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Author Topic: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway  (Read 4234 times)

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Offline Secret Santa

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Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
« Reply #20 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.
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Offline Sverige

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Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
« Reply #21 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.


Online livo

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Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2018, 09:40 PM »
Skinning cats.
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Offline Secret Santa

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Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
« Reply #23 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.
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Online livo

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Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
« Reply #24 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.
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Offline jb

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Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
« Reply #25 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.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 07:33 AM by jb »

Offline Sverige

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Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
« Reply #26 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

Online livo

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Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
« Reply #27 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.
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Offline Secret Santa

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Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
« Reply #28 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!
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Online curryhell

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Re: pre cooked potatoes from the takeaway
« Reply #29 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.
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