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Author Topic: Chicken Bhuna - Finally Cracked It!!  (Read 51339 times)

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Online Unclefrank

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Re: Chicken Bhuna - Finally Cracked It!!
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2011, 10:49 AM »
It made quite alot so gave the rest to a friend he said he will have tomorrow so he will give me his opinion on it, but i have to say i did really enjoy it went down a treat.
Will be making this again and again.
Was surprised by the smell that the Hot Curry Oil gave off but i do this when making my own curries, when recipe asks for oil i put half vegetable oil and half spiced oil.
KING 810

Offline 976bar

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Re: Chicken Bhuna - Finally Cracked It!!
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2011, 07:47 PM »
It made quite alot so gave the rest to a friend he said he will have tomorrow so he will give me his opinion on it, but i have to say i did really enjoy it went down a treat.
Will be making this again and again.
Was surprised by the smell that the Hot Curry Oil gave off but i do this when making my own curries, when recipe asks for oil i put half vegetable oil and half spiced oil.

That oil, does give a certain edge to any curry :)


Offline spiceyokooko

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Re: Chicken Bhuna - Finally Cracked It!!
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2011, 06:56 PM »
Hey 976

That Bhuna looks superb! Like you I'm a big fan of bhuna's and swopped from Madras to Bhuna as my 'tester dish' of any new indian restaurant I tried as a yardstick of how good they were. It's not easy to judge the quality of different restaurants if you choose a different dish in each one you visit!

I have a few question about making your bhuna if I may.

1/ You mention in the initial recipe 5 cloves of garlic, crushed, yet later on you mentioned you finely chop them. Can you just clarify whether you finely chop them or simply add them crushed?

2/ How are you pre-cooking your meat? Is there a technique or recipe you use for this? Do you have an approximate quantity of meat you're using here, or merely judge it for one person? I usually reckon on around 200-250g of meat for one person/one dish.

3/ You mention 'hot curry oil' in the recipe and 'spiced oil' in the base, am I right in assuming these are two different things or are they one and the same?

4/ You mention in the ingredients one tomato chopped, yet in the dish itself the tomato looks quartered. Am I right in assuming the tomato is simply quartered and not finely chopped to be integrated into the sauce?

5/ The green chilli's, am I right in assuming these are standard thin green finger chilli's finely ringed or chopped and not added whole?

6/ I've always assumed a ladle would contain about 200ml, yet you add three of these but only specify 300ml in the ingredients. Is right to assume then, that each ladle you're adding is about 100ml?

I like technique you're using of reducing and concentrating the base/sauce almost three times. This seems to me to be a recurring theme I've come across for creating that 'depth of flavour' found in BIR type curries. The other two appear to be pre-cooked meat and 'spiced oil'.

I'm also fascinated by your inclusion and use of 'Star Anise'. I've always assumed that star anise would impart far too powerful a flavour in most indian dishes (I know it's used in small quantity in some and in spice mixtures) and I've rarely ever come across it in any recipes I've ever cooked. Although I do add it as my 'secret ingredient' in my beef ragu for bolognese sauce used in my lasagne and spaghetti! Even then you have to be careful how much you use, I often only use a half of one.

However, taking it out when start adding the other ingredients would certainly pull back that flavour it imparts. Have you tried using anise or fennel seeds either whole or ground in the spice mixtures or added on their own to impart a similar flavour?

This dish is the next one I'm trying after I've finished my Bruce Edwards base experimentation, thanks for posting it!

Cheers and good Karma!

Offline 976bar

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Re: Chicken Bhuna - Finally Cracked It!!
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2011, 09:07 PM »
Hey 976

That Bhuna looks superb! Like you I'm a big fan of bhuna's and swopped from Madras to Bhuna as my 'tester dish' of any new indian restaurant I tried as a yardstick of how good they were. It's not easy to judge the quality of different restaurants if you choose a different dish in each one you visit!

I have a few question about making your bhuna if I may.

1/ You mention in the initial recipe 5 cloves of garlic, crushed, yet later on you mentioned you finely chop them. Can you just clarify whether you finely chop them or simply add them crushed?

2/ How are you pre-cooking your meat? Is there a technique or recipe you use for this? Do you have an approximate quantity of meat you're using here, or merely judge it for one person? I usually reckon on around 200-250g of meat for one person/one dish.

3/ You mention 'hot curry oil' in the recipe and 'spiced oil' in the base, am I right in assuming these are two different things or are they one and the same?

4/ You mention in the ingredients one tomato chopped, yet in the dish itself the tomato looks quartered. Am I right in assuming the tomato is simply quartered and not finely chopped to be integrated into the sauce?

5/ The green chilli's, am I right in assuming these are standard thin green finger chilli's finely ringed or chopped and not added whole?

6/ I've always assumed a ladle would contain about 200ml, yet you add three of these but only specify 300ml in the ingredients. Is right to assume then, that each ladle you're adding is about 100ml?

I like technique you're using of reducing and concentrating the base/sauce almost three times. This seems to me to be a recurring theme I've come across for creating that 'depth of flavour' found in BIR type curries. The other two appear to be pre-cooked meat and 'spiced oil'.

I'm also fascinated by your inclusion and use of 'Star Anise'. I've always assumed that star anise would impart far too powerful a flavour in most indian dishes (I know it's used in small quantity in some and in spice mixtures) and I've rarely ever come across it in any recipes I've ever cooked. Although I do add it as my 'secret ingredient' in my beef ragu for bolognese sauce used in my lasagne and spaghetti! Even then you have to be careful how much you use, I often only use a half of one.

However, taking it out when start adding the other ingredients would certainly pull back that flavour it imparts. Have you tried using anise or fennel seeds either whole or ground in the spice mixtures or added on their own to impart a similar flavour?

This dish is the next one I'm trying after I've finished my Bruce Edwards base experimentation, thanks for posting it!

Cheers and good Karma!

Spiceyokooko, WOW, so many questions!! lol but very astute!! :)

Ok, here we go.....

1/ Garlic to me, crushed or finely chopped is the same thing. Pureed is another matter. However, even UncleFrank sliced his garlic, and to be honest, I don't really think it will make that much of a difference if you slice it or finely chop it, it will still give you that depth of flavour. I use about 5-6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced in my Garlic/Chili Chicken Masala, which is another of my favourites.

2/ Pre cooking my meat for the Chicken, a marinade of, 1 tsp spice mix (taz's five spice, 1 tsp Rajah hot madras curry powder, 1 tsp garlic puree, 1 tsp ginger puree, 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, 3 tbsp water. Mix everything together. Chop the chicken into chunks, usually 2 inches a piece, add half a lemon (juice) and mix the Chicken together with the lemon juice and let stand for 5 minutes. Mix the rest of the above ingredients together and mix with the Chicken and lemon juice, stir well, cover and marinade for at least 4 hours, (if I have time, I usually marinade for 48 hours) then, either grill, bake, fry or my best method of cooking is to skewer it and stick it on the BBQ for that smokey flavour. I've yet to try this with Lamb or Mutton, which I cannot wait to do.

3/ I use Chalice hot curry oil from either Aldi or Asda, it's the same product, sorry for the confusion there.

4/ The tomato is quartered, not chopped, well spotted.

5/ The green chilies are cut into fine rings and not added whole.

6/ My ladle is 100ml, so therefore 300ml added one at a time and reduced.

The use of the star anise is something I have pondered with and experimented with for a long time. In the good Indian restaurants where I have mentioned previously, I have tasted that "Star Anise" flavour in the dish which has added to that WOW factor, but in other restaurants, a Bhuna has always just been a bland tomatoey attempt at trying to create this wonderful dish. But it is important to remove it once the onions are about done or it can become overpowering..... Remember that the rest of the spices in the Bhuna, including the high quantity of garlic can carry that initial hit of the Anise and blend in well.

I tend to use freshly ground Fennel in a Ragu for Lasagna or Bolognese, as it is less intensive than Star Anise. Only about half a teaspoon, but it gives a wonderful flavour to the dish.

If you ever go to Tampa in Florida, look for a restaurant called Maggiano's, 203 Westshore Plaza
Tampa, FL 33609. Order their "Mom's Lasagna - Meat Sauce, which is enough for 2 people, and be inspired by the use of Fennel in that dish.... It's to die for!!! :)

Then, order the Chocolate Zuccotto Cake for desert. You could wedge this under a ship to halt it in the docks with the size of this desert..... You won't want to eat again that day, I can assure you.... but I digress.... :)

Hope I have answered you're questions, but please feel free to ask more if you need. Enjoy :)


Offline spiceyokooko

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Re: Chicken Bhuna - Finally Cracked It!!
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2011, 11:55 PM »
Hey 976

Thanks for answering my questions so promptly! That makes it much clearer for me now. Just to follow up on a couple -

1/ I think this is just my interpretation of what crushed garlic is. For me, I just bash a clove with the flat of a knife blade and throw it in like that - in some dishes it stays in, in some it gets taken out. But for this one I think I'll finely chop it, so it integrates into the sauce. Thanks for clarifying.

2/ Aha! I've been doing something similar to this but not marinating, simply simmering in a garlic/onion/ginger/ puree with added water, oil, turmeric and salt. I'll try your way for this dish. Do you treat lamb in the same way? As I was going to use my method for lamb, just cook it for longer.

3/ I have an Aldi near me I'll acquire some of this - thanks.

Regarding the Star Anise, I think this is an area I may experiment with on this dish, but for the first one I'll cook it exactly as your instructions. It might be interesting to see what say half a tsp of fennel seeds might do fried briefly in hot oil before the onions go in does for it and omit the Star Anise. I'm curious about that.

You have answered my questions thank you and I'm itching to have a crack at this dish as your ingredients and technique look really good. I'll report back with my findings!

Cheers and good Karma!

Offline 976bar

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Re: Chicken Bhuna - Finally Cracked It!!
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2011, 08:22 AM »
Hi Spiceyokooko,

I would finely chop the garlic.

With Lamb, I tend to marinade it as with the chicken, but then I usually put it in a slow cooker for about 3-4 hours. But remember, if using a slow cooker make the chunks around 3 inches as they reduce during the cooking period.

If you're going to try fennel seeds in the oil first, just crack them slightly in a pestle and mortar, this will help release their flavour more.

I hope all goes well, and looking forward to how you found it :)

Offline curryhell

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Re: Chicken Bhuna - Finally Cracked It!!
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2011, 10:44 PM »
Made this Sat and had it tonight for tea.  Not one 100% to spec though ???. I went to Aldis and then Asda but no Chalice oil >:(.  And i made it with my slow cooked lamb.  In spite of these changes it was lovely tasting dish.  The sauce was thick, with a great depth of flavour, the garlic definitely coming through the sweetness of the onions.  The peppers were nicely cooked just soft with a little bit of crunch and they added a peppery overtone to the dish.  The tomatoes gave the dish colour and refreshed the pallet in between mouthfulls of melt in the mouth lamb in this savoury sauce.   The lack of  chilli powder was compensated for by the additon of the finger chillis which made it a mild to medium dish as intended.  The star anise added a nice touch which lingered in the background.

Out comes the star anise and in with the rest of the  tarka ingredients.


first reduction well under way


in goes the 2nd ladel of base for  another reduction


In goes the remainder of the ingredients including a few whole chillis to provide my pallet with some heat when needed


The final reduction nearing the end and a sprinkle of coriander to finish it off


Now ready to serve accompanied by keema rice


the main event ;D


A close up to show the texture


Washed down with a couple of glasses of Leffe Blonde to complete a perfect meal


I used Abduls base and spice mixture.  I added additonal oil at the start since the base is minimal in oil while Taz's is full of it.  A tasty dish 976 and one i'd put on any curry party menu.  Cheers mate.
So singe baby singe, the curry's getting better ..........

Offline 976bar

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Re: Chicken Bhuna - Finally Cracked It!!
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2011, 08:15 AM »
I'm glad you enjoyed it CH, that dish looks wonderful :)

I need to go and buy some Lamb or Mutton, I haven't tried this yet.....

Offline 976bar

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Re: Chicken Bhuna - Finally Cracked It!!
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2011, 02:28 PM »
Made this Sat and had it tonight for tea.  Not one 100% to spec though ???. I went to Aldis and then Asda but no Chalice oil >:(.  And i made it with my slow cooked lamb.  In spite of these changes it was lovely tasting dish.  The sauce was thick, with a great depth of flavour, the garlic definitely coming through the sweetness of the onions.  The peppers were nicely cooked just soft with a little bit of crunch and they added a peppery overtone to the dish.  The tomatoes gave the dish colour and refreshed the pallet in between mouthfulls of melt in the mouth lamb in this savoury sauce.   The lack of  chilli powder was compensated for by the additon of the finger chillis which made it a mild to medium dish as intended.  The star anise added a nice touch which lingered in the background.

I forgot to mention Aldi had the Chalice Oil on a special promotion, but if you ask at the Asda store support desk they will tell you which stores stock this oil as not all of the Asda stores do  :(

Offline curryhell

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Re: Chicken Bhuna - Finally Cracked It!!
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2011, 05:01 PM »
I will keep my eyes peeled for it in Aldi and next time i'm near Asda i'll pop in and find out the nearest store to stock it and pick some up.  Have you started any plan to generate you own just in case Chalice stop selling it? :o :o
So singe baby singe, the curry's getting better ..........


 

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