This is a multi-layered and complex paste that combines a lot of fresh, robust vegetables, earthy herbs, dry aromatics and bold whole spices that all need to be prepared simultaneously to capture the best of the flavour essence all in one day.
We get in the kitchen early when we are cooking this paste and divide out the fresh australian-grown ingredients from the markets quickly and efficiently.
Australian grown onions are blended into a paste whilst delicate fenugreek leaves are toasted on low heat in several batches before being cooled then ground to a fine powder. The air quality alters to a sweet perfumed state immediately.
Ginger, chilli and garlic are freshly ground to the perfection under Latasha’s watchful eye as the texture of this paste needs to be just right.
Meanwhile, a large pan is added to the heat with sunflower oil and red chiili flakes are added. The blended onions and a selection of ground herbs are added and cooked until the mix caramelises. Once this is achieved, the rest of the fresh ingredients are added and the pot is constantly mixed by hand for a while.
As the mix cooks, the rest of the team work together to measure, weigh and combine the intricate and complex mix of fresh 100% pure ground spices and European vegetable powders. The mix is then added to the pot and cooked on high heat and stirred constantly until the blend is well mixed.
As the mix is combining, Latasha toasts a number of whole spices and then blends each of them separately from the largest to the smallest once they cool. She is making her garam masala.
Next to her, fresh whole coriander and mint are being ground and then mixed in with a 100% tomato sauce, vinegar, citrus juice, brown sugar, yogurt powder and more.
The garam masala and the fresh liquid mixes are both poured into the pot to provided to give the paste the sweetness, tanginess and creaminess that makes it one of our most breathtaking versatile pastes.
This can be further cooled with yogurt, fresh cream, sour cream, buttermilk, carnation milk or coconut cream. For a less cream based sauce, make a nutty, tangy, herb based tomato sauce by blending fresh lemon juice, fresh coriander and mint leaves, fresh tomatoes and with almond or cashew meal.