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Author Topic: Scaling spices and bulk cooking.  (Read 2580 times)

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Online Garp

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Re: Scaling spices and bulk cooking.
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2019, 03:49 PM »
I would be happy to, if you would clarify your 'argument' about compaction. If your argument is true then the resultant bulk curry would be hotter than the non-compacted spice one. Isn't that the exact opposite of what this whole debate is about?

I have made curries in one portion and then doubled all the ingredients to make two. The double portion has always been hotter using the chilli from the same jar.

Offline mickyp

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Re: Scaling spices and bulk cooking.
« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2019, 04:01 PM »
From trying to scale up on a number of occasions i have settled on the idea of two portions at a time as a max then add to the pot until you have got enough, i feel the problem is making sure the spices are cooked out, easy when doing a portion at a time, but more difficult with a large mass.
Regarding chilli which is a dominant spice if scaling up and the rest of the spices have not been cooked out then in my humble opinion the chilli will dominate,
If you are going to attempt a large scale up you have to know what you are doing and have the burners capable of proving the heat.


Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Scaling spices and bulk cooking.
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2019, 05:18 PM »
I would be happy to, if you would clarify your 'argument' about compaction. If your argument is true then the resultant bulk curry would be hotter than the non-compacted spice one. Isn't that the exact opposite of what this whole debate is about?

No, that is exactly what this whole debate is about.  The hypothesis, with which Santa disagrees (for perfectly good reasons), is that when one makes a curry $n$ times larger than a 1-person curry (for $n \in 2–10$, say), one should not use $n$ measures of chilli (where one measure of chilli is the amount required for a 1-person curry), but less, the degree of "lessness" increasing with $n$.  Thus the amount of chilli for (1, 2, 3 & 4}-person curries might be {1, 1.5, 2, 2.25} (if it a simple non-linear relationship :  it is probably not) whilst Santa believes it should be {1, 2, 3, 4} if the ground chilly is uniformly dense.  If, however, the chilli gets denser (because of the larger jar size needed for really large $n$, then Santa also agrees that one would need less than $n$ measures of chilli, simply because the ground chillies are more densely packed.

All this theorising apart, I was going to assess the validity of the non-linear hypothesis (for constant chilli density) by deliberately making a 720gm lamb curry rather than my normal 360gm.  Unfortunately my sheep horse fell at the first fence, because my 24cm pan is not large enough to bhunao 720gms lamb :(

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« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 05:35 PM by Peripatetic Phil »
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Online Garp

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Re: Scaling spices and bulk cooking.
« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2019, 05:31 PM »
Thanks for clarifying that, Phil.

Still makes very little sense to me since we are, I assume, using the same spices in each dish.

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Re: Scaling spices and bulk cooking.
« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2019, 06:13 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 has stopped hurting :) All is now blindingly clear. No-one is suggesting that if you make $n$ 1-person curries you will need less than $n$ portions of chilli, regardless of whether you are planning to serve them individually or pour them all into one huge bain marie.  The suggestion is, rather, that if you try to cook the $n$ portions in a single pan. all at the same time, then you will not need $n$ portions of chilli but rather less.  The exact amount needed may be of the order of $n^{n/{n+1}}$  {1,00 1.58, 2.28, 3.03, 3.82, 4.64, 5.49, 6.35, 7.22, 8.11, ...} but no-one really knows.  So, since you have already told me it is not a gedankenexperiment but a real one, all you have to do is to cook three curries :  two 1-person curries, each with the normal amount of chilli, and one 2-person curry, with twice the amount of chilli.  Then pour the two 1-person curries into a large pot, and get as many people as possible to tell you whether your 2-person curry is the same heat as, less hot than, or h0tter than, your two 1-person curries that have been poured together.  Oh, and report back !

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Offline Secret Santa

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Re: Scaling spices and bulk cooking.
« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2019, 06:26 PM »
Still makes very little sense to me since we are, I assume, using the same spices in each dish.

Yes, the same spice (one has to assume or there is no hope of a resolution), but not the same density of that spice. Bulk curries should be made with less of the spice compared to home-made single portions because as I and Phil and Bob-a-Job have already said, the packing density of a tub or large jar or bag of catering quantity chilli will be greater than a much smaller packet of chilli used at home. So any measure of catering chilli will contain more chilli than an equal measure of home chilli and thus you need to use less of it when scaling from single dishes to bulk. It's a really imprecise relation because of the variability of packing density, and probably only part of the overall answer to bulk scaling. but it would apply to any powdered ingredient, not just chilli.
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Online Garp

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Re: Scaling spices and bulk cooking.
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2019, 06:40 PM »
I will say this only once.

Same spice, same jar, same spoon, same density......does not give the same heat when multiplied on a linear scale.

How's the search for the Loch Ness Monster going btw?

Offline Secret Santa

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Re: Scaling spices and bulk cooking.
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2019, 06:47 PM »
It has stopped hurting :) All is now blindingly clear. No-one is suggesting that if you make $n$ 1-person curries you will need less than $n$ portions of chilli, regardless of whether you are planning to serve them individually or pour them all into one huge bain marie.  The suggestion is, rather, that if you try to cook the $n$ portions in a single pan. all at the same time, then you will not need $n$ portions of chilli but rather less.

I'm tempted to say ... well, Duh! (But I'm too polite so I won't   ;D )

Quote
...all you have to do is to cook three curries :  two 1-person curries, each with the normal amount of chilli, and one 2-person curry, with twice the amount of chilli...

Nope. Unless you are going to proffer the bonkers notion that two one portion curries when combined somehow change character compared to the single portion curry, then you only have to make two curries. Those being the single portion and the double portion (with everything scaled linearly by a factor of 2).

And, which I haven't stated before, I have done this with a madras or vindaloo in the past (too long ago to remember which though). That has been the only time I've done a domestic "bulk cook" recipe. And at that time as now I didn't have the notion that anything other than linear scaling was required. It was a four portion cook in one pan, all ingredients scaled linearly, bar the oil and I have no recollection of thinking, goodness me this is blowing my head off, compared to my normal vindaloo/madras. So anecdotally I still believe linear scaling is appropriate at home.
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Offline Secret Santa

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Re: Scaling spices and bulk cooking.
« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2019, 06:52 PM »
Same spice, same jar, same spoon, same density......does not give the same heat when multiplied on a linear scale.

Ok, and I say it does ... and ne'er the twain shall meet!

I'm still waiting for some logical reasoning for your statement though.
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Offline Secret Santa

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Re: Scaling spices and bulk cooking.
« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2019, 07:00 PM »
Apart from the spice density factor, which is a real consideration (Garp!), I'm wondering if this simply doesn't come down to the factor I mentioned earlier, which is that the oil, being the main carrier of capsaicin, does not need to be and almost certainly won't be scaled linearly. It will in fact be reduced to greater degrees as the bulk is increased and so the amount of capsaicin that can be released is inherently restricted.
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