i like curry. a lot. probably more than any human should admit to liking curry. there is just something about the taste of all those spices mingling together that makes me want to eat until i’m one more mouthful from being physically ill all over the floor of the indian restaurant.
but you know, india is all about the spices. and to say that curry blends are the be-all-end-all of indian spices would be irresponsibly shortsighted. gram marsala exists, after all.
the toasted cardemum, intense cumin, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves make for a spicy combination that begs to be sauced. and thankfully, tomato is up to the challenge.
- a can of cut stewed tomatoes
- half an onion
- gram marsala
- black pepper
- mince your onion and garlic, and sautée them in a frying pan with a little of olive oil. when the onion is transparent and soft, add the tomatoes and a little bit of water.
- add the spices (other than salt) to your liking, but remember that gram marsala is a mixture of spices which already contains cumin, pepper, and often times even some garlic. which means that these flavors will already subtly be present. the reason cumin, garlic, and black pepper are on the ingredient list is because, if you happen to like one of those flavors with fervor, you can intensify it without intensifying all of the others as well. that being said, coriander is not a part of gram marsala, and it can add some zip to the sauce that would otherwise not be present. just something to keep in mind.
- did you notice the (other than salt) in step two? the reason for the parenthetical addition is that gram marsala mixtures vary widely. many you can find in the usa and japan already include some salt, and still others do not. the moral of the story is that you should taste your sauce while it cooks. if you think it needs salt, add salt. if not, don’t. improvisation is the essence of good cooking, so go with the flow. don’t just add salt because i told you to. what do i know?
- cover and simmer over low heat. stir every few minutes to make sure nothing is burning. once all the ingredients are super soft, which should be about ten minutes or so, kill the heat and move the sauce to a blender or food processor.
- pulse until super smooth.
- this sauce should be considered as an alternative to the humdrum tomato sauce or bolognese that is so commonplace in the world today, especially in the good old united states. tomato marsala sauce was born to be placed on eggplant parmesan, and it complements perfectly grilled pork chops far too well for its own good. who knows, it might even good enough to use as a pasta sauce. sleep on it and let me know what you think.
makes enough sauce for 4 meals.