Monday, March 26, 2007

Karma Chef Spice Secret#1: Oginga Fried Spice

Indian cooking can be time consuming messy and needs preplanning. I have certain spice combos handy or readymade in my freezer and can whip up restaurant style dishes with very little fuss. Here are some of my spice secrets:

1) OGINGA* - Onion/Ginger/Garlic fried paste

The Oginga Spice mix is a staple in Indian cooking. Several Indian curries require that you fry a fresh paste of onion, ginger and garlic. The trick is to ensure this mixture is fried well enough. The process is smelly, messy and time consuming, I have devised a way to make this spice beforehand and freeze it – I find it works just as well as fresh. I make a boatload of it as you can see from the picture (I have doubled the portion below)

I cup garlic peeled
¾ cup ginger peeled/chopped
1 medium red onion
2 dried red chilies
(Blend all above to smooth paste in blender with little water)

½ cup to ¾ cup oil

Take a heavy bottom pan (with lid: this is important, as the splatter can be life threatening, I kid you not)

Mix paste in oil and cook on medium high scraping all the time to make sure it does not stick to bottom. You will know the spice is fried enough after the oil begins to separate and floats to the side – don’t panic when you see so much oil come out in fact feel free to add a little more. The oil creates a nice flavor base/marinade with the fried spices for your dishes. Cool completely before transferring to a Tupperware and freezing.
(*Oginga is my madeup name to describe this fried spice)

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