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Author Topic: Jb's other takeaway base gravy  (Read 19530 times)

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Offline jb

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Jb's other takeaway base gravy
« on: January 03, 2016, 12:54 PM »
Here's the base gravy used in my local take-away,the one where I'm recently been allowed into the kitchen to see the chefs in action.As you can see,there's nothing magical about it,just a mildy spiced gravy that the chef uses in all of his dishes.It's quite similar to other recipes,and actually a bit less complex than my other take-away base gravy I was given.I showed the chef the recipe for that one,he seemed quite impressed and said it was very similar to one he used in another place.Actually the two gravies are quite similar in taste.

This one is the usual two stage recipe,with a bhagar to finish it off.For some reason the first part is done and the gravy is left overnight and the bhagar is done the next day.Quite why this is done I don't know.
I've seen the chef do the first part and last night when it was busy I saw him do the bhagar and complete the gavy.He seemed quite amused when I shouted out 'bhagar!' He actually began using the gravy straight away so I'm quite sure there's nothing else added or no added ingredients.

He began with 30 white peeled chopped onions in a big pan.I know there was 30,I peeled them all!
Then he added one green pepper,1 red pepper,1 sweet long red pepper and five chopped carrots.He then put in a chef's spoon each of plain veg oil and ginger/garlic paste,half a spoon of turmeric and half of salt.Then he put in some water,he just filled up an old yoghurt tub and put the water in,not that much really.At first the pan was on a farly low heat,then after a while he put the lid on and it began boiling.As with my other take-away gravy the chef stressed that the onions MUST be cooked until they've virtually melted.When the gravy was ready he took an onion out,held it between his figures to illustrate the point,I think this is one of the key things to do to get a decent gravy.It was then blended with one of those industrial sized stick blenders and then water added to thin it to the correct consistency.

The gravy is then left until it is needed,this is when the second stage is done.In a pan he put a chef's spoon of oil,heated it up and added a heaped spoon of ginger garlic paste.This was browned and then a chef's spoon of mix powder was put in followed by a spoon of watered down tomato paste.After it had been cooking for a while it was then just tipped into the gravy.The gravy wasn't reboiled again,the chef used it straight away.

So there you go,yet another gravy recipe,however I've seen this one cooked and unless the chef is a magician or expert conjurer there was nothing else added apart from the ingredients I've listed.



Offline Stephen Lindsay

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Re: Jb's other takeaway base gravy
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2016, 01:00 PM »
JB again your post confirms that the site already holds the information needed to produce quality curries. Great post.
a legend in his own lunchtime


Offline Naga

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Re: Jb's other takeaway base gravy
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2016, 03:42 PM »
JB again your post confirms that the site already holds the information needed to produce quality curries. Great post.

What Stephen said! :)

Offline haldi

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Re: Jb's other takeaway base gravy
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2016, 04:50 PM »
After it had been cooking for a while it was then just tipped into the gravy.The gravy wasn't reboiled again,the chef used it straight away.
So there you go,yet another gravy recipe,however I've seen this one cooked and unless the chef is a magician or expert conjurer there was nothing else added apart from the ingredients I've listed.
Thanks JB
I was beginning to doubt myself
This is also pretty much like I have seen, but you are more precise with your ingredients
The last gravy demo I saw ,had prepared the boiled onions on the day before
So maybe there is a reason for doing that
The bhagar they made was with used oil, garlic ginger, 400g can of tomato puree
that was cooked for a couple of minutes then they added
Spice mix, a touch of chilli and a little whole coriader which was cracked
That was fried for another couple of minutes and then let go cold

So the onion gravy and the bhagar were a day old to start with
Both were added together and reboiled the next day

I tasted their base and it was very nice
Very similar to the base you posted the other year, in fact

Please keep posting
It's the only thing worth reading on the internet!

Online Madrasandy

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Re: Jb's other takeaway base gravy
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2016, 07:26 PM »
Cheers Jb
You cant beat the heat

Offline curryhell

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Re: Jb's other takeaway base gravy
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2016, 09:54 PM »
Well, what can I say jb?  An excellent post and I look forward to more info coming out of Vindaloo in the Broadway, old Grays.  But  I will go one step further.  IMHO this is a pretty defining post and should really draw a line in the sand for all those who have not been convinced to date.

So there you go,yet another gravy recipe,however I've seen this one cooked and unless the chef is a magician or expert conjurer there was nothing else added apart from the ingredients I've listed.

This isn't the first or even the tenth time this has been said before.  I wonder just how many people actually have believed it though, and not had a slight nagging doubt?

For those that have been around here long enough, they will know how 110% committed jb is to the cause and getting to the bottom of BIR cooking.  He's obviously been on this journey long enough to know what is and what isn't  a decent curry.  He is equally skilled at banging out great looking food, as his posts have shown.  Yes, I know you can't taste it and maybe one day we'll be able to have taste/smelli vision on our computers.  But if the man says, it has the BIR taste and smell, I for one believe him.  There is much TA / BIR competition within a four mile radius of where he and I live.  For the TA to be banged out both Saturday and Sunday, it obviously has a following and is doing something right.  There's even another TA two doors down to compete with  :o He has written many reports from behind the scenes, sharing all he could remember and write down for benefit of us, the forum members. 
So, in order to underline and corroborate the info on this TA, I decided to pay it a visit tonight.  First time i've been in there.  Compared to what I am used to, this place was going to have to go some to get anywhere close.
I walked in and the guy front of house was very friendly and chatty, even got a wave from the chefs in the kitchen.  I ordered my usual for direct comparison purposes: chicken vindaloo with chopped green chillis, keema rice and saag aloo.  And just to add additional pressure, my favourite veg dish, brinjal bhaji.  Not for one moment do I expect to get the identical replica to my usual vindaloo.  This isn't going to happen with a different base, mix powder, different balance of ingredients and a different chef, but this was not the point of the exercise.  I too can appreciate when a curry has been cooked correctly and I know whether it's a good, average or poor effort. All i was looking for was a vindaloo with good flavour, balance of taste and a reasonable amount of heat.  And of course it had to have what we all bang on about frequently on here but just can't seem to achieve - " the BIR smell" and "the taste".
I watched the chef like  a hawk, as one does to see how he was putting my dishes together.  He did it exactly how I have seen it done before, had read about and how I would expect it to be created.  He even checked with me through the glass on the chilli powder and fresh chilli content as well as the texture during its creation, as I scrutinised his every move.
Conclusion, the smell in the car as i drove home passed the first test.  We definitely had the BIR smell.  I opened up all the dishes and nosed each and there it was again - the smell.  The curry was good, nicely balanced in flavour and had the amount of depth I like, clean tasting, adequately hot, perfect BIR texture with just a bit of oil breaking through.  Rated against my norm - half a point behind simply because its not what I usually get, so maybe i'm being harsh.  The saag aloo, as good as if not half a point better as it was not over oily, with the right balance of flavoursome spinach and potato.  The brinjal bhaji - probably rates as one of the best I have ever eaten.  As for the rice, I really do like my regular for this, and my own is virtually an identical replica, so i'd have to score this down a point and a half.  Nicely cooked and loads of it, but the keema was not as strong tasting as i'm used to.
So, all in all, a worthwhile visit.  I got to see how good the TA actally was and I got to validate all the positive comments made by jb.  Plus I got to eat a great meal with more than enough to feast on later in the week.  And yes, it did all have the BIR taste.

So in a nutshell, there's nowhere to hide now people.  Use a properly cooked recognised base, add some mixpowder and the basic standard ingredients and you have all you need.  All that lies between you and BIR heaven at home is developping the correct technique.  You may not achieve identical dishes to your local, but if done correctly, they will have the smell and the taste and be equally as enjoyable.  I certainly learnt a  thing or two just watching.  Best £13 i've spent in a while  ;)

I'll post up some pics of my feast in the picture section of the forum.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2016, 10:08 PM by curryhell »
So singe baby singe, the curry's getting better ..........

Offline Sverige

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Re: Jb's other takeaway base gravy
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2016, 04:36 AM »
Quote
At first the pan was on a farly low heat,then after a while he put the lid on and it began boiling.As with my other take-away gravy the chef stressed that the onions MUST be cooked until they've virtually melted.When the gravy was ready he took an onion out,held it between his figures to illustrate the point,

This seems to be key to a good base and has been mentioned before. Can you approximate the time the onions were cooked for to reach this "melting point"? There seem to be wildly different interpretations among posters here of the "right" duration to cook onions in a base gravy, so it would be a useful reference point.

Offline Sverige

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Re: Jb's other takeaway base gravy
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2016, 04:42 AM »
Quote
He began with 30 white peeled chopped onions

Can I check something - how were the onions cut? Might seem like irrelevant detail but you said "chopped" but later referred to the chef taking out "an onion" from the pan. I'm guessing they were roughly chopped at best (not a comment on your knife skills!)

Offline mickdabass

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Re: Jb's other takeaway base gravy
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2016, 07:53 AM »

Please keep posting
It's the only thing worth reading on the internet!

Agreed

Regards
Mick

Offline Admin Tom

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Re: Jb's other takeaway base gravy
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2016, 09:52 AM »
Excellent post, can i just ask what the Mix Powder is made up from?

Stew


 



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