Curries are to Indian cuisine, what probably pasta is to Italian cuisine and cheese is to American food. Whether you're a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian living on the Indian subcontinent, at least one of more of your meals will probably include a curry of some kind with flat breads like roti/chapati or rice. The world has not learned to love the curry that is basically a flavoured broth containing a handful of essential Indian spices, including cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and that oh-so essential and not so secret ingredient - garam masala. A number of Indian curries now contain pureed tomatoes and are rendered even more delicious and flavourful due to the ginger garlic paste that is prepared in bulk and used in most dishes.
Curries can be light or rich, thick or thin, depending on what a particular dish demands. A number of Indian curries dishes tend to be simmered to the perfect thickness with just the right amount of richness and fat to make them lip-smackingly good. But before you take a taste of the curry recipes, what entices and enraptures you about a curried dish is the look and colour of the gravy. A lot of times a curry doesn't look appetising enough when it's too light in colour. Punjabi chhole, for example, is a curried dish that usually has a deep dark brown tinge that is a desirable look for a well-cooked curry. Usually, slow cooking a curry can help you achieve that deeper, more luscious look.
The same goes with a number of chicken and mutton curries, including bhuna masala, rogan josh etc. But sometimes, you may notice that your curry refuses to get that deep hue. Maybe you mixed in a little bit too much cream or milk in it or maybe your onions and tomatoes didn't caramelise properly enough for them to turn darker. What do you do then? There's an extremely easy trick to fix the colour of your curry - it's a very straightforward method and very easy to execute. You can darken the colour of your vegetarian or non-vegetarian curry with the help of some black tea leaves!
Here's how you make your curry deeper and darker:
1. Take some water in a deep-bottomed pan and add some black tea leaves to it.
2. Boil the water till it attains a black colour.
3. Add this water to your curry while cooking to get that perfect deep brown tinge.
4. Alternatively, you can toss some tea bags with their strings cut off to your curry while simmering it, and remove them after some time.
5. Another way of deepening the colour of your curry is to secure some tea leaves inside a tiny, thin muslin cloth and toss this tiny bag of tea leaves in your curry. Fish this tiny bag out, when you have achieved the desired colour.
So, now you know! This trick is generally used to darken the colour of chickpeas, which are prepared in numerous different ways. A couple of tea bags tossed in the water while pressure cooking the chickpeas can help you get darker chhole. Know of any more tricks and tips to darken the colour of curries? Let us know in the comments section below!