentic herbs and to keep the delicate flavours in pristine condition it is best to store in the freezer. The freezing process does not affect the flavours or the texture of the cooked dish. There is no need to defrost the masala, use directly from the freezer. Kept frozen and stored correctly in an airtight container the masala will keep for many many months.
Watch this space for more as the word spread and new questions are raise. If you have any questions or comments on the above please contact me using the form below. I'd pleased to address your questions / comments.
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