As with many of our pastes, the work starts the day before, this time by caramelising onions into a sticky paste. This is done ahead because it takes a long time for the flavours to develop the depth this paste needs.
As soon as we arrive in the kitchen in the morning, we are greeted by our delivery of fresh ingredients from the markets including fresh Australian brown onions, tomatoes, coriander, mint, ginger, garlic and chillies to name a few.
The team spend the next hour or so carefully preparing all of the fresh herbs and blending, crushing and mincing the essential vegetables, nuts and raisins. Dry spices including cumin, pepper and fennel are weighed.
A pot is added to the heat and crushed onions, garlic and ginger are slowly cooked with blend of ghee, canola oil and Australian sea salt. Simultaneously, a selection of ground whole aromatic biriyani spices including nutmeg and cardamon are dry toasted and finely ground. The aromas cling to the atmosphere.
Each prepared ingredient is added one-by-one in a specific order, to ensure that they fuse and slowly release the right flavours. Lemon juice, milk and concentrate tomato paste are poured in towards the end of the cooking, changing the colour and further blending the flavours together.
Making it milder: This can be made even milder while still retaining the flavours by adding fresh tomatoes, fried shallots, raisins, cashews, almonds, yoghurt or buttermilk.
Making it hotter: This paste can be made much hotter by adding fresh green chillies.