Herb and spice stock is really just a bit of extra credit!
There really isn’t much you can do with this herb and spice stock on it’s own. It doesn’t taste of much but it sure can make a curry go from good to fantastic.
This is especially so with curry house style dishes where curries are usually cooked over high heat. Spices that are added at the beginning of cooking such curries can easily burn if the chef isn’t careful. In an effort to ensure the spices don’t burn, many chefs will spoon in a ladle or so of water to cool the pan.
I have also witnessed many great chefs substitute something like this herb and spice stock. The flavour if subtle but when added to a curry instead of water it just seems to lift the flavour and make the end dish so nice.
I like to look at this herb and spice stock as that little bit extra which isn’t necessary but well worth the effort. It freezes well for weeks and only takes about a half hour to make.
You could also experiment depending on the curries you are making. You might like to throw in a few fenugreek seeds or perhaps a spoonful of garam masala. Use it like you would chicken or vegetable stock and the possibilities are endless.
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- 1 handful of green cardamom pods
- 20 cassia bark leaves (Indian bay leaves)
- 1 two inch cinnamon stick or cassia bark
- 20 black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds
- 1 large bunch coriander - stems and leaves roughly chopped
- 1 or more green chillies - cut lengthwise (optional)
- Bring a 3 litre pot of water to a rolling boil
- Throw in the herbs and spices and stir to combine.
- Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for about 30 minutes
- Strain through a fine sieve and store in air tight plastic containers.