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Curry Base Recipes => Curry Sauce, Curry Base , Curry Gravy Recipes, Secret Curry Base => Topic started by: solarsplace on September 23, 2012, 12:32 PM

Title: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: solarsplace on September 23, 2012, 12:32 PM
Zaal Restaurant - Curry Gravy / Garabi

This base gravy / Garabi recipe is a scaled down version of the exact base that is used in the Zaal restaurant as taught by the owner Az. The recipe has not been tried on a smaller scale than this.

Credits and thanks to Az and his staff @ Zaal restaurant in Fleet ( http://www.zaalfleet.com/ (http://www.zaalfleet.com/) )

Thanks to forum member JB and the Fleet 5 for the original notes and post ( http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=7859.0 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=7859.0) )

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/7646438425a848de05704d083ce72a2e.jpg) (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#7646438425a848de05704d083ce72a2e.jpg)

Onion Base Stage

Indian Restaurant Base Sauce Lesson (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf1sdL2j-3U#ws)

Use a pot roughly eight to ten litres in capacity. The one in this example is around 10 liters capacity.

Fill it just over three quarters full of chopped English / Dutch onions. Do not use milder Spanish onions. In this example there is 4Kg of onions in the pot.

It is suggested not leave the onions whole in the pot. Chopped onions will cook more quickly (Especially if its busy in a restaurant and it makes no difference to their sweetness when cooking).

The level chef spoon volume used in this example is 3 x tablespoons capacity.

Then add:
1 x chopped carrot (100g)
1 x chopped green pepper (120g)
1 x sliced potato (140g)
1 x desert spoon of salt (15g)
1 x desert spoon of ginger / garlic paste (25g) - (50 x 50 ratio is fine)

2 x litres of water
2 x chef spoons of vegetable oil

Put the lid on and bring to the boil.

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/861ed3cfe85eed4343286a9d7b2fc8cf.jpg) (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#861ed3cfe85eed4343286a9d7b2fc8cf.jpg)

Boil it for at least an hour, making sure the bottom doesn't catch. If it does add a little more water. There is not an exact cooking time as to when it's ready. Like most things it is done by eye and when the onions begin to 'melt' it is time to move to the next stages.

Akhni Stock Stage

Medium saucepan on the boil and add a few Cinnamon sticks, a small handful of green cardamon pods and about six bay leaves ( Asian / Indian bay is preferred ) . Leave to boil for about ten minutes then strain the mixture and put the strained water into the original onion and carrot base.

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/cb82444652b413445047a25cb79600e1.jpg) (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#cb82444652b413445047a25cb79600e1.jpg)

*** Avoid just adding the whole spices to the original mixture - this may seem like a shortcut but is a recipe for disaster. You would have trouble trying to fish them out and the whole spices will never blend smooth enough to leave in the base. The Akhni stock whole spices can be recycled and used again.

Fry Spices Stage

British Indian Restaurant BIR Base Gravy Curry Sauce (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aB2dx4A96yM#ws)

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/fc1351a76822fcb858808c5eaf0d3841.jpg) (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#fc1351a76822fcb858808c5eaf0d3841.jpg)

In a frying pan add:
1 x heaped chef spoon of veg ghee (100g)

*** Veg ghee is strongly preferred *** However substitute with Sunflower oil or similar if you cannot get hold of veg ghee or do not want to use it.

1 x chef spoon of ginger / garlic paste (120g) - (50 x 50 ratio is fine)

Cook until the g&g mixture goes slightly brown.

0.5 (half) x chef spoon mix powder
    ( Zaal mix powder http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=7863.0 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=7863.0) )
    OR
    ( I like to use Abdul 8 spice http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=6176.0 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=6176.0) )
2 tsp x standard chili powder
3/4 (Three quarters) x chef spoon of turmeric
4 x chef spoons blended peeled tomatoes

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/bfaf23a474ff94b0406259aeba08e2c8.jpg) (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#bfaf23a474ff94b0406259aeba08e2c8.jpg)

Cook the spice mix fairly hard taking care not to burn the spices. It is important to cook the rawness out of the spices. It helps to add the blended tomatoes a spoon at a time to keep the mixture moving.

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/3e6b0bf1da120db7d8e5bd18a0265c48.jpg) (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#3e6b0bf1da120db7d8e5bd18a0265c48.jpg)

After cooking for around 4 minutes add to the blended onion mixture. Bring the mixture to the boil and then leave to simmer. As it simmers on the stove top the oil will gradually rise to the surface. This is a good indicator that the base is now ready.

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/e470579698c45d86c484de0464990ec5.jpg) (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#e470579698c45d86c484de0464990ec5.jpg)

Leave to cool then thoroughly blend. Note that the base may need thinning with water at this stage if it is too thick.

The gravy made should be slightly sweet with just a mild curry flavour so it could be used in everything from a Vindaloo to a Tikka Massla. This quantity of ingredients will produce around 16 or more 350ml portions of gravy. If done right, you may well notice that your currys now actually smell of that magic aroma that one associates with a good British Indian Restaurant (BIR).
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on September 23, 2012, 12:50 PM
MOST informative : thank you !
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: curryhell on September 23, 2012, 12:57 PM
Excellent post Russ.  A good piece of work for the benefit of all forum members  :D.
 This pulls all the info  together for the Zaal base; JB's notes and the various video footage and should enable anyone to create the Zaal base without having to read and watch the vids a few times before having a good idea of the method. 
Obviously, it was easier for us as we were there ;D.  The finished base looked identical to my attempt and the description of it and of the taste sums up what i found. In fact I would say it's probably the sweetest (but not overly sweet) tasting base i've made.  Unfortunately, used my last portion on Friday so will have to get cooking again once i return from my hols.  Having cooked the most popular and highly rated bases on CR0, I personally rate this as my no. 1 and will have as a stock item in the freezer.  One observation though, did i see some European bay leaves in that akni stock, or was it just my imagination ??? ::)
What a fantastic day that was.  I'd so love to do the whole thing again just for a great day out as well as the opportunity to pick up some more gems.  For me, the experience was priceless  :D ;)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on September 23, 2012, 01:07 PM
One observation though, did i see some European bay leaves in that akni stock, or was it just my imagination ??? ::)
At maximum zoom, I am regrettably forced to concur.  Probably those d@mned Rajah bay leaves that so many are misled into believing are Indian (Cinnamomum tejpataa) rather than European (Laurus nobilis).  Rajah really should be more honest about this, IMHO.

** Phil.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: rallim on September 23, 2012, 01:51 PM
Excellent informative post Solarsplace. Will definitely need to try this base...once I move into my own place again :-(
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: h4ppy-chris on September 23, 2012, 02:15 PM
appreciate the time you have put in to this post solarsplace well done  ;)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Secret Santa on September 23, 2012, 02:24 PM
Has anyone ever been told why veg ghee is used? I can't rationalise its use at all. When I used it in the distant past it made no discernable difference to curries or bases (unlike butter ghee).

Is it, perhaps, just because it's the cheapest oil available at trade prices?
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Secret Santa on September 23, 2012, 02:27 PM
One observation though, did i see some European bay leaves in that akni stock, or was it just my imagination ??? ::)
At maximum zoom, I am regrettably forced to concur.  Probably those d@mned Rajah bay leaves that so many are misled into believing are Indian (Cinnamomum tejpataa) rather than European (Laurus nobilis).  Rajah really should be more honest about this, IMHO.

** Phil.

That was the first thing I noticed. You have to wonder if the chefs themselves know the difference. And (at least when they have any flavour at all) there is a distinct flavour difference between the two.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: solarsplace on September 23, 2012, 02:33 PM
Hi Ladies & Gents

I was not intending to sneak the European bay under your radars in the pictures. Az himself specifies the use of Indian / Asian bay. Unfortunately none of my local shops had any so I had to use the European ones instead at this time. Interestingly, the base still turned out superb even without using the Asian variety.

Thanks for the positive feedback so far. I hope more members will try this recipe and enjoy the results.

Regards
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Secret Santa on September 23, 2012, 02:43 PM
Az himself specifies the use of Indian / Asian bay.

Ah, well that makes sense then. I couldn't imagine the chefs using European bay (although I take nothing for granted).
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: curryhell on September 23, 2012, 11:21 PM
Russ, not surprised the base turned out superb.  The Asian bay may give it that additional layer of flavour if you know what i mean ;) ::).  If you have any problems sourcing it, PM me.  Loads of quality AB over here and would be more than willing to post some over to you mate.  Enjoy using that top notch base and make sure you post loads of curry porn showing it in use  ;)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Aussie Mick on September 24, 2012, 07:33 AM
Has anyone ever been told why veg ghee is used? I can't rationalise its use at all. When I used it in the distant past it made no discernable difference to curries or bases (unlike butter ghee).

Is it, perhaps, just because it's the cheapest oil available at trade prices?

That's interesting to hear mate. We can't get veg ghee down here, and I thought I was missing out on something.

Excellent work Russ. Can you please clarify the amount of mixed powder and other spices as I am seeing strange symbols where the figures should be seen.

Thanks
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: StoneCut on September 24, 2012, 08:05 AM
What an excellent opening post !!! Can you maybe amend some recipe links that use the Zaal base within ?
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: solarsplace on September 24, 2012, 10:05 AM
Hi

@curryhell

Many thanks for enthusiam and the very kind the offer, will PM you! - really glad you are enjoying this base recipe too :)

@Aussie Mick

Have updated post and replaced the fraction symbols with decimals and added (word measures in brackets) too. The fraction symbol issue is quite odd. Looked fine at home but looks messed up on work comp. Something to do with encoding and code pages I suppose.

@StoneCut

This base is a very flexable base. I have been using it for several months now and here are just a few examples of recipes that produced excellent results using this base:

Chewytikka Madras: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=5634.0 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=5634.0)
976bar Bhuna: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=6248.0 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=6248.0)
Chicken Mogul: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=8656.0 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=8656.0)
Solars Bombay Aloo: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=5553.0 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=5553.0)

Solars Channa Masala: I will post soon...
Zaal Chicken Tikka Roshney: I will post soon...
Zaal CTM: I will post soon...


@All

Have updated original post to say that Asian Bay is preffered over European for this recipe.

Regarding the use of veg ghee: At home I would insist on it for this base (As Az does) - because rightly or wrongly I think it makes a positive difference to the aroma and flavour. One can smell and taste a difference when frying hard between veg ghee and oil. I appreciate others may disagree, and that is fine of course. Please substitute with your favourite oil in that case.

Thanks
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on September 24, 2012, 10:38 AM
@Aussie Mick

Have updated post and replaced the fraction symbols with decimals and added (word measures in brackets) too. The fraction symbol issue is quite odd. Looked fine at home but looks messed up on work comp. Something to do with encoding and code pages I suppose.
These seemed OK in a PM to myself as a test, so trying them here :
All were OK in preview, those in green are still fine after posting, those in red have mutated into interrogatives after posting.  Further testing reveals that only integral multiples of 1/4 display correctly; all other intrinsic Unicode fractions (http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/international/bylanguage/mathchart.html#fractions) display as interrogatives.  It is probably not coincidental that only those that display correctly have code points in the first 256 bytes of the first plane.

Quote
Regarding the use of veg ghee: At home I would insist on it for this base (As Az does) - because rightly or wrongly I think it makes a positive difference to the aroma and flavour.
Could you post a photograph of the container in which your veggie ghee comes ?  I have never seen it in an Asian shop, so I may be looking for the wrong thing, and I would definitely like to try this base next.

** Phil.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: solarsplace on September 24, 2012, 10:51 AM
Hi

Here you go Phil: http://www.spicesofindia.co.uk/acatalog/Indian-Food-Khanum-Pure-Vegetable-Ghee.html#aOGH003 (http://www.spicesofindia.co.uk/acatalog/Indian-Food-Khanum-Pure-Vegetable-Ghee.html#aOGH003)

Apparently vegetable ghee is rather unhealthy unfortunately. But I think this is something that has been discussed on the forum elsewhere, and all I can suggest is that one conducts ones own research on the subject and decides for themselves. However the quantity used in the base is fairly small in proportion I suppose.

Chances are, that your favourite BIR that you have been eating food from for years has been cooking your curry using veg ghee anyway...

Cheers
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on September 24, 2012, 11:03 AM
Thank you !

Apparently vegetable ghee is rather unhealthy unfortunately. But I think this is something that has been discussed on the forum elsewhere, and all I can suggest is that one conducts ones own research on the subject and decides for themselves. However the quantity used in the base is fairly small in proportion I suppose.

The most unhealthy activity in which I participate is called "living" : all other activities carry only a fractional risk (P < 1.0), whereas "living" is guaranteed to result in death (P = 1.0), usually in the first 100 years of one's life ...

** Phil.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Salvador Dhali on September 24, 2012, 11:41 AM
Top work, Solarsplace. This has become my default base style since it was revealed by the Fleet 5 back in February, and it's great to see it presented in an clear and easy to follow format.

My only (slight) variation on the theme is to add the whole spices after the blending stage and let the base tick over for 45 mins or so, rather than make an akhni stock. Having tried both methods (akhni stock and adding whole spices at the end) I've found the end results to be the same - plus you get the added bonus of occasionally crunching on a whole cardamom, piece of star anise or bit of cassia bark in the final dish.

Adds an element of surprise, texture and flavour hit to your curries!
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Micky Tikka on September 24, 2012, 12:20 PM
Well done Solarsplace
For some reason cant find the little India base to compare was it similar
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Salvador Dhali on September 24, 2012, 12:42 PM
Well done Solarsplace
For some reason cant find the little India base to compare was it similar

There you go, Michael: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=8242.0 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=8242.0)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: sp on September 24, 2012, 12:47 PM
Thank you Solarsplace

For those who have tried both is it much better than the original C2G base?

And, in the Akhni Stock stage, can I clarify that is it just water that's boiled with the whole spices/leaves?  I ask because in the photo it looks like oil....?

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#cb82444652b413445047a25cb79600e1.jpg)

Thanks!  :)




Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Unclefrank on September 24, 2012, 12:51 PM
Hi solarsplace how much water is added to the medium pan for the Akhani stock.
Great post and very informative.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: solarsplace on September 24, 2012, 12:59 PM
Hi

Not personally tried the C2G base - so cannot comment there.

The Akhni stock is (in this case) just 1 litre of water and whole spices. No oil involved.

Cheers
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Salvador Dhali on September 24, 2012, 01:31 PM
Thank you Solarsplace

For those who have tried both is it much better than the original C2G base?

And, in the Akhni Stock stage, can I clarify that is it just water that's boiled with the whole spices/leaves?  I ask because in the photo it looks like oil....?

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/#cb82444652b413445047a25cb79600e1.jpg)

Thanks!  :)

Not so much a question of 'better' - just slightly different. Different base recipes lend themselves to different uses / personal tastes. For instance, I currently alternate between three or four bases, depending how the mood takes me (C2G, Zaal, Chewy's and my own). There's not a huge difference between them to be honest (and why should there be, as they're all simply slight variations on the subtely spiced onion/garlic/ginger/veg stew theme), but for me, I find the Zaal style of base works well with hotter curries, which is where my prediliction lies (hence why I tend to make this style more than others).

The other bases are what I'd call all-rounders (though the C2G is a little heavier on the spicing).

If called to question I couldn't tell you why. As said, it's a personal taste thing.

I'm also a fan of the Taz base, but this is heavy on the oil and requires a different technique when cooking the curry (a fairly intense initial reduction phase), so I've left it out here.

The other thing to remember is that if you put any two of us in the same kitchen with the same ingredients and base recipe, you'd end up with two slightly different results (I'd put money on it!), so, as has ever been the case, it's all about trying different bases and finding out which works best for you and the style of curries you like.

Something I do from time to time is take it all back to base basics and knock one up using just onions, garlic, and ginger. If you start from this point with the three core ingredients, and then build from there, you gain a more intimate understanding of how additional ingredients work to achieve the (hopefully desired) end result.

Not sure if any of that rambling has helped!

Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: StoneCut on September 24, 2012, 02:38 PM
Quote
These seemed OK in a PM to myself as a test, so trying them here :
  • Unicode fractions : ¼, ?, ½, ? and ¾ (quarter, third, half, two-thirds, three-quarters)
All were OK in preview, those in green are still fine after posting, those in red have mutated into interrogatives after posting.  Further testing reveals that only integral multiples of 1/4 display correctly; all other intrinsic Unicode fractions (http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/international/bylanguage/mathchart.html#fractions) display as interrogatives.  It is probably not coincidental that only those that display correctly have code points in the first 256 bytes of the first plane.


Regarding the use of veg ghee: At home I would insist on it for this base (As Az does) - because rightly or wrongly I think it makes a positive difference to the aroma and flavour.
Could you post a photograph of the container in which your veggie ghee comes ?  I have never seen it in an Asian shop, so I may be looking for the wrong thing, and I would definitely like to try this base next.

** Phil.
[/quote]

The database seems to no be set up for UTF-8 characters.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Cory Ander on September 24, 2012, 02:52 PM
Very nicely presented, SP, well done!  8)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Micky Tikka on September 24, 2012, 03:30 PM
Thanks SD for the earlier post and a thoughtful bit of rambling for the second one  ;) 
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: sp on September 24, 2012, 10:37 PM
Something I do from time to time is take it all back to base basics and knock one up using just onions, garlic, and ginger. If you start from this point with the three core ingredients, and then build from there, you gain a more intimate understanding of how additional ingredients work to achieve the (hopefully desired) end result.

Not sure if any of that rambling has helped!

It helps immensely, thank you  :D  I like the idea of going back to basics - a method of how to do taste tests of individual spices to find out which I like and which I could do without, and how they all work together would be a long (working through my spice cupboard!) but ultimately rewarding experience
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: sp on September 24, 2012, 10:39 PM
Hi

Not personally tried the C2G base - so cannot comment there.

The Akhni stock is (in this case) just 1 litre of water and whole spices. No oil involved.

Cheers

Thanks for the clarification  :)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Unclefrank on September 25, 2012, 11:04 AM
Thanks solarsplace.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Secret Santa on September 25, 2012, 05:39 PM
Something I do from time to time is take it all back to base basics and knock one up using just onions, garlic, and ginger.

Some would say that's all you need anyway, with all the magic being done at the curry frying stage.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Whandsy on September 27, 2012, 08:06 PM
Many thanks for this breakdown SP, much appreciated!

I'm fed up of huge quantities of base sauce blocking the freezer space, so i decided to split your recipe quantities by half. I made the base to spec yesterday and have just made a chicken tikka jalfrezi with it and it was a really good curry, as good as i've made in a while actually.

Even better, is I've only enough base left for about 6 or 7 more curries not 60 or 70 as usual hehe!

Thanks again

W
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Gazza63 on September 27, 2012, 08:19 PM
Cooked this base today, a couple of observations or maybe mistakes on my part, first thing was it ended up smelling of cinnamon strongly, I used the bark as opposed to the more expensive stuff you get in the Schwartz jars but next time I will scale back the amount that I put in , another thing was watching the video some of the measurements seemed to vary a lot, that was over two chefs spoons of vegetable ghee that was used and so I increased the amount I put in,  also I scaled back the chili, the other thing that I don't understand is where you got all of that oil to rise to the surface from, 2 chefs spoons of veg oil plus one of palm (veg ghee), there was as much on the surface in the picture as when I have used bases with 300ml or more on this site , anyway have yet to try cooking a curry but will report back what it comes out like.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: solarsplace on September 28, 2012, 10:41 AM
Hi

@Whandsy

Really glad to hear you enjoyed the base and it scaled down well for you! excellent :)


@ThaiExpat

You are correct Cassia Bark (http://www.spicesofindia.co.uk/acatalog/Indian-Food-Natco-Cassia-Bark.html (http://www.spicesofindia.co.uk/acatalog/Indian-Food-Natco-Cassia-Bark.html)) is the correct thing to use.

Regarding the oil - It seems that the final image of the base is actaully quite deceiving. In the photo it seems like there is a actaully quite a lot of oil on the surface. However in reality it was really only a few millimeters. I always stir this back in to the base with the Zaal base as there really is not enough depth to bother trying to scoop any off.

Excited to know how you get on making a curry with it. Please let us know.

Cheers all
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: beachbum on December 10, 2012, 08:12 AM
Bump: thanks for this thread, Solar.

(http://i678.photobucket.com/albums/vv144/BribieG/20121210_190436.jpg)

I'm out of garabhi so decided to do the Zaal. The only other "true" BIR base I've done so far was the C2go one.

( Off topic but is that right, that Julian is selling up due to ill health? Anyone know how the big fella is? Bit of a shock. )

No veg ghee so I used Rice Bran Oil which is very "clean" and neutral and in Aus we get heaps of it here from Thailand at around GBP 3 a litre.

I used my own dry mix which is basically  C2go plus a wee bit of grated nutmeg and some all purpose seasoning powder which I guess has some MSG maybe.

With the Akhni stock I gave the Cardmom a bit of a whack in the mortar and pestle to crack the husks, and I snuck in a couple of Black Cardmom as well as I love that stuff  :).

I've always been a bit suss about the heat of my current supposedly Kashmiri Chilli powder and the base has come out a bit hot, but no worries, I'll adjust when cooking batches.

Tomorrow I'll do something chickeny and hot  ;D




 

Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on December 10, 2012, 08:59 AM
( Off topic but is that right, that Julian is selling up due to ill health? Anyone know how the big fella is? Bit of a shock. )

Not Julian, but a very close member of his family.  He has sold up, but the health issue is looking much more promising.

** Phil.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: solarsplace on December 10, 2012, 08:11 PM
Hi beachbum

Certainly looks a very good colour and consistency from the photos! - did you make a reduced quantity version - just wondering from the pictures. If you did would you mind ( assuming you consider the base a success! post your quantities for others to enjoy? ).

Would be very pleased to hear how you get on and what recipe(s) you make with it.

I am personally very satisfied with the Zaal base / Abdul 8 spice combination myself - finally reached a place where I can stop 'flitting' from one base / mix to another and concentrate on learning new recipes, techniques and generally improving cooking skill, knowing there is a solid recipe that has been restaurant tried and tested behind it all! - plus thanks to CR0 & Az we can all share enjoy it!

Cheers
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: djossie on December 27, 2012, 04:55 PM
Hi everyone. I'm new here. Just 1 question. Is it really 4kg of onions and not 4lb?
It just seems a lot of onions.
Thanks guys
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: curryhell on December 27, 2012, 05:06 PM
Hi everyone. I'm new here. Just 1 question. Is it really 4kg of onions and not 4lb?
It just seems a lot of onions.
Thanks guys
Welcom djossie - and yes it really is 4kg of onions.  Has the added avantage of providing loads of good gravy for many a curry once you've cooked it though  ;)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: djossie on December 27, 2012, 05:20 PM
Thanks curryhell, much appreciated
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: ELW on December 28, 2012, 03:08 PM
I can't bring myself to buy & add this stuff, same as the Ashoka margarine in the base. Anyone know the deal with the use of veg ghee as opposed to oil?

Does anyone use the veg ghee as per the Zaal base spec?

ELW
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: curryhell on December 28, 2012, 03:36 PM
I must confess I now use veg oil and have done on the last two occasions i've made the Zaal base.  Don't see veg ghee round here, just the butter variety.  I really can't detect a difference in the finished dishes.  But i do know that Solarsplace swears by it.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Zap on February 12, 2013, 03:08 PM
Have a few questions here for the experts - this is the first time in a while I've tried a new base.

1. Does anyone strain the Zaal base through a sieve? (most importantly, it appears the restaurant does not)
2. My example seems to be less deep in color than the pictures, a light orange - I followed all weight measurements when possible, used Zaal Mix.  Not enough spices in the last stage maybe, or is this due to the use of another mix in the batch shown in the photos?
3. I don't seem to be getting the situation where the oil is floating - since there isn't a ton in this base, I presume this may be OK.

Thanks for the help!  Looking forward to trying a few new curry recipes with this kit, as well as comparing how it might change some that are tried and true.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: solarsplace on February 12, 2013, 03:38 PM
Hi Zap

Here are some answers from my perspective:

1) I personally don't sieve the Zaal base at all, neither does the restaurant. Nothing to stop you trying it if you like though.

2) The example shows the base made with Abdul 8 spice ( http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=6176.0 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=6176.0) ) which has a high paprika content. This might account for a deeper colour. I know this is deviating from the restaurant version - but I like it and get great results.

3) The gravy never releases much oil for me either. The photo is a little deceptive, there really is not as much oil on the surface as it looks.

The key thing really though is how it tastes with a finished curry! - please let us know how you get on.

Hope that helps.

Cheers
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Zap on February 12, 2013, 06:43 PM
Thanks a bunch!  It looks like I've probably managed to make the base correctly.

Sieving is a pain, and if the restaurant doesn't bother, I'm going to give it a go without.  I suspected the 8 spice might be the reason for the difference between the base being light orange vs more gold.  In the past I've used other mix powders that do contain Paprika, and it definitely makes a difference.  Since that is one of the novelties of the Zaal kit, I'll see how things differ without it.

Looking forward to what the finished products will be like.  If the results are anything like those I've seen pictured on the forum, they are going to be great!
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Zap on February 13, 2013, 07:47 AM
OK - so this was a big eye opener.  A massive success.  Not that I haven't had great luck before, but there was something about the resultant dish that really resembled what I would expect from some of the better restaurants I've been to.

I'm happy to say that not straining the garabi did not have any negative effects on the final dish consistency.  It may have even brought things closer to actual restaurant food I've had in the past.  A bit of work and a lot of dirty dishes avoided!

Just finished making Jalfrezi using CA's recipe as a guideline, with some adjustments.  Used the Zaal Base, Zaal Mix, and generally followed the Zaal cooking style as outlined in the forum posts/videos.

I haven't honestly made Jalfrezi many times, let alone ordered it much, but have had it on lunch buffets at restaurants in a number of places.  The resulting dish was definitely the business - and has encouraged me to explore cooking more dishes using the techniques and recipes from Zaal.  I am eagerly looking forward to making the homemade Garam Masala, as well as trying more dishes in the very near future.

Without a doubt, there was some of the restaurant magic in the dish I cooked tonight, and for it to be one I'm not as intimately familiar with, says I'm definitely on the right track!  I'm definitely thinking that part of the illustrious BIR secret is most certainly cooking technique. :)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: solarsplace on February 13, 2013, 09:52 AM
Hi Zap

Really great news to hear you had such success!  ;D

Would be great to hear how you get on with a few other dishes in the future too.

Maybe some curry-pron pictures too would encourage some other members to discover the joys of Zaal.

Cheers
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Fitzy on February 17, 2013, 02:52 PM
Just made the base for the first time, smells great. Going to make a chicken madras later for tea, will report later  ;D
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Salvador Dhali on February 17, 2013, 03:24 PM
Yep - top work. That's how a Zaal type base should look. But surely you could have squeezed a bit more in that pot?  ;)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Fitzy on February 17, 2013, 04:29 PM
I know need to get a bigger pan  ;D
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Malc. on February 17, 2013, 04:46 PM
That's all wrong! Your kitchen is far to clean after making base! :P
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Fitzy on February 17, 2013, 04:50 PM
 :) i wiped up a bit before i took photo. and zoomed in so you could just see pan  ::)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: RubyDoo on February 17, 2013, 07:27 PM
That's all wrong! Your kitchen is far to clean after making base! :P

Not sure if I have same view on pic but no splash.. That said I do not find that base causes any splatter worth talking about.. May cause conversation but I do not boil base at splatter level. Never found that necessary for desired results.  A good simmer does the job..
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Fitzy on February 17, 2013, 07:57 PM
made chewytikka madras with the base, and got to say is was lush. Just made to much for 1 person, so going to work tommorow for my mate to try  ;)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Malc. on February 17, 2013, 07:57 PM
Not sure if I have same view on pic but no splash.. That said I do not find that base causes any splatter worth talking about.. May cause conversation but I do not boil base at splatter level. Never found that necessary for desired results.  A good simmer does the job..

It was tongue in cheek RD, full pan, blender etc.  ;)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: RubyDoo on February 17, 2013, 08:03 PM
 ;)
Not sure if I have same view on pic but no splash.. That said I do not find that base causes any splatter worth talking about.. May cause conversation but I do not boil base at splatter level. Never found that necessary for desired results.  A good simmer does the job..

It was tongue in cheek RD, full pan, blender etc.  ;)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Secret Santa on March 03, 2013, 08:43 PM
Does anyone have a version of this base in any standard form of measurement system? I'd really like to make it but just don't have the patience to try to work out what a chef's spoon is in this version - it drives me insane!
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on March 03, 2013, 08:54 PM
Does anyone have a version of this base in any standard form of measurement system? I'd really like to make it but just don't have the patience to try to work out what a chef's spoon is in this version - it drives me insane!

You could always use the volumetric equivalent suggested in the recipe : "The level chef spoon volume used in this example is 3 x tablespoons capacity."

** Phil.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Secret Santa on March 03, 2013, 09:42 PM
You could always use the volumetric equivalent suggested in the recipe : "The level chef spoon volume used in this example is 3 x tablespoons capacity."

Yes, but am I to assume that they are levelled off, standard tablespoons, i.e. 15mL measures?
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: david.phillips.dizzy on March 05, 2013, 08:05 PM
Could you use a pressure cooker to cut down on the cooking time for the starter onion and vegetable mix?
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: SteveyG on June 02, 2013, 11:18 PM
Had a go at this one today. Other than a mishap with the blender :o it went pretty faultlessly. I probably altered the quantities a bit and the spice mix was pretty much made up but I just went with what felt right but the end result is a very nice sweet base. I very often already add cinnamon to my dishes, so this gives a light hint of the flavour that I'm used to.

I didn't get chance to make anything with it as I thoroughly cooked it through for many hours, so time ran out.

(http://www.sdgelectronics.com/images/cr0/zaalBase/zaalbase.jpg)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: curryhell on June 03, 2013, 08:04 PM
A good base to choose.  Looking forward to hearing about and seeing the pictures of the results of the finished dishes  ;)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: SteveyG on June 05, 2013, 11:36 AM
Made a Vindaloo with it last night. The results were excellent and the curry tasted exactly like my local take-away Vindaloo. I made the sauce a bit thicker than I usually would, but actually I think I prefer it like this.

(http://www.sdgelectronics.com/images/cr0/zaalBase/vinda1.jpg)

Excuse the presentation - just wanted to eat at this point... Lol

(http://www.sdgelectronics.com/images/cr0/zaalBase/vinda2.jpg)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: chelters1 on June 06, 2013, 07:41 PM
how much water is used for the Akhni stock anyone
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: SteveyG on June 06, 2013, 09:49 PM
It's probably not too critical. A litre should be fine.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Petrolhead360 on February 10, 2015, 09:04 PM
Making this base tonight.
General question - Do you crack the cardamom pods open in the Akhni Stock Stage or leave them whole in the boiling process?
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Onions on February 10, 2015, 09:19 PM
Crack them open, so the seed is released  :)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: curryhell on February 10, 2015, 10:33 PM
Making this base tonight.
General question - Do you crack the cardamom pods open in the Akhni Stock Stage or leave them whole in the boiling process?
You can follow Onions advice who wasn't at Zaal, or do as we were told by the chef - leave them whole and just boil them.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: loveitspicy on February 11, 2015, 03:12 AM
CH - you are right mate - just check them in whole and boil away

best, Rich
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Onions on February 11, 2015, 11:52 AM
LOL!!! Righto  :-X
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Curry addict bob on June 15, 2015, 11:44 PM
I've twice made a scaled down version of this and it's spot on love it
Regards Bob.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: dave3310 on June 27, 2015, 07:12 AM
Made this base last night, then knocked up a madras ------ very very impressed.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Chillyheat on August 07, 2015, 03:06 PM
Just a quick question...
Whats best to use, cinnamon or cassia bark, for the stock ?
Many thanks
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Curry addict bob on August 07, 2015, 07:17 PM
Hi chillyheat I use a 2" piece of cinnamon it works well for me
Regards Bob.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Sverige on August 07, 2015, 10:43 PM
Hi chillyheat, I really can't see it making that much difference either way. Most restaurants seem to use cassia these days but I know of some diehard old style BIRs which  seem to favour cinnamon.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Chillyheat on August 08, 2015, 07:29 AM
The base gravy turned out very well. Am impressed...Just need help in finding out what Madras recipe suits this base gravy the best.
Many thanks
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: crE on November 11, 2016, 08:07 AM
Hi all

I did this recipe to the measurements

Then adapted it to a jalfrezi style curry.

I have made a huge batch for a party tonight, but, it tastes very sweet, almost toffee/butterscotchy? Is this a common problem?

The curry isn't terrible, it has the right consistency, but it has this flavour that isn't right. Is there a quick fix to rectify this? Should I add something into the curry?

Thank you :)  :)
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: sotonowl on May 12, 2017, 06:57 PM
This base is top notch, i've tried a few from this site now and this is the best one. I'm of the opinion though that too much onus is put on the quality of base sauces. I reckon they don't influence the finished article like most people think, the secret I have found to be in the cooking technique of the final curries. Mine are now up there with the best restaurants or takeaways I've tried. It's taken some time to get there but I'm finally happy, I feel i've arrived at my destination and to quite an extent it's thanks to this site, thanks to admin and everyone.
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: Stephen Lindsay on May 12, 2017, 08:35 PM
This base is top notch, i've tried a few from this site now and this is the best one. I'm of the opinion though that too much onus is put on the quality of base sauces. I reckon they don't influence the finished article like most people think, the secret I have found to be in the cooking technique of the final curries. Mine are now up there with the best restaurants or takeaways I've tried. It's taken some time to get there but I'm finally happy, I feel i've arrived at my destination and to quite an extent it's thanks to this site, thanks to admin and everyone.

sotonowl

It's good to hear that you have achieved what you are looking for. What do you think is the key to your success, technique wise?

king regards

SL
Title: Re: Zaal - Restaurant Base / Garabi
Post by: sotonowl on May 25, 2017, 05:28 PM
This base is top notch, i've tried a few from this site now and this is the best one. I'm of the opinion though that too much onus is put on the quality of base sauces. I reckon they don't influence the finished article like most people think, the secret I have found to be in the cooking technique of the final curries. Mine are now up there with the best restaurants or takeaways I've tried. It's taken some time to get there but I'm finally happy, I feel i've arrived at my destination and to quite an extent it's thanks to this site, thanks to admin and everyone.

sotonowl

It's good to hear that you have achieved what you are looking for. What do you think is the key to your success, technique wise?

king regards

SL

Sorry SL, didn't see your question until just now. In this base sauce recipe it allows for the frying of the spices which I think is fundamental. Some other recipes have you adding spices to boiling pots. I think that gives an edge to this base sauce as opposed to other sauces I've tried. Also, I really make sure when adding spices that they are added to very hot oil. I make Bhunas and Jalfrezi regularly where I like the onions and bell peppers well cooked, some recipes have you cook them first and add latter, but I soften the veg and the pan will need additional oil for the spices. I add new oil and make sure it's sizzling before I add the spices. I believe the spice mix and the cooking out of the spices are the critical point.