And we thought we had it nailed...

Even if you think you're a master of masala, chances are you're doing a few things wrong when it comes to cooking a curry. 


From using ghee to grinding whole spices, we've got the indispensable tips for your next cook-off. Don't worry, you can thank us later.


1. Make your curry the day before

This gives the flavours a chance to mingle. Just try not to eat it.

2. Use ghee

Put the olive oil down. Ghee (basically butter with the milk solids removed) is where it's at: it has a nuttier flavour than butter and a higher smoking point. It’s used in north Indian curries such as rogan josh and will give your home cooking a more authentic flavour. Cooking a south Indian curry? Use coconut oil for the same effect.


3. Take your time with the onions

Who knew onions were so important? If slow-cooked, onions add a surprising amount of flavour to your curry and they distribute the spices throughout the dish. Whatever the recipe says, cook them gently for 15 minutes or so at the beginning rather than giving them a quick flash in the pan.

4. Use whole spices and grind them yourself 

They’ll have so much more flavour. Plus you don’t need a spice grinder; go caveman style with a pestle and mortar instead, and you can whip up this fragrant Nepalese curry in no time.


5. Toast your spices first

Do this before you add the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk or stock. Keep a beady eye on them though: burnt and bitter spices means starting again.

6. Add garam masala towards the end of your cooking

Otherwise, it loses its punch.

7. Use large chunks of meat and fish in your curry

It helps them stay nice and juicy. Yum.

8. And, finally, don’t skimp on condiments!

Curry should never be eaten on its own. The raita, chutneys, rice and side dishes are just as important as the main.

Cucumber raita

Via: Sainsbury's Magazine/Photo: Martin Poole