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Offline Bob-A-Job

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Splitting
« on: December 12, 2018, 02:09 AM »
I am sorry if this has been covered before or in another section, I only did a quick search and didn't  find a definitive answer.

Whenever I make Oil based curries (from many excellent contributors on here), the result is ok for an hour or so but then 'splits' as it cools, especially if I use cream.

My preference is for 'very dry' style curries (Keema and Pea or Spinach is my speciality), which I do not find often in BIR and which whilst I cook for myself, are also not what guests I cook for are expecting, based on their experience of 'Takeaways' I suspect.

So my questions is I guess, given no ingredient, recipe or method, why do my 'oil' based recipes 'split' after a short time, any suggestions please?
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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Splitting
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2018, 12:35 PM »
Maybe start here, Bob, and follow any leads/links that follow the initial discussion/clarification.
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Online Secret Santa

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Re: Splitting
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2018, 03:54 PM »
When you say "splitting" do you mean the oil is separating from the curry? if so that's normal and should just be spooned off if not wanted and used to make the next curry.
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Online livo

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Re: Splitting
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2018, 07:28 PM »
I think it's the cream splitting. This can occur with yogurt as well. I know to prevent yogurt splitting it is stirred well before being added and the dish should be removed from the heat.  Heat and acid makes milk products split.  If you're having trouble with cream it could be a similar thing so try that.
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Offline Bob-A-Job

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Re: Splitting
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2018, 08:52 PM »
Thank you Phil and Santa,

I had seen that thread, about the separating of the oil (something I look for when making keema, when the oil in the concentrated tomato puree is separated, it is cooked and time to add the meat and spices).
I did see this a lot when I first started making some of the curry bases and I have about halved the amount of oil I put in those now.  I am also trying cooking them a lot longer to boil off more of the water, to get a thicker consistency.

Livo, you may have something there,

Last night, early evening, I made a chicken curry and added some cream, to see how it tasted.  The initial consistency was smooth and really quite nice.  I set it aside to cool, with the intention of having it for supper and when I came to it, even after vigorous stirring, it just wouldn't go back to the smooth texture of earlier.  Not so much separated as split.  I have seen it before.. I wish I had taken a picture of it, to show you what I mean but I was ashamed and ate it anyway, it was ok but not as good as when it had been first made.

Lesson to learn I guess is only add cream if necessary (I add it far too often, as my waist line will attest to) and eat it fresh.

Thanks, I will continue researching and experimenting.
BAJ
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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Splitting
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2018, 09:01 PM »
I have a feeling that in the hotel kitchen we deliberately use synthetic "cream" (similar to this one) when using "cream" in cooking for this very reason ...

** Phil.
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Online livo

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Re: Splitting
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2018, 09:16 PM »
A few years ago a dairy company out here introduced a "Cooking" cream in full and low fat variety, intended just for cooked dishes.  While it seemed to sell OK, they discontinued it.  I think that cream, and yogurt, can be added to dishes without splitting.  It is just a case of understanding the other ingredients already in the dish or to be added later, the heat and possibly also the type of cream,  There used to be, and possibly still is, a small canned product called Reduced Cream by Nestle. Perhaps that could work better for you.  I've had some success using small cartons of UHT cream but it isn't always available.  I also use cream in the Mango Chicken, Kormas and some other dishes I make.  I normally just use standard thickened cream (possibly double cream in UK).

Watch Chewy Tikkas video on Malai Makhoni  http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=12501.20 and you'll see that he isn't too gentle with the heat, and so neither have I been.  I don't have any problem with splitting.  Any highly acidic curry with Lemon Juice, lots of tomato or vinegar will probably cause dairy to split if it is added at high temperature.
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Offline Bob-A-Job

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Re: Splitting
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2018, 09:26 PM »
Thanks again, both on a similar theme I see, so there are 3 things I need to look at:
1) The type of cream - good point, not seen that before.
2) The other ingredients that may cause dairy to split - another good point, I didn't consider the tomato might be an issue
3) Leaving the dish to 'sit and split' - guilty, every time, the desire to cook is stronger than the need to feed, so unless it is a family roast, always a disconnect there.

I will try to find those products and watch that video.

Thanks again.
BAJ
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Online livo

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Re: Splitting
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2018, 11:37 PM »
Bob-a-Job, I now assume that we are on the right track with the splitting you are asking about being an issue with the cream and not just oil separation.  Oil separation is completely normal and to be expected.  The type of cream recommended is full fat heavy cream, ie double cream.  Light (single) cream, low fat cream or milk are more likely to split.  The addition of starches helps to stabilize dairy and the Almond powder in Chewy's video possibly achieves the same result.  Perhaps the addition of a small amount of corn starch or potato starch may help but it isn't usual practice in Indian cooking.

Greek style yogurt is recommended for cooking as it has already had some of the whey squeezed out. You can probably cook this more easily than normal curd / yogurt.  As I wrote earlier, it is common practice to vigorously stir yogurt before adding to hot dishes and usually the temperature needs to be reduced.  Once incorporated into the gravy it can then be heated again but there is always a risk, particularly if you over-heat it.   I have had splitting in yogurt curry so I know what you are referring to.

Tomato is considered to be acidic (mostly) and certainly if you are using preserved tomato from tins or glass jars it must be acidified in the process.  Using cream and or yogurt alongside acidic foods does not have to produce splitting though. A typical Indian Makhani Gravy (butter sauce) will contain tomato and cream and / or yogurt and depending on the recipe it may even include Lemon Juice as well.  This sauce can be prepared without splitting.

Good luck and keep us informed.  Pictures help.
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Online chewytikka

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Re: Splitting
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2018, 03:02 PM »
Cooking with too much oil and too watery a base gravy often splits the finished sauce
and it continues to separate and leak.
Nothing worse than a curry leaking oil and water on the plate.

Usually can happen when beginners add cold water during cooking
to create more sauce. Water is the enemy! ;)

cheers Chewy
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