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Author Topic: Scaling Recipes for Base Gravy  (Read 473 times)

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Online livo

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Scaling Recipes for Base Gravy
« on: February 02, 2019, 11:42 PM »
There are 2 distinct lines of thought on this topic. 

I'm a firm believer in the notion that a recipe such as Base Gravy is very easily reproduced with no loss of character in a scaled down version.  I think Phil and George are of similar opinion.

I know Pete / Haldi and others are firmly of the opinion that in order to achieve the full benefit, the base gravy must be cooked in a large volume as is done commercially.

I was just reading over the recovered Old Archived posts of Andy2295 and I came across his original recipe for base gravy.  A few things strike me as worth looking into particularly from this introductory paragraph. The recipe is here ]http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=1476.0]

Quote Andy2295.
"As the chefs have an eye for visual measurement using their cooking spoon, we decided to weigh out all of the separate ingredients one evening while we made up a batch of base sauce/gravy. Please do NOT try to half the recipe amounts listed here as the results are not the same. We tried it! By all means proportion out to get a reduced stock but pure halving of ingredients is no good."


Firstly he says they decided to weigh everything out, but then straight out refused to accept multiple lines of questioning regarding a weighed amount of onions.  What he has provided are mostly volumetric quantities and as anyone would know when dealing with spherical objects of different sizes and packing arrangement into different sized pots, the actual mass of the combined amount can be widely variable.  At least he does stipulate the pot size.  CA eventually provides information that it is approximately 4.5 kg.

The main point is his insistence on making the full amount.  He says NOT to half it, but then says by all means proportion it out for a reduced amount.  This went unquestioned for the whole thread and in the whole 16 pages only George alluded to quantity of scale.  (At one point Andy's rebuke was quite abrupt.)  I have no idea how halving or quartering the quantity is anything other than proportioning down. (Or dividing by 9 as I would).  To do otherwise is an un-proportional adjustment.  I see no ingredients listed that would cause any significant problem with direct linear scaling.  He goes on later in the thread to answer George's questions about the size of his pots to say that it could be increased into a bigger pot but they do it in the 7.5 litre pots for business model and cold storage reasons. If it would be OK to scale upwards into a bigger pot, why is it not so to scale down into smaller ones?  Perhaps scaling upwards would not be linear but he doesn't mention this.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 09:42 AM by livo »
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Offline Secret Santa

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Re: Scaling Recipes for Base Gravy
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2019, 09:18 AM »
There was a lot of Andy's input which was either clearly wrong or self-contradictory. He didn't like being questioned. And this notion that if you scale you have to alter the ratio of ingredients is, as I've said elsewhere, pure and utter nonsense. If you find that that is the case when/if you've tried it it's solely down to the fact that you're not cooking both versions in exactly the same way. It's highly illogical to suggest otherwise.

Quote
He says NOT to half it, but then says by all means proportion it out for a reduced amount.  This went unquestioned for the whole thread and in the whole 16 pages

Are you reading the same thread as I am? On page 2 I think, Pete questions exactly that. And he's rightly getting a lot of stick - but that's history.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 09:32 AM by Secret Santa »
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Online livo

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Re: Scaling Recipes for Base Gravy
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2019, 09:49 AM »
You are correct SS. I completely missed it.   ???  Yet Pete / Haldi is now apparently a convert to the bulk cook requirement, or at least he is still very conscious of, and interested in, the possibilities of quantitative variations to end product.
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Online mickyp

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Re: Scaling Recipes for Base Gravy
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2019, 12:31 PM »
I cook it up using a commercial 40 ltr pot, on a burner, i use Adey Payne's recipe (youtube)which i like, i then freeze it in rectangular i ltr pots, its a ritual i enjoy doing but at the same time i like to get it done if that makes sense.

Online livo

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Re: Scaling Recipes for Base Gravy
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2019, 10:54 PM »
I've started work on a scaled down version of Andy2295's Base Gravy (10 years experience) and there is an immediately noticeable problem. 
http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=1476.msg12840#msg12840.

I know he says you can't, but I'm doing exactly half. Instead of using a 7.3 litre stock pot, I'm using a 3.6 litre.  The "large" vegetables over in the UK must be tiny because after you've filled the pot with onions, blanched and drained them, they don't fit back into the pot with all of the other chopped vegetable ingredients.  I've had to squeeze it all into a 4.5 litre pot and it is brimming.  As we are working with volumes in the recipe instructions, it would appear unlikely that this base gravy can be prepared in a single pot.  Either that or Andy2295's description of "almost fill the pot" needs a lot of clarification.  My pot was loosely packed with quartered onions and not at the top.

Edit: 2 hours later.
I hope this is a good base gravy because it is really a lot of work compared to other more straight forward chop and drop or pressure cooker bases. It's hard to imagine cooking multiple batches of this for a days trading but you never know.  I've now prepared the Spice mix and completed cooking Stage 1.  It does smell pretty good at this point so it's looking promising.

I wonder what the need is for overnight refrigeration followed by re-heating to perform stage 2. It would take a lot of extra energy, ie: money, to re-heat 7 litres of 2 or 3 'C stew back up to boiling.  Does it have something to do with flavour profile development or is it just a timing necessity in the business model?

« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 12:43 AM by livo »
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Online mickyp

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Re: Scaling Recipes for Base Gravy
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2019, 10:44 AM »
I know what you mean by cramming it in lol, i tend to make my gravy thick to freeze and then add water when cooking

Offline Naga

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Re: Scaling Recipes for Base Gravy
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2019, 11:35 AM »
I know what you mean by cramming it in lol, i tend to make my gravy thick to freeze and then add water when cooking

Preecisely what I do too. I freeze 225g base gravy portions and add 225g water before cooking.

Online mickyp

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Re: Scaling Recipes for Base Gravy
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2019, 12:10 PM »
Lol, i get a severe rollocking from the other half if i go "light" with the sauce, and base gets cooked outside, she said "when you cook that up it makes the house smell like an Indian Restaurant" one of the best complements she has ever made.

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Re: Scaling Recipes for Base Gravy
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2019, 02:39 PM »
Lol, i get a severe rollocking from the other half if i go "light" with the sauce, and base gets cooked outside, she said "when you cook that up it makes the house smell like an Indian Restaurant" one of the best complements she has ever made.

Strange things, these wives; they wouldn't say things like that if they realised just how complimentary it was !
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Online mickyp

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Re: Scaling Recipes for Base Gravy
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2019, 03:59 PM »
Very true lol


 


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