Curry Recipes Online

Supplementary Recipes (Curry Powders, Curry Paste, Restaurant Spice Mixes) => Supplementary Recipes (Spice Mixes, Masalas, Pastes, Oils, Stocks, etc) => Topic started by: jb on January 18, 2016, 07:42 PM

Title: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: jb on January 18, 2016, 07:42 PM
I saw my takeaway chef prepare his potatoes for his evening's service.First,in a big pan he put in some mixed veg oil and ghee,about half an inch deep into the pan.Then he added a heaped chef spoon of blended ginger and garlic paste,quickly followed by a handful of cumin seeds.Then went half a chef spoon of both cumin powder and turmeric followed by some salt.About two chef spoons of blended plum tomatoes followed by the potatoes and tiny bit of yellow colouring.This was cooked and for about ten minutes.He then put the lid on and then(which is something I've not seen before)he put the pan in the oven for about forty minutes to finish the cooking of.Here's the result.The oil and tomatoes had settled in the bottom of the pan,after they were cooled and stirred he put them into a large container underneath.

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/820b03ecdce376ccdc4974a1bdcc0e42.jpg)

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/096331527bb4586caa20dc3cbe4ceaeb.jpg)
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Unclefrank on January 19, 2016, 12:04 PM
Is there any water added to this JB ?
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: jb on January 19, 2016, 01:38 PM
No,definately no water added in this,the only liquid being the blended plum tomatoes.Whereas the pre cooked chicken is left floating in a mixture of oil,water and tomatoes this ends up drier.There's no need for a lot of water to cook the potatoes as most of the cooking is done in the oven.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Unclefrank on January 19, 2016, 02:13 PM
Ok JB thanks for that
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: haldi on January 19, 2016, 07:32 PM
this is terrific stuff
have you seen the pre cooked veg prepared?
I would imagine it's similar to the pre cooked chicken
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Sverige on January 30, 2016, 11:44 AM
Quote
This was cooked and for about ten minutes.

Can you clarify this sentence please JB?  This was cooked and what? I guess the missing word is stirred but I might be wrong.

I guess there is minimal liquid in the pan at this point of the process, so was the gas on low for those ten mins?
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: jb on January 31, 2016, 10:29 AM
Quote
This was cooked and for about ten minutes.

Can you clarify this sentence please JB?  This was cooked and what? I guess the missing word is stirred but I might be wrong.

I guess there is minimal liquid in the pan at this point of the process, so was the gas on low for those ten mins?

My apologies.Quite correct they were stirred on a low pan just to stop the pan from burning.The main cooking process comes from putting the potatoes in the oven.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Sverige on January 31, 2016, 10:44 AM
Thanks JB, I will try this technique. I've seen panch phoran used for pre cooking potatoes too so I guess like everything else there will be variations in the approach of each restaurant, but the basic technique of bhagar to get some flavours going then oven cook looks like it's worth exploring. Potatoes are a bugger to cook sometimes without them breaking up, so the oven is probably a good choice so you don't have to stir them when they are getting soft.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Sverige on January 31, 2016, 04:56 PM
Big tick in the box for this one from me!

I got to try it sooner than expected because when I came to portion out the 10 batch of bulk lamb madras I made today I found my precooked lamb was only going to stretch to 8 portions. A quick fry up of G&G, cumin seeds, panch phoran, salt and cumin & turmeric powders & dilute Tom puree and then into the frying pan went some potato chunks.

I didn't really have enough potato to fry for ten mins without it getting too scorchio so I covered my pan with foil and popped it into a low oven at fan 130C for 50 mins. The result was lovely as the spices were nicely roasted and flavoursome and the potato was just right without being overcooked and mushy, as it might easily have been if boiled.  I think there was scope to drop down to 120C or 130C/40 mins as the potato would probably still get cooked enough.

I've just polished off the first portion for an early dinner tonight and with a couple of chunks of potato included it was lovely grub. Thanks for the method jb, I can see myself using this plenty in the future.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Sverige on February 28, 2016, 02:55 PM
Has no-one else tried this yet? It lends itself to scaling down well and is the perfect starting point for a nice Bombay aloo. Give it a go guys
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: haldi on February 28, 2016, 04:46 PM
I gave this a go on Saturday night
I cooked them for 40 minutes in the oven but they were a bit over done

Lovely flavour though
My oven is fan assisted
I'll give them half the time when I do it again
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: chewytikka on February 28, 2016, 04:48 PM

A portion of those, roughed up a bit, then deep fried in hot oil, now your talking! ;D

Spuds any which way, yum :P
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Gav Iscon on February 28, 2016, 06:57 PM

A portion of those, roughed up a bit, then deep fried in hot oil, now your talking! ;D

Spuds any which way, yum :P

Alongside a Chicken Madras.....Double yum  ;D
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Rossanderton on October 25, 2017, 10:51 AM
Have just cooked a small batch and they are well tasty, I'll have to force myself not to eat any more! Cracking recipe and thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: scalexkid on October 29, 2017, 05:19 PM
Has no-one else tried this yet? It lends itself to scaling down well and is the perfect starting point for a nice Bombay aloo. Give it a go guys

Got a pan in th oven as I tripe this, some MIck/TAz base for a Jalfrezi (precooked chicken breast from Macro though) made with last of the summers yellow and red peepers from the greenhouse.

I'll try to post a picture or two before scoffing waaaay too much, as the cooking aroma's are rather pleasant.....
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Unclefrank on November 09, 2017, 09:24 PM
Anybody got a written down recipe or even a scaled down version or any idea how much potatoes are used in the original recipe from JB, thanks.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Edwin Catflap on November 13, 2017, 10:36 AM
Hi I am interested in thescaled down version if anyone has the measurements etc?

Ed
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Sverige on December 05, 2018, 08:02 AM
A couple of people have asked for a scaled down quantity version of jb's recipe and since I always keep notes on the recipes I cook, I thought I would share the below which is my interpretation of the jb method and which I've cooked quite a few times now with good success.  These potatoes come out fully cooked but in no way mushy and seem to tolerate further cooking when added to the final dish. Even tossing them around when cooking a Bombay aloo they keep their shape in a way that boiled potatoes would not, so I'm convinced this oven bake method must be how the BIRs do it. 

No problem to cook these, freeze then defrost and use in a curry, but the qty below will stretch to 3-4 curries, so isn't a huge amount. It's actually a super easy and low-stress cook with nothing difficult at all!

1 chefs spoon or 3 level tablespoon veg oil
1 heaped teaspoon G&G
Half teaspoon cumin seeds or panch phoran - *jb specified cumin, I prefer panch phoran, but either will work
Half teaspoon cumin powder
Half teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 level teaspoon salt
2 heaped dessertspoon chopped tomatoes
750g potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks

----------------
Heat oil and fry G&G with panch phoran seeds. Add turmeric and cumin powder with tomatoes and fry. Add potatoes and fry for 3-5 mins, stirring a little.

Place in lidded oven proof dish, cover pan and place into preheated oven fan 130C for 60 mins.  This works for large potato chunks, if you cut yours smaller then maybe a shorter cook will be enough.  Obviously the size, shape and material of the dish has an influence too. A thin later of potatoes spread across the bottom of a big metal dish will cook much quicker than a piled high heap of pots in a small Pyrex dish.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: livo on December 05, 2018, 08:20 AM
Thanks for bumping this thread Sverige. I'll give it a go. I used to be a potato boy and I love spuds.  I will definitely give them a try in a Bombay and CT's recommended way.  Might be an excuse to make up a Bombay Bottle Masala to try it out.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Sverige on December 05, 2018, 01:00 PM
I find these potatoes work great as a substitute for meat in any curry, and with the way meat prices are heading it's much more economical too. Aloo Ceylon is especially great as somehow potato and coconut flavours just work well together.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Secret Santa on December 05, 2018, 06:40 PM
Even tossing them around when cooking a Bombay aloo they keep their shape in a way that boiled potatoes would not, so I'm convinced this oven bake method must be how the BIRs do it.

That's definitely not the standard way BIRs do it Sverige. The reason these hold together so well is because you're essentially making roast potatoes, something I've never encountered in a BIR dish. BIRs generally boil the potatoes but in very similar spicing to these ones in general.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Sverige on December 05, 2018, 08:52 PM
I've made a lot of roast potatoes in my life SS, but never in a covered dish at such a low heat. I don't agree with you these are roast potatoes- if anything they're half steamed and half baked.  <------ you may insert your pun of choice right there when quoting.

I'm surprised you think most BIRs will boil their pots in water - at restaurant quantities that's an awful lot of water which needs to be heated to the boil at considerable expense compared to just putting them in a covered pan in a low oven. Added to which the perils of stopping boiled potatoes over cooking or breaking up.....  and how many more spices would you need to add to flavour the potatoes sufficiently when you're diluting with water?

It doesn't add up to me, but you seem certain so I guess you've been into many bir kitchens.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: livo on December 05, 2018, 09:40 PM
Skinning cats.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Secret Santa on December 06, 2018, 10:46 PM
Skinning cats.

As in there are many ways to do it? Not in this case livo. You won't find many - if any - BIRs (emphasis on British) doing it as Sverige describes.

And Sverige why do you think it unlikely that they would boil quantities of potatoes (after a brief fry in spiced oil) when in any BIR you'll also see a massive pot containing not much more than onions and water all being boiled together for hours? Careful selection of potato type - the waxier the better -  and years of experience prevents any chance of potato break up.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: livo on December 07, 2018, 01:48 AM
Just cooking potatoes in general SS.  As you correctly point out, an experienced chef will know what potato to use and when to stop boiling them.  There is also a difference between new season and stored spuds.

While this is probably not the usual method in BIR, it is worth noting that JB did write in the OP that he had watched his T/A chef prepare his evening spuds in this way.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: jb on December 07, 2018, 07:22 AM
Just cooking potatoes in general SS.  As you correctly point out, an experienced chef will know what potato to use and when to stop boiling them.  There is also a difference between new season and stored spuds.

While this is probably not the usual method in BIR, it is worth noting that JB did write in the OP that he had watched his T/A chef prepare his evening spuds in this way.


All I can say is that I've spent the last three years or so watching my chef do his stuff and this is EXACTLY how he does his pre cooked potatoes.Quite how other chefs may do theirs I don't know,I haven't been in their  kitchens to find out but this is a genuine BIR method that I've seen many times. Has anybody actually been in another BIR kitchen and saw first hand how a chef does his precooked stuff? It's all very well buying e books and watching Youtube, I bet half of these people have never been in a genuine kitchen to see what actually goes on.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Sverige on December 07, 2018, 07:56 AM
Well said jb. I find it amazing how people post on here with confidence that "bir's don't do it this way" or "it's probably not the way most BIRs do it" based on no evidence whatsoever, just blind faith in their own preconceptions and guesswork. At least you post info based on what you've seen in a real bir.

My own opinion (note, opinion...!) is that most BIRs probably do precook their potatoes with a method similar to what you've posted. I base this on:

- it's simple and easy to do, even in large quantities
- it works
- it doesn't use the time and expensive gas which boiling a large pot of potatoes in water would
- it produces results which look and taste exactly like the potatoes I've tasted in Bombay aloo from many different BIRs

I'd welcome SS or anyone else who has witnessed BIRs precooking potatoes by boiling them in water to post a recipe for a home sized quantity and then we can actually try this and compare results with the jb method
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: livo on December 07, 2018, 11:09 AM
Change "probably" to "possibly" and please accept my apology Sverige.  I fully recognise that this is a possible way to cook spuds, even in a BIR setting.  Hence my comment "skinning cats" in relation to cooking potato in general, and also the fact that I acknowledged JB had seen this done in a BIR setting. Based on not having any idea of how any individual BIR chef may or may not pre-cook his spuds, and the fact that JB has witnessed this, I would dare to say that "skinning cats" is a fair comment.

I've pre-cooked potato by boiling them on many occasions. It's not rocket science. I'm prepared to give this method a try as I see it has merit.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Secret Santa on December 07, 2018, 10:24 PM
Ok, let me preface my comments with an acknowledgement that my recent experience of BIR fare is almost zero having given up on it not being anywhere near as good as it used to be when I most enjoyed eating BIR curry. So, yes, it's entirely possible that BIRs have started to use this method and I'm entirely unaware of it.

That said, when I was eating a lot of curry from different places, it was obvious from the taste and texture of the potato that all the restaurants and takeaways that I frequented used what must have been pretty identical cooking methods and that that method involved mainly boiling the potatoes after a quick stir fry in spices as I mentioned earlier.

Now I have been in a couple of kitchens where I have seen this being prepped, in pots about half the size of the base sauce pots, so I know it is the way it's done, but I wasn't in a position to question them about the ingredients etc. Further, just Youtube bombay aloo or similar and you'll see the method I've seen being demonstrated right there.

And, lastly, you want a home-sized quantity method? More than happy to oblige. This method, essentially the same as I have seen and the one I use, is from CBM and is on the forum somewhere:

For 2 lb of potatoes,
150 ml of veg oil
1 tennis ball sized finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon of garlic/ginger paste
Cassia bark 2" x 1" piece
1 bay leaf (Asian)
1 tablespoon of panch phoran
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of tomato puree watered down 50/50
2 teaspoons of turmeric powder
1 tablespoon of mix powder
Water to cover


crackle whole spices in the oil
add onions and cook till translucent
add gg paste and cook until rawness is gone
add tom puree and spices, stir for a few seconds
add potatoes and stir around in the spices for a while
add water and simmer till done

Panch phoran

    Cumin seeds
    Fennel seeds
    Nigella seeds
    Fenugreek seeds
    Mustard seeds

Preparation:

    Mix all the above in equal quantities and store in an airtight container.


Other than the method, the panch phoran is the real key to this recipe and personally I double the quantity given. Also I use a lot of oil, to be spooned off later and used to start curries with, and then add enough water to just cover over the potatoes. The excess oil also reduces the evaporation of the added water so it doesn't dry out before the spuds are cooked. For me this ends up with perfectly cooked potatoes (slightly under done to allow further cooking later with practice) with a thick spice coating. Bloody delicious and with a flavour exactly as they used to be in the old days!
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: curryhell on December 08, 2018, 01:21 PM
Glad to hear you're still keeping tabs on events in Vindaloo JB.  As for prepping the spuds, either jb's takeaway method or CBM's outlined above will produce exactly what's needed for adding to curries and making bombay aloo, saag aloo etc.  Both methods provide extremely tasty and authentic BIR tasting spuds IMO, when compared to bombay spuds round my neck of the woods anyway.  And thanks to Sverige for providing the home scaled version for everybody's benefit.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Secret Santa on December 08, 2018, 08:01 PM
.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Sverige on December 09, 2018, 06:22 AM
Thanks SS, I will try that method and compare results. I must bite my tongue at this point and not rush to judgement, so will do that and give it a try instead.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Secret Santa on February 04, 2019, 02:45 PM
I'd welcome SS or anyone else who has witnessed BIRs precooking potatoes by boiling them in water to post a recipe for a home sized quantity and then we can actually try this and compare results with the jb method

So I made a batch of JB's potatoes for lunch today exactly according to your reduced portion recipe with the exception of increasing the quantity of panch phoran as I knew that the quantity given wouldn't be enough for me.

 I have to say I was quite disappointed with the results. Eating the potatoes on their own they are quite bland unless you happen to bite into one of the seeds. I could barely tell the difference between these and plain boiled potatoes. What they lack in comparison with CBM's recipe is that the simmering method infuses the potato with the spice flavour so it's all through the potato and this is not happening with the "dry" oven cook method. It's all going on the surface. Get rid of the coating and they're basically very mildly spiced potatoes.

Also I think the different spicing and added onions in CBM's recipe make for better spicing and flavour. I do agree though that they hold up very well and make them ideal for cooking in curries. I believe CBM's recipe and method is significantly better so I'll be sticking with that.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: livo on February 04, 2019, 04:21 PM
It is the way they hold shape that I liked about them as well. As an accompaniment side dish I found them satisfying in the bombay aloo. Stand alone they may be a little bland. I didn't try them alone. I think CT'S suggested frying would make a good snack with a smothering of t/a style chip curry sauce. 6 ingredient sweet curry sauce. Dripping, onion, apple, flour, curry powder and chicken stock.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Secret Santa on February 07, 2019, 10:14 PM
I finished off the remainder of these pre-cooked spuds tonight (bar a couple I'm saving for a vindaloo), Cut up a bit and mixed into mayonnaise, potato-salad style. Very nice indeed. Reminded me of coronation chicken which I haven't had for ages.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on February 07, 2019, 10:27 PM
Reminded me of coronation chicken which I haven't had for ages.

Very wise :)
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: livo on February 07, 2019, 11:18 PM
So you've overcome your earlier disappointment then SS.  ;)  I'd never heard of Coronation Chicken till just now.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: chewytikka on February 08, 2019, 12:34 AM
My question is what are these precooked potatoes used for?
They remind me of TA chips in size, but those are just half cooked blanched in oil. Averywhere.

Giving these a veg Bagar as discribed, would be a good short cut if they were heading for Bombay Potato type dish
but would have to be a good seller to warrant this precook and Bengali 5 spice is not to all customers tastes, so a bit risky.



(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/820b03ecdce376ccdc4974a1bdcc0e42.jpg)

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/096331527bb4586caa20dc3cbe4ceaeb.jpg)

The size is like Take Away Chips, around here. Just curious, JB if your still about.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: Secret Santa on February 08, 2019, 02:14 PM
So you've overcome your earlier disappointment then SS.  ;)

No not really. It's just that the spicy coating mixes nicely with the mayonnaise to produce a really nice curry-flavour potato salad. My observation that the potatoes themselves are lacking in flavour (i.e. without the spice coating) remains. I'd still go with the CBM method every time.

What I did notice though, which might be of interest to those who prefer this method, is that the potatoes were definitely tastier after being refrigerated for a couple of days. I presume that's because the flavoured coating has had time to seep into the potato. This is why I prefer CBM's method though because the flavour is automatically throughout the potato due to being simmered in the spice stock.

It makes me wonder if CBM's potatoes could be made even more flavoursome by a couple of days refrigeration. something I've not previously done but will on my next batch as an experiment.
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: jb on February 08, 2019, 08:02 PM
My question is what are these precooked potatoes used for?
They remind me of TA chips in size, but those are just half cooked blanched in oil. Averywhere.

Giving these a veg Bagar as discribed, would be a good short cut if they were heading for Bombay Potato type dish
but would have to be a good seller to warrant this precook and Bengali 5 spice is not to all customers tastes, so a bit risky.



(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/820b03ecdce376ccdc4974a1bdcc0e42.jpg)

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/096331527bb4586caa20dc3cbe4ceaeb.jpg)

The size is like Take Away Chips, around here. Just curious, JB if your still about.

I'm still about, still obsessed with everything BIR.I often log onto the forum to see what's happening. I'm quite lucky that my local takeaway(the one where I'm allowed in the kitchen) still has the same chef so I'm still able to go in and watch.

I still think this is the best method of pre-cooking potatoes. I've found it can be a bit tricky cooking a big pan on the hob, one minute they're rock hard and the next they've gone mushy, or sometimes they're perfect on the outside but the middle is not cooked properly.

 I'm not saying every BIR chef does it this way, mine certainly does and I've seen him do it like this loads of times.

The potatoes are used in many things, obviously Bombay aloo, sag aloo,chana masala, and a couple will go in any vindaloo dish.

As far as the size and shape Chewy, it's just the Chef's way of doing them. One other takeaway round here does really small potatoes and I've seen other places do theirs differently as well. Once cooked, they are actually quite bland, I've tasted some straight out of the cooking pot in the takeaway kitchen and they were the same. However,if they're left overnight in the fridge then the flavours will develop .
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: chewytikka on February 09, 2019, 02:30 PM
Thanks JB.
Ive been creating various forms of Masala Fries and these Potatoes,
what I would call Zeera Aloo, will make really tasty Masala fries, deep fried crisp and dusted with a Chilli/Chat powder mix.

I've worked alongside BIR Chefs creating special dishes, where they do poached/confit Potatoes in oil with spice, mainly Haldi,
which gives the Potato the look of sliced Mango when plated. Not to my taste, but Hey Ho.

Good to see different approaches  to BIR
cheers Chewy
Title: Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
Post by: littlechili on February 12, 2019, 09:48 AM
Chilli/Chat powder mix.
cheers Chewy

Chilli-Chat Potatoes (Mmmmm)  :)