Ever heard of Daag? I hadn't until I read an
article which included the top 10 most popular recipe
searches. I had heard of Burgers, Shortbread, Gingerbread,
Flapjacks, Lasagna, Pancakes, Carbonara, Scones and Tiramisu
but Daag! It seemed completely out of place in a list of such
familiar names so I just had to find out what it was.
That was not as easy as I had thought. The customary search
on Google did not produce a lot of information. There were
a few recipes but as to what Daag was and where it originated
was not immediately apparent. Daag is a Northern Indian curry
base otherwise known as an Onion masala which can be the base
for many Indian vegetable or meat dishes.
The Daag is completely vegetarian. Once prepared it can be
refrigerated or frozen then when you want to make a quick
Indian dish all you need to do is add meat, seafood or vegetables
of your choice. The idea is it can be used for making quick
The recipe below is not hot, so as a base, it is suitable
for all tastes. You can increase the heat by the addition
of chilli powder to your final dish or by adding fresh chillies.
Whilst my Daag tasted good the real test would be what sort
of dish could I create with it so I came up with my own recipe
for Lamb Daag.
1kg onions, sliced (about 3 large onions)
5 garlic cloves finely chopped
Grated fresh ginger (approximately 1 inch) or 1 tsp dry
3 green chillies
7 or 8 medium tomatoes
4 Bay leaves (fresh if available)
2 tsp ground Cumin*
3 tsp ground Coriander*
4 tsp Turmeric*
1 tsp Garam Masala*
16 Cardamom seeds
1 tsp salt*
*Tsp measures are all heaped
and finely slice your onions.
the butter with sufficient oil to fry your onions. Add the
onions and slowly cook until they caramelise (go a dark
brown without burning). This can take 40 to 45 minutes
as it has to be done slowly. It might be easier to split
the onions between two frying pans to caramelise them and
then put them into your main pot when done.
the onions are cooking prepare your other ingredients. Remove
the stem core from the ends of the tomatoes and then roughly
chop each one into about six parts. Remove the tops of the
chillies and slice thinly (leave the seeds in). Peel
and grate your ginger. Peel and finely chop your garlic
the onions are done add the garlic, ginger and chillies
and cook for a few minutes.
the Cumin, Coriander, Turmeric, Cardamom seeds and Garam
Masala. Stir in to combine with onions and cook for a further
two or three minutes.
the tomatoes and the Bay leaves and continue cooking. Add
the water gradually stirring all the time to combine all
and simmer for about an hour.
can either divide the Daag into servings for convenient freezing.
There should be roughly six portions so if you divide it into
three to freeze you will have enough for three meals for two
people. (My portion sizes are generous!)
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