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Author Topic: CA's spiced oil  (Read 3257 times)

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Offline bob3915

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CA's spiced oil
« on: November 30, 2013, 08:48 AM »
Hi again, I've decided to try to make my own spiced oil using CA's recipe, now writing down the ingrediants and noticed "1 tbsp of green capsicum (diced)", just wanted to check this is right? I usually see capsicum in a fraction or grams, and 1 tbsp doesn't seem much. cheers, bob.

Offline fried

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Re: CA's spiced oil
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2013, 10:15 AM »
Welcome Bob,

I have no idea in regards to your question, but I'd be wary about going down the 'spiced oil route' at the beginning of your curry-making career. The subject has been endlessly debated on here, and noone has come to an agreement as to how much difference it makes to the finished curry. I'd just say it adds an extra level of complexity, when you really want to get your basic technique down.

Some members add extra oil at the start of the curry making process and then scoop this off at the end to start the next curry.



Offline bob3915

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Re: CA's spiced oil
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2013, 10:49 AM »
thanks for your reply fried, I've taken on board your info and I'll hold on for now with the spiced oil, what I done last time because I had no spiced oil, I used vegetable oil but added 2 tsps. of mr naga to it, not sure if this if normal practice or if anyone else would do it but it tasted and smelt good. cheers, bob.

Offline Secret Santa

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Re: CA's spiced oil
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2013, 11:21 AM »
Bob that's naga chilli oil you're making which is undeniably spiced oil but it's not what is meant by spiced oil in BIR cooking terms.

Personally, as mentioned by fried, I scoop excess oil off each finished curry and use that to start the next, it really is spiced oil and adds great depth to each curry.
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Offline livo

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Re: CA's spiced oil
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2018, 09:40 PM »
This is a very old thread I know, but it is actually the most recent post on this topic as far as I can see. Rather than derail Naga's Chicken Ceylon thread I've posted here.  The reason I am looking at it again is because the Chicken Ceylon and many other older recipes on the site call for the use of Spiced Oil.  I remember years ago watching a video all about cooking a big batch of Onion Bhajis more or less just to get the oil. I'm not a fan of Onion Bhajis.  Is it absolutely required to achieve the dish or is it insignificant? Is it a furphy?

I've been doing a fair bit of reading on this "Spiced oil", "Reclaimed oil".  Back in 2008 /2009 (and earlier) quite a few members were looking at it as the possible missing link (5%), if such a thing existed.  The most recent post I can find referring to it in the Supplementary Recipes board is this one from 5 years ago tomorrow. While high hopes existed back then, my reading of it all so far, indicates that it was a bit of a fizzer. One post even referred to it as "chasing shadows".

Member Ghanna posted a recipe for a spiced oil. http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=190.msg1078#msg1078 Others did as well and some advocated strongly in it's favour, but in reality most finished dish taste testing results were less than desired and even underwhelming.
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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: CA's spiced oil
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2018, 10:06 PM »
Since I like to cook curries with an excess of oil, which I remove before serving, I simply set that oil aside (at room temperature) and use it whenever "spiced oil" would seem to be the order of the day.

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Offline livo

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Re: CA's spiced oil
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2018, 10:47 PM »
So Phil, if a recipe calls for say 2 Tbsp of oil, do you use extra and then remove some?  At what stage are you adding extra new oil to make up for depletion?

I cooked the Saffron base yesterday, half quantity so it used 250 ml of oil.  I was only able to reclaim by skimming about 1/3 of it, 80 ml leaving about 40 ml / litre of base, or about 10 - 15 ml per dish served.  No doubt some of this remaining oil will separate out in cooking the finished dish.  The pre-cooked chicken covering sauce has another 100 ml of oil and when I add the chicken to a dish it will no doubt transfer oil over.  I actually physically carry some over as well.  Lamb is similarly oily. There would appear to be plenty of spiced oil already contained in the dishes so this is possibly why the previous investigations (in home kitchens) didn't provide any substantial results.

As for the commercial BIR practice of reclaiming oil. I would hazard to guess that it is mainly for profit / economics.  Of course in doing so the end result would be a continual supply of regenerated spiced oil that would eventually contain a mix of very old to new oil and a spice profile of indeterminate makeup.  This practice would of course give all curries produced there a similar undertone.

I'm just wondering if the final consensus was that for our purposes, as home cooks in the BIR style, this procedure is redundant. More recent recipe postings do not place any emphasis on Spiced Oil at all. How many here still actively use it? Does it make any significant difference to the end product?
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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: CA's spiced oil
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2018, 04:19 AM »
So Phil, if a recipe calls for say 2 Tbsp of oil, do you use extra and then remove some?  At what stage are you adding extra new oil to make up for depletion?

Typically during the "bhunao" phase.  If things are starting to stick, I prefer to add oil rather than base.  Also I regard recommended quantities of oil as a lower bound, and typically add more if I feel there is insufficient. 

A curry that is not almost covered in oil when cooking is over is not, to my mind, likely to turn out well.  "Cook until the oil comes out" is a very old curry apophthegm, and if not sufficient comes out, I add more.

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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Spiced oil
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2018, 06:23 PM »
Thinking more about this spiced oil malarkey, I now begin to think that the easiest way to experiment with it is to start by simply frying some whole spices (mixed whole masala, whole garam masala, panch phoran, whatever) in garlic-and-ginger infused oil, and after the essential oils have had time to leach out, filtering the oil and using it to make a curry using a recipe and method with the results of which you are already very familiar.  If the technique seems to add something (typically depth, IMHO), then you are onto a winner.  If it makes no significant difference, then forget about it.  I will be trying this for my next curry, and I will use Kris Dhillon's recipe and methodology to make a simple chicken Madras.

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« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 07:10 PM by Peripatetic Phil »
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Offline Stephen Lindsay

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Re: Spiced oil
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2018, 07:18 PM »
Thinking more about this spiced oil malarkey, I now begin to think that the easiest way to experiment with it is to start by simply frying some whole spices (mixed whole masala, whole garam masala, panch phoran, whatever) in garlic-and-ginger infused oil, and after the essential oils have had time to leach out, filtering the oil and using it to make a curry using a recipe and method with the results of which you are already very familiar.  If the technique seems to add something (typically depth, IMHO), then you are onto a winner.  If it makes no significant difference, then forget about it.  I will be trying this for my next curry, and I will use Kris Dhillon's recipe and methodology to make a simple chicken Madras.

** Phil.

I will be interested to read your findings Phil.
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