Indian food from your average curry house or take away often seems to be all the same – chunks of meat floating in a thick sauce. Although there are some traditional curries like this, many are actually made with a dry masala.
Masala is Punjabi for “spices”. It’s the name given to the paste that’s used to give curry its deep flavour. You can have a liquid masala sauce, like you’d find with a Korma, or you can have a dry masala, where the spice mixture clings to the meat.
Dry masala dishes are often a lot more intense in flavour as they contain less water, which dilutes the dish. In order to get the sauce to cling, usually a small amount of liquid is added after frying the ingredients, and the sauce is reduced until most of the water has evaporated.
Check out my dry masala dishes below.