• June 25, 2019, 05:33 PM
Welcome, guest! Please login or register.
collapse

* RGBD

Author Topic: Mix[ed] powder  (Read 882 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online livo

  • Ive Had Way too Much Curry
  • **********
  • Posts: 1590
    • View Profile
Re: Mix[ed] powder
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2019, 06:07 AM »
SS, I have no doubt that different "curry powder" will definitely give different results, both separately and within a mixed powder.  The difference between a Hot and a Mild for starters. I can make a sausage curry with Clive of India CP and my kids (young adults now) will devour it.  If I use a different powder the noses go up. Yet I don't use Clive in my mix powders.  I instead use traditional Indian Mild Madras Curry Powders which appears to be what is usually recommended.  I did see one CT video where he used a tin of Hot for a dish and it stuck with me.

What I am saying is that the "curry powder" used as an ingredient in a mixed powder is not as significant an issue as I first thought. In my earliest days of trying to replicate a mixed powder I was literally going spare over it.  I can't buy Rajah, TRS or East End so I've had to make do with local supply and it has worked out pretty well as far as I'm concerned.  I pretty quickly realised that it aint that big a deal.

I love to experiment with spice powders and sometimes I truly wish I kept better notes. Inevitably the one you want to replicate is lost in lackadaisical endeavour.  :(

My test of a nice "curry powder" is to make a curried egg sandwich on fresh white bread.  Medium boiled eggs (half set yolks) mashed up with nothing other than a bit of CP.  2 large eggs to one scraped level tsp of CP for 1 sandwich.  No mayonnaise.  Just egg and Curry Powder.  If this is good the CP is good. Optional is some shredded lettuce.
Whiskey is the answer, but what was the question?

Online Peripatetic Phil

  • CONTRIBUTING MEMBER
  • Jedi Curry Master
  • **********
  • Posts: 6847
  • "Attention-seeking disorder"—disease of childhood
    • View Profile
    • The Westberry Hotel / Hoi-An Restaurant
Re: Mix[ed] powder
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2019, 09:04 AM »
hy add a substance over which you have no control when you could achieve the same effect but more consistently by adding the individual spices that make up the curry powder ? 
Au contraire! It's added precisely because there is factory-level quantity control of ingredients in it, so absolutely assured repeatability. In my youth I designed the control circuits for the machines that weigh and mix food ingredients and I can assure you that even all those decades ago this could be done to the milligram.
I do not dispute for one second that you would expect a commercial; curry powder to have a a consistent formulation.  My points were two-fold :  (1) each curry powder will have a unique formulation, and no two will be identical, so unless the recipe specifies exactly which curry powder to use, what you are adding may differ (possibly significantly) from what the recipe author intended (and presumably tried); and (2) since the recipe for each distinct commercial curry powder will be a trade secret, you cannot know exactly what you are adding.  For both of these reasons, those who are aiming for complete and replicable consistency may prefer to use individual spices in known quantities rather than rely on a commercial curry powder.  But as I have already acknowledged, in reality it may be hard or even impossible to detect the difference.

** Phil.
Ogham's law :  The intellectual content of any message typically varies as the reciprocal of the number of emoticons that it contains..


Online Peripatetic Phil

  • CONTRIBUTING MEMBER
  • Jedi Curry Master
  • **********
  • Posts: 6847
  • "Attention-seeking disorder"—disease of childhood
    • View Profile
    • The Westberry Hotel / Hoi-An Restaurant
Re: Mix[ed] powder
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2019, 08:06 PM »
From my lurking days, I seem to remember reading a discussion about roasting the seeds prior to grinding vs  grinding only that produces some heat anyway.  Does the recipe you have found mention grinding the seeds at all?
No, "what you see is what you get" (i.e., I didn't edit the recipe at all).  But I know that Mr & Mrs Bari gently roast some (but perhaps not all) of their spices before grinding (they grind all of their own apart from paprika & turmeric), so I will ask when I next go there (i.e., this coming weekend).  Certainly it is my belief that spices benefit (in general) from gentle roasting before grinding, and I often see a large tray of spices gently roasting when I enter The Golden Temple (last Friday it was cumin); if I find something in print to confirm this, I will add a note here.
OK, had another delightful meal ("Nepalese chilli chicken") at the Golden Temple courtesy of Mrs Bari this evening, and I took the opportunity to ask her about spice grinding.  Yes, she does grind her own (modulo the two already mentioned) and yes she roasts them first,  Very gently, on the top of the tandoor, for days or even weeks before grinding.  And yes. the roasting does significantly affect the flavour, but it isn't essential.

** Phil.
Ogham's law :  The intellectual content of any message typically varies as the reciprocal of the number of emoticons that it contains..

Offline Bob-A-Job

  • Head Chef
  • ***
  • Posts: 109
    • View Profile
Re: Mix[ed] powder
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2019, 11:56 PM »
Thank you Phil.

I am a little surprised when you say weeks, days I can get my head around if it is very gentle, in a few minutes or an hour at a time and then sealed away from dust/dirt/food debri the rest of the time but when you say "on the top of the tandoor", surely that is with it turned off and cooling otherwise they would be roasted really quick and be blackened in a few minutes?  What am I missing please?

Before coming here, I used to make a lot of different Mexican dishes (mainly during the summer months) and so I had been using a 'dry fry' and then pestle & mortar to produce my powders but the quantities were begining to take hours per week and so I bought a wet & dry grinder at the insistence of my wife.  Searching for that/usage/grinding spices is what brought me here, maybe a year ago (I did say I had been lurking for a while?).

I still love the aroma of hand grinding the roasted seeds but at the back of my mind, conservation nags at me saying that if I am releasing the aroma in grinding, it won't be there for the cooking.  If you get what I mean?

Thank you for remembering my question.
BAJ
If you can learn something new and have a laugh, the day has not been wasted.

Online Peripatetic Phil

  • CONTRIBUTING MEMBER
  • Jedi Curry Master
  • **********
  • Posts: 6847
  • "Attention-seeking disorder"—disease of childhood
    • View Profile
    • The Westberry Hotel / Hoi-An Restaurant
Re: Mix[ed] powder
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2019, 09:05 AM »
Hallo Bob —

I am a little surprised when you say weeks, days I can get my head around if it is very gentle, in a few minutes or an hour at a time and then sealed away from dust/dirt/food debri the rest of the time but when you say "on the top of the tandoor", surely that is with it turned off and cooling otherwise they would be roasted really quick and be blackened in a few minutes?  What am I missing please?
Well, firstly, that neither Mr nor Mrs Bari use the tandoor for cooking !  I don't know how the tandoor is powered, but I am certain that it never gets up to normal tandoor temperatures.  I will try to find out more next weekend.  As to dust/dirt/debris, yes, I see your point.  Perhaps not the optimal environment, but I've never had food poisoning after eating there, and I don't think anyone else has ! 

Quote
Before coming here, I used to make a lot of different Mexican dishes (mainly during the summer months) and so I had been using a 'dry fry' and then pestle & mortar to produce my powders but the quantities were begining to take hours per week and so I bought a wet & dry grinder at the insistence of my wife.  Searching for that/usage/grinding spices is what brought me here, maybe a year ago (I did say I had been lurking for a while?).
Ah, interesting background.  I don't think I own a wet & dry grinder (or if I do, I don't use it as such) — I have a coffee grinder reserved for spices, and various wet gadgets I use for making g/g paste and so on.

Quote
I still love the aroma of hand grinding the roasted seeds but at the back of my mind, conservation nags at me saying that if I am releasing the aroma in grinding, it won't be there for the cooking.  If you get what I mean?
That is a very interesting point, and not one I had ever considered, but I am of a generation that still remembers "Importers Ltd" roasting and grinding the coffee beans in the window of their Bromley High Street premises; the smell was out of this world, and could be sensed from hundreds of yards away, but their coffee (they used to serve Blue Mountain, amongst others) was the best in the world.  So yes, there must be some aroma loss when spices are gently roasted, but if the process allows the spices to yields more of their essential oils than would otherwise be the case (as I suspect — I need to check Dr Pruthi on this), then the process may well have overall benefits.  After all, why would Mr & Mrs Bari do so if it were not worthwhile ?  They both have excellent business acumen, and would not willingly waste either time or energy on something that was not worthwhile ...

Update:


I could find nothing in Dr J S Pruthi's Spices and Condiments, but the absence of an online (or even scanned) edition means that I cannot guarantee that he makes no reference to any benefits of roasting before grinding, so I consulted instead Heal and Allsop's Cooking with Spices.  Under cumin, which is one of the spices that I know for sure that Mr & Mrs Bari roast before grinding (because Mr Bari offered me some when I was last there), Heal & Allsop write "The seeds should be lightly roasted before being used whole or ground to bring out the aroma".  This, then, support my own beliefs.

Incidentally, this scientific paper (by Sushmita Behera, S. Nagarajan and L. Jagan Mohan Rao) is clearly both relevant and interesting.

** Phil.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 02:45 PM by Peripatetic Phil »
Ogham's law :  The intellectual content of any message typically varies as the reciprocal of the number of emoticons that it contains..

Online livo

  • Ive Had Way too Much Curry
  • **********
  • Posts: 1590
    • View Profile
Re: Mix[ed] powder
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2019, 10:51 PM »
I've gradually been reading over all of Andy2295's posts and darting off on interesting tangents.  It makes for interesting reading and I'm learning from it.

This link, http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=1556.0 shows that his posted spice mix also did not contain a "curry powder" but was instead made up mainly of whole spices, roasted and ground fresh along with a few powdered ones. He also used a different mix, that did contain both curry powder and garam masala, specifically for his base gravy recipe, as clarified in answer to CA's question (page 2). 

He was quite emphatic about the high turnover of in situ produced spice mixes from whole spices, and placed great importance on freshness.  He claimed to have absolutely no commercial pastes of any type in stock.  Wherever he did make any reference to commercial powders he (or his chef if there was one) insisted on TRS and Raj (Rajah perhaps? I'm not sure and it's irrelevant to me anyway).

There are some similar ingredients to the formula in the OP (naturally) but that is the end of any similarity. Andy2295's formula contains several extra spices and the quantities and ratios of the common ones are vastly different between the two.  Does anybody recall trying Andy2295's spice mix and if so, how it was as opposed to the now widely accepted Mix[ed] Powders?

PS. (Off topic).

Interesting to note that his Aromatic salt is in fact a very short ingredient list compared to some others.  The use of Allspice (even in minimal quantity) is not a common spice for BIR apparently but I did find it is used in The Bombay Bottle Masala  (Allspice - Kababchini / kabab chini / cubeb / tailed pepper).

I found his statement on there being no secret very interesting.  He maintained it was all down to patience, perseverance, ingredient freshness and technique.  He was also very clear in his claim that there was no single BIR taste, but that it was subjective and a very localized regional thing.  Anybody's perception as to what they were after in seeking "The BIR taste" was largely influenced by what they had already experienced.  From what I've read on this forum over the years I'd have to agree that there is quite a bit of merit in this claim.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 10:23 AM by livo »
Whiskey is the answer, but what was the question?

Offline mickyp

  • Head Chef
  • ***
  • Posts: 206
    • View Profile
Re: Mix[ed] powder
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2019, 08:42 PM »

I still love the aroma of hand grinding the roasted seeds but at the back of my mind, conservation nags at me saying that if I am releasing the aroma in grinding, it won't be there for the cooking.  If you get what I mean?

Think of all that wasted taste when you walk past the kitchen of your local Curry House lol

Online livo

  • Ive Had Way too Much Curry
  • **********
  • Posts: 1590
    • View Profile
Re: Mix[ed] powder
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2019, 09:00 PM »
Andy2295 was talking about high turnover so he had the luxury of this to keep the full benefit even with roasting and grinding. I know what you mean though. I've just bought a heap of fresh spices even though I wasn't out. My old whole seeds like coriander, cumin and fennel must be 4 years old. Still good but not fresh. They aren't expensive but it's difficult to justify dumping the old.
Whiskey is the answer, but what was the question?

Offline Bob-A-Job

  • Head Chef
  • ***
  • Posts: 109
    • View Profile
Re: Mix[ed] powder
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2019, 11:21 PM »
I watched a cookery programme, a while ago (a couple of years) and I can't remember what it was but the guest chef did say that powders and such never go 'out of date' but do lose potency, so you just have to 'use a bit more'.  I was going to bring this up in the 'Scaling...' thread but then realised it wasn't relevant to that discussion.

Do you find that with your old seeds as much?

BAJ
If you can learn something new and have a laugh, the day has not been wasted.

Online livo

  • Ive Had Way too Much Curry
  • **********
  • Posts: 1590
    • View Profile
Re: Mix[ed] powder
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2019, 11:44 PM »
I can't say I notice any significant difference to be honest, even using some whole spices that are 4 years old. They still make perfectly acceptable curry.  My stocks getting low was the main reason I've just bought more and while tempted to buy big bags, I decided it was better to go with sensible home sized instead.  It will probably be 6 months before I get down to the city again. 

The one thing that I think you can really notice is the decline in aroma from really fresh bright green cardamom to the dull pale green ones that have sat for a year or so.  Whether or not that crosses over into the taste I can't tell.

I've found it the same with my pastes.  The recipes for home made, and labels of bought pastes, tell you it can be stored in the fridge for 6 months. I sterilize my jars before bottling and I have Balti Paste that is over 2 years old and still haven't made anybody ill by using it.  It's preserved in oil, vinegar and salt.
Whiskey is the answer, but what was the question?


 


You may like these posts on curry-recipes.co.uk: