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Author Topic: How do you know when you are "there" ?  (Read 6429 times)

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Offline Secret Santa

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Re: How do you know when you are "there" ?
« Reply #120 on: February 06, 2019, 07:42 PM »
By the way, I am not ignoring your "if I cook two identical curries ..." gedankenexperiment, it's just that my brain hurts every time I try to reconcile it with my own hypothesis ...

It's more than a thought experiment Phil, I have actually cooked a curry and then as nearly identical as I can manage a double quantity curry with doubled quantities for all ingredients and I can't detect any difference.

Full disclosure; that was a while ago and I intend to try again to see if anything has changed (for me).

Oh and on the assumption that there really is a need to reduce the chilli when multiplying volumes, there is an answer. It's simply that the methods by which the two curries were cooked differed, even if that isn't immediately apparent. Larger volumes, longer cooking times. More stewing than frying due to larger volume. Etc., etc. It's helpful to think in extremes to bring out the point. So in this case it'd be a single portion versus a staff curry for example.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 07:55 PM by Secret Santa »
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Offline livo

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Re: How do you know when you are "there" ?
« Reply #121 on: February 06, 2019, 09:18 PM »
To a person desensitised, accustomed or addicted to chilli, the directly proportional increase by using linear scaling would most likely be tolerable or possibly even enjoyable and expected. On the other end of the scale the resultant dish would probably be completely unpalettable. SS, your explanation of cooking 2 small dishes and combining them is valid, as is your suggested explanation of the change in cooking conditions due to increased volume. It may well be the case that the direct doubling of chilli simply isn't necessary, as opposed to incorrect and damaging, although there is ample anecdotal and instructional discussion to suggest otherwise.  In bulk cooking, it is common practise to follow the non-linear increase in spices.  This does not include all spices but it isn't restricted to chilli. I've previously found information related to this and listing other spices that are often scaled non-proportionally. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and vanilla for example. Some would include Cumin as well.

Nearly 4 years ago I was asked to do a bulk cook of several dishes for 40 people and as they were mainly children with disabilities, it was requested that the curries be mild. I did a lot of research at the time, found the information relating to the rule of X1.5 per double volume, experimented with it and ended up following that approach. The resulting dishes were exactly what I was aiming to achieve and when I'm asked to do it again in 6 months, i will again be using non-linear scaling.

Base gravy is possibly not the best object for this discussion. Low level if any chilli and I'm still presently of the opinion that because of this, base gravy is able to be scaled proportionally.
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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: How do you know when you are "there" ?
« Reply #122 on: February 06, 2019, 10:03 PM »
Base gravy is possibly not the best object for this discussion. Low level if any chilli and I'm still presently of the opinion that because of this, base gravy is able to be scaled proportionally.

Yes, that is why I used base in the earlier discussion.  I was taking the volume of base as a good indicator of the intended size of the final dish, so by comparing the volume of chilli with the volume of base we are effectively looking at the relationship between chilli content and final dish size.

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Offline Secret Santa

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Re: How do you know when you are "there" ?
« Reply #123 on: February 06, 2019, 11:32 PM »
Nearly 4 years ago I was asked to do a bulk cook of several dishes for 40 people and as they were mainly children with disabilities, it was requested that the curries be mild. I did a lot of research at the time, found the information relating to the rule of X1.5 per double volume, experimented with it and ended up following that approach. The resulting dishes were exactly what I was aiming to achieve and when I'm asked to do it again in 6 months, i will again be using non-linear scaling.


Can you expand a bit on that x1.5 per doubling? Is it that if you double, then rather than doubling the chilli you only increase by 1.5? And if doubling again, and again ... then what?

There's an implicit, logical dead-end to that rule. If we continue to increase the size of the cooking pot at some point there will be no need for any spices at all! It's the cooking equivalent of perpetual motion. It's just not logical.
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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: How do you know when you are "there" ?
« Reply #124 on: February 07, 2019, 12:10 AM »
Not a dead-end, Santa — the quantity of chilli continues to increase as the dish size increases, but ever more slowly.
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« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 08:30 AM by Peripatetic Phil »
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Offline Bob-A-Job

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Re: How do you know when you are "there" ?
« Reply #125 on: February 07, 2019, 01:55 AM »
All,

I have followed this since the first post and I think the question was asked and several answers were given, all of which seemed to conclude the discussion.

I am confused but also intrigued by the subsequent diversions that number many different topics other than the OP was about.

Increased Oil,
Scaling ingredients.
Increased cooking times.
Different cooking methods.
Increased sensitivity to 'heat'
Different expectations.
Other reasons.

I think it is time for this discussion to end and there is room for several other new threads to be started based on what has been contributed here maybe?

A few suggestions:
"Scaling of Spices"
"How cooking times effect Flavours/Spicing"
"Palate changes over time"
"What to drink/not to drink when eating a spicy dish"

etc.

Regards,
BAJ
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Offline livo

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Re: How do you know when you are "there" ?
« Reply #126 on: February 07, 2019, 03:40 AM »
Whiskey is the answer, but what was the question?

Offline Sverige

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Re: How do you know when you are "there" ?
« Reply #127 on: March 11, 2019, 11:59 AM »

I believe bunjarra is a much undervalued component, increasingly omitted by BIRs as it takes too much manual labour to produce it, but when added to the precooks of the veg and meat, it introduces "the taste" into the final dishes.

Let me say however, I do not have a good bunjarra recipe and don't think the Ashoka one which is on this forum is especially close to what I'm seeking. A very long cook which lets the deep savoury spice flavours leach into the oil and onions seems essential, with Asian bay being a key component.

Sverige, I don't know if you've ever tried this, but I have and I've revisited again with a batch today.  Masala Mark's Aussie IR Onion Gravy. It's actually more a paste really.
 http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=4923.0  This sounds to be almost exactly what you are describing.  I've used both the method and also these pastes in other cooking along more BIR style as well.  This onion gravy is pretty tasty and could do the trick for you.  I make 1/2 quantity usually.

I've also made a 1/4 quantity of Masala Mark's Tomato Gravy. This too is really quite delicious.

Thanks Livo. I haven’t tried exactly that. Thanks for the idea but I’m a bit unenthused about things at the moment.  Will get back into it one day I’m sure.

Offline bhamcurry

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Re: How do you know when you are "there" ?
« Reply #128 on: April 07, 2019, 03:06 PM »
a couple of days ago I arranged with a friend to come over for an experimental curry for lunch. I got caught up in stuff so I got back to my home after he did.

I walk in, say hi, head to the kitchen, and 30 minutes later we are both sitting down to a wonderful spicy BIR type curry which, if I hadn't made a mistake with the meat texture, I would have been happy to have had delivered from a local curry house .

I am not "there", but "there" is in sight for me and just needs more practice to be "here" instead  ;D

Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: How do you know when you are "there" ?
« Reply #129 on: April 07, 2019, 03:26 PM »
Pre-prepared base, or everything made from scratch in 30 minutes ?
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