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Author Topic: Cracking Dopiaza with 'the smell'  (Read 10076 times)

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Offline Hansel

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Cracking Dopiaza with 'the smell'
« on: November 06, 2006, 10:28 PM »
This is a recipe based on one I obtained from the Tandoori trade magazine at least 7 or 8 years ago. It was claimed to be a domestic recipe rather than a BIR one and I have modified it with the addition of a restaurant style base sauce and omitted some rather tedious parts (pulping onions and separating the juice from the pulp by straining through muslin). I have also cut the quantities to serve 2 or 3 persons.

It is without doubt the best restaurant style curry I have made in 10 years. It has 'the smell' although it is not as pungent as with a genuine restaurant curry.

4 small onions
1 potato
rapeseed oil (skimmed from a previous recipe if possible)
2 heaped teaspoons chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
4 green cardamoms
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2-3 inch Cinnamon stick
6 cloves
1 fresh chilli (red or green)
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 chopped fresh tomatoes
1 tablespoon of ghee or butter
1/2 teaspoon sugar
chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
salt (unless commercial stock is used)
restaurant style base sauce
chicken  (or lamb or prawn etc)

Very finely chop one of the onions (I usually blitz it in my Kenwood mini chopper) and fry in  oil until soft. Put the onions to one side.
In more oil fry the garlic and bay leaves and after two minutes add the cinnamon stick and cardamoms. After a further two minutes add the peppercorns, cloves and chopped chilli. After another minute add the ginger and turmeric and stir until well mixed in. Then add the potato, tomatoes and chicken followed by the ghee and sugar. Cook for 5-10 minutes then add reserved onions and desired quantity of base sauce. Add the stock and the remaining onions cut into quarters and the salt. After a couple of minutes transfer the whole thing to a casserole dish, add the garam masala and cook in the oven for about ?30 minutes.

Please note the following:

I don't usually measure ingredients or time cooking. I just do what feels right at the time. Not very scientific but I am trying to learn to cook via feel rather than rote.

There is no secret recipe for the base sauce. The one I use is similar to many posted on this site although I do add a small quantity of chilli, and gram masala so that it could almost be used as a very mild curry sauce in it's own right.

I have recently found that my curries have improved by using the cheapest supermarket cooking oil which is invariably rapeseed oil. Previosly I had always used corn oil or sunflower oil. No doubt restaurants also use the cheapest oil available.

I believe that re-using oil helps with 'the taste' and 'the smell'. This technique has already been mentioned in other posts and definitely does help.

The first time I made this I didn't notice 'the smell' till I came into the kitchen the next day and opened the dishwasher which had stood all night with the dirty dishes in it.
The second time I made this I reserved the skimmed oil and used it for the third occasion. I have some reserved oil from the third occasion in a jar in my fridge and the aroma is just delightful. There is no doubt that it is 'the smell'. It is like standing in the street behind your local BIR.

I think it is interesting to note that there is no cummin or coriander in this recipe although there is a possibility there is a tiny quantity in the base sauce. I have been using a batch from the freezer and can't quite remember what went in it. I will have to start keeping records as I usually modify my recipes each time in the search for improvement.

My garam masala is from 'Indian Cooking' by Sameen Rushdie. Spices are whole roasted and ground.

green cardamom
black cardamom
black cumin
cinnamon stick
black pepper
cloves
bay leaves
nutmeg
(mace omitted as I had none)

I would be grateful if someone could try this recipe and see if they too have a similar success with 'the smell'. I am not saying that I have cracked this. The aroma is definitely there but not as concentrated as with BIR dishes. In my own cooking it is another small step along a long road. If others think that there is something in this it will debunk the secret ingredient theory once and for all and confirm what others have said already, that it is technique and methods which count. My own goal is not to cook exactly like a restaurant but to come up with a way of domestic Indian cooking which mimics good restaurant style and ultimately surpasses it.

If no one else can reproduce these results then it means that either I am exaggerating the success of this recipe or that it is my own technique which is contributing rather than the ingredients. I would love to know which.

Please therefore give it a go and let me know the outcome.

Offline Chilli Prawn

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Re: Cracking Dopiaza with 'the smell'
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2006, 12:15 AM »
Quote: If no one else can reproduce these results then it means that either I am exaggerating the success of this recipe or that it is my own technique which is contributing rather than the ingredients. I would love to know which. Unquote

Hansel, none of us are in a position to doubt you.  If look around you will see many similar posts and you will see similar debates on whether it is the spice mix or the technique.  So don't fret, the 'tigers' will be upon you and testing your creation very soon  ;D

If I may add, it is well worth having a pad and pen nearby, or even a voice recorder so that you can record all you do so that you 'might'recreate it again, I usually get my wife to watch and record the experiments and then try it out herself.  I say might, because I guess a lot of us have created magnificent curries BIR-like or not under the wonderful influence of alcohol, and totally forgotten how we did  it the following day  :( ???  So maybe that proves it is down to process and technique (oh Sacre Bleu I have opened the gates of hell again  ;D ;D ;D) But hey, thats the fun of it.

Cheers
CP


Offline Panpot

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Re: Cracking Dopiaza with 'the smell'
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2007, 10:30 AM »
Hansel, how long would you keep reclaimed oil and how do you keep it?

Thanks Panpot

Offline curryqueen

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Re: Cracking Dopiaza with 'the smell'
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2007, 04:30 PM »
Hi Panpot,  Reclaimed oil can be kept for quite some time in the fridge as I have experienced in the past.  I usually top mine up each week with excess from curries made and then reuse it the following week.  Never have enough oil from week to week to say that it is kept for too long. cq

Offline Panpot

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Re: Cracking Dopiaza with 'the smell'
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2007, 10:40 AM »
Thank You,Curry Queen. At present I don't really have the surplus oil from my cooking other than from making Pakora. I must be using not enough or something is fundamentally wrong with my method although anyone eating the results have always been delighted.

Offline dorian

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Re: Cracking Dopiaza with 'the smell'
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2009, 07:35 AM »
Hi all, just like to introduce myself I am Dorian and have been a silent member of this fantastic website for several weeks now. I have taken much and feel that it is time to give some back. I recently moved from the uk to Queensland Australia, a place called the sunshine coast, I bought a cafe and am now selling the best curry for miles around. The reason for this is partly to do with being able to recreate that BIR smell, a smell which has never been smelt here before by the aussies who are blown away by it. And a smell that english expats are glad to be smelling again.Its been a huge sucsess so far.Anyway hi all and I will be posting my BIR reclaimed smelly oil receipe soon.

Offline HeyThere

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Re: Cracking Dopiaza with 'the smell'
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2009, 12:05 AM »
I made this today, was quite rough and ready with my interpretation of the recipe, but it sorted my leftover turkey a treat, we enjoyed it.

Offline 976bar

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Re: Cracking Dopiaza with 'the smell'
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2009, 07:16 AM »
This is a recipe based on one I obtained from the Tandoori trade magazine at least 7 or 8 years ago. It was claimed to be a domestic recipe rather than a BIR one and I have modified it with the addition of a restaurant style base sauce and omitted some rather tedious parts (pulping onions and separating the juice from the pulp by straining through muslin). I have also cut the quantities to serve 2 or 3 persons.

It is without doubt the best restaurant style curry I have made in 10 years. It has 'the smell' although it is not as pungent as with a genuine restaurant curry.

4 small onions
1 potato
rapeseed oil (skimmed from a previous recipe if possible)
2 heaped teaspoons chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
4 green cardamoms
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2-3 inch Cinnamon stick
6 cloves
1 fresh chilli (red or green)
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 chopped fresh tomatoes
1 tablespoon of ghee or butter
1/2 teaspoon sugar
chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
salt (unless commercial stock is used)
restaurant style base sauce
chicken  (or lamb or prawn etc)

Very finely chop one of the onions (I usually blitz it in my Kenwood mini chopper) and fry in  oil until soft. Put the onions to one side.
In more oil fry the garlic and bay leaves and after two minutes add the cinnamon stick and cardamoms. After a further two minutes add the peppercorns, cloves and chopped chilli. After another minute add the ginger and turmeric and stir until well mixed in. Then add the potato, tomatoes and chicken followed by the ghee and sugar. Cook for 5-10 minutes then add reserved onions and desired quantity of base sauce. Add the stock and the remaining onions cut into quarters and the salt. After a couple of minutes transfer the whole thing to a casserole dish, add the garam masala and cook in the oven for about ?30 minutes.

Please note the following:

I don't usually measure ingredients or time cooking. I just do what feels right at the time. Not very scientific but I am trying to learn to cook via feel rather than rote.

There is no secret recipe for the base sauce. The one I use is similar to many posted on this site although I do add a small quantity of chilli, and gram masala so that it could almost be used as a very mild curry sauce in it's own right.

I have recently found that my curries have improved by using the cheapest supermarket cooking oil which is invariably rapeseed oil. Previosly I had always used corn oil or sunflower oil. No doubt restaurants also use the cheapest oil available.

I believe that re-using oil helps with 'the taste' and 'the smell'. This technique has already been mentioned in other posts and definitely does help.

The first time I made this I didn't notice 'the smell' till I came into the kitchen the next day and opened the dishwasher which had stood all night with the dirty dishes in it.
The second time I made this I reserved the skimmed oil and used it for the third occasion. I have some reserved oil from the third occasion in a jar in my fridge and the aroma is just delightful. There is no doubt that it is 'the smell'. It is like standing in the street behind your local BIR.

I think it is interesting to note that there is no cummin or coriander in this recipe although there is a possibility there is a tiny quantity in the base sauce. I have been using a batch from the freezer and can't quite remember what went in it. I will have to start keeping records as I usually modify my recipes each time in the search for improvement.

My garam masala is from 'Indian Cooking' by Sameen Rushdie. Spices are whole roasted and ground.

green cardamom
black cardamom
black cumin
cinnamon stick
black pepper
cloves
bay leaves
nutmeg
(mace omitted as I had none)

I would be grateful if someone could try this recipe and see if they too have a similar success with 'the smell'. I am not saying that I have cracked this. The aroma is definitely there but not as concentrated as with BIR dishes. In my own cooking it is another small step along a long road. If others think that there is something in this it will debunk the secret ingredient theory once and for all and confirm what others have said already, that it is technique and methods which count. My own goal is not to cook exactly like a restaurant but to come up with a way of domestic Indian cooking which mimics good restaurant style and ultimately surpasses it.

If no one else can reproduce these results then it means that either I am exaggerating the success of this recipe or that it is my own technique which is contributing rather than the ingredients. I would love to know which.

Please therefore give it a go and let me know the outcome.

Hi Hansel,

Can I ask why the potato is in the dish please? And do you put it in whole or chop it up?

Offline Derek Dansak

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Re: Cracking Dopiaza with 'the smell'
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2009, 10:10 AM »
nice recipe. if memory serves. god there are some good curries to be had on this site. the potato adds a lot of flavor to this dish. and should be chopped into 2 inch cubes.

Offline Unclefrank

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Re: Cracking Dopiaza with 'the smell'
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2009, 07:18 PM »
Hi Hansel just wondered what "restaurant style base sauce " you are using.
Thanks.
KING 810


 

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