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Author Topic: KD-base/PT  (Read 4060 times)

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Online Peripatetic Phil

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KD-base/PT
« on: December 13, 2018, 08:26 PM »
As longer-serving residents of this forum will know, I have long been a fan of Kris Dhillon, and regard her The Curry Secret as an excellent introduction to the art of BIR cuisine.  Her recipes and methodology are characterised by simplicity, and can produce excellent results without tweaking.  I have tried more complex bases, but none seem to offer any significant improvement over hers, so I thought that it might be helpful if I document how I now make her base.  The ingredients that she lists are as follows, with my comments in parentheses —
  • 2¾ pints water (I use boiling)
  • 8 tablespoons oil (I use Pura organic rapeseed — my preferred stir-frying oil, light in colour and low in viscosity)
  • 2 lb onions (I use brown. weighed after peeling, cut into eighths)
  • 2 oz garlic (I use frozen)
  • 2 oz ginger (weighed after peeling, cut into thin roundels)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (I use hot smoked)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I use black salt, = kala namak)
  • 1 tin tomatoes [8 oz] (I use 250 ml Napolina tomato passata)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato purée (I omit)
So, my ingredients and Kris's are very similar, and the main difference lies in the manner of preparation.  I refer the interested reader to Kris's book for a detailed description of her methodology, but in essence all the vegetables are boiled together and then liquidised.  Then Kris adds the liquidised tomatoes, oil, spices, etc., brings back to the boil, cooks again and so on.  My method is as follows :
  • I put the oil and the ground spices into a large pressure cooker, and heat gently and stir until the spices smell cooked
  • I add the garlic, ginger, passata and salt and stir thoroughly, then cook for a little longer
  • I add the onions and stir and turn them until all are thoroughly coated
  • I add the water, give one final stir, put the lid on, close the valve and heat at 100% until the valve lifts
  • I turn down to 20% and leave to cook for 90 minutes
  • I liquidise (in a 2kW jug blender, with care !).
Job done.  To my mind this produces a first-class base suitable for any curry; it is relatively light on tomato, definitely light on spicing, and has no one stand-out flavour that might not work with some dishes.  Do please give it a try and let me know what you think.

Afterthoughts — after liquidising, I bring it back to the boil (lid off), then allow it to simmer until the oil comes out.  I don't bother to refrigerate it — I just leave it in the pressure cooker and bring it back to the boil (lid off) once a day, thinning down with more boiling water if necessary, until it is all gone.

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« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 01:36 PM by Peripatetic Phil »
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Offline livo

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Re: KD-base/PT
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2018, 08:58 PM »
Does kd use oil? How much do you use Phil?
Whiskey is the answer, but what was the question?


Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: KD-base/PT
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2018, 09:31 PM »
Oops, sorry, omitted that originally.  Now added.  Eight tablespoons.  Many thanks for pointing it out, Livo.
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« Last Edit: December 13, 2018, 10:21 PM by Peripatetic Phil »
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Offline livo

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Re: KD-base/PT
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2018, 11:38 PM »
 ;) I wish I'd found her book nearly 30 years ago.  I'll give this a go when I do my next base.  This is one I haven't yet tried (from memory) along with the Glasgow base.  I may have tried it back before I found this forum when I was a paid up member of RCR in around 2011 or 12.  I seem to recall there was a whole section devoted to KD recipes, but I also recall at the time being quite overwhelmed by the complexity of the whole thing and what they called the Melting Base.   

I don't think I've made a single base more than a couple of times yet and some only once as I made full quantities and used frozen for ages.  I've actually thrown base out simply because I've wanted to try a new one and didn't have freezer space.  So far though, I'd say my favourite has been the chicken infused version of Chewy's 3 hour base gravy.  This just really struck me as a nice curry base.
Whiskey is the answer, but what was the question?

Offline Secret Santa

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Re: KD-base/PT
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2018, 01:23 PM »
;) I wish I'd found her book nearly 30 years ago.  I'll give this a go when I do my next base.  This is one I haven't yet tried (from memory) along with the Glasgow base.

They're both great bases in my opinion and the Glasgow is currently my standard base. Definitely give both a try. Most current bases are too complicated in my opinion with all but the kitchen sink thrown in but these two are, in comparison, relatively simple and neutral bases.

Kris Dhillon's book was an absolute revelation at the time and really showed the BIR method and specifically the need for a well blended base sauce to get that BIR curry texture. Around the same time I had, I think, Pat Chapman's first book which while good didn't really provide the real technique for the base as his was more of a paste than a sauce (from memory, I might be wrong!).

It's incredible how much our collective knowledge has moved on since then. Alas I'm still looking for the last 5% though ... and firmly believe I'll never now achieve it.
Fighting for truth, justice and the BIR way!

Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: KD-base/PT
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2018, 02:22 PM »
Alas I'm still looking for the last 5% though ... and firmly believe I'll never now achieve it.

Based purely on personal experience, I think that "the final 5%" will manifest itself in the realisation that you can consistently cook one dish as well as any restaurant or take-away with which you are familiar .  When you can say that, you have mastered the technique.  All that then remains is to apply that technique consistently but vary the recipe to try to replicate the other dishes that you seek to make.

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Offline Dajoca

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Re: KD-base/PT
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2018, 12:43 PM »
Thanks for this explanation Phil.
I will try this method for my next base, as I have previously had no luck with the KD Curry secret base,
It always smelled awful and tasted like boiled sick, so was quickly thrown away.

Offline CarpCarp

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Re: KD-base/PT
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2018, 03:43 PM »
Hi would you confirm 120ml of oil is used, I make this eight times 15ml.
Thanks

Offline livo

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Re: KD-base/PT
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2018, 08:26 PM »
Excess oil is removed from the base gravy right at the end of cooking. Phil has already stipulated that amount but you could use more, or less, as you choose, or just use the stated amount.
Whiskey is the answer, but what was the question?

Offline CarpCarp

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Re: KD-base/PT
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2018, 08:37 PM »
Hello, why would you remove your tasty oil from your gravy please? I believed restaurant curry is requiring the additional oil to fry rather than boil a curry. Would you explain please and why advise changing recipe.
Thanks


 



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