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Curry Base Recipes => Curry Sauce, Curry Base , Curry Gravy Recipes, Secret Curry Base => Topic started by: Stephen Lindsay on January 11, 2019, 05:36 PM

Title: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: Stephen Lindsay on January 11, 2019, 05:36 PM
Latif’s Indian Restaurant Base (makes 4 litres approx.)

This is transcribed from the YouTube page which was the subject of the forum post by pap rika http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=15068.msg132323;topicseen#msg132323.

I thought it worth transcribing the video and I have, to the best of my judgement, and using a bit of my own experience, used a little bit of poetic licence and guessed at the quantities where not mentioned,  but I hope that this remains faithful to the video.

There were two things that struck me about this base.

First of all is the inclusion, at the start of the recipe of a list of whole spices or ‘garam masala’ as he describes them.  Now I have befriended the chef/owner at a takeaway near St Andrews and we have had some good conversations about curries over the past year.  I have also handed in some of my own curries which he gave me good feedback on.  The interesting thing was that when talking about bases he said that he was struggling to get a depth of flavour in his base and after contacting another chef in Edinburgh he said that what he started to do was put whole spices in one of his bases (he uses two) and this sounds very similar to this base.  However, he puts them in a muslin bag and this prevents the somewhat awkward attempt to fish out the larger whole spices that you can see later in the video.

Secondly, is the inclusion of single cream.  You will see from the video that the resultant base is very creamy in colour and texture. I don’t think I’ve come across base recipes that really do this to any great degree, though the Ashoka series of posts uses 200 g creamed coconut and 250 g margarine for a base of 3 kg onions so it is not completely unique and there may be others in the forum that can testify to the use of cream in a base.

Ingredients:

Whole Spices (Garam Masala)


1 cup oil (see note 1)
2 star anise
2 black cardamoms
4 green cardamoms
4/5 cloves
2 bay leaves
small piece cinnamon / cassia bark
1 tbsp coriander seeds
½ tbsp peppercorns

Ground Spices

2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp. garam masala
½ tsp chilli powder (extra hot)

Vegetables

2 tsp grated garlic
2 tsp grated ginger
1 cup tomato puree dilute (see note 2)
2 heaped tsp salt
6 medium / large onions, roughly chopped (see note 3)
5 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
1 green pepper, roughly chopped
3 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
water in varying quantities (see method), but in total around 2 litres
1 cup single cream (see note 4)

Method:

put the oil in the pot on a medium/hot heat
add the whole spices (garam masala), cook for a minute
add the grated garlic and ginger, cook for a minute (see note 5)
add the ground spices, cook for a minute
add the tomato puree dilute, cook for a few minutes
add ½ litre water, cook for a few minutes
add the salt
add the chopped vegetables
add 1 litre water
bring to the boil, with lid on, and gently boil for 45 minutes to 1 hour (see notes 6)
add the tomatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes
add the single cream and stir in
add another litre of water to thin the consistency, cook for 5 minutes
spoon out the star anise, cinnamon / cassia and bay leaves and discard
allow to cool a little and blend until smooth, adding mote water if required (see note 7)
add more water at the end of blending to get that soup like consistency (if required)
bring back to the boil and simmer until some oil becomes visible on the surface of the base
the base is now ready

Notes:

1. In the video he states that he is adding 1 cup of oil to the pot but he adds it from a small Balti dish that is almost full.  I equate this to more like just over 2 cups of oil.

2. In the video (3:03) he states that he is adding 1 cup of tomato puree to the pot, but he adds it from a small Balti dish that is almost full.  I equate this to more like just over 2 cups of puree.  Although he calls it tomato puree it is very liquid and therefore I think it has been diluted to a ratio of perhaps 1:3 or even 1:4 puree:water.

3. Being the main ingredient, the weight of onion has to be guessed at from the video.  The six onions he uses are on the larger side, they look equivalent to around 1 kg of onion.  At the end of the video her suggests that his finished base will make around 6 to 8 curries and my 1 kg Taz base will make a similar amount.

4. In the video he states that he is adding 1 cup of single cream to the pot but, like the oil and tomato puree, he adds it from a small Balti dish that is almost full.  Again, I equate this to more like just over 2 cups of cream.

5. You can see at 2:22 in the video that there is quite a lot of oil in the pot.

6. It is noticeable, at the end of this cooking period (5;51), that the base is not very liquid, and if blended at this at this, a thick consistency would result.  Then, at 6:40 he points out that the oil has risen to the top.

7. In the video (10:22) he blends the base with a large stick blender, reminiscent of a pneumatic drill!  He states that he keeps this going for around 5 minutes.  Then he adds more water from a kettle (10:59) and blends some more.  The quantity is not specified but he is clearly doing this by eye to get a consistency that is quite liquid but still coating a spoon (11:40).

Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on January 11, 2019, 05:49 PM
Very helpful transcript, Stephen.  I am not a great fan of learning via video (quite resistant to it, in fact) so having a transcript is a great help, to me at least.

** Phil.
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: Bob-A-Job on January 11, 2019, 06:21 PM
Thank you very much Stephen,

You have saved me an hour tomorrow and a lot of 'man hours' for other people all trying to work out the quantities.  Good points about the balti dish/cup measurements.

Thanks again.
BAJ
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: SoberRat on January 11, 2019, 06:33 PM
Good post Stephen. Something else I noticed was when he added the salt at 4.04 he said he adds the same amount of salt as his mix powder, I assume it must be the curry powder he mentioned when he added the ground spices.

All the best

Rob
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: livo on January 11, 2019, 09:24 PM
Excellent transcription Stephen Lindsay and your adjustments and notes look consistent with my viewing as well.  As BAJ points out, you've saved us a big job and it's well done.

In addition to the points of interest I listed on the original thread is another viewer comment regarding the amount of carrot. From memory, the most I've used (if any) in following other base recipes is 1. It seems a lot to use 5 fair sized carrots with 6 onions but I'll try it as presented and reserve judgement till I've used it.
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: Stephen Lindsay on January 12, 2019, 12:12 AM
Very helpful transcript, Stephen.  I am not a great fan of learning via video (quite resistant to it, in fact) so having a transcript is a great help, to me at least.

** Phil.

Thanks Phil, I treated the transcript as if it were one of my own recipes, so hopefully it should work without the video.
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: Stephen Lindsay on January 12, 2019, 12:14 AM
Good post Stephen. Something else I noticed was when he added the salt at 4.04 he said he adds the same amount of salt as his mix powder, I assume it must be the curry powder he mentioned when he added the ground spices.

All the best

Rob

Rob, yes I wondered about that because if he added the same amount of salt as all the other ground spices there might be a risk it would be too salty.
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: Stephen Lindsay on January 12, 2019, 12:15 AM
Excellent transcription Stephen Lindsay and your adjustments and notes look consistent with my viewing as well.  As BAJ points out, you've saved us a big job and it's well done.

In addition to the points of interest I listed on the original thread is another viewer comment regarding the amount of carrot. From memory, the most I've used (if any) in following other base recipes is 1. It seems a lot to use 5 fair sized carrots with 6 onions but I'll try it as presented and reserve judgement till I've used it.

Livo, yes I think the amount of carrot is a good observation, it seems a lot.
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: chewytikka on January 12, 2019, 01:30 AM
Hi SL
Have to disagree
The notes you make are your guess, which are quite wrong to me.
1. You guess at 2 cups, how big are your cups e.g. 250ml x 2
Those small serving dishes, are tiny, so my guess would hold only 1 cup, 250ml max
He said 1 cup so peeps should follow his recipe. not your changes.

Similar with the onions, they look like a 300g average, so I would say nearer a 2kg base.
The cream he uses is tasteless UHT single cream, not fresh.

Anyhoo will make a good Garabi and is similar to any of my published base gravies.
(No Coconut, thank goodness) but the carrot will be a sweetener, its a busy place so
he will have tuned this base to suit his customers.

cheers Chewy
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: curryhell on January 12, 2019, 02:08 PM
Not easy to determine some ingredient quantities from videos, but well done SL on having done this leg work for the benefit of members.  It's bad enough when chef spoon measures are used but introducing the little balti dish into the mix makes it even more of a challenge.  Whilst I can work with chef spoon measures (standard size holding about 2 1/2 tablespoons although this does vary) I have never used  a "cup" measure let alone a  balti dish measure.  However, the balti dish he uses is  a standard size used normally for side dishes, being smaller than that used for mains.  Fortunately I have both and they are nigh on identical to those he uses.  So I can probably clear up the uncertainty over the "cup" measures in the video.  When filling the smaller balti dish to approx the same level as in the video and then measuring the liquid.it equates to virtually 400ml.  I would have to agree with CT on the onion content being higher than 1kg.   A standard "tennis ball" sized onion weighs in the region of about 160 -175 gms and those in the video are a lot bigger. I think the onion weight is certainly nearer to 2 kg than 1.  Looking at his teaspoon measures of ginger and garlic I would say they were heaped and looking at bowl containing them, there looks to be a good if not more than a table spoon of each.  With all this in mind,  it brings the ingredient quantities pretty much in line with those for many of the 2kg bases already on the forum  :)  Hope this brings a bit more clarity for anybody that will be trying this base.  I also suspect UHT cream rather than fresh, as that is what we see in use in his other videos.
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: Secret Santa on January 12, 2019, 02:52 PM
When filling the smaller balti dish to approx the same level as in the video and then measuring the liquid.it equates to virtually 400ml.

Which is closer to two cups than one. And it's always better to use too much than too little so i'd say 2 cups or approximately half a litre is the right amount to use.

Also he's only cooking the base for an hour and a half at most which isn't long enough to bring out the full natural sweetness of the onions. I think that's why he uses what is a relatively large amount of carrot to add the sweetness that will be missing. And the cream will add sweetness on top of that.
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: Stephen Lindsay on January 12, 2019, 04:26 PM
Thanks for your comments guys.
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: Secret Santa on January 12, 2019, 11:17 PM
2. In the video (3:03) he states that he is adding 1 cup of tomato puree to the pot, but he adds it from a small Balti dish that is almost full.  I equate this to more like just over 2 cups of puree.  Although he calls it tomato puree it is very liquid and therefore I think it has been diluted to a ratio of perhaps 1:3 or even 1:4 puree:water.

Additionally he says it's been cooked down with "garlic, oil and so on...so it's not got a sour taste to it". So it's not straight diluted puree, which will be important to the final flavour of the base sauce. It might be worth amending your recipe so that people don't use straight, uncooked puree and therefore deviate from his intended version.

Edit: I just saw in the comments he says ..."I just fry garlic, some spices in oil then I add the tomato puree & water". Doesn't say what the spices are but says he'll show how to make it if there are enough requests.

Oh, and he uses East End spices so maybe that should be mentioned somewhere as well.
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: Bob-A-Job on January 12, 2019, 11:41 PM
2. In the video (3:03) he states that he is adding 1 cup of tomato puree to the pot, but he adds it from a small Balti dish that is almost full.  I equate this to more like just over 2 cups of puree.  Although he calls it tomato puree it is very liquid and therefore I think it has been diluted to a ratio of perhaps 1:3 or even 1:4 puree:water.

Additionally he says it's been cooked down with "garlic, oil and so on...so it's not got a sour taste to it". So it's not straight diluted puree, which will be important to the final flavour of the base sauce. It might be worth amending your recipe so that people don't use straight, uncooked puree and therefore deviate from his intended version.

Edit: I just saw in the comments he says ..."I just fry garlic, some spices in oil then I add the tomato puree & water". Doesn't say what the spices are but says he'll show how to make it if there are enough requests.

Hi SS,

I haven't looked at those comments but I did mention this in the original thread.  At (3:03) he is just making the base and says it is tomato puree, but it is steaming.
When he makes the curry at the end, he states he is adding tomato puree that he has cooked down with garlic, etc (14:20).
Does he say that they are the same or different?  I was going to make the base today but ended up making a prawn dish for a pescy(ky) wife.  Results later.

Thanks.
BAJ.
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: Secret Santa on January 13, 2019, 12:18 PM
Does he say that they are the same or different?

He doesn't say but I thought it was reasonable to assume they were the same. We still don't know exactly what spices he's putting in there though. But Kris Dhillon prepares a tomato sauce along the same lines to add to her base sauce and she uses turmeric and paprika. Doesn't mean he does but until we know what he does use it might be a good starting point.
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: livo on January 17, 2019, 07:48 PM
I made this base yesterday, using replicated measurements from the video  ;). I did it a day before the Tomato puree video emerged so that part is my own best guess.

This is not a "neutral" base. As the chef says a few times, it is a flavoursome base gravy. It is strongly spiced in comparison to any other base I've used and the addition of chilli is very noticeable.  I can easily agree with it being used for a Madras, Vindaloo or a RJ, but for me anyway, it is too spicy for extra mild curry like korma. I certainly would not use it for Mango Chicken.

I'll make a dish or two today using it. I expect them to be nice and very well spiced.
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: Unclefrank on January 17, 2019, 11:19 PM
This base recipe is very close to a Balti Base recipe i have, the one i have adds cauliflower, also tomato puree with a touch of Balti Spice MIx and water, not too sure but with the added bay leaf he seems to add to nearly every dish may calm some of the spices down when cooking the dishes, may be wrong.
Will hopefully make this base in the next few days and try the bay leaf thing.
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: livo on January 18, 2019, 12:22 AM
I may have been a bit heavy handed with the powdered spices and G&G paste  (using Latif Inspired tsp measure  ;) ) and I really gave the whole spices and G&G a solid cook in the oil. 
Note the use of standardised measuring Balti Pans.  ;D
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: chewytikka on January 18, 2019, 02:17 AM
What was your balti bowl cup size then  :o and do you have any 17oz cups in the kitchen ;D
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: livo on January 18, 2019, 11:01 AM
I have both sizes CT. Big and little.  The only 17oz container in my house is my whiskey glass, but it is very unreliable.  In this heat the ice melts too fast and I think it has a big hole in the top because it keeps losing it's contents.
Title: Re: Latif's Indian Restaurant Base
Post by: livo on January 21, 2019, 02:42 AM
This is very tasty base gravy.  Having just used it to make Latif's Chicken Tikka Masala  (modified slightly to near BIR style in that I used Base Gravy and Mixed Powder instead of traditional cooking method) and a BIR style Lamb Dopiaza, I can attest that it makes good curry. Well worth the effort of making the spiced tomato puree. The additional carrots are not noticeable as carrot flavor and the sauce thickens up really well.