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Author Topic: Which favourite dishes have you failed to crack?  (Read 2774 times)

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Offline George

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Which favourite dishes have you failed to crack?
« on: December 18, 2017, 12:39 PM »
Someone made the sensible suggestion that one reason for some members losing interest in this forum could be if they can make all the dishes they are interested in. That's xertainly not the case for me, Partly out of laziness - failing to put enough effort into my research - I still can't make at least two dishes which were on my priority list as long as 15 years ago. These are:

1.. The vegetable sauce which nearly always accompanies birianis in the UK. I sometimes think it's litle more than base sauce with a few vegetables thrown in, but I can't achieve a flavour as good as most restaurants,

2. Dry style saag aloo which tastes divine even though there's hardly any sign of oil, let alone base sauce.

Can anyone point me to recipes here or elsewhere which could lead me to ticking off these two dishes?

Which dishes do you find most frustrating?

Offline Edwin Catflap

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Re: Which favourite dishes have you failed to crack?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2017, 03:29 PM »
George

They are my two dishes that I have previously given up on, especially the sauce. Even Dips biryani sauce is lacking for me

Ed


Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Which favourite dishes have you failed to crack?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2017, 05:10 PM »
I confess that I have never tried to replicate T/A biryani sauce (simply because I never eat it: I prefer my biryanis dry), but like George, I too would love to be able to replicate a really good dry sag aloo / aloo palak.  And I would add to that "a really good dry chicken bhuna".

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« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 08:18 PM by Peripatetic Phil »
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Offline chonk

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Re: Which favourite dishes have you failed to crack?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2018, 02:32 PM »
Hey Phil,

have you ever tried frozen creamed spinach (I'm using Iglo brand)? I like the semi-dry punjabi versions. I prepare some basic tomato-onion-masala, puree and reheat it and simply add the frozen spinach cubes. Round about 7-10 minutes after that, I'll add the pre-boiled potato cubes (you can also fry them). Instead of making some fresh masala, you could start off with some base-gravy. I use 100ml pureed tin tomatoes, 250g frozen creamed spinach and 200g potato cubes.

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Online Secret Santa

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Re: Which favourite dishes have you failed to crack?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2018, 04:47 PM »
The vegetable sauce which nearly always accompanies birianis in the UK. I sometimes think it's litle more than base sauce with a few vegetables thrown in, but I can't achieve a flavour as good as most restaurants,

Same here George. But as you mention, the closest I've got is by boiling up veg in base sauce and then adding a small amount of mix powder. That gets me close but not quite there. I think the secret here is in keeping it uncomplicated but it has to be the right mix of base sauce and mix powder which I haven't achieved.
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Offline livo

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Re: Which favourite dishes have you failed to crack?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2018, 11:50 PM »
My mission began around 20 years ago with trying to replicate my children's favourite "Indian" dish, being Mango Chicken. Most Indian restaurants and takeaways here cook it and while there are some minor differences between establishments, it is fairly safe to say that it is always very similar.  I did finally achieve a dish that is nice to eat and close to the mark thanks to the advice of Chewytikka, http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=12501.10. However, I cannot yet claim to be able prepare "The dish" I can buy almost anywhere.

I nearly turned my kids off it with all the near misses and "try this one" attempts. I took a couple of years off regularly cooking curry for various reasons but I'm about to give it another try. Yesterday I began on a different path, using the Restaurant-Style Curries pages from the newly rediscovered Wayback Machine captures of the Celtnet.org.uk. (A big thankyou to PP here. I thought it was gone forever.)

I made a batch of the sites Base Gravy (Restaurant Curry Sauce) and then used it to precook some chicken (Indian Cooked Chicken). I made a Chicken Korma using the sites recipe and the Korma Curry Powder as well which was delicious. I also did the sites Lamb Rogan Josh and Naan plus my own mixed vegetable curry.

All very nice but the interesting point is that the pre-cooked chicken, when tasted on its own, is strikingly similar to the flavours I've been trying to achieve.  I might be onto something here. I guess I'm off the the Indian grocery shop for yet another tin of Mango Pulp and some fresh almond meal.
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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Which favourite dishes have you failed to crack?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2018, 12:56 PM »
Hey Phil,

have you ever tried frozen creamed spinach (I'm using Iglo brand)? I like the semi-dry punjabi versions. I prepare some basic tomato-onion-masala, puree and reheat it and simply add the frozen spinach cubes. Round about 7-10 minutes after that, I'll add the pre-boiled potato cubes (you can also fry them). Instead of making some fresh masala, you could start off with some base-gravy. I use 100ml pureed tin tomatoes, 250g frozen creamed spinach and 200g potato cubes.

Than you for the suggestion, Chonk.  No, I confess I have not tried frozen creamed spinach, and confess I have never seen it when shopping.  I normally use fresh spinach, but should (of course) realise that BIRs are very unlikely to do the same ...  Where do you buy yours ?

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Re: Which favourite dishes have you failed to crack?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2018, 06:07 PM »
I normally use fresh spinach, but should (of course) realise that BIRs are very unlikely to do the same ... 

** Phil.

I think you'll find that (at least) for the dry  sag aloo you mention fresh spinach is essential as it needs to be cooked almost to burning to get that flavour you're after. You can't really do that with frozen spinach and definitely not with canned. I've no doubt that frozen spinach probably is used in the more mundane, saucy dishes though.
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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Which favourite dishes have you failed to crack?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2018, 08:12 PM »
An interesting perspective, Santa; I shall have to bear that in mind.  My reason for thinking that BIR takeaways would probably not use fresh spinach is that it is very space-inefficient ...

** Phil.
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Re: Which favourite dishes have you failed to crack?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2018, 03:16 PM »
An interesting perspective, Santa; I shall have to bear that in mind.  My reason for thinking that BIR takeaways would probably not use fresh spinach is that it is very space-inefficient ...

** Phil.

I think we (which includes me) have been a little too eager to make apparently logical assumptions that in retrospect and in the light of newer BIR revelations turn out to have been unfounded. I'm a little more circumspect these days.
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