Joined: Jan. 2006
Okay, the last time I tried to make a phaal, I didn't like the results. Too tomatoey and I didn't like the diced potatoes.
So I tackled the recipe again, hopefully to get it right this time.
I again worked off this recipe, since it looked simple enough for my rather shaky skill set:
| Mutton Dish (Phaal)|
1. Mutton pieces or Chicken 1/2 kg.
2. Bunch of Coriander/Cilantro. More than a handful. Well chopped.
3. 4-5 Red Chillies
4. 1 tbsp Pepper Powder.
5. Ginger-Garlic paste- 1 tbsp
6. 2 Onions
7. 1 Tomato
8. 3-4 Potatoes
9. Oil - 2 tbsp
10. Salt to taste
Fry the onions for a while. Then add ginger-garlic paste and fry a little longer.
Make a paste out of Coriander, red chillies, pepper powder, tomato and fried onions (from step 1 ).
Take a wok and put in the paste and heat well. Keep stirring until paste thickens and the raw smell disappears.
Add some water, mutton or chicken pieces along with potatoes and cook for 20 minutes.
If it is mutton you will have to pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. Stir once in a while and add water if you require a little extra gravy.
I used chicken thighs and not mutton, of course. I used ground coriander (a lot), not cilantro. (I can't abide cilantro.) I used exactly the amount of ginger garlic paste it instructed, but only half a (yellow) onion. I didn't use any potatoes (I prefer rice), and only used about half a cup of crushed tomatoes. For the heat I used one habanero (my other one had gone bad), one jalapeño, a tablespoon of store-bought red chile paste, and a bunch of Mexican chili powder. (I didn't know how hot that would make it so I wanted to start cautious.) I ran the onions and peppers thru a blender beforehand just to avoid the headache of chopping them, tho let me tell you when I finished blending them and opened the lid of the blender, the onion and pepper fumes were quite overwhelming.
Anyway, other than that I pretty much followed the directions: browned the onions and pepper in olive oil, added the ginger/garlic when it asked me to, put in the other ingredients, stirred the resulting paste around with the chicken, then added the water. I also threw in about a teaspoon or so of sea salt. After about half an hour of cooking I noticed the sauce looked a tad watery, so I added a little more olive oil.
Result: it fuckin rawked. Easily the best curry I've ever made from scratch, maybe better than all the ones I've made from store-bought pastes. Cutting WAY down on the tomato and onion was a smart idea, since that meant the spices came way to the front. My wife really liked it, too.
As for the heat, it was nice and hot, and made my scalp sweat, but I think I should have upped the voltage some. The two obvious ways to do this next time would be to use two whole habaneros and no jalapeños, and to use 2-3 tablespoons of the red chili paste, and not just one. Other than that, I really like the way I tweaked the spices, tho maybe doubling the ginger/garlic paste might be nice as well.
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus