• September 22, 2019, 10:09 PM
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Author Topic: Must be doing something right.  (Read 1046 times)

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Offline stevepaul

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Re: Must be doing something right.
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2019, 11:55 PM »
I've made both of these bases in the past and I liked them as well. I do recall enjoying the Rolls Royce version quite a bit. I may need to revisit but I presently have quite a bit in the freezer (Latif's and Andy2295's). The trouble for me is that I keep finding a new one or one I haven't yet tried or don't remember. I have rarely made a single base more than a few times and some only once. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but it is difficult to say which I've really felt were at the top. I've not had any that I'd consider bad though.
I've used only the RR version, or the Everyday version for years now. However, like you, I  have swapped around from one base to the next in the past. Haven't really had a bad one, but I must admit I just didn't enjoy one that had cabbage as part of it's make up.

Tonight though I went in the reverse direction and made the KD base and it made a great madras. Amazing how minimal spice content and few ingredients can equal a more complex base. My maxim for any curry I make, is "If I'd paid for it in a restaurant would I complain and would I recommend the restaurant to others" and for tonight's curry it's no to the former and yes to the latter.

Online Secret Santa

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Re: Must be doing something right.
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2019, 02:46 PM »
but I must admit I just didn't enjoy one that had cabbage as part of it's make up.

Some years ago now when I first added cabbage to a base I thought it definitely benefitted the final curry and I included it with every new batch I made. I somehow drifted away from using it though and recently made what could hardly be described as a base which was just boiled onions with some oil and a bit of salt. Obviously I adjusted the curry ingredients to account for their lack in the base but it makes a really good curry.

And of course I've done similar with the countless other bases I've made, slightly adjusting the curry recipe to suit the base. The single conclusion I've drawn from all this is that the base is essentially irrelevant, other than it must contain well cooked onions and be finely blended. Apart from that I think we place too much emphasis on the base when any will do as long as it's matched to the curry for best results.
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Online livo

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Re: Must be doing something right.
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2019, 10:29 PM »
I'd say boiled onions, oil and a bit of salt is a Base. THE BASE. From it you could make anything.

Base gravy is nothing more than a time saving shortcut and the same can be said of mixed powder. Both can be completely disregarded and you then have traditional curry. The IR method relies on using these shortcuts and it is for one simple reason and that is expediency.  I would say you are 100% correct SS in saying that the main dish ingredients must simply match the particular base gravy.  More in the gravy means less in the dish preparation and visa versa. More in the gravy also means less ability to vary the end product as well. These are trade off's to facilitate high turnover and manage peak time in the commercial setting. They are not required at home, frowned upon by curry purists, but practiced by us., the forum punters.

I have previously converted traditional recipes to ingredient matched identical IR method dishes with good success.  I can't say I've seen a traditional Madras recipes with cabbage or carrot listed as ingredients. Do these base gravy ingredients act as fillers or actually add anything to the curry? I've made base gravy both using them and not and I really can't decide so I guess it's a matter of using what's available, avoiding waste and personal preference.

In saying this though, I made 2 curries the other night using Andy2295 base gravy which contains all sorts of things. Chewy tikka basic chicken curry and a paste based Butter Chicken. Both dishes were well received by the family but they probably would have been had I used KD base instead.. (My first curry cook after 5 weeks of rest).
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Offline Bob-A-Job

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Re: Must be doing something right.
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2019, 02:03 AM »
I agree in principle, boiled onions is the base but I think we all agree that it can be expanded a little to make the 'main dish' easier to cook.

I have found some Base gravy recipes are better for lamb (more oil), others better for chicken (drier) and some are excellent for fish/vegetable curries (less spiced).  I recently made a Balti Base from these forums and the curry was excellent, but it is a base that can only be used for Balti as the aroma and flavour are distinctive.  So go too neutral and I guess the 'cooking' becomes longer and whilst that might work for a home and restaurant, takeaways generally rely on high turnover.

A butcher at my local Asian supermarket was trying to verbally give me his family's method of cooking on the last day before Eid last year, but it was long, complicated and did not involve any base gravy (that is a convenience for takeaways I presume) and I got lost in all the ingredients and method.  He and I are increasingly familiar and I am hoping I can get an invite at some point in the future.

BIR v Home cooked is a massive thing for me as the best dish I ever had was a home made meal as a reward for working, back in 1994 and it was chalk v cheese compared to takeaways at the time and I still think so today, Boneless Quail in a light gravy with sliced fresh orange and a little bread (roti or a naan not a whole one).  If only I could ask them now but the business closed down a couple of decades ago and I have no idea where they are now, or if they are even still alive sad to say.

So I think cooking is not just about replication but also about continuation, learning and passing it on, that is maybe why I am aggravated when somebody says they make 'this' or 'that' and then for commercial reasons mentions a 'Brand' version.

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