Author Topic: Madras  (Read 19184 times)

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Offline Naga

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Madras
« on: February 19, 2015, 10:58 AM »
Rather than take Gav's Bukhara thread off-topic, I thought I'd start a separate thread about menu descriptions of various dishes and the relationship they bear to the actual recipe ingredients.

I realise that I've been guilty of thinking rather one-dimensionally about recipe ingredients. An example of this is when I read the Bukhara menu entry for Lamb and Chicken Madras, which is described as being "cooked with poppy seeds, coconut and hot spices".

I immediately thought of putting whole poppy seeds into the pan - a bit like frying off whole fennel or cumin seeds - but a web search for Madras recipes containing poppy seeds has opened my eyes.

Maybe I should have realised this a long time ago, but the search revealed that the poppy seeds are roasted and ground down into the Madras curry powder along with other whole spices.

I feel the donkey ears growing with every word I type, but hey ho!

The search also through up a thread posted by Dalpuri (which I completely missed!) illustrating a comparison of Madras curry powder ingredients. Very interesting, as most of his posts are.

Anyway, the lesson for me is that I shouldn't just take recipe descriptions literally, but look behind the headline ingredients and start thinking about how they are incorporated into the dish.

To that end, I'm going to have a bash at one or two of the Madras recipes the search threw up and see how it compares to my standard Madras recipe by Chewy.

Still not sure about where the coconut comes in to it all, though! :)

PS: Just looked further down the Bukhara menu and noticed that the Prawn Madras and Masala recipes use coconut milk powder, so all I need to do now is figure whether it goes in with the mix powder or later on as a paste. It's perplexing this cheffy business!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 11:27 AM by Naga »

Offline DalPuri

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Re: Madras
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2015, 11:25 AM »
It sounds to me that the chef is adding a traditional touch, i.e. south Indian flavours from Chennai rather than the British madras.
But then it begs the question, would you travel to Inverness for a real Cornish pastie?  :)

Of course there will be outstanding chefs who can turn their hand to any cuisine and produce fantastic food, but its a safer option to stick with karahi's and kebabs from Pakistanis and the standard BIR fare from the Bangladeshi's.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 11:41 AM by DalPuri »


Offline fried

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Re: Madras
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2015, 05:41 PM »
I noticed exactly the same thing on the menu (love reading menus while I'm eating breakfast), I seem to remember in certain countries ( Australia, perhaps) 'madras' is made using coconut. This shouldn't really come as any surprise as there is no such thing as a definable 'madras' IMO. I notice that the Jalfrezi also contains cream.

Offline Naga

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Re: Madras
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2015, 07:24 PM »
It sounds to me that the chef is adding a traditional touch, i.e. south Indian flavours from Chennai rather than the British madras.
But then it begs the question, would you travel to Inverness for a real Cornish pastie?  :)...

It definitely looks like a nod towards traditional fare according to the recipes I've been browsing. As for the Cornish pastie, I can't go the blighters! Give me a good Scottish bridie any day! :)

...love reading menus...I notice that the Jalfrezi also contains cream.

Its a strange hobby we've got - I like reading menus too! Aye, and I noticed the cream in the Jalfrezi too and thought it was odd. :)


Offline Garp

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Re: Madras
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2015, 07:38 PM »
Bridies, yum.

There's an opening in the market for you to create the forum's first BIR bridie naga :)

Offline Naga

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Re: Madras
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2015, 08:16 PM »
I know they're more akin to sausage rolls, but I don't think I could top MadMatt's Curry Puffs!

Offline Naga

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Re: Madras
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2015, 05:51 PM »
So I made a start today on making Madras curries with poppy seeds as a known ingredient.

As a starting point, I did a web search for "madras poppy recipe" and picked the second link on the list (the first was from UKTV.co.uk and, rightly or wrongly, I opted for a more authentic-sounding web link).

The link I selected was for a Lamb Madras from Pankaj Bhadouria (also seen on the Times of India website).

I have no idea if this is anything like an authentic Madras recipe, but a few others - including one from a recent Forum member, Hari Gotra, looked fairly similar.

Not wishing to commit 1kg of good meat to an untested recipe, I decided to cook roughly half the recipe quantities. The only exception was the curry powder or mix powder. I made the full quantity with the intention of using half for today's traditional-style curry and I'll keep the other half for tomorrow's BIR style Madras mirroring, as closely as is possible, the trad version.


Spices Before Roasting

So I dry-roasted and ground the whole spices...


Madras curry powder (minus the turmeric)

...then marinated the meat. Although the recipe called for lamb, I had none. Instead I sacrificed 400g of prime beef originally intended for a Beef Bourguignon...

The remainder of the recipe was executed to the letter, other than I had to cook the beef for an extra hour and add a further 200ml of water...


Bubbling Madras

The verdict? Well, I'm just about to plate it up...


Offline Naga

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Re: Madras
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2015, 06:54 PM »






The Finished Article

The verdict? Well, I had to add a further hour to the cooking time + 200ml of water from a boiled kettle as 1 hour wasn't sufficient to fully tenderise the beef. Yet another hour would have been better, but hey ho! the beef had a nice bite to it - however, lamb it was not! Nevertheless, what I ended up with was a fairly dry but very flavoursome sauce.

There was a really nice heat to the sauce and I can confirm that Chewy's bead-of-sweat test is a good rule of thumb. But the real treat was in the meat. Marinating the meat in the curry/mix powder and yoghurt really made a difference, and there was a concentrated heat and flavour in the meat that relegated the spiced sauce to a distant second in the taste stakes.

I think it would be difficult to compare this dish against a BIR version. They are almost two different beasts - the freshly roasted whole spices make a significant difference, no doubt.

And it wasn't too much bother to make. A little more time-consuming, but it's quite possible to prepare some of the ingredients in bulk a la BIR, so if you have a couple of hours to wait for the meal to be ready, the actual cooking looks after itself.

So tomorrow, I'll be doing the BIR version of this traditional-style Madras using the same curry/mix powder, but using BIR techniques and equivalent ingredients along with Chewy's poached chicken breast and JB's base gravy. Looking forward to it already! :)

Offline Sverige

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Re: Madras
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2015, 07:04 PM »
Heck of a nice looking curry there naga!

Offline curryhell

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Re: Madras
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2015, 10:09 PM »
Err, one word springs to mind  "YUM".  Not BIR but not intended to be, simply an experiment, which is good to do just for a change.  But i'm sure the BIR cogs were turning and you were thinking about how to do a BIR job on this one  ;D
Looks delicious and i'd certainly down a plate right now  :P :P


 

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