Jez Higgins

Freelance software generalist
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extended or repaired


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Monday 10 May 2004 Cooking with Pete: Cook your own Balti

Jez, you live in the beating heart of the Balti Triangle. What are you doing cooking up your own balti sauce? It's easy? It's yummy? While baltis are cheap, adding on the cost of a babysitter makes the home cooking option attrative? Doesn't matter - here's the recipe. It's taken originally from one on, and since removed from, BBC Birmingham. As I recall it was provided by a Balti house chef, but I forget who.

Get your favourite big sharp knife and chopping board, hook out your wok (or other large deep pan) and gather up

  • a couple of large onions, sliced
  • 3 or 4 red or green chillis, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 3 or 4 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • an inch of root ginger, peeled and chopped
  • turmeric, teaspoon
  • garam masala, teaspoon
  • salt, teaspoon
  • a tin of tomatoes
  • bunch of coriander leaf, chopped

  1. Heat a good slug (60 ml or so, about 4 tablespoons) of oil in your pan.
  2. Sling in the onion, chillis, garlic and ginger. Fry it all around until the onions are soft. Don't be too aggressive with the heat, so be prepared to give it five or ten minutes.
  3. Add everything else, stir it all around and then simmer for 20 minutes. If you've pepped it with more onions, coriander or whatever, pop in another tin of tomatoes.
  4. Pull it off the heat and allow to cool for a little while. Puree in a blender, food mill or by blazing away with a masher.

Once you have your sauce, making a balti is child's play. Quickly fry round some veg, add the sauce, heat it through and serve. Try it with potato, chick peas, mushrooms, spinach, kale, okra, peppers, cauliflower or pretty much anything else. Chick peas and kale is a favourite of mine.

As ever, I've been a bit loose with the quantities. If you don't like hot and spicy, then use only one or two chillis and a smaller piece of ginger. If you like things a bit perkier, you presumably won't need my encouragement to lob in more. Don't be too worried about over-spicing though. The relatively long cooking time rounds everything out and takes the edges off. You won't take a mouthful and suddenly be assaulted by a rogue piece of chilli. The same applies to coriander. This sauce can manage anywhere between a scant handful and half a carrier bagful without becoming unbalanced. Go with what you feel, and don't forget to taste as you cook.


Tagged recipe, and cooking-with-pete


Jez Higgins

Freelance software generalist
software created
extended or repaired

Older posts are available in the archive or through tags.

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My code on GitHub

Contact
About