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Curry Base Recipes => Curry Sauce, Curry Base , Curry Gravy Recipes, Secret Curry Base => Topic started by: SnS on January 06, 2008, 05:03 PM

Title: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 06, 2008, 05:03 PM
As most of you will be aware, I was invited by Raj (the manager) to spend a few hours in the kitchens of Saffron in Lincoln. Yesterday lunch time I spent 3 hours learning how to make the base gravy with Saffron's four chefs (Anam, Aziz, Lal and Joy).

Kitted out in full chefs outfit, notebook and pen I was told that the gravy we were about to make is used in about 80% of their curries. Raj told me that the batch we were making was for me to take home ... oh deep joy (this filled a 5 kg yoghurt bucket).

So here it is chaps:-

Please Note: An update to this recipe has been supplied here (please click link): http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2271.msg20262.html#msg20262

8 to 10 medium size cooking onions (about 1.5 kg unpeeled)
1 large carrot
1 green pepper
4 salad potatoes (peeled)
2 medium tomatoes

Chop roughly and add to large cooking pot

Add:-

2 cups (500 ml) of fresh vegetable oil
2 tbsp (30 g) garlic/ginger puree
1 tbsp (15 g ml) salt
enough water to cover all the ingredients

Cover and bring to boil. Simmer for about 40 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add:-

Half a tin (200 g) of chopped plum tomatoes (Italian Napolina)
25 ml cumin powder
25 ml coriander powder
25 ml turmeric powder
25 ml paprika (deghi mirch)

1 tsp - 5 ml, 1 tbsp = 15 ml

Cook for another 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and blend for at least 5 minutes until very smooth.

Add  2 pints of water. The gravy will now resemble a very thin soup.

Bring to boil. Simmer uncovered for about 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove any scum forming on the surface. When the oil separates the gravy is complete.

--------------

Now as soon as I got home, I poured the gravy into my cooking pot (see photo below).

I will warn you, the gravy tastes and smells absolutely nothing like curry. It has a bland (but not bitter) taste. Do not let this fool you. This is exactly as it should be (I tasted one of their ready made gravies).

I whipped up a quick prawn madras using 2 ladles (200 ml) of sauce and I've got tell you ... it was really great.

Here is the Madras (for one). For two just double up on all ingredients etc....

Half cooking onion chopped finely
200 ml gravy
0.5 tsp coriander
0.5 tsp cumin
0.5 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder (or more if you're a chilli head)
2 tsp tomato puree
A little veg oil (2 tbsp)

Heat oil (medium heat) add onion. Fry onion until just starting to colour (about 5 minutes)
Add spices stirring continuously for 1 minute
(add cooked meat here)
Add gravy and tomato puree and simmer (medium heat) for about 10 minutes stirring regularly. Add a little water if it gets too dry.
Add prawns near end of cooking.

Photos from top
.. the base gravy
.. cooking the madras
.. the finished prawn madras

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Curry King on January 06, 2008, 05:15 PM
Hi smokenspices,

Great report and pics thanks for sharing.

Again it is very similar to lot of the other BIR base recipes others have been shown myself included.  Is this the exact same base they use in the restaurant just scaled down?  Out of interest how did your madras compare to one you have had from the restaurant?

Thanks
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 06, 2008, 05:26 PM
Is this the exact same base they use in the restaurant just scaled down?  Out of interest how did your madras compare to one you have had from the restaurant?

Thanks

It is identical to the one they use in the restaurant. They make a pot containing about twice as much as this - enough for one evening.

The Madras tastes and smells as good as the restuarant Madras. I am really pleased with the results ... and not too complicated either.

I've just cooked another Madras just to make sure of the ingredients ... it really works.

scratch and sniff here ...
Regards
SnS :D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 06, 2008, 05:31 PM
Great post SnS!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 06, 2008, 05:43 PM
Questions by CA

STOCK is a big question mark for me!  Only water used in the base gravy - not stock
OIL (source of) is another!  Fresh veg oil is always used in the base gravy and lots of it... I asked Anam, the head chef, this question
HEAT is another (I'm sure this creates "the magic" as with Chinese cooking) the burners used were about 3 kW, however these were not used at full power to cook the curry. I'm sure that heat (or lack of it) is as big an issue as many suspect

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: mike travis on January 06, 2008, 07:05 PM
Great post sns, and pictures too. I bet you felt like as kid in a sweet shop  8) To be invited into the kitchen is a big plus, but to actually witness the making of a batch of base sauce with your name on it. Wow  :o . Are the chef`s aware that you are a member of cr0 and what we are about? I think CA was asking if you could try to get them on board? Did you have any joy with this, or do you think it`s best to take it one step at a time? After all they don't have much to gain by helping us.

          Nice one..sns.. regards.. mike.. 
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 06, 2008, 07:21 PM
Are the chef`s aware that you are a member of cr0 and what we are about? I think CA was asking if you could try to get them on board? Did you have any joy with this, or do you think it`s best to take it one step at a time? After all they don't have much to gain by helping us.

I did mention to Raj that I was a member of a "curry" forum but I don't think he fully understood.

Raj has offered to come round my home (for one to one cookery lesson). I may ask him about joining the forum then (show him on my computer), but I can't see him wanting to - like you say Mike he has nothing to gain.

Will you be trying the gravy recipe?

Regards
SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 06, 2008, 08:06 PM

Will you be trying the gravy recipe?


I think based on what you said, this one is going to be what I use for my next batch of base within the next couple of weeks.  Won't have much of a chance to do much extra-curricular cooking for a while... :(

Sounds like it was a fantastic day out.  Thanks for sharing what you found.

Cheers.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 06, 2008, 09:12 PM
Just tried it now. Good solid results. A good standard base for sure.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 06, 2008, 09:36 PM
Just tried it now. Good solid results. A good standard base for sure.

Crikey Bobby - that was quick.

Did you make the Madras as well as the gravy? Do you reckon it's as good as BIR ... smell and taste?

Notice - no use of garam masala.

Best regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: mike travis on January 06, 2008, 09:37 PM
Hi sns,  ;) It is down on my "to do list" {which gets bigger every day}. If we don't try it, all you work will have been for nothing. If Raj can visit you and cook a curry in your home with your kitchen equipment then I would say you have cracked it my friend......mike
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 06, 2008, 09:43 PM
Hi sns,  ;) It is down on my "to do list" {which gets bigger every day}. If we don't try it, all you work will have been for nothing. If Raj can visit you and cook a curry in your home with your kitchen equipment then I would say you have cracked it my friend......mike

Hi Mike

The gravy recipe was what I was really after and I'm more than happy with that. The rest is now just experimenting with various recipes. Any further input from Raj is a welcome bonus.

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 06, 2008, 10:12 PM
Just tried it now. Good solid results. A good standard base for sure.

Crikey Bobby - that was quick.

Did you make the Madras as well as the gravy? Do you reckon it's as good as BIR ... smell and taste?

Notice - no use of garam masala.

Best regards

SnS ;D

The gf wanted a curry so I got her to chop the onions etc lol. Just used the base SnS, I used the darth madras recipe with it. It was very good indeed. Good classic BIR taste. Similar to some of the other good bases on the site. It's certainly a solid contender and a safe bet!

Haha, that was quick wasn't it! It was purely chance SnS but I have been looking forward to your post. I came here to see what base I'd choose for tonights curry and bingo! What a spot of luck! ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Jethro on January 07, 2008, 07:51 AM
Super stuff SnS, well done :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Yousef on January 07, 2008, 09:42 AM
This is on my list to try as the next base sauce.
Thanks for sharing.

Stew 8)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 07, 2008, 12:59 PM
I should have mentioned that I scaled down 50% last night when I made this base. I have never found a problem scaling down bases, I'm just more careful about measurements.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 07, 2008, 03:31 PM
I should have mentioned that I scaled down 50% last night when I made this base. I have never found a problem scaling down bases, I'm just more careful about measurements.

Hi Bobby

Did you half everything exactly??

I may try this myself next time as the recipe acually makes quite a lot and my freezer is getting a bit overcrowded.

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 07, 2008, 05:48 PM
Actually SnS, that raises an interesting point.  Can you and/or Bobby give an approximate indication of

a) the size of pot you need to cook the base from start to finish, and
b) approximately how much base this makes?

Thanks in advance,

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 07, 2008, 06:17 PM
Actually SnS, that raises an interesting point.  Can you and/or Bobby give an approximate indication of

a) the size of pot you need to cook the base from start to finish, and
b) approximately how much base this makes?

Thanks in advance,

ast


Hi Ast

Makes about 4 litres of gravy. The rate at which you simmer/boil the ingredients will have some bearing on how much you end up with of course.

My pot is 7.5 litres and it fits very comfortably in this - see photo on original post.

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: haldi on January 07, 2008, 08:35 PM
I whipped up a quick prawn madras using 2 ladles (200 ml) of sauce and I've got tell you ... it was really great.
SnS ;D
Hi SnS
      Thanks for the post
I can't remember if you said, but is the madras recipe from this restaurant too?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 07, 2008, 09:38 PM
Smokenspices, a great report on a absolutely standard base recipe and follow up prawn madras.

I don't need to make this to know it will not produce what I need from a BIR curry. So where the heck am I going wrong?

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 07, 2008, 09:57 PM
Actually SnS, that raises an interesting point.  Can you and/or Bobby give an approximate indication of

a) the size of pot you need to cook the base from start to finish, and
b) approximately how much base this makes?

Thanks in advance,

ast

Hi Ast

Makes about 4 litres of gravy. The rate at which you simmer/boil the ingredients will have some bearing on how much you end up with of course.

My pot is 7.5 litres and it fits very comfortably in this - see photo on original post.

Regards

SnS ;D

That's great, SnS.  Thanks.  Need to go check the volume on the biggest pot in the house...
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 07, 2008, 10:53 PM
Smokenspices, a great report on a absolutely standard base recipe and follow up prawn madras.

I don't need to make this to know it will not produce what I need from a BIR curry. So where the heck am I going wrong?

I have a theory. Ain't gonna help you much though SS.

When I first tasted curry I was a mere nipper (1971). I'll never forget that first taste. All those new spices. My taste buds had never experienced anything even close to that before. In those days, a Madras to me was like Lucifer himself dancing on my tongue .. far too hot .. but it must of hit the spot ... cos I went back for more. I loved it.

Likewise, I'll never forget the taste of my first Chinese takeaway - a "Yung Chow" fried rice, a plastic spoon and straight out of the foil carton. Absolutely wonderful.

I know I will not experience those first tastes again .. because it's won't be new. Over the years my taste buds have changed and so has the "pattern coding" that's transmitted to the brain. These tastes are already in memory and therefore they wont ever have the same affect.

I can always remember my first taste of bitter (Whitbread Trophy - yuk), my first crafty sip of whiskey from the old mans special bottle of malt (bigger yuk) ... etc, etc. I quite like both of these tastes now. My first cigarette - absolute torture, but yeah I still smoke .. but without the torture part. Over time my taste buds have changed. They have become accustomed to different tastes (even immune to some).

These were all new taste experiences, and over time our taste does become dulled. I can now nibble on fresh red habeneros and I often complain that a restaurant vindaloo is too mild. I've never again found that special taste of my favourite "yung chow" fried rice either. It probably has all the same ingredients but I just cant taste it anymore! I drink bitter now without cringing .. and malt whiskey ... well only on special occasions.

What's is the longest period you have ever gone without eating a curry? My guess is that if you refrained long enough you may get to the point where you (your tastebuds/brain) can rediscover that special taste you once remembered and now desire.

But of course this is just my theory. What else can it possibly be?? ???
Surely ALL the restaurants cant be crap.

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 07, 2008, 11:13 PM
Just found this article which may help answer some questions about taste and smell deterioration.

http://www.supermarketguru.com/page.cfm/299

There are plenty of sites (just use "taste age" as search on google)

Regards

SnS (over 50 and can't taste a thing) >:(
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 07, 2008, 11:15 PM
and over time our taste does become dulled. I can now nibble on fresh red habeneros and I often complain that a restaurant vindaloo is too mild

"Dulled" SnS?  :o  I'd be surprised if actually actually got any left SnS!  ;D

Funny thing is, I also fondly (?) reflect upon those Yung Chow Fried rices and spring rolls spewing oil!....yum!....and that Whitbread Trophy and Tankard tops....ha!   :P

I think you make a good point SnS.  However I'm not sure I can totally agree.  

I agree with SS, in part.  It seems that times are a changing, and not necessarily for the better for many people, like SS, me and many others.  I think the BIR scene HAS largely changed, for all manner of reasons:

Increased competition.  Not necessarily from other BIRs, either, but from other "fast food" outlets, pubs, sandwhich bars, etc.  This can lead to cost cutting, and selling to a price, and hence lower quality.

Increased health awareness and regulation.  For instance, less oil, no recycled oil, "healthier" oils.  You said yourself that the Saffron does not use MSG.  Sorry, but its use was ABSOLUTELY STANDARD in BIRs and Chinese takeaways in the 70s and 80s (....together with the cats and dogs, no doubt!  ;)).  Who wakes up now, in the middle of the night, with a raging thirst?  Who can smell the curry permeating the skin?  Not I!   And who's witnessed the proliferation of "MSG free!" chinese takeaways?!  I avoid them like the plague, but that's why I'll probably die young!

I'm sure there are many other reasons too.  

But I KNOW I've had recent curries with the exact taste and smell of the 70s and 80s. I've had many crappy ones too, and not just the ones I've cooked myself!  :P

So, that's where my opinion differs, I disagree that it's gone in ALL the BIRs, just from many.  Then again, I've never eaten curries in the London area so I dont know the particular story there.


Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 07, 2008, 11:24 PM
I haven't eaten curries as long as a lot of you then.  I was only introduced to them in a serious way in around 1999-ish, but I'd had some "feed the masses" buffet stuff in the US prior to that.  I've only ever eaten one "real" BIR curry (the Phal I've mentioned before) at a place across the street from the Hilton in Kensington, so I guess I'm not qualified to judge if my results meet the elusive "taste" and "smell" you guys are chasing.

That said, what I will stand behind is that I would much prefer the curries I've made most recently to any that I can get on a regular basis right now save for one place.  I'd rather hone the results I've had so far to see how much better I can make them to my own personal taste, in addition to starting to experiment a bit with some recent ideas, than pay to eat them out or have them delivered.  That's the whole reason that I'm interested in learning all I can from the site and the generous people on it (um, that's you guys ;))

There's one place near where we live that I've yet to try, and, by all accounts, it is supposed to have excellent food.  We just haven't made it there yet as something always seems to pop up when we're supposed to go. :(

I've been wondering if this hasn't come up before, but is it geographically possible to have a "curry night" or some sort of "curry summit" somewhere where a few of us can meet and either make and/or share the results we've gotten with each other to get the benefit of this history of tastes?  Until something like that happens, I think we'll all be off in our own, subjective little worlds, doing our own thing until we've either found something we're happy enough with or just get frustrated enough to quit.

In the US, you can ship stuff packaged in dry ice and it thaws out by the time it gets there (meat, desserts, etc.), but I've never heard of that sort of thing here in Europe.  If it was a bit more common (it doesn't cost that much there), I'd suggest that was a way to take this forum the next step towards a taste-sharing curry club.

Ah, well...  probably just a lack of sleep and too much time in the kitchen over the last few days talking--I've also started down the path of experimenting with making naan using a sourdough starter that we seem to have gotten going over the weekend.  If it doesn't work, we can always make beer, I guess...  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: haldi on January 08, 2008, 07:52 AM
I whipped up a quick prawn madras using 2 ladles (200 ml) of sauce and I've got tell you ... it was really great.
SnS ;D
Hi SnS
      Thanks for the post
I can't remember if you said, but is the madras recipe from this restaurant too?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 08, 2008, 12:54 PM
I whipped up a quick prawn madras using 2 ladles (200 ml) of sauce and I've got tell you ... it was really great.
SnS ;D
Hi SnS
      Thanks for the post
I can't remember if you said, but is the madras recipe from this restaurant too?


Yes it was Haldi. Like SS pointed out, this is the standard Madras curry.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Yousef on January 08, 2008, 08:15 PM
I am making this base sauce as we speak. I am taking photos so will post them up when the curry sauce is complete.
I am very excited about this curry sauce.

Will keep you posted. ;D

Stew :o
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: haldi on January 09, 2008, 08:15 AM
One reason that I like the cr0 site, is because you can't get, a recipe like this, anywhere else
It's obviously totally genuine and you can make whatever constructive criticism about it
You can also be sure,the restaurant the curry base comes from, will still be using this recipe in two months time
I'll be trying this as soon as I have a bit more space in my freezer
Thanks again!!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Yousef on January 09, 2008, 10:39 AM
Guys this is the real deal as far as I am concerned.
The cooking process happens exactly as described here even with the scum coming to the surface towards the end of the cooking process.

I had to scrap off half a pint of frothy curry sauce.
Ive got photos which I will post tonight as soon as i get them onto the PC.
It looks the part, tastes the part and will be used tonight to make a madras using the same recipe on this thread.

The only deviation from the recipe for me was a yellow pepper as I did not have any green and I added 1 whole tin of tomatoes not half.

This is very accurate indeed.

Saffron
7, Eastgate, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN2 1QA
Tel: 01522 548377
Classification: Restaurants - Indian





Stew 8)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 09, 2008, 11:24 AM
One thing I noticed is that I struggled to reclaim the oil at the end. I think maybe I scooped some off with the scum. Any suggestions to the cause of and solution to the problem?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: slipperz on January 09, 2008, 11:24 AM
I have been meaning to make a new batch of sauce for a while now, so i am going to give this a try today, cant wait mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm  ;D

BTW sns do you recommend Saffron in Lincoln? As we are there in Feb for a couple of days and could do with a good curry while we are there ;)

SLIPPERZ  :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 09, 2008, 12:54 PM
One thing I noticed is that I struggled to reclaim the oil at the end. I think maybe I scooped some off with the scum. Any suggestions to the cause of and solution to the problem?

Hi Bobby

I noticed that more oil floats to the surface as it cools. I left mine overnight in my cooking pot (that's why I transferred it), to completely cool before removing the oil. If you look at the gravy photo you will see there was approx 1 cm of oil on the surface.

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 09, 2008, 12:58 PM
I have been meaning to make a new batch of sauce for a while now, so i am going to give this a try today, cant wait mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm  ;D

BTW sns do you recommend Saffron in Lincoln? As we are there in Feb for a couple of days and could do with a good curry while we are there ;)

SLIPPERZ  :)

I would recommend it most definately (King Prawn Jalfrezi is my favourite). Try to avoid a Friday or Saturday evening as they tend to be extremely busy (unless you go early ie 5.30 - 7.00).
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 09, 2008, 01:11 PM
The cooking process happens exactly as described here even with the scum coming to the surface towards the end of the cooking process.

I had to scrap off half a pint of frothy curry sauce.


When we cooked the gravy last Saturday (at the Saffron), the skum was removed only twice -  which contained very little sauce and almost no oil. Head chef said the skum was produced by the onions and sometimes there would be none ... so I guess different onions may produce different amounts. There was a "light froth" being continuously produced but this was stirred back into the sauce.

Hope this helps.

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 09, 2008, 03:32 PM
I know I'm a mug for trying this but I have just run out of my last base so I thought I'd give it a go. Everything seemed fine until I measured out the spices, I couldn't believe how much there was. To me this is far too much spice for what is supposed to be a general all-purpose base. And when I tasted the finished product the chilli caught the back of my throat. In my opinion the base shouldn't have any chilli in it at all and the deggi mirch is pretty strong. You couldn't use this in a korma as most people who eat kormas wouldn't be able to take the heat.

Other than that this base has a very unpleasant smell as if I could always smell raw spices and on its own it doesn't have a pleasant taste, although I did leave out the carrot as I didn't have one and I've never found that they do much other than provide some sweetness, but it might have helped in this case.

So, judging just by the base I'm not too impressed but, I don't judge only on the base but on the finished curry and I'm going to do a chicken madras as per the recipe and see if that can't change my mind.

BTW, all this namby-pamby spooning off of the froth, what's that all that about? Taste it, it isn't in any way unpleasant. I just mix it back into the base and it makes no difference.

My oil didn't separate either and I know from experience that this is caused by the use of too much powdered spice. So knowing that, I spooned as much of the oil off as I could just before I blended it.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Yousef on January 09, 2008, 03:52 PM
Hi Secret Santa,

As far as i can tell there is no chili added to this curry sauce, check the ingredients again.
If you added 25g of Chili Powder that will blow your head off and ruin the base.

The Paprika (deggi mirch) does not do much apart from darken the sauce in my opinion.

The test comes tonight when i do a Madras and Chicken Tikka Masala.

Stew
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 09, 2008, 04:07 PM
Hi Stew.

No, I used deggi mirch as per the recipe. Like I say this is hot stuff in the quantity used, well over the top. Now if I had used ordinary paprika well, that might have been an improvement. Too late now though.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: fishhead on January 09, 2008, 04:56 PM
Hi Stew.

No, I used deggi mirch as per the recipe. Like I say this is hot stuff in the quantity used, well over the top. Now if I had used ordinary paprika well, that might have been an improvement. Too late now though.
Hi Secret Santa. I'm new to all this base sauce cooking, but I made it last night and it isn't spicy at all. It tastes quite bland if anything. Maybe you used spicy paprika?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: fishhead on January 09, 2008, 05:00 PM
I'd just like to say a big thankyou to smokenspices for this base sauce. I've just done your Madras recipe with it and it's by far the best curry I've had in years. Addicted already! ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: slipperz on January 09, 2008, 06:13 PM
I have just made the base and the sauce and oil have separated, has anyone spooned out the oil or do I just leave it in?

Smells great in the house at the moment  :D

Need a quick reply as spices and chicken at the ready!!!!! :o

SLIPPERZ  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 09, 2008, 06:17 PM
Maybe you used spicy paprika?

I used deggi mirch as the recipe says. I've tasted it again since making it and it has had time to cool down and I think the flavour has improved a lot. It still has too much heat in it though (and I'm a phall eater!). I will try to make the madras tonight and see how that goes.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Yousef on January 09, 2008, 06:41 PM
My Photos

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Yousef on January 09, 2008, 06:42 PM
Photos Continued

1.  Addition of Spice
2.  Getting the froth off the top
3.  The finished sauce
4.  Close up of the Base Sauce
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 09, 2008, 06:45 PM
has anyone spooned out the oil or do I just leave it in?
SLIPPERZ  ;D

You spoon it out and use it to make the finished curry with. I'm intrigued as to how you got it to separate though. There's no way if you keep to the suggested cooking times that you could get the oil to separate from the base.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: slipperz on January 09, 2008, 07:13 PM
has anyone spooned out the oil or do I just leave it in?
SLIPPERZ  ;D

You spoon it out and use it to make the finished curry with. I'm intrigued as to how you got it to separate though. There's no way if you keep to the suggested cooking times that you could get the oil to separate from the base.

I followed everything exactly and the oil just rose to the top of the sauce!!

I am a little confused as sns did not mention skimming off oil and using it for the curry itself?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Yousef on January 09, 2008, 07:37 PM
Here is my finished Prawn Madras.
I am very very impressed with this, the balance of sours, sweet and savoury is amazing.
I am gutted i that i did not have any corriander stalks to add in as i really do believe this would be the closest i have ever got before.

There is no doubt this base sauce is from a real takeaway, for me now its about the use of heat and spicing to achieve a carbon copy of a restaurant madras.

Stew ;D ;D ;D ;D

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Curry King on January 09, 2008, 08:15 PM
Looking good this has to be the next base I try now, great photos  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: slipperz on January 09, 2008, 08:27 PM
We have just finished eating our Madras and have to say, it's one of the closest to my local BIR yet!!

Well done sns and thanks for all your great efforts ;D

For info, I used the oil skimmed off the top of the sauce in the curry itself, I may keep the remaining oil for the next Madras  ;)

SLIPPERZ  :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 09, 2008, 10:34 PM
And when I tasted the finished product the chilli caught the back of my throat. In my opinion the base shouldn't have any chilli in it at all and the deggi mirch is pretty strong.

BTW, all this namby-pamby spooning off of the froth, what's that all that about? Taste it, it isn't in any way unpleasant. I just mix it back into the base and it makes no difference.

My oil didn't separate either and I know from experience that this is caused by the use of too much powdered spice. So knowing that, I spooned as much of the oil off as I could just before I blended it.

Maybe you're tasting the hot spiced oil at the top of the gravy. This will be hotter and spicier than the rest of the gravy.

I never mentioned the Namby Bamby removal of the froth ... I said skum ... this I hope was clarified in an earlier post.

Why you think this has too much spice I dont know. Besides the oil, the gravy actually lacks taste. The oil will rise to the surface if the sauce is thin enough (add a little more water).

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 09, 2008, 10:49 PM
From SS's comments, I did some checking on the Deggi Mirch Paprika.  According to this link here (http://www.theasiancookshop.co.uk/deggi-mirch-kashmiri-red-chilli-powder-blend-100g-by-mdh-859-p.asp (http://www.theasiancookshop.co.uk/deggi-mirch-kashmiri-red-chilli-powder-blend-100g-by-mdh-859-p.asp)) it classifies it as "mild-hot" (whatever that means).  Maybe that's the issue.  I don't think I have anything other than hot paprika in the house (and maybe not in that quantity, either now that I think about it), so I'm curious if it would be similar to this.

From the photos, Stew seems to have used regular paprika, but I think SnS's probably right about the oil pulling out most of whatever spice would be there.  Except for some that would stick to some of the small base bits, I'd think most of it would end up in suspension in the denser liquid.  I'd expect it would provide some flavor, but would then be mostly removed with the oil.  In doing the KD base, I've never, ever removed any oil from it, but given that this has over 4x as much oil, I'm guessing that I'll be wanting to remove it to somewhere safe. :)

SnS:  A couple of more questions if you don't mind (I'm typing this up so I can put it with the rest of my recipes for curry and anxious to try it ASAP):


Cheers,

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 09, 2008, 11:08 PM
There is no doubt this base sauce is from a real takeaway

Great photos Stew!  Great sauce consistency you have in that final photo!  8)

I have known SnS for some considerable time now (over 48 years in fact!) and I can POSITIVELY GUARANTEE that, if SnS says its from a pucker, high quality BIR restaurant/takeway, then it most certainly is!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 09, 2008, 11:11 PM
has anyone spooned out the oil or do I just leave it in?
SLIPPERZ  ;D

You spoon it out and use it to make the finished curry with. I'm intrigued as to how you got it to separate though. There's no way if you keep to the suggested cooking times that you could get the oil to separate from the base.

I followed everything exactly and the oil just rose to the top of the sauce!!

I am a little confused as sns did not mention skimming off oil and using it for the curry itself?

I have not mentioned anything about scooping out the oil from the gravy.

If you want to get rid of any excess oil do it at the end of the second stage i.e. after you finish cooking your curry.

Obviously, if you are going to freeze the gravy, then it is best to stir the oil into the gravy before dividing it into portions.

Always use fresh oil when making the curry as per the recipe.

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 09, 2008, 11:13 PM
I think you said that they DO NOT use reclaimed oil at this restaurant SnS?  Or did you?

I think more oil will also rise to the surface the longer you cook it for.

I find a carrots add to the colour, sweetness, flavour and consistency SS.

Just a couple of questions please:


Thanks for your great efforts and great post  8)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 09, 2008, 11:24 PM
From SS's comments, I did some checking on the Deggi Mirch Paprika.  According to this link here (http://www.theasiancookshop.co.uk/deggi-mirch-kashmiri-red-chilli-powder-blend-100g-by-mdh-859-p.asp (http://www.theasiancookshop.co.uk/deggi-mirch-kashmiri-red-chilli-powder-blend-100g-by-mdh-859-p.asp)) it classifies it as "mild-hot" (whatever that means).  Maybe that's the issue.  I don't think I have anything other than hot paprika in the house (and maybe not in that quantity, either now that I think about it), so I'm curious if it would be similar to this.

From the photos, Stew seems to have used regular paprika, but I think SnS's probably right about the oil pulling out most of whatever spice would be there.  Except for some that would stick to some of the small base bits, I'd think most of it would end up in suspension in the denser liquid.  I'd expect it would provide some flavor, but would then be mostly removed with the oil.  In doing the KD base, I've never, ever removed any oil from it, but given that this has over 4x as much oil, I'm guessing that I'll be wanting to remove it to somewhere safe. :)

SnS:  A couple of more questions if you don't mind (I'm typing this up so I can put it with the rest of my recipes for curry and anxious to try it ASAP):

  • Q1:  You're always simmering uncovered when making the base, right?
  • Q2:  How much prawns/meat would you say you should add when making the madras?  I can guess based on other recipes, but I was just wondering what you'd recommend.

Cheers,

ast

1. Simmer the gravy uncovered for the first stage and then cover the pan for the second part.
2. The Saffron uses 9 king/Tiger prawns per serving, so a goood handful of meat or standard prawns would be about right.
Regards
SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 09, 2008, 11:29 PM
The Saffron uses 9 king/Tiger prawns per serving, so a goood handful of meat or standard prawns would be about right.

Thems not King/Tiger Prawns (9 per serving!  :o), thems shrimps!...

....THESE are King Prawns: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2217.msg18757.html#msg18757 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2217.msg18757.html#msg18757)

Get 9 of THOSE per serving and you'd be laughing!  ;D  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 10, 2008, 03:30 AM
if SnS says its from a pucker, high quality BIR restaurant/takeway, then it most certainly is!

I don't think anyone would argue otherwise. However I have made it exactly as the recipe (less one carrot) and I'm not that impressed. However I still have to make the madras so I'll reserve final judgement until then.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 10, 2008, 10:50 AM
Well I made the madras for breakfast. :)

I have to say I really didn't like it at all. It had a sour taste and that was after I added 2 tsp sugar to try to compensate. I found this strange as the base was subtly sweet so I can only think it was the tomato puree, I used tesco own brand.

I haven't made a curry that is so far removed from what I know as BIR style in a long time. It had a sort of rawness to it as if the spices had refused to be absorbed or something, difficult to describe really. As I mentioned the only thing I varied on was leaving out the carrot because I didn't have one to hand.

It had the semblance of patak curry from a jar. I added a couple of teaspoons of methi and half a teaspoon of tandoori masala and that brought it round a bit but it was still not too pleasant. And it completely lacked any garlic kick which I would associate with most curries but specially a madras.

All in all not a great success for me which makes me wonder how the others who have rated it highly actually came to that conclusion.

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Yousef on January 10, 2008, 10:53 AM
That is strange as for me this is one of the best i have cooked.
I used garlic and ginger paste in the initial cooking process for my madras and it had that garlicy kick.

S

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 10, 2008, 11:36 AM
It had a sour taste and that was after I added 2 tsp sugar to try to compensate. I found this strange as the base was subtly sweet so I can only think it was the tomato puree...it had a sort of rawness to it as if the spices had refused to be absorbed or something

This sounds to me like a classic case of burning the garlic or spices when making your madras SS....or not cooking the spices sufficiently (given that the base was "subtly sweet")?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 10, 2008, 11:54 AM
This sounds to me like a classic case of burning the garlic or spices

Honestly CA do you think I would make such a rookie mistake? No, everything was well cooked out but not in any way burned. I didn't add any garlic or ginger at the frying stage because the recipe didn't say to do so (does it?) and I did think that was odd but I wanted to stay as faithful to the recipe as possible. I don't know, maybe this is what people want from a BIR curry but I find it hard to believe. I'll probably give it another go tomorrow and see if i can improve it.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 10, 2008, 12:03 PM
Honestly CA do you think I would make such a rookie mistake?...I didn't add any garlic or ginger at the frying stage because the recipe didn't say to do so (does it?)

You're right SS, no garlic.  I admit it's not beyond me to burn the garlic (when there is some) and the spices though.  :P

I can't really think why you would end up with that sort of taste if you say the base was subtly sweet though? 

There's only really spices and tomato paste in it!  Plus half an onion of course...I've always found frying onions can make them bitter.

Strange as you say...doesn't leave much else though does it?  :-\
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Yousef on January 10, 2008, 01:31 PM
Whoops i forgot to say i did not bother with the chopped onion when i made my madras, maybe that is the issue for you SS.

S
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 10, 2008, 03:53 PM
SnS, I remember you saying after your invite Saffron, that your friend the manager said that an even better BIR result can be achieved without a base sauce. Have you heard any more about this and if not can you please find out next time you two are talking curry please? Thanks  :D 8)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 11, 2008, 03:39 PM
Sorry chaps - Item 1 is other way around. Typing error.

1. Simmer the gravy covered for the first stage (before blending) and then uncovered for part 2 (after adding tomatoes) and part 3 (after blending)

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: slipperz on January 11, 2008, 04:00 PM
We had this Wednesday night and we are having it again tonight  ;D

Bloody lovely.

Bring it on  :P

SLIPPERZ  :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 11, 2008, 04:12 PM
if SnS says its from a pucker, high quality BIR restaurant/takeway, then it most certainly is!

I don't think anyone would argue otherwise. However I have made it exactly as the recipe (less one carrot) and I'm not that impressed. However I still have to make the madras so I'll reserve final judgement until then.

Hi Secret Santa

Sorry you're not impressed - it sounds like you have done something very wrong.

If you had made the recipe EXACTLY then it would contain the carrot. Now why the carrot is important I have no idea, but if they (Saffron) use it in their recipe then it must have a part to play (otherwise they would also just leave it out). Surely you cannot expect to just leave bits out of a recipe and then wonder why it hasn't turned out as good as others have produced. Also did you use "salad" potatoes or any old potato (Saffron were very specific about this bit).

As far as the spices having a "rawness" I cannot understand that. Did you fry the Onions (and spices) in Fresh oil or did you use reclaimed oil from the gravy (as you have suggested in an earlier post)???

Did you fry the tomato puree or add it just after you added the gravy?

Hope the next one (with carrot) works out better for you.

Regards

SnS ;D

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 11, 2008, 04:15 PM
We had this Wednesday night and we are having it again tonight  ;D

Bloody lovely.

Bring it on  :P

SLIPPERZ  :)

Nice to hear it matey. Perhaps you may let SS into your secret !!!! ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 11, 2008, 04:21 PM
Hahaha, I bet you wish you put a carrot in there now SS! After all, one can't just go leaving out carrots can one? Oh well, you've been well warned for next time :D Take a leaf out of SnS' book! He always keeps his root vegetable supply well stocked up ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: slipperz on January 11, 2008, 05:14 PM
We had this Wednesday night and we are having it again tonight  ;D

Bloody lovely.

Bring it on  :P

SLIPPERZ  :)

Nice to hear it matey. Perhaps you may let SS into your secret !!!! ;)

SNS

Well all i did was follow your clear and concise instructions!!

Its a bit like getting a prescription from the doctors and it saying "take 2 every hour" and you only take 1. Well you will never get better will you?  ;D

SLIPPERZ  :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 11, 2008, 06:31 PM
The Saffron uses 9 king/Tiger prawns per serving, so a goood handful of meat or standard prawns would be about right.

Thems not King/Tiger Prawns (9 per serving!  :o), thems shrimps!...

....THESE are King Prawns: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2217.msg18757.html#msg18757 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2217.msg18757.html#msg18757)

Get 9 of THOSE per serving and you'd be laughing!  ;D  ;)

HaHaHa - need a mortgage to get nine of them in the local supermarket ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: haldi on January 11, 2008, 07:59 PM
Hi SnS
      I have never come across this paprika (deghi mirch)
Is ordinairy Paprika totally different?
When I first started collecting recipes from takeaways/restaurants, I had a chef tell me how important the "paprika" was to his curry gravy
I always thought it was just ordinairy paprika, but maybe it was this stuff
We had a thread on this site about paprika
There was some discussion over a "smoked" paprika that's available
I'm going searching tomorrow for this deghi mirch
You've got me very curious, it's certainly something I've never tried


Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 11, 2008, 09:15 PM
Hi SnS
      I have never come across this paprika (deghi mirch)
Is ordinairy Paprika totally different?
When I first started collecting recipes from takeaways/restaurants, I had a chef tell me how important the "paprika" was to his curry gravy
I always thought it was just ordinairy paprika, but maybe it was this stuff
We had a thread on this site about paprika
There was some discussion over a "smoked" paprika that's available
I'm going searching tomorrow for this deghi mirch
You've got me very curious, it's certainly something I've never tried


To be honest Haldi, I'd never used it before either, which was why I copied down what was written on the box.

I've found some here (this is not the same make or same spelling .. "degchee mirch") ...

http://www.spicesofindia.co.uk/acatalog/Indian-Food-MDH-Deggi-Mirch.html

However, before using MDH's stuff, check out this site also ...

http://www.food.gov.uk/enforcement/alerts/2004/apr/deggimirch

According to the Chileman www.thechileman.org

"Originally a variety grown in Kashmir India, it is now a generic term for any medium long dried red chile. 'Deghi Mirch' is also a mild flavored red chili powder used extensively in Indian Cusine for its colouring properties. It is more sweet than hot. 'Guajillo' is an appropriate substitute."

As far as I'm aware it is a type of Paprika ?????? however there does seem to be some contradictions (see Cayenne) ...

http://flavorstosavor.com/glossary.html

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 12, 2008, 12:31 AM
I think you said that they DO NOT use reclaimed oil at this restaurant SnS?  Or did you?

I think more oil will also rise to the surface the longer you cook it for.

I find a carrots add to the colour, sweetness, flavour and consistency SS.

Just a couple of questions please:

  • what do you mean by "salad potatoes"?
  • so this is an exact half-scale version of what the restaurant does is it?  If so, have the cooking times also been varied accordingly?
  • A 3kW burner is not very powerful at all.  It's akin to a domestic hob.  Is this right do you think?  :-\

Thanks for your great efforts and great post  8)

No reclaimed oil used either in the Gravy or the curry.

1) Salad potatoes such as Charlotte (the ones they used) http://www.britishpotatoes.co.uk/charlotte/

2) I was told that the cooking procedure (for my half scale version) was exactly the same as the full version ... but to be honest I didn't persue the issue any further.

3) My largest ring (of 3 sizes) is a 3kW burner. A special domestic hob "Wok" burner ring is normally 3kW to 3.6kW. Their burner appeared to be about the same as my 3kW burner.

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 12, 2008, 03:16 PM
8 to 10 medium size cooking onions
1 large carrot
1 green pepper
4 salad potatoes (peeled)
2 medium tomatoes

Chop roughly and add to large cooking pot

Add:-

2 cups (500 ml) of fresh vegetable oil
2 tbsp (30 g) garlic/ginger puree
1 tbsp (15 g) salt
enough water to cover all the ingredients

Cover and bring to boil. Simmer for about 40 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add:-

Half a tin (200 g) of chopped plum tomatoes (Italian Napolina)
25 ml cumin powder (5 tsp)
25 ml coriander powder (5 tsp)
25 ml turmeric powder (5 tsp)
25 ml paprika (deghi mirch) (5 tsp)

Cook for another 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and blend for at least 5 minutes until very smooth.

Add 2 pints of water. The gravy will now resemble a very thin soup.

Bring to boil. Simmer uncovered for about 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove any scum forming on the surface. When the oil separates the gravy is complete.

Please note that the measured spices should be in ml not grams.
If you have used grams (as shown in the original recipe) there will be approximately 1.5 to 2 x times as much spice in the gravy than is required. :o

25 ml is 5 teaspoons

Really sorry Secret Santa - you were right - too much spice. However, how it still produced good results (in nearly all cases) is obviously something to look at (CA) - strange eh??

Admin , would you please edit the orginal recipe for me please (to stop further mistakes).

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Jeera on January 12, 2008, 04:37 PM

Please note that the measured spices should be in ml not grams.
If you have used grams (as shown in the original recipe) there will be approximately 1.5 to 2 x times as much spice in the gravy than is required. :o

25 ml is 5 teaspoons

Really sorry Secret Santa - you were right - too much spice. However, how it still produced good results (in nearly all cases) is obviously something to look at (CA) - strange eh??

Admin , would you please edit the orginal recipe for me please (to stop further mistakes).

Regards

SnS ;D

SS, I don't think your point is clear....... do you mean that it should be 5 tsp of each spice rathern that each being specifically weighed out at 25g ? .... which I assume works out much more than 5 tsp ?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 12, 2008, 04:52 PM
SS, I don't think your point is clear....... do you mean that it should be 5 tsp of each spice rathern that each being specifically weighed out at 25g ? .... which I assume works out much more than 5 tsp ?

I think what he meant was that it was a "by volume" measure vs. a mass measurement.  In this case it would be an equivalent volume to 25ml of liquid.  The weights will vary greatly as the relative density of each spice is quite different.

SnS:  thanks for the update.  I'm glad I saw this before I made the base.  I was wondering if I was going to have to become a spice merchant since that's pretty much a whole pack of each spice each time you make the base!

Current plan is to make this tomorrow.  One final clarification please:  your 8-10 onions should be about 2kg right?  This would jive with CA's approx 200g representative "medium" onion in the cr0b1 recipe.

Thanks in advance,

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 12, 2008, 06:43 PM

Please note that the measured spices should be in ml not grams.
If you have used grams (as shown in the original recipe) there will be approximately 1.5 to 2 x times as much spice in the gravy than is required. :o

25 ml is 5 teaspoons

Really sorry Secret Santa - you were right - too much spice. However, how it still produced good results (in nearly all cases) is obviously something to look at (CA) - strange eh??

Admin , would you please edit the orginal recipe for me please (to stop further mistakes).

Regards

SnS ;D

SS, I don't think your point is clear....... do you mean that it should be 5 tsp of each spice rathern that each being specifically weighed out at 25g ? .... which I assume works out much more than 5 tsp ?

Ast is correct (last post). In my work I deal with water in air (psychrometry) and a ml of water is a gram - there is no difference (1 litre volume of water weighs in at 1 kg mass). I forgot I wasn't at work !!!! (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it)

Unfortunately with spices the density is less than water so as I used mass (grams, weight) instead of ml (volume), it meant there was too much spice by volume.

Anyway if you measure the spice by volume (25 ml) that is equivalent to 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons (or 5 teaspoons total). The actual weight in grams will vary depending on the spice density - but will be a lot less than 25 grams. I have just accurately weighed the individual spices (25 ml) and I get this

Cumin 10 grams = 25 ml
Coriander 10 g = 25 ml
Turmeric 16 g = 25 ml
Parika 12 g = 25 ml

This means the original error was even greater than I first thought:-

x 2.5 on cumin and coriander, x 2 on paprika and x 1.5 on turmeric !!! Whoops (big whoops)

Sorry chaps. We all make mistakes.

Regards

SnS ::)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 12, 2008, 07:06 PM
Current plan is to make this tomorrow.  One final clarification please:  your 8-10 onions should be about 2kg right?  This would jive with CA's approx 200g representative "medium" onion in the cr0b1 recipe.

Hi Ast

Thanks for your earlier mass/density/volume explanation. I feel a bit of dickhead now!!

I've just weighed a typical unpeeled cooking onion (just purchased at Sainsbury) of about the same size (volume cc's) they used and it is 140 GRAMS (I don't know the volume HAHA). So based on this, 8 - 10 (before peeling) will be no more than 1.5 kg.
Also at Sainsbury are the salad potatoes "Charlotte" (look a bit like large new potatoes but oval). An average size Charlotte spud weighs in at only 80 grams. :-*

Regards

SnS ;D (keep smiling)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 13, 2008, 12:01 AM
I've just weighed a typical unpeeled cooking onion (just purchased at Sainsbury) of about the same size (volume cc's) they used and it is 140 GRAMS (I don't know the volume HAHA). So based on this, 8 - 10 (before peeling) will be no more than 1.5 kg.
Also at Sainsbury are the salad potatoes "Charlotte" (look a bit like large new potatoes but oval). An average size Charlotte spud weighs in at only 80 grams. :-*

Hi SnS,

Thanks for all the info (plus the masses of each of the powders).  I know it's kinda splitting hairs, but I was trying to figure out how much to scale stuff if I wanted to use 1kg of onions.  I was just about ready to halve things, but it's a good thing I didn't. :)  Not sure yet if I'm going to throw in an extra couple of onions to get it in the 1.1-1.5kg range or just go with 1kg and see what happens.  I think it'll kinda depend on what I feel like tomorrow.

Thanks again.  I'm really looking forward to tasting the result!

Cheers,

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 13, 2008, 12:13 AM

Hi SnS,

Thanks for all the info (plus the masses of each of the powders).  I know it's kinda splitting hairs, but I was trying to figure out how much to scale stuff if I wanted to use 1kg of onions.  I was just about ready to halve things, but it's a good thing I didn't. :)  Not sure yet if I'm going to throw in an extra couple of onions to get it in the 1.1-1.5kg range or just go with 1kg and see what happens.  I think it'll kinda depend on what I feel like tomorrow.

Thanks again.  I'm really looking forward to tasting the result!

Cheers,

ast

Hi Ast

As long as you're using over 1 kg of onions, personally I'd add the rest as in the recipe (maybe reduce to 1.3 pints of water instead of 2 pints). Try it and see - it won't be far out (if at all) I'm sure. The saffron chefs didn't measure everything exactly either. I think the technique and timing is probably more important than exact measures of the ingredients.

Looking forward to your appraisal tomorrow.
Regards

SnS  ;D

PS: If you wanted to proportion everything from standard (1.5 kg onions to 1.0 kg), then I'd just use 2/3 of the stated ingredients (mulitply everything by 0.666)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: haldi on January 13, 2008, 09:16 AM
Unfortunately I had made the base and curry before the ingredient quantities were revised.
I don't know how much of a difference it would make
I followed the instructions exactly and found it was 2 litres of water required for the initial boil,the onions weighed 2 kg, and I ended up with 4.5 litres of base
The final curry was the colour expected
The curry was a different recipe for me
I have never done one with this "cooking half an onion first"
I used prawns for the curry and it was completely eaten
I can't totally judge what I got (because of the spice changes) but have you remade the whole thing from scratch and got an exact result?
I think you could get very different results from how long you cook the onions
Mine seemed to cook very quickly, I might have slightly overdone them
Thanks a lot for the recipe
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 13, 2008, 02:23 PM
Unfortunately I had made the base and curry before the ingredient quantities were revised.
I don't know how much of a difference it would make
I followed the instructions exactly and found it was 2 litres of water required for the initial boil,the onions weighed 2 kg, and I ended up with 4.5 litres of base
The final curry was the colour expected
The curry was a different recipe for me
I have never done one with this "cooking half an onion first"
I used prawns for the curry and it was completely eaten
I can't totally judge what I got (because of the spice changes) but have you remade the whole thing from scratch and got an exact result?
I think you could get very different results from how long you cook the onions
Mine seemed to cook very quickly, I might have slightly overdone them
Thanks a lot for the recipe

Hi Haldi

Sorry you missed the modification.

I'm guessing here, but I reckon those that have used 8 to 10 medium/large cooking onions will get closer to 2 kg (like you). Then of course the error in the spice volume will be a lot less significant and so you will end up with a result closer to design.

I have not yet repeated the recipe myself yet, but when I do I will write down notes in detail. I can then compare this to the a sample of the Saffrons base sauce for accuracy.

When I was at the Saffron, everything was done by eye, and although they showed me each step carefully, there were no accurate measurements used.

As far as frying the onions at the final stage, again this can vary on type of onion, type of oil, size of burner flame, type of pan and size of chopped onion bits ... but I think as long as the raw bitter taste has gone (absolute minimum time) and the onions have not started to burn (absolute maximum time), then the resulting taste will be similar.

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Jeera on January 13, 2008, 02:28 PM
I'm tryng this base now with the revised measures - using 2kg onions. I'll let you all know how it goes.

PS. I'm also using brand new, fresh spices - and the cumin and corriander are freshly ground. So this is getting the royal treatment.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Unclebuck on January 13, 2008, 02:51 PM
i used this base sauce with darth's madras main it was good as any take out if not better!...
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 13, 2008, 03:06 PM
i used this base sauce with darth's madras main it was good as any take out if not better!...

Hi UB

Great to hear .. another tick in the box.

Was that with the corrected spice quantity? Did you take note of the weight of onions (peeled) you used?

Regards

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Unclebuck on January 13, 2008, 03:41 PM
i used this base sauce with darth's madras main it was good as any take out if not better!...

Hi UB

Great to hear .. another tick in the box.

Was that with the corrected spice quantity? Did you take note of the weight of onions (peeled) you used?

Regards

SnS ;D

to the letter really. 8 medium onions only needed about 1 pint of water afterall
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 13, 2008, 03:54 PM
i used this base sauce with darth's madras main it was good as any take out if not better!...

Hi UB

Great to hear .. another tick in the box.

Was that with the corrected spice quantity? Did you take note of the weight of onions (peeled) you used?

Regards

SnS ;D

to the letter really. 8 medium onions only needed about 1 pint of water afterall

I'm sure the amount of water added at the final stage is pretty much a rough guesstimate. The aim is to produce a very thin gravy to allow the oil to break away and separate as it simmers (separation = translucent sheen to the edge of gravy bubbles). Any excess water is evaporated during main curry cooking stage anyway.

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: cheesyknob on January 13, 2008, 10:59 PM
Hi.

Brilliant!!! I've tried the Secret Curry recipe by Kris Dhillon many times before with little success, at least not without having to do a lot of tampering to get the curry to taste the way I want. So today I tried this new version from Smokenspices (modified version - actually I used 2 tbsp/30ml of spices and not 25ml). I used 1.25kg of onions (10x British cooking onions, unpeeled weight) and Charlotte potatoes that are readily available from Tesco. I also used a hot paprika. I had no scum to remove during cooking (I think this depends on the type of onion and potato you use) and the oil was visible on the surface after about 35 mintues (Note: you may have to reduce the heat to a gentle simmer in order to be able to see the oil). Leave the oil in! This gave me enough for about 12 portions of curry. The best thing about the sauce is the speed at which you can knock up a really decent curry. I used Smokenspices madras recipe and in 12 minutes I had a madras that equals any I've had from any Take Away. I'm looking forward to experimenting with this sauce in the next few weeks. So thanks for sharing this sauce recipe that actually works!! Cheers.  
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 13, 2008, 11:24 PM
I used 1.25kg of onions (10x British cooking onions, unpeeled weight) and Charlotte potatoes that are readily available from Tesco.

Hi Cheesyknob

Welcome to the forum and a great first post.

Be great to hear more feedback from other curries you try using the Saffron base gravy.
Glad you enjoyed it.  :)

Can you just confirm that the weight of the 10 onions of 1.25 kg was UNPEELED and not peeled please. Just gathering relevant information for the final "trimmed up" recipe. Thanks.

Regards

SnS ;D

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: steve e on January 14, 2008, 08:12 AM
I too have made this base and went almost* to the letter,
8 medium onions and used 2 tablespoons for the spices.
I used 500 ml* of fresh oil purely for reclamation purposes,
it floated on top magnificently after the cooking process.

I then proceeded to make a chicken madras, started with frying
chopped garlic (love the stuff) for 2 Min's no onions used though,
my view plenty in the base lol,added spices as instructed and
the result AMAZING the first time in too many years of trying,
I can honestly say as good if not better than any takeaway I
have eaten.Thanks a million.

If you get the chance to crack chicken tikka masala I am going
to reccomend you for next years honours list.

steve e
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: steve e on January 14, 2008, 08:13 AM
sorry got too excited,
600 mls of oil

steve e
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 14, 2008, 02:29 PM
Hi Folks,

As planned, made this recipe yesterday with the madras.  Results provided in both short and long versions.  The long version is really long.... (you've been warned ;))

The Short Version:

The Curry Base

Based on the results posted by many, I'm really not sure if I did everything right or not.  I was really surprised how good the base smelled when cooking, and the taste was like a very tasty soup with just a hint of curry before dilution with the extra water.

I think I simmered the base on too low a setting, because I didn't notice any oil separating until I started simmering on medium.  I may also have used a tad too much water for cooking the chopped vegetables, because I ended up with a lot more base than most other people seem to get.

Still not 100% sure if I'm happy with the results vs. where I am with the KD base.

The Madras

I made a chicken madras according to SnS's recipe.  My wife liked it better than anything else to date and that it had a much richer flavor than the others I've made from the KD base and derived recipes.  She said, "a lot of people would pay to have this curry," so I guess it was a hit. :)

I also had some of the madras sauce over rice to try it.  I'm not a madras eater normally, and I've never ordered one out, so I'm not quite sure what it's supposed to taste like.  Like my wife, I found that it had much richer flavors.  I would say that with these recipes, the finished curry comes mostly from the base and less from the pan.  There is much more flavor from the base in the finished curry than from what I've made from the KD base (though, in fairness, I've never thought the KD base had much of a taste).

The finished curry was much sweeter and was very different to any curry I've paid for (that I can remember at least).  I thought it was good, but I wouldn't say it was my favorite curry experience.  I do realize, however, that I'm not likely comparing apples to apples since I never order this dish.

Oh, and I still think there's some ingredient equivalent mismatches where the density of water was used to provide the volume weights.  I'm not criticizing SnS, so don't get me wrong.  I just want to have the recipe as accurate as possible.  Like I've said before, sometimes I use mass and sometimes I use volume measurements depending on what's handiest at the time, so if they don't agree, it makes a difference.

The Long Version:

When I made this, I took extensive notes and several pictures.  Start to finish, with interruptions to eat lunch, help take care of our son and provide occasional assistance with wallpapering the sitting room, it took me 6hrs to make the base.  I'm sure I could do it faster next time, but I thought it'd be interesting to track how long it took.

The Curry Base

Ingredients used:


SnS:  Can you also please weigh 2 tbsp of garlic/ginger puree?  I'm guessing that it will weigh more than 30g due to the oil, but I could be wrong.

Note:  all weights for the vegetables were before they were peeled, cleaned, etc.  I also had to toss one onion that turned out to be bad, so it was actually probably pretty close to only 1kg of onions that I ended up using.

(http://www.atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/ingredients_2008-01-13_AST.jpg)
Prepared Vegetables

The biggest pot in the house is the 6qt Calphalon anodized aluminum stock pot.  Based on what people had said, I figured it should be big enough to hold the expected 4L of resuting base.  Chopped the veggies and into the pot with the water.  Here's where I think I made mistake #1.

(http://www.atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/cooking_1-2008-01-13_AST.jpg)
Adding Garlic and Ginger Puree and Tomatoes

In trying to cover all the vegetables, I think I got a little carried away with the water as most of them wanted to float.  Next time, I think 2.5-3.0L should do it, and provide a bit more like the expected amount of base.  Here, I think I have about 3.5L in the pot after the oil and ginger/garlic puree was added.

BTW, I used the recipe posted by Stew back in Feb '05 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,127.msg540.html#msg540 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,127.msg540.html#msg540)).  When googling to see how/if you could freeze it, I ran across several pages saying don't keep it at room temperature or in the fridge due to garlic's low acidity and propensity to cause botulism if not handled correctly (quote from http://www.practicallyedible.com/edible.nsf/encyclopaedia!openframeset&frame=Right&Src=/edible.nsf/pages/garlic!opendocument (http://www.practicallyedible.com/edible.nsf/encyclopaedia!openframeset&frame=Right&Src=/edible.nsf/pages/garlic!opendocument)):

Quote
Any homemade garlic in oil not frozen should be refrigerated and used within 1 week. To store chopped garlic indefinitely in a refrigerator, the garlic should be in a strong vinegar.

I'm pointing this out, because I didn't know it, so maybe someone else doesn't either.  I've never really made/used garlic puree before--I always just chopped fresh or used dried.  Most of the other recipes on the web seem to indicate a 1:2 garlic/oil ratio so that it can be frozen without it solidifying.  Freezing the above recipe resulted in pretty solid blocks of stuff that weren't very easy to use (hence 16g vs. 15g).  I figure more oil might do the trick.

(http://www.atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/cooking_15min_left_1st_simmer-2008-01-13_AST.jpg)
Stock Simmering with 15 Min to Go

My definition of simmering may have been mistake #2.  I always simmer stuff pretty low after bringing them to the boil.  I think it was fine for this stage of cooking, but I'm not so sure that it was the right thing later.  I'll explain more of what I mean further down.

After simmering covered for 40 minutes (pictures were taken with lid removed, obviously), the oil was floating on top and the vegetables were pretty soft.

(http://www.atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/cooking_pre-blending_2008-01-13_AST.jpg)
Pre-blended Stock

I have to say the biggest surprise was how good the base smelled when it was cooking!  Being used to the KD boiled garlic cloud, this was wonderful.  The kitchen smelled really, really good through the whole process.  I guess many of the other bases would smell like this too since they seem to use a similar cooking method.

(http://www.atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/blended_detail_2008-01-13_AST.jpg)
Close-up of Blended Stock

When blended, I was a little surprised how yellow it turned out to be.  It makes sense from all the turmeric, but this was pretty bright!  Maybe Saffron uses a little extra turmeric so their dishes are extra yellow... ;)

So, then I blended, and blended, and blended, and blended....  My blender only can do 1L at a time, but I was pretty surprised to find I ended up with 4.2L!  I had to improvise a bit for intermediate storage (won't be the first, just wait... ;)).

(http://www.atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/4.2L_blended_base-2008-01-13_AST.jpg)
About 4.2L of Blended, Bright Yellow Base

So, if I end up making more of this base (or any other bases in roughly this quantity), it's quite clear I need bigger pots!  Next on the list to purchase will be two heavy, stainless stock pots or a large-ish hand blender so I don't have to do all this messing.  That's probably part of why it took so long to make.

Tasted the base, and I think you could almost get away with serving it as a soup.  I couldn't believe it tasted this good.

Now the real challenge:  where in the hell am I going to put the water???

(http://www.atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/need_bigger_pot-2008-01-13_AST.jpg)
5.2L of Curry Base in 6qt Pot

Here's where mistake #3 (needed bigger pot) came together with mistake #2 (simmering too low) to potentially cause the first real problem of this exercise.  Since I knew that if I boiled this quickly I would end up with a yellow kitchen (and very upset wife!), I covered the pot and brought the base to the boil very gently.

I don't know how long it took, but eventually, a slow, rolling boil was achieved.  I then turned the pot back down to low so that it could simmer for the recommended 20-30 min.  However, what I ended up with at the end of the 30 min was a froth-covered pot with a few small pockets of scum.  I skimmed off the scum (and some of the froth) and stirred the froth back into the pot.

(http://www.atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/after_low_simmer-2008-01-13_AST.jpg)
After 30 min of Low Simmering

Knowing I didn't see any oil, I figured that I hadn't used enough heat.  I got a little braver and turned the heat up to medium.  Very soon afterwards what had been an "even" boil turned into an "uneven" boil.  I'm guessing that this was starting to move more of the oil around, so it would thickly boil for a few seconds, then stop, then come back again.  Lo and behold, after 15 min of this, oil started to gather on the surface as well as some more-serious scum.  I simmered an additional 15 min on medium heat and, after skimming and stirring a few times, ended up with a nice layer of oil forming.

(http://www.atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/after_high_simmer-2008-01-13_AST.jpg)
After 30 min of Medium Simmering

After the base cooled for about an hour or so, it was still pretty warm, but it had developed a nice, oily sheen.


(http://www.atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/cooled_base-2008-01-13_AST.jpg)
Cooling Curry Base

So if I didn't have a big enough pot, I surely didn't have big enough storage containers (most of which were in the fridge with stuff in them anyway), so enter container improvisation idea #2.  Since everyone seems to say you should use around 400ml of base for 1-2 servings, I figured that it would make sense to divide things up into easy-to-store containers based around that volume.  Here's what I came up with ;D:

(http://www.atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/posh_storage-2008-01-13_AST.jpg)
Posh French Curry Storage Containers

We use a lot of Evian in our house since that's about all my wife will drink and we also use it for our little guy's bottles.  Therefore, we always have empty 1.5L bottles lying around the place.  I figured about 1.2L per bottle would be a perfect way to store the finished base, as well as being able to support having one or two friends around (if we weren't very hungry).  The best thing, though, is they fit in the bottle storage racks of the fridge, so it doesn't take up a whole bunch of space.

So far, so good.  I'll keep you posted on how it goes.  However, I must say that using the odd 1L bottle in making curries afterwards was much handier than trying to pour it out of any of the other containers we have in the house.  The only downside was that I let the base cool for about 3 hrs before I chanced putting it in the bottles so I was sure they wouldn't melt.

The Madras

I was very curious what the madras would taste like since it was yet again a different way of preparing the final curry to the two other approaches I'd used.  I chopped about 75g of onions (about 1/4 of a large onion or 1/2 a small one) and measured out all of the ingredients while I was making a batch of my pilau rice (tried the colors again:  better, but still a bit too much liquid--it wasn't black this time, though!).

I then pre-cooked some chicken using Curry King's method from here (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,1232.msg10662.html#msg10662 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,1232.msg10662.html#msg10662)).  I was impressed.  Not only was it quick and easy, the end result, as he said, hardly needed chewing.  It was fantastic, and streets ahead of the KD method that I'd been using to date.  I may play around with some of the spices a bit just to see what happens, but I'll never do it the KD way again.

I was a bit skeptical about the color as this base is much more yellow than I've been used to since I add 2x the amount of tomatoes to the KD recipe (the color in the picture is a bit redder than I actually remember it was).  Here's the madras after adding the curry base and chicken and giving them a quick stir to coat.

(http://www.atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/madras_chicken_added-2008-01-13_AST.jpg)
Madras (Saffron Method) with Chicken Added

I followed the recipe pretty-much to the letter.  After about 10 min, the consistency seemed about right and the oil had begun to separate out.  I simmered on medium heat and stirred occasionally.

(http://www.atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/madras_finished_in_pan-2008-01-13_AST.jpg)
Madras (Saffron Method) Finished in Pan

The color darkened up a bit, but not as much as I would've thought it might.  The madras that I've made previously for my wife (since they're spicy enough for her) were normally a little redder and certainly browner.  I'm guessing that this comes from the combination of the chilli powder (I used Schwartz's Hot Chilli Powder this time) and the Garam Masala I normally use.  Since there's only a teaspoon of the chilli powder, I didn't expect it to do much for the color.  Still, it looks about right in the pan, but it does have more oil on top than it does when I normally make it since there's more oil in the base.

(http://www.atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/madras_presented-2008-01-13_AST.jpg)
Madras (Saffron Method) Presented with Pilau Rice

Conclusions

It presented pretty well, and my wife thought it was very good (see above).  I'd be very curious to taste the actual article as well as to see what Saffron's vindaloo is like.  Someone posted something some time back about a chef saying "curries are made in the pan and not in the base," but I really don't think that applies to what I got.

My result was very tasty and full of pretty rich flavor, but it was also pretty sweet compared to other curries that I've had.  Having tasted the concentrated base earlier, I think this madras recipe is very much tied to the base.  There's no salt, and the finished curry tastes like a richer, fuller version of the base.  Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be.  Again, I'm not saying it was bad, I'm just trying to describe my results.

I'm anxious to try to make some other dishes with the base.  I did have a go at my recipe for vindaloo (as in Vindaloo Experiment #1), but I screwed it up because I was blindly following the recipe instead of thinking about what I was doing (it was around midnight by the time I got to make curry for me, so maybe it was because I was tired or maybe I just didn't think).  As a result, I couldn't finish it because it had way too much salt in it (my recipe adds 1tsp in the pan) and it was also way too sweet (maybe lacking tomato puree?).  I may post more about this in a separate thread.

I guess the main lesson here is that be careful when making any recipe with this base that includes salt in the final curry or possibly doesn't add something to offset the sweetness.  I think the Saffron Madras is pretty balanced, if a bit on the sweet side for my personal taste, but I can only imagine how something like CTM would end up without potentially making some adjustments.  It isn't a dish I've made, so I can't comment from personal experience, however.

My final verdict is still undecided.  I like the flavor of the base on its own, but I think it will take some time/tweaking to figure out how to use it to best advantage in making my vindaloo.  Making the base was a more pleasant experience than when making the KD base, that's for sure, and I'm sure I'll come up with something that I'm happy with.  Based on a number of people having success with Darth's Madras, I may look at that to see what's different as well as try and tweak my vindaloo in parallel.

It's all part of the learning experience.  My vindaloo now vs. my first one is much better too, so I didn't really expect the base to be a perfect fit the first time I tried using it for something else.  However, I may need to revise my thinking about matching bases and recipes unless you're really willing to do some thinking/experimenting with the final result.  If it's a pair that works really well, it's highly unlikely that it'll work without some modifications.  Cooking techniques on the final curry can make a huge difference, but that won't make up for unbalanced/improper tastes between the two.

Many thanks to SnS for posting the recipe and dealing with all my annoying questions/clarifications.  Any screw-ups or questionable results are mine and mine alone.  I do wish I could have a representative sample from the restaurant to see if some of these traits and tastes are present in their own finished dishes, but it's unlikely to actually happen.

Hope this was helpful.

ast

Update:  I was getting ready to have another go at making a main course dish with this base, but before I did, I went back and re-read the whole thread.  Apparently, I got confused with the madras recipe because I took the 2 ladles (200ml) to be 2x200ml rather than 200ml total (yes, I see now that it was quite clearly indicated as 200ml in the recipe.  Error between chair and keyboard).  That means that my madras was way off as well as I had started with over 2x as much base.

I'm sure that made a difference as well to my assessment of the finished madras--duh!  :-[.

Again, like I said, any screw-ups were my fault and not SnS's.  I'll let you know how this one turns out too...  Sorry I missed this out of the original post.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Yousef on January 14, 2008, 04:29 PM
Hi ast,

Excellent post with great pics again.
Can i suggest you try this recipe next - Chicken Tikka Massala http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=539.0

We tried this the other night using chicken cooked from the 'chicken tikka better than a restaurant' post and made the Chicken Tikka Massala , absolutely first class.

Stew 8)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 14, 2008, 07:13 PM
Hi ast,

Excellent post with great pics again.
Can i suggest you try this recipe next - Chicken Tikka Massala http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=539.0

We tried this the other night using chicken cooked from the 'chicken tikka better than a restaurant' post and made the Chicken Tikka Massala , absolutely first class.

Stew 8)

Cheers for that Stew.

I was recently reminded that my wife used to eat CTM before I introduced her to a wider variety of Indian food, so I'd already printed out that recipe based on other people's recent comments about both posts.  I need to make it to a real Asian grocer before I can do the marinade though, as I can't find some of the stuff at the local shops out here in the 'burbs.

Did you make this with the Saffron base?  If so, were any modifications necessary?  Maybe the coconut and the spice mix might offset the latent sweetness in the base (the lot that I have, anyway).  Did you use a particular spice mix?

Thanks for the suggestion,

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Jeera on January 14, 2008, 11:12 PM
As I mentioned above, I made this yesterday and made it to the letter all with brand new fresh spices.

The base was very reminiscent of a very good KD version which I've had great success with in the past but with loads more depth and sweetness. I think the amount of salt in the watered down base was perfect too and it set things up for a promising final dish with no additional salt needed. I'm sure the paprika (not smoked version) is absolutely critical as I've have good results with Jaspers Munich base to - which was tremendous.

Anyway to the real test. I made 3 final chicken dishes - all bhoona type consistency.

Dish #1 - exactly as posted by SnS but omitted the chilli powder but used the 0.5 tsp of coriander/cumin/turmeric as indicated.

Result #1 - very very wonderful with hints/undertones of *the* taste. Verdict 90/100

Dish #2 - same as posted but with 0.25 tsp chilli powder, 0.75 tsp cumin/coriander/turmeric, tsp methi & tsp fresh coriander.

Result #2 - awesome taste. I may have been lucky that I hit the cooking sweet spot but this was BIR class whatever made the difference. Lovely sweet, spiced and huge depth. Verdict 97/100

Dish 3. as #2 but with tsp chilli powder and 1 tsp cumin/coriander/turmeric.

Result #3 - OK, good but overspiced (not in the hot way)and ultimately much like may of my previous attempts. Verdict 80/100


So all in all this is a classy piece of work and I'm 100% convinced this would be an awesome base to get slight modifications on the final dish - Per CA's recent suggestion. Next I will try #2 but with 0.25 tsp garamasala.

Well done SnS, mega mate.

PS. Ast the base and final looked exactly like yours - nice shots btw.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 14, 2008, 11:30 PM
Great photos (again) AST  8)

Would you have any photos of your dishes that you could share with us, please, Jeth.....JEERA?  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Jeera on January 14, 2008, 11:36 PM
Great photos (again) AST  8)

Would you have any photos of your dishes that you could share with us, please, Jeth.....JEERA?  ;)

haha, I do actually but they look identical to Ast's photos....except with a camera phone, bad lighting and no talent ;-)

I'll post them tomorrow.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 14, 2008, 11:41 PM
Hi All
I am away until Thursday and this message is being posted by proxy. Sounds like you've got a good post ast, I will respond to all messages when I get back. Looking good so far.
Regards
Sns ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 15, 2008, 08:15 PM
...except with a camera phone, bad lighting and no talent ;-)

So pretty much the X-factor of curry making then?   ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 15, 2008, 11:47 PM
Ok.  I'm convinced.  This is pretty damn good...

Having discovered the operator error issue that resulted in the fairly odd-tasting madras on Sunday (where I used 400ml of base for the indicated spices vs. the correct amount of 200ml), I've since made two different attempts at a vindaloo (the last one on the way to developing a recipe that might eventually get posted).

(http://atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/vindaloo_exp2-2008-01-14-AST.jpg)
Vindaloo using Saffron Base

No point in going into much of the detail; pictures are of a 20cm pan this time since there was less curry base.  I used the technique SnS posted for the Madras and didn't change anything else except the amount of chilli powder (4tsp of hot).  The results were very, very good, and I've put to rest any of my earlier reservations about the base.

Having done this a couple of times now, the places that make vindaloo like I prefer must also start with the onion.  It gives the finished curry that added bit of depth and texture that I'd been missing so far.  There's still a bit of fullness missing that I'm working on, but I've a few ideas that I'll be trying to see what happens.  At least I've plenty of base since the final curry recipe is geared for individual portions. :)

I'm also confident enough with it that I'll be making curry for 9 next weekend using this base.  I may yet tweak the final curry technique a bit to see what difference that makes, but I know now that I've got something that will give solid results and leave empty plates on Sunday.

Many apologies for my earlier reservations about the base.  Next time, I'll triple-check the recipe when I'm retyping it into my recipe collection!

Cheers,

ast

BTW, using the Evian bottles makes everything much, much handier.  Until it lets me down, I think this is my container of choice for easy base management (and the price is certainly right too... ;)).
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 16, 2008, 04:20 AM
That last picture is of you thumbing a lift to a real curry house then? Most definitely done that!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 16, 2008, 07:45 AM
That last picture is of you thumbing a lift to a real curry house then? Most definitely done that!

Nah... from here, I have to take the train! ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 16, 2008, 06:33 PM
Hi Ast

Great post Ast. Pleased the final Vindaloo eventually turned out okay.

Bigger pot next time eh ?? (one with a plimsoll line)

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 16, 2008, 07:13 PM
Bigger pot next time eh ?? (one with a plimsoll line)


I'm sure there's a joke there that I'm just not getting.  What's plimsoll?  Google's giving me odd answers...
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 16, 2008, 07:17 PM
Bigger pot next time eh ?? (one with a plimsoll line)


I'm sure there's a joke there that I'm just not getting.  What's plimsoll?  Google's giving me odd answers...

HaHaHa. As in plimsoll line (on the inside of your cooking pot) !

Might stop you adding water until the "floating" veg is covered  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 16, 2008, 07:27 PM
Bigger pot next time eh ?? (one with a plimsoll line)


I'm sure there's a joke there that I'm just not getting.  What's plimsoll?  Google's giving me odd answers...

HaHaHa. As in plimsoll line (on the inside of your cooking pot) !

Might stop you adding water until the "floating" veg is covered  ;D

Now why couldn't you have just said "waterline" ???  Damn posh technical jargon..... ;D

Why yes, now that you mention it, that would be quite handy!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 16, 2008, 07:36 PM
Now why couldn't you have just said "waterline" ???  Damn posh technical jargon..... ;D
Why yes, now that you mention it, that would be quite handy!

I'm ex-Royal Navy Ast ! (no jokes about sailors please).

When I get round to "trimming up" the "final" recipe I think the amount of water added to the veg will be a measured volume.

BTW, as far as I'm aware, tomato puree comes in three strengths (?), I wonder how much each of these strengths affects the final curry taste. Which did you use for your vindaloo?

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: curryqueen on January 16, 2008, 08:06 PM
I have got a feeling that deghi mirch is Kashmiri chilli powder.  It is mild in capsican heat with an aromatic flavour and is bred purely for colour and flavour.  A friend of a friend bought me some back from India and it is very mild and has that smokey aromatic flavour.  CQ
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 16, 2008, 08:19 PM
Now why couldn't you have just said "waterline" ???  Damn posh technical jargon..... ;D
Why yes, now that you mention it, that would be quite handy!

I'm ex-Royal Navy Ast ! (no jokes about sailors please).

Yeah, well... *and* your from *that* side of the Atlantic too.... Ok, so technically it's "this side" now that I live in Ireland, but I'd still never heard it called anything other than a waterline before.

Quote
When I get round to "trimming up" the "final" recipe I think the amount of water added to the veg will be a measured volume.

Probably a good idea.  However, I was pleased that I managed to end up with almost exactly 4.6L--a number nice and easily divisible by 200ml!  Not sure what it did to the taste though.

Quote
BTW, as far as I'm aware, tomato puree comes in three strengths (?), I wonder how much each of these strengths affects the final curry taste. Which did you use for your vindaloo?

Mine's Roma double concentrate in the tube.  After getting tired of throwing out the small cans because I didn't use it for anything but the KD base, I figured it was a better solution.  I honestly didn't pay attention to the strength when I bought it.  Packaging was the primary selection criteria.  Varying the amount is one of the things I want to play with since I'm not sure quite what it does to the final taste either.

Speaking of the final version, you did catch my note about the amount of salt and to identify the mass of the garlic and ginger puree, right?  I know it was sorta buried in all that exposition...

I used the French Exquisa potatoes because that's all the shop had that were classified as salad potatoes.  They're a little smaller than the Charlotte ones, so I probably could've used 2x as much without problem, but they seem to be about right in terms of solidity and lack of disintegration into unidentifiable mush.  With all the potatoes we get over here, I'd be surprised if I can't get Charlottes now that I know what to look for.

Next time I do it, I think I'll leave out the carrot and see what happens to the taste.  The single pepper diluted and cooked didn't seem to bother my wife, but the carrot would be pretty hard on my mother if I ever want to make it for her.  She's never eaten much Indian food of any kind, and I'd hate to make her sick on the first go.

I think I'll try and find the right paprika too.  Thanks for the reminder CQ.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 16, 2008, 08:39 PM
Speaking of the final version, you did catch my note about the amount of salt and to identify the mass of the garlic and ginger puree, right?  I know it was sorta buried in all that exposition...

Yes I did note your observation Ast. I'm afraid I got carried away with those pesky grams again. Should of course be ml (volume). I don't think it makes much difference to the final outcome. "Slight errors" in the recipe will of course be ironed out (later).

So what is the weight of 2 tablespoons of garlic/ginger puree anyway?

I used the French Exquisa potatoes because that's all the shop had that were classified as salad potatoes.  They're a little smaller than the Charlotte ones, so I probably could've used 2x as much without problem, but they seem to be about right in terms of solidity and lack of disintegration into unidentifiable mush.  With all the potatoes we get over here, I'd be surprised if I can't get Charlottes now that I know what to look for.

I know the Charlotte salad spuds are definately available in Tescos and Sainsbury stores.

Regards

SnS  ;D

Sorry about the carrot thing - didn't mean for you to poison your mother (Mother-in-law ::) ?)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 16, 2008, 09:36 PM
So what is the weight of 2 tablespoons of garlic/ginger puree anyway?

I've no idea.  I was trying to get as close to 15g of each as I could, figuring that at least it was even, it would be ok, based solely on the KD proportion (which I know some people disagree with).  Since I was chipping off hunks of frozen puree, I didn't bother to see how much actually fit in the measure.  I'll try to remember to check next time I make some puree, but I've still got about 3/4 of what I made left.

Anyone else have some handy?

Quote
I used the French Exquisa potatoes because that's all the shop had that were classified as salad potatoes.  They're a little smaller than the Charlotte ones, so I probably could've used 2x as much without problem, but they seem to be about right in terms of solidity and lack of disintegration into unidentifiable mush.  With all the potatoes we get over here, I'd be surprised if I can't get Charlottes now that I know what to look for.

I know the Charlotte salad spuds are definately available in Tescos and Sainsbury stores.

We don't have Sainsbury here, but there's a Tesco not too far away.  We don't go there very often, though.  There's a couple of other places we use which are closer (and one of them even delivers for free), but I'm sure they carry them too.

Quote
Sorry about the carrot thing - didn't mean for you to poison your mother (Mother-in-law ::) ?)

Not to worry.  The whole reason I stumbled across the forum in the first place was when I was there visiting for Christmas, I got hungry for a curry but I forgot my KD recipes.  Where I grew up, there's only one mediocre Chinese restaurant and the nearest Indian (of any kind) is at least 45 miles away.  She's not heading over for a few months, so at the rate I'm going, I've no fear that the current batch of base will be gone by then!

Besides, like I said, I'm curious what it will do for the taste.  I didn't miss the salt in the KD base when I left it out, so maybe the carrot isn't contributing that much to this one.  Since my mother's allergic to carrots and you become aware of this sort of thing, it's most surprising where they turn up.  Lots of restaurant dishes use them as filler and color more than anything, but I'm sure it adds something - however slight - to the taste here.

We shall see...
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: cheesyknob on January 17, 2008, 06:55 PM
I used 1.25kg of onions (10x British cooking onions, unpeeled weight) and Charlotte potatoes that are readily available from Tesco.

Hi Cheesyknob

Welcome to the forum and a great first post.

Be great to hear more feedback from other curries you try using the Saffron base gravy.
Glad you enjoyed it.  :)

Can you just confirm that the weight of the 10 onions of 1.25 kg was UNPEELED and not peeled please. Just gathering relevant information for the final "trimmed up" recipe. Thanks.

Regards

SnS ;D



Hi smokenspices

To confirm I used 1.25kg of unpeeled onions (approx 1kg peeled weight) - this equated to 10 onions.

Regards
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 17, 2008, 08:32 PM
Hi Chaps

Took some advice from Jeera's recent results.

For prawn & mushroom Madras (for the better half):-

0.75 tsp turmeric and coriander
0.5 tsp chilli powder
0.5 tsp cumin
0.25 tsp garam masala (added separately immediately before the gravy and tomato puree)

Also added 1 tsp dried methi and some coriander leaf + stems.

Results - much better, full of flavour, best curry she's had in years.

I had prawn & mushroom Vindaloo:-

Same as above except 1 heaped tbsp chilli and left out the garam masala. Added 1 tbsp wine vinegar and 2 tspn sugar. Cooked about 10 minutes but had to add a little water.

Results - bloody hot but really nice flavour. Less vinegar next time. (picture below)

Dried Methi made quite a noticeable difference. More coriander and turmeric, less cumin gave a slightly sweeter taste but less aroma. Might also increase cumin to 0.75 tsp next time.


Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: extrahotchillie on January 18, 2008, 10:34 AM
Made this base last night and followed the instructions to the letter, scooped off the froth and the oil floated exactly as stated. It did look like a thin soup and tasted quite bland. However, I cracked on with it and made the Madras as per the recipe; what can I say, probably the worst curry I have made in years for me this is not as good as Kris Dhillon's (curry secret) base which I feel I surpassed years ago (although KD's base was a great starting point).

AS far as I am concerned the best base to date is ifinforu's (A great curry base recipe)I get superb results every time.

I thank you for the recipe and you can't really comment unless you make the effort and try it, as I did. If others on this site are happy with this recipe then I am pleased for them, thats what makes this site great, helping oneanother.

Curry on

EHC





 
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 18, 2008, 10:52 AM
Hi EHC,

That's really weird.  Can you post some pictures?

The base I got both before and after blending (without adding the extra water) was very flavorful and had a very subtle sweetness about it.  After adding the extra water, it was still there, but much more subtle.  However, I wouldn't call it bland--unless you mean in terms of heat. :)

Terry's ifindforu base is one of the next ones I'm planning on trying, but in looking at it, I don't think it's a million miles from this one, and the same goes for the rajver one (the other one in a dead heat to be tried next).  I haven't yet made either, so I'm willing to be proven wrong.

After making about a curry/day since Sunday with it, I'm still quite pleased with the results.  Sorry it didn't work for you, but, as you say, diversity of opinion is what this site's all about.

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 18, 2008, 11:07 AM
what can I say, probably the worst curry I have made in years

So I haven't completely lost my sense of taste then. To be fair though my comments were based on the guinea pig version (i.e. the wrong version, which I appeared to be the guinea pig for) and I might eventually get around to trying the modified version, although I notice that SnS himself is now modifying the madras recipe to more along the lines that I would take, so I think this one is still up in the air. Just shows you how far apart our individual expectations are for that BIR flavour and doesn't bode well for our proposed "standard" BIR curry!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: extrahotchillie on January 18, 2008, 12:42 PM
Hi AST

What I am saying is that this base in my opinion did not live up to my expectations, there is a lot of people on the site that are very happy with it, but its is not for me.

I think you will find, (ifindforu's) base a lot different to the base you posted, lots more spices, garlic, ginger etc I get great results everytime and consistently reproduce the smell and taste that I had been seeking for many a year. I personally think a lot of what I am producing comes from the oil I use in the base (pure mustard oil),in your base I used as instructed vegetable oil.

I don't want you to feel bad about what I have said, I just think for me it was a  step backwards to what I am currently producing. However, top marks for getting the recipe and creating such interest in the site again, its nice to have a debate, well done.

Regards

EHC
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 18, 2008, 01:06 PM
Hi EHC,

Actually, it's smokinspice's recipe, not mine.  I have just been having good luck with it, and I'm very curious to identify any differences between what I did and your experience to learn more about what kinds of things influence the final curry flavors.  As I said, I haven't tried a bunch of different bases yet, so if I can get dramatically better results depending on the base as you indicate, it's all good. :)

So far, the family's pretty happy with the results.  We'll see what the increased sample size this weekend (curry for 9) has to say.  They're friends, but we've never had them over before.  They claim to like their curries, so I'm curious what their verdict is.  I'll let you know.

Cheers,

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: extrahotchillie on January 18, 2008, 01:20 PM
Cheers AST my apologies for the name mix up its just that I seen your name used so often with this recipe that I assumed it was yours.

I look forward to reading your future posts.

regards

EHC
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 18, 2008, 02:29 PM
Then I must be talking too much...  :-[

I'll go lurk for a while. ;)

No worries, mate.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Jeera on January 18, 2008, 02:54 PM
Made this base last night and followed the instructions to the letter, scooped off the froth and the oil floated exactly as stated. It did look like a thin soup and tasted quite bland. However, I cracked on with it and made the Madras as per the recipe; what can I say, probably the worst curry I have made in years for me this is not as good as Kris Dhillon's (curry secret) base which I feel I surpassed years ago (although KD's base was a great starting point).

AS far as I am concerned the best base to date is ifinforu's (A great curry base recipe)I get superb results every time.

I thank you for the recipe and you can't really comment unless you make the effort and try it, as I did. If others on this site are happy with this recipe then I am pleased for them, thats what makes this site great, helping oneanother.

Curry on

EHC


I can't figure out why this was so bad for you. I've tried stacks of bases (including ifindforu) and most give a very good curry and occasionally you stumble on a great one - like me with this base. To say this created the worst curry in years makes me think we are all after very different goals.

I can understand Secret Santas effort being *bad* as clearly too much spice would ruin any curry, but with a nice, sweet subtle base like this one and sensible levels of spice in the final dish should create a very tasty curry.

Maybe we are indeed all chasing someting different after all.

PS. How old was your spices when you made this ?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: extrahotchillie on January 18, 2008, 03:16 PM
Hi Jeera
I bought a new batch of spices last Sunday which I used whilst making this base, I'm glad it works for you and yes you are probably right it could be a case of one mans meat is another mans poison if you know what I mean, its all about taste and I found this too be very bland in the final dish.

I was going to give it another try tonight but my wife has thrown away the base whilst I am in work and told me that she has bought more onions & green pepper so I am going back to ifindforu's base.

Regards

EHC



Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 18, 2008, 06:10 PM
What I can't understand is how there are now 2 very negative reports .. and yet there are 11 favourable reports (including Admin, Haldi, Ast, Bobby Bhuna and Jeera) - on the same gravy. What the hell is going on ... surely our individual BIR taste expectations can't be that different. I'm gobsmacked !

BTW, the Madras is not the main subject here, it is the gravy. So if the (simple) Madras recipe which I provided is not producing the results, using the gravy with other more refined recipies may produce the result you're looking for.

After all, I did go to the Saffron to learn the gravy recipe - not the Madras.

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: haldi on January 18, 2008, 07:23 PM
What I can't understand is how there are now 2 very negative reports .. and yet there are 11 favourable reports

There are very different styles of curries at takeaways near me, and one of them (the best) is absolutely nothing like the others
They cook curries with their bases in totally different ways
The best one uses a curry gravy that's so nice you could eat it as a curry itself.
The other places have a gravy far more bland and needs extra garlic,onion & spice when the curry is cooked
I would guess that EHC is chasing the "fantastic tasting base" recipe
But this Saffron recipe is very welcome, thanks
And I will be making it again
I would love other curry recipes to go with it
It definitely needs it's own recipes
Do you think you can get any more?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 18, 2008, 07:38 PM
But this Saffron recipe is very welcome, thanks
And I will be making it again
I would love other curry recipes to go with it
It definitely needs it's own recipes
Do you think you can get any more?

Hi Haldi

I'm sure I'll be able to do that soon (have to arrange it with Raj), but what I wanted to do first was iron out the creases in the existing gravy recipe so that it was bulletproof and not open to mistakes being made (eg: amount of water added to "cover" the veg, etc, etc). Many don't realise that this was a prototype and much of what I wrote down was from observation, and by no means accurate (as you know, they don't measure ingredients using tspns or tbspns). To do this I've got to make another batch (as shown by the saffron) but this time measuring/recording all the ingredients and times EXACTLY.

Best Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: extrahotchillie on January 18, 2008, 08:35 PM
Hi Smokenspices

Sorry if I sounded negative, trust me I didn't mean it to come across that way. I was definitely going to make another curry out the base and add more garlic, ginger and increase the spice quantity to the final dish but alas she's gone and launched it.

I am not not after a base that already tastes like a curry that defeats the objective I just followed your madras recipe and it did nothing for me, hence I think that maybe increasing the spices in the final dish would have possibly made it taste better, I know I like my curries hot but I also like them tasty but I just didn't achieve it on this attempt.

When I made the madras it looked the part but sadly for me personally there was nothing there, however,I have no doubt that you have gone to a great effort to get this recipe and post it on the forum and for that I commend you.

It is my opinion that a larger quantity of garlic,ginger and spices are used in the base recipe, there is a topic on this forum that suggests we pay for the secret base recipe you all know my views on that topic; and lets face it who is ever going to give away what we all regard as our greatest mystery.

As long as we are all cooking curries and enjoying them then thats the main issue it has been suggested that no two takeaways or BIR's taste the same, and I agree, therefore there is no secret. People who I cook for have told me they have paid good money in top restaurants and mine beats them hands down, now that surely has got to be the greatest compliment, I know it makes me feel proud of my creations.

One of my oldest friends many years ago put me on the quest for our own Holy Grail and a few months ago I gave him a carton of my base sauce (frozen) I asked him to smell it; he said "but its frozen" I said smell it and he said its like walking into an Indian restaurant he went home and cooked his best ever curry with it and nagged me for the recipe I of course obliged.

I thank this forum for what I have learned and people like yourself for continuing the quest; I do not believe there is any secret only self belief, I know like a lot of others on this site that we can cook better than these so called professionals and I no longer sponsor their hunger to extort our hard earned money with their very poor efforts.

Keep up the good work and enjoy this site its is without doubt the best on the www and I have no doubt that future generations will make great curries when they hit on this site.

Regards

EHC
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 18, 2008, 09:13 PM
Sorry if I sounded negative, trust me I didn't mean it to come across that way. I was definitely going to make another curry out the base and add more garlic, ginger and increase the spice quantity to the final dish but alas she's gone and launched it.

Hi EHC

Really no need to apologise, I know your post was constructive criticism - and that's what this site is about.

From Jeera's earlier post I'd already realised that the amount of spice in the final curry needed adjusting. My latest Madras curry (cooked last night for my better half) improved significantly by adjusting the spice mix. I would appreciate someone posting on this thread an accurate Madras recipe suitable for 200 ml of this particular gravy ... anyone up for it?

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 18, 2008, 11:04 PM
I'll go lurk for a while. ;)

You're probably joking, but don't do that AST.  You've made some great and interesting posts to date; please continue to do so!  :P
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 18, 2008, 11:09 PM
I am going back to ifindforu's base.

As you know, EHC, I also have a high regard for Infindforu's (Terry's) "A Good Curry Base", though some people clealy disagree with us there too! :P.

Secret Santa, can I ask you which curry base you normally use please?  If it's your own, which is closest to it and can you please post your recipe so that we can try it?  Thanks  8)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 18, 2008, 11:56 PM
Looking good this has to be the next base I try now, great photos  ;)

Have you got around to trying it yet CK?  If so, what's your opinion please?  :-\
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 19, 2008, 12:14 AM
I'll go lurk for a while. ;)

You're probably joking, but don't do that AST.  You've made some great and interesting posts to date; please continue to do so!  :P

Yep. ;)  Thanks for the feedback though.  In this case, "lurking" involved painting, putting up wallpaper, replacing outlet boxes and filling in dents in plaster.

I would appreciate someone posting on this thread an accurate Madras recipe suitable for 200 ml of this particular gravy ... anyone up for it?

SnS, I'll be happy to post where I end up with what I'm doing now, but it isn't quite ready yet (going a bit backwards with the last try, unfortunately).  Like you, I took onboard Jeera's comments, but I haven't yet added any garam masala. It'll probably be next week before I get back to the laboratory. :(

Of course, I suppose the key word here is "accurate"... ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 19, 2008, 12:20 AM
SnS, I'll be happy to post where I end up with what I'm doing now, but it isn't quite ready yet (going a bit backwards with the last try, unfortunately).  Like you, I took onboard Jeera's comments, but I haven't yet added any garam masala. It'll probably be next week before I get back to the laboratory. :(

Of course, I suppose the key word here is "accurate"... ;D

Look forward to seeing the results from the lab Ast (and some more sooperdoopa pics).

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 19, 2008, 12:44 AM
Haldi,

You are my hero, i love these reports.
It just sounds so simple, no panic no fuss, just lovely curry everytime.

I am trying this one tonight using the safron base.

S

Hi Stew

Just wondered how you got on with Haldi's Veg Rezala the other night ?

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: extrahotchillie on January 19, 2008, 05:15 AM
Keep up the good work AST
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 19, 2008, 11:37 AM
Ahh, I see. Would have been nice if you'd made that clear in your original post. One followed on from the other so it was a natural assumption that the madras recipe was from the restaurant too. So not only was I the guinea pig for the base as originally posted but I was misled into thinking the madras was a kosher restaurant recipe. Any other hidden gems that I should be aware of before I have another bash at it?  :)

I think SnS made it quite clear that his visit was primarily to learn about making their curry base SS.  That's probably why he entitled his thread "New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron" don't you think?

It seems hardly fair to blame SnS (or anyone else) for any other assumptions you may have made.  Any other assumptions were probably of your own making, whether you considered them "natural" or not.

I don't think anyone asked you to "be a guinea pig" either SS.  Nor do I think it was anyone's intention to "mislead" you. 

Perhaps you could consider expressing yourself a little more positively and constructively SS?  Before you discourage (I was going to swear but thought better of it) everyone else from posting their recipes?

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 19, 2008, 11:49 AM
Secret Santa, can I ask you which curry base you normally use please?

I don't have one. I stumble from one base to the next hoping that this will be the one that makes the difference. One thing I will say is that along the way I've pretty much come to the conclusion that there is no right base because I can make any one into a decent BIR style curry. It does bring me back to the "can you mix and match bases and curry recipes" question though, and I'm absolutely certain from experience that you can't.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 19, 2008, 11:52 AM
I'm absolutely certain from experience that you can't.

Thanks for clarifying SS.

It seems that your "absolutely certain" about many things!  I find it quite surprising that you're not able to provide more enlightening answers in which case.  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 19, 2008, 12:28 PM
One thing I will say is that along the way I've pretty much come to the conclusion that there is no right base because I can make any one into a decent BIR style curry.

Incredible ! :o

Is this the "SECRET" .... as in "SECRET SANTA" then ? :)

Let me know how to do this please, and I too will use "any" gravy base. ;)


Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 19, 2008, 04:00 PM
Ooo err, it looks like I've rubbed the chuckle brothers up the wrong way.

Seriously though, the answer to your question about being able to use any base to be able to make a decent curry is simple. You get yourself 40 odd years of general cooking experience and knowledge along with nigh on 30 years of trying to get the BIR smell and taste (at which I have admittedly failed), mix it liberally with an energetic and enquiring mind and voila, you have someone who can turn the curry equivalent of a pig's ear into the proverbial silk purse. No secrets!


(To you, to me, to you ...)  :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 19, 2008, 04:23 PM
You get yourself 40 odd years of general cooking experience and knowledge along with nigh on 30 years of trying to get the BIR smell and taste (at which I have admittedly failed), mix it liberally with an energetic and enquiring mind and voila, you have someone who can turn the curry equivalent of a pig's ear into the proverbial silk purse. No secrets!

What a relief to hear that SS. I may be able to achieve your level in culinary skills and knowledge in just another 5 years then .. eh?  ;)

I can make any one into a decent BIR style curry

Apparently not !!!!!

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: haldi on January 19, 2008, 05:53 PM
I'm sure I'll be able to do that soon (have to arrange it with Raj), but what I wanted to do first was iron out the creases in the existing gravy recipe so that it was bulletproof and not open to mistakes being made (eg: amount of water added to "cover" the veg, etc, etc). Many don't realise that this was a prototype and much of what I wrote down was from observation, and by no means accurate (as you know, they don't measure ingredients using tspns or tbspns). To do this I've got to make another batch (as shown by the saffron) but this time measuring/recording all the ingredients and times EXACTLY.
Best Regards
SnS

I reckon this base tastes very close to two places I got sample gravies from
The vegetable ingredients certainly are the same
I must admit I thought that the madras recipe was something the Saffron chefs showed you too
The fact it wasn't, actually encourages me
I like to follow recipes exactly and don't want to experiment without reason
I would rather use a genuine Saffron madras curry recipe, but without one available, I would cook a curry like Stu (admin) did
And he seemed very happy with the result

Somebody else commented on this:-
The cooking smell of this curry gravy was really quite pleasant
Some bases have absolutely stunk, this didn't
Thanks again, I look forward to anything else you find out, and the results of you making the base yourself
By the way, I can't remember,  have you posted the Saffron spice mix for curries?
I got the mix ratio at my last demo
1 coriander,1 paprika,1 turmeric,1 madras curry powder and half cummin
All the curries I saw cooked that night, used about two desertspoons of spice mix.
And that's without any chilli powder
So I guess their base is quite underspiced
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 19, 2008, 07:35 PM
I must admit I thought that the madras recipe was something the Saffron chefs showed you too
The fact it wasn't, actually encourages me

Hi Haldi

The Madrad was demonstrated to me by the Saffron chef Anam, but very quickly as the Madras was actually for a customer. There were no measurements (done by eye), but it appeared to me that equal quantities of the 4 main spices were used. I tried it again at home with the approx amount of gravy they appeared to use and achieved what I thought was a reasonable curry. As I'd measured the amount of spices and gravy used (at home), that is what I used in the recipe that I posted. Obviously a slight adjustment was needed, as my last Madras (which was better, thanks to Jeera .. see below) used 0.75 tsp of coriander and turmeric, 0.5 tspn cumin and chilli per 200 ml gravy ... I also added 0.25 tsp garam masala ... and this achieved (to me) to be a perfectly acceptable Madras.

I really would like someone to come up with a really good accurate (prawn) Madras recipe for use the Saffron base though (Ast is in his curry laboratory soon .. so maybe we'll just have to wait for the Prof to post his results).

Best Regards

SnS  ;D

As I mentioned above, I made this yesterday and made it to the letter all with brand new fresh spices.

The base was very reminiscent of a very good KD version which I've had great success with in the past but with loads more depth and sweetness. I think the amount of salt in the watered down base was perfect too and it set things up for a promising final dish with no additional salt needed. I'm sure the paprika (not smoked version) is absolutely critical as I've have good results with Jaspers Munich base to - which was tremendous.

Anyway to the real test. I made 3 final chicken dishes - all bhoona type consistency.

Dish #1 - exactly as posted by SnS but omitted the chilli powder but used the 0.5 tsp of coriander/cumin/turmeric as indicated.

Result #1 - very very wonderful with hints/undertones of *the* taste. Verdict 90/100

Dish #2 - same as posted but with 0.25 tsp chilli powder, 0.75 tsp cumin/coriander/turmeric, tsp methi & tsp fresh coriander.

Result #2 - awesome taste. I may have been lucky that I hit the cooking sweet spot but this was BIR class whatever made the difference. Lovely sweet, spiced and huge depth. Verdict 97/100

Dish 3. as #2 but with tsp chilli powder and 1 tsp cumin/coriander/turmeric.

Result #3 - OK, good but overspiced (not in the hot way)and ultimately much like may of my previous attempts. Verdict 80/100


So all in all this is a classy piece of work and I'm 100% convinced this would be an awesome base to get slight modifications on the final dish - Per CA's recent suggestion. Next I will try #2 but with 0.25 tsp garamasala.

Well done SnS, mega mate.

PS. Ast the base and final looked exactly like yours - nice shots btw.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 19, 2008, 09:24 PM
I really would like someone to come up with a really good accurate (prawn) Madras recipe for use the Saffron base though (Ast is in his curry laboratory soon .. so maybe we'll just have to wait for the Prof to post his results).

By all means, don't wait on me.  If someone has something that works for them, please post it.  My guess from recent discussions here and in other threads, we'll probably have a few variations between us anyway to cater for personal tastes and expectations. ;)

All I was saying was that I would share what I came up with, but apart from also trying what Jeera indicated (sans the garam masala) as a starting point, I'm primarily chasing a lamb and chicken vindaloo which, when I get there, I'll also make sure works as a madras for my wife.  I'm not too big on seafood in my BIR dishes, so the fields wide open, as they say.  Some of the things I'm going to be evaluating when I get a chance will be the effect of some of the many spice mixes on the final dish.

It may take awhile before I hit the curry sweet spot.  No sense in any of us starving in the meantime! ;D

Cheers,

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 22, 2008, 08:07 PM
deet..deet..duh..deet..deet...deet...deet...This just in... the latest results from the curry lab...

Ok, so you'll have to improvise on the sound effects yourselves--think Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam.

Wanted to post this so I don't lose it amongst all of my recent notes.  I've been trying a few different things over the past couple of days, and I think this one turned out absolutely brilliantly (of course, after eating this many curries lately, my objectivity may be slipping a little...).  I don't think this is a stopping point because I'm still working on my overall technique and exploring the different effects of spices, etc., but I think I *could* stop here and be pretty happy.

I'd be interested in feedback if anyone else tries this recipe.  From here on, the only variables will be experimenting with different spice mixes.  I'd experimented with vinegar and/or Worcestershire sauce, but neither seemed to really add all that much.  I may try again at some stage, but as a second pass.

I've also tried this with chicken and it works equally well, although pre-cooking didn't use the same ingredients.  This time I only added 1 tsp turmeric to CK's chicken method (I mentioned this previously somewhere in the thread, I think).

Unfortunately, I haven't tried this at Madras heat levels yet, so I'm not sure how well the flavors balance in that case.  I promise that I will try it soon, though.
 
Andrew's Latest Lamb Vindaloo (Jan 22 edition)

INGREDIENTS

200ml Saffron curry base (shaken, not stirred.... ;))
3 tbsp vegetable oil (see note 1)
1/4 cooking onion, chopped (approx 40g or so)
2 tbsp minced garlic (approx 2-4 cloves, depending on their size)
1 pre-boiled (but not quite cooked completely), small salad potato, halved
60-80g pre-cooked lamb (see note 2)
60ml lamb stock
2 tsp tomato puree (double-concentrate)
8 small green chillies, thinly sliced (see note 3)
2 tsp extra hot chilli powder (see note 4)
1 large pinch of dried methi leaves

"Haldi's Takeaway" Spice Mix (courtesy of Haldi's recent posts)

1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp corriander powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp Madras curry powder (see note 5)
1/4 tsp ground cumin

METHOD (basically the same as in the original Madras recipe)

Heat a heavy pan on med-high heat until hot.  Add the oil and wait until it starts moving easily around the pan, but isn't smoking.  Add the onion and garlic and sautee until just beginning to change color.  Add the dry spices and stir continuously, making sure not to burn them.  Wait until you can't breathe and then continue to cook them a bit longer, adding a little base if necessary.

Add the base and stir well to evenly mix the spices and the curry base.  Stir in the tomato paste.  When mixed well, add the chillies, lamb, lamb stock and the potato.  Bring to an energetic boil and reduce to medium.  Stir occasionally to check the consistency.  After about 5 min, stir in the dried methi and reduce to desired consistency, adding some water if it gets too dry.

Sprinkle with coriander leaves (freshly chopped or dry) and serve.

Note 1:

It seems that after freezing this base, the oil doesn't want to separate like it used too.  I know I'm cooking it the same way as before, but I've tended to end up with a tad drier curries trying to wait for the oil to separate.  It still does, but there just doesn't seem to be as much of it.  If you're using fresh, e.g. not frozen, curry base, you can reduce this amount to 2 tsp.

Has anyone else noticed this problem? ???

Note 2:

I used Curry King's method for cooking lamb (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,1915.0.html), except that I used 6 green pods, 5-6 small pieces of cassia bark, no ginger, 1 tsp of turmeric, 2 tsp of garam masala instead of the cumin/coriander mix and a large pinch of dried methi leaves.  There was about 650g of lamb which  was boiled on low for 1 hr and was also boiled with the hip bone and the hock ligaments.

Note 3:

I've no idea what they're called, but they look like this:  http://indianfoodrocks.blogspot.com/2007/10/make-your-green-chillies-last-longer.html (http://indianfoodrocks.blogspot.com/2007/10/make-your-green-chillies-last-longer.html)

Note 4:

I think what I bought is Raj, but I forgot to write it down before I threw away the package.  It seems to have quite a bit of cayenne in it from both the color and the taste.  I'd say it'd be *roughly* equivalent to 4 tsp of Schwartz hot chilli powder and 1-2 tsp of pure cayenne powder as this was about what I was using before I went shopping at a real spice store.

Note 5:

One of the things I didn't buy when I was at the Indian grocer was Madras curry powder, so I cheated and used Schwartz's Medium Curry Powder.  Probably nowhere close, but it's all I had.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 22, 2008, 08:56 PM
Nice one AST .. great report. I'll probably try this over the weekend (maybe with prawns though).

Quote
It seems that after freezing this base, the oil doesn't want to separate like it used too.  I know I'm cooking it the same way as before, but I've tended to end up with a tad drier curries trying to wait for the oil to separate.

I have also noticed this. Perhaps this is why Raj reckoned the gravy is not as good after freezing it. I wonder what would happen if the gravy was brought back to the boil before using in the curry ?

Quote
60ml lamb stock

How did you make this stock ?

Quote
I've no idea what they're called, but they look like this

They look like green Thai Dragon chillies (about 2-3 inches long (?) and 6 times hotter than Jalepeno). Did you also use the seeds ?

What ... no sooperpics  ???

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 22, 2008, 09:51 PM
Nice one AST .. great report. I'll probably try this over the weekend (maybe with prawns though).

Thanks.  I've a thought or two around your prawn problem.  Have you tried a small bit of either ambchoor or tamarind?  Might be interesting.  Next time we see some decent prawns, I might have a go and see.

Quote
Quote
It seems that after freezing this base, the oil doesn't want to separate like it used too.  I know I'm cooking it the same way as before, but I've tended to end up with a tad drier curries trying to wait for the oil to separate.

I have also noticed this. Perhaps this is why Raj reckoned the gravy is not as good after freezing it. I wonder what would happen if the gravy was brought back to the boil before using in the curry ?

I was thinking the same thing, but I haven't been quite that organized.  It's just soooo much simpler to pour it out of the bottle than mess with small amounts in a pot.

Quote
Quote
60ml lamb stock

How did you make this stock ?

This is the stock obtained from pre-cooking the lamb.  I've taken to reserving the appropriate amount with single or double-sized portions of meat in the freezer.  It works equally well with the chicken too, but my chicken was needing to be eaten or frozen, and I *really* wanted to see how it worked with lamb instead (a fella can only eat so much chicken in a week...).

Quote
Quote
I've no idea what they're called, but they look like this

They look like green Thai Dragon chillies (about 2-3 inches long (?) and 6 times hotter than Jalepeno). Did you also use the seeds ?

Thanks for that.  They weren't exactly labeled in the shop, and I've had a tough time trying to find them on the Web.  I'm pretty sure these are the same ones that the chef at Jewel in the Crown (the place I like) uses in my vindaloo.  I always use the seeds and cut them so they're in small rings about 2-3mm wide.  Apparently from what I've read, it's the membrane inside that has all the "power of the pepper" rather than the seeds.  Still, I like the seeds... ;)

Quote
What ... no sooperpics  ???

Next batch--I promise! :D

I got it a tad dry cause I was messing with the camera, and my rice looked a bit naff this time around (tried to rush it and it showed).  I still haven't managed to be brave enough to try and snap a picture of the spices when using them dry.  I've got the touch down pretty well now, but it takes a bit more attention than if you make the paste first.

Any preferences for what you want to see?  I have taken pics of most of the intermediate iterations, but they tend to all look the same after awhile:  same pan, same meat, etc., etc.  I figure unless I do something dramatically differently, an "ingredients" shot, maybe a shot of what it looks like when I add the methi (since I don't time anything), finished in the pan and the presented dish?  That's 4, and it'll montage easily enough.  I don't want people getting bored, and I sure don't want to post pictures just for the sake of it.

I've also been thinking about the volume of the spices used.  If you add it all up, the amount of spice mix I posted is 2 1/4 tsp.  I'm not sure yet if this is the right amount, but I know it isn't the wrong amount.  From all of the observed reports as well as from some of the videos, the chefs generally dip the chefs spoon into the spice container and come out with an arc that doesn't seem to go past 1/3 to 1/2 of the whole spoon.  Who knows what amount this is.

From other discussions about the sizes of professional chef utensils, they seem to range from around 150-200ml.  Doing the math, that's gotta mean that the above is a tad under-spiced--assuming the amount of curry base used is 200ml.  If it's 400ml, that's something different indeed, and the proportions could be nearly right.

Part of my plan is to somehow start dropping in to my fav restaurant again.  It's about 40-45 on the train now to get there, but I'm sure that since the chef was interested enough to come out and talk to me before, he'd be interested and willing to share some information too (provided he's still working there).  Until then, if anyone else has any insights, I'd love to hear them.

One other thing I've been thinking about is whether or not the flavors should be balanced relative to each other or relative to the curry base.  I'm a bit of two minds on this one, and it's one of the things I intend to try, meaning, if you add more heat, should/can you also increase the amount of base spices by some proportion so that the flavor remains somewhat constant (or your taste buds explode, whichever happens first! ;D)

I'll be interested to hear how you get on with the recipe.  I may be cooking curry for a friend towards the end of the week which means I'll be thawing out my last bottle of base.  If that happens, I'll re-boil the whole lot and pour it back in the bottle to test the oil theory.

I'm sure it would add to the taste, but I was reading some about using tamarind and ambchoor as preservation agents in traditional Indian dishes.  Maybe adding some to the base might mean you could keep it in the fridge longer.  I've also run across a link indicating that tamarind's used in the "real" Goan version of Vindaloo, so I might give that a go too, but I don't have any at the moment.

Some interesting stuff here on both spices you may or may not know:

Tamarind: http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Tama_ind.html (http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Tama_ind.html)
Ambchoor: http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Mang_ind.html (http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Mang_ind.html)

Cheers,

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 22, 2008, 10:22 PM
Quote
Have you tried a small bit of either ambchoor or tamarind?
I used tamerind concentrate when I cooked a Pathia a few weeks back but I'm sure most BIR's use lemon juice. Amchoor (green mango powder) is on my shopping list, as I gather it has both a sweet and sour taste, maybe suitable for Pathia.

Quote
Apparently from what I've read, it's the membrane inside that has all the "power of the pepper" rather than the seeds.  Still, I like the seeds...
Yup it's the fleshy vein that holds the seeds (placenta) that is the hottest part, not the actual seeds as many think. I do prefer the seeds taken out though. Makes the curry a bit crunchy - particularly if the chilli pod contains many seeds.

Quote
Any preferences for what you want to see?
Personally, just the finished article - but I suppose others would be interested in seeing pictures at the various stages.

Quote
From all of the observed reports as well as from some of the videos, the chefs generally dip the chefs spoon into the spice container and come out with an arc that doesn't seem to go past 1/3 to 1/2 of the whole spoon.  Who knows what amount this is.
That's why it was impossible to get the recipe measurements exact at my initial visit!  ::)


Regards

SnS ;D

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 22, 2008, 11:13 PM
Quote
Have you tried a small bit of either ambchoor or tamarind?
I used tamerind concentrate when I cooked a Pathia a few weeks back but I'm sure most BIR's use lemon juice. Amchoor (green mango powder) is on my shopping list, as I gather it has both a sweet and sour taste, maybe suitable for Pathia.

Never had nor made a Pathia before.  Lemon juice was on the list, but it somehow seems to have fallen off.  I did buy the lemons, but I keep forgetting about it.  Still, I've never personally noticed much of a sour taste in my vindaloo.

I bought the amchoor (I've seen at least 7 different spellings of this, btw) for another recipe, but it doesn't use that much.  The only pack they had was large enough that I'm trying to work out what else I can do with it so I can use it before the BBE date.  From reading about it and its taste characteristics, I thought it might be an interesting taste with the prawns.  On its own, it isn't bad, but only in small-ish quantities.  I haven't actually used it yet, though.

Quote
From all of the observed reports as well as from some of the videos, the chefs generally dip the chefs spoon into the spice container and come out with an arc that doesn't seem to go past 1/3 to 1/2 of the whole spoon.  Who knows what amount this is.
That's why it was impossible to get the recipe measurements exact at my initial visit!  ::)

I know... it was rhetorical, but those damn sound effects seem to be broken today! ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 22, 2008, 11:45 PM
I bought the amchoor (I've seen at least 7 different spellings of this, btw) for another recipe, but it doesn't use that much.  The only pack they had was large enough that I'm trying to work out what else I can do with it so I can use it before the BBE date.  From reading about it and its taste characteristics, I thought it might be an interesting taste with the prawns.  On its own, it isn't bad, but only in small-ish quantities.  I haven't actually used it yet, though.

I went to a newly opened restaurant (Mughal Empire, Broad Street)) last week in Barry, near Cardiff. Amongst other dishes, we had a side dish of Saag Aloo. Now I don't know what the chef sprinkled on the top of the spinach but the taste was something else (a sort of mild fruity taste, not sweet but not bitter). I asked the waiter to find out what it was, but no luck. I did wonder at the time whether this may have been Amchur (another spelling).

Does anyone here have experience using ambchoor (amchoor, amchur or MANGO POWDER) regularly in curries? How is it used, how long does it keep, what is it normally used with and how does it affect taste?

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 23, 2008, 04:32 AM
think Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam

So like Mork only without the naiive charm?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 23, 2008, 04:37 AM
Still, I've never personally noticed much of a sour taste in my vindaloo.

Me either. It seriously winds me up when ppl put lemon or vinegar etc. into a vindaloo. I have never ever ever had a sour vindaloo. What part of the country is this normal in for god's sake?

Ohh..I take this curry lark far too seriously :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 23, 2008, 04:40 AM
smokenspices amchur is sour. Sour ya hear! When you get your pack of it dab your finger in and taste it...it's lovely but it's sour not sweet.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 23, 2008, 10:58 AM
smokenspices amchur is sour. Sour ya hear! When you get your pack of it dab your finger in and taste it...it's lovely but it's sour not sweet.

Yeh you're right SS, amchoor is used as a souring agent (instead of lemon juice). I was confusing amchoor with anardana which imparts a both sweet and sour taste and is often used by chefs in preference to amchoor.

Regards

SnS ;D

ps: Now I'm wondering whether it was anardana that they sprinkled over the Saag Aloo that gave it that special taste ?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Jethro on January 23, 2008, 06:28 PM
Still, I've never personally noticed much of a sour taste in my vindaloo.

Me either. It seriously winds me up when ppl put lemon or vinegar etc. into a vindaloo. I have never ever ever had a sour vindaloo. What part of the country is this normal in for god's sake?

Ohh..I take this curry lark far too seriously :)

Vindaloo traditionally uses pork and comes from Goa, Goa is a an ex Portuguese colony, Portuguese pork recipes include a lot of dishes with a vinegar base.
http://www.portuguese-recipes.com/Pork%20Recipes.htm (http://www.portuguese-recipes.com/Pork%20Recipes.htm)
An authentic Goan vindaloo recipe will use vinegar instead of water, some Birs (very few) try and keep the close to original taste rather than just upping the heat content of a madras style curry.
Thats why :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: curryqueen on January 23, 2008, 06:57 PM
You add lemon juice and sugar to make a pathia/patia.  I usually use 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice to 2 tablespoons of sugar, it all depends on you personal taste as to how much of each ingredient you use.  CQ
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 23, 2008, 08:01 PM
You add lemon juice and sugar to make a pathia/patia.  I usually use 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice to 2 tablespoons of sugar, it all depends on you personal taste as to how much of each ingredient you use.  CQ

Hi CQ

I believe this is your husband's favourite. Do you have a Pathia recipe using the Saffron base gravy (or a similar base) please?

Thanks

Regards

SnS  ;D

ps The stuff sprinkled on top of the Saag Aloo in Barry, Cardiff was Anardana (I've just had a takeaway and sprinkled some on top (which I got from Tescos on way home) - same sweet/sour fruity taste - mmmm loverrly).
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 23, 2008, 08:07 PM
Still, I've never personally noticed much of a sour taste in my vindaloo.

Me either. It seriously winds me up when ppl put lemon or vinegar etc. into a vindaloo. I have never ever ever had a sour vindaloo. What part of the country is this normal in for god's sake?

Ohh..I take this curry lark far too seriously :)

Vindaloo traditionally uses pork and comes from Goa, Goa is a an ex Portuguese colony, Portuguese pork recipes include a lot of dishes with a vinegar base.
http://www.portuguese-recipes.com/Pork%20Recipes.htm (http://www.portuguese-recipes.com/Pork%20Recipes.htm)
An authentic Goan vindaloo recipe will use vinegar instead of water, some Birs (very few) try and keep the close to original taste rather than just upping the heat content of a madras style curry.
Thats why :)

....... didn't a hotter version of Madras, without the vinegar, used to be called a TINDALOO?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Rai on January 23, 2008, 10:39 PM
vindaloo = tindaloo = bindaloo as far I could ever tell, just different names for the same thing?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 24, 2008, 11:43 AM
Vindaloo traditionally uses pork

Absolutely correct, except you forgot to mention that it uses a very fatty pork, and the authentic Goan vindaloo uses vinegar to cut through this fat as it cooks over a very long time. The result is a dish which is NOT vinegary or sour in taste. So it seems the  BIRs you mention that are trying to keep to the authentic original have never been within a mile of Goa or the authentic vindaloo. And despite my efforts to actaullly find a BIR that makes a vinegary or sour vindaloo, I never have (although I consider that a good thing really).
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 24, 2008, 12:02 PM
Goan vindaloo uses vinegar to cut through this fat as it cooks over a very long time

Errr...what does "cut through the fat" mean please SS?  Is it a technical term?  :-\

My understanding is that a typical BIR vindaloo is hot and sour - made sour using a souring agent such as vinegar, lemon juice or tamarind....

....though I do agree that many BIRs just take a madras, and add more chilli to make a vindaloo, and more chilli again to make a phal.

I think we should anyway remember, that most BIR dishes are a Western fabrication, bearing only a minimal, if any, resemblance to traditional Indian fare.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 24, 2008, 04:55 PM
I made the base paying 100 percent attention to detail. Delicious. I took pictures but can't seem to upload them! :o
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Curry King on January 24, 2008, 05:02 PM
I took pictures but can't seem to upload them! :o


There is an issue with pictures at the moment Cory noticed it earlier today and Stew is on the case.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: curryqueen on January 24, 2008, 05:59 PM
Hi Smokenspices,

I will post the gravy that I use most of the time which replicates a good finished curry and also the recipe that I use, either later this evening when I have more time or tomorrow.  CQ
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: haldi on January 25, 2008, 08:19 AM
Hi Smokenspices,

I will post the gravy that I use most of the time which replicates a good finished curry and also the recipe that I use, either later this evening when I have more time or tomorrow.  CQ
Thanks CQ, I always look forward to your posts
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 25, 2008, 10:08 AM
Hi Everyone,

Wanted to provide a quick update on the freezing issue.  I confirmed last night that if you want to get the best results from the frozen Saffron base, it is essential that you bring it to the boil again and let it simmer on medium heat for about 10-15 min.

I did this last night with the last 1.2L that I had in the freezer after having disappointing results with the last few curries getting too dry before the oil really started separating.  After boiling, I did have a fresh layer of scum on top of the oil that must be scraped off, but the oil was then stirred back into the base and it looked roughly the same as it did when it was initially made.

Making curries with the re-boiled base went much more like it did with the fresh base as well.  I won't say that it was 100% the same, but I think it was at least in the 90-95% range.  The curries tasted better and more of the oil came out of the base the way it should too.

I suggest that the updated recipe also include this information as a note for using the base after it's been frozen so people can get the best possible results.  Also, does anyone have any idea approximately how long a re-boiled base would keep in the fridge?  That information may also be a useful addition to the final recipe.

Hope this helps,

ast

P.S.  Here's a picture of the base after it was re-boiled and cooling with the scum removed.  Note:  the scum covered nearly the entire surface of the oil, so make sure you get it all without removing too much of the oil in the process.

I did this before our guests arrived, so I didn't have a chance to take any pictures of the finished curries.  However, they looked much more like they were supposed to and seemed to taste the part. I'll post more about this separately.

(http://atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/reboiled_base_after_freezing-2008-01-24_AST.jpg)
Resurrected Saffron Base
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 25, 2008, 10:21 AM
Hi AST,

The "conventional wisdom" seems to be that the curry base, once frozen, should be defrosted, re-blended and reheated, prior to reuse, to preseserve something like it's original texture and consistency.

I generally just reheat it and I find it's ok.

BIRs don't freeze their curry bases of course.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 25, 2008, 10:56 AM
The "conventional wisdom" seems to be that the curry base, once frozen, should be defrosted, re-blended and reheated, prior to reuse, to preseserve something like it's original texture and consistency.

Hi CA

I don't think Ast re-blended it. Just reheated to get the oil to separate again.

I had the same problem. After freeezing, the oil tends to be more reluctant to separate again in the final curry.

Of course this would not be a problem for those who prefer to remove the oil before freezing the gravy.

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 25, 2008, 11:03 AM
Yes, I understand that SnS  :)

But defrosting, reblending AND reheating is the conventional wisdom to preserve the....oh hell, I'm just repeating myself.... ;D

I also just defrost and reheat and I find it fine..oh, I think I mentioned that too...bum.. :P
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 25, 2008, 11:10 AM
Yes, I understand that SnS  :)

But defrosting, reblending AND reheating is the conventional wisdom to preserve the....oh hell, I'm just repeating myself.... ;D

I know what you meant CA, I was just pointing out that Ast only reheated (not reblended) it to regenerate the gravy to 90-95% original.
I'm now wondering whether it ALSO requires re-blending to get it back to 100% normal, as the "conventional wisdom" suggests.  :P

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 25, 2008, 11:19 AM
The "conventional wisdom" seems to be that the curry base, once frozen, should be defrosted, re-blended and reheated, prior to reuse, to preseserve something like it's original texture and consistency.
Hi Cory.  Thanks for that.  I guess it's because I'm a newbie to all this, but I must've missed out on picking up that part of the "conventional wisdom" somewhere... ;)  Where should I have looked that I obviously didn't to pick this up?

I don't think Ast re-blended it. Just reheated to get the oil to separate again.

That's exactly right, SnS.  Re-blending never occurred to me, and it would be a RPITA if you needed to do that every time you took the stuff out of the freezer.

Quote
Of course this would not be a problem for those who prefer to remove the oil before freezing the gravy.

Again, maybe it's just that I don't know what I'm talking about because I'm new at this, but to me, if the oil's required to make the base, then it's there for a reason and shouldn't be removed.  If it is necessary to remove copious amounts of oil from a finished base, then, again, to me, it seems like that the initial amount of oil used should be reduced.

If the proportion of oil/base is correct, then it should positively contribute to the creation of the overall curry and be "just right" in the finished dish.  The curry preparation methods (sauteeing onions/garlic, etc. and frying the spices) naturally require some sort of liquid to facilitate the proper cooking, but I found that the minimal amount SnS originally specified in his Madras interpretation of what the Saffron chef did more than adequate to provide enough oil in the finished curries I made with the fresh base.

I also don't really recall any cries of "not enough oil" prompted by the pictures of the finished curries either.  If that was the case, I would've hoped to get some constructive criticism/feedback so that my curries would improve.  I've seen similar sorts of things happening in many places on the site.

I fail to see what the overall benefit to removing the oil before freezing could possibly be.  It seems to me that it is necessary for it to be in suspension within the curry base for it to do the right thing, as any oil added during the final curry creation process would not react in the same way.

What am I missing here? ???

Cheers for all the replies while I was typing this.  I can't keep up with you guys! ;D

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 25, 2008, 11:31 AM
I must've missed out on picking up that part of the "conventional wisdom" somewhere... ;)  Where should I have looked that I obviously didn't to pick this up?

Oh, it is cunningly hidden amongst all the multitude of threads AST!  I'm not surprised that you missed it!  ;)

Quote
That's exactly right, SnS.  Re-blending never occurred to me, and it would be a RPITA if you needed to do that every time you took the stuff out of the freezer.

Perhaps AST; I do as you did and simply reheat it  :)

Quote
Again, maybe it's just that I don't know what I'm talking about because I'm new at this, but to me, if the oil's required to make the base, then it's there for a reason and shouldn't be removed.  If it is necessary to remove copious amounts of oil from a finished base, then, again, to me, it seems like that the initial amount of oil used should be reduced.

Seems logical to me AST.  I think SnS's statement was a little tongue in cheek though?  :P

Quote
I also don't really recall any cries of "not enough oil" prompted by the pictures of the finished curries either.

To my mind, most pictures depict curries that are too dry and insufficiently oily (compared to a typical BIR curry that is)

Quote
I've seen similar sorts of things happening in many places on the site.

What do you mean AST?  :-\

Quote
I fail to see what the overall benefit to removing the oil before freezing could possibly be

I personally leave it in, but others use it to make the main dish.  I find it releases in the final dish anyway.  It no doubt adds spiciness to the main dish, but I find that it also adds oiliness.  It will also be an inferior cooking oil in that the smoke point will be significantly reduced.

Quote
What am I missing here? ???

Nothing mate!  Just a little patience and knowledge it seems! Stick with it!  8)

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 25, 2008, 11:50 AM
That's exactly right, SnS.  Re-blending never occurred to me, and it would be a RPITA if you needed to do that every time you took the stuff out of the freezer.

Perhaps AST; I do as you did and simply reheat it  :)

Just to be clear, do you re-boil/re-simmer for a period of time, or do you just "warm" it?  (Genuinely curious, not trying to antagonize...)

I said 90-95% because without a side-by-side comparison of look/taste/smell/finished curries with fresh vs. re-boiled, I won't be able to say for sure.  I figured it was a safe guess based on what I remembered. ;)

Quote
Quote
I also don't really recall any cries of "not enough oil" prompted by the pictures of the finished curries either.

To my mind, most pictures depict curries that are too dry and insufficiently oily (compared to a typical BIR curry that is)

Interesting.  My results seem pretty close to what I remember to getting in restaurants, and the resulting oily plates look about right too.  I intend to somehow start doing side-by-side comparisons from some different places to verify it, though.  The last takeaway dish I got (that Lamb Lal Maas) certainly wasn't overly oily or "wet", but maybe that was a function of what it was.

Quote
Quote
I've seen similar sorts of things happening in many places on the site.

What do you mean AST?  :-\

I guess that came out wrong.  What I meant was encouraging, but constructive, feedback to things people have posted.  I think that's the essential benefit of having a forum.  I meant it as a good thing, CA! :)

Quote
Quote
What am I missing here? ???

Nothing mate!  Just a little patience and knowledge it seems! Stick with it!  8)

Sorry if it sounded like I wasn't being patient enough.  Again, that wasn't the intent.  As far as sticking with it, no danger of that not happening.  I'm hooked on this "curries at home" business! :D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 25, 2008, 02:01 PM
Results of Madras Test with Vindaloo Recipe:

Wanted to post this as I finished off my wife's mild madras from last night for lunch today.  Everything was done as per recipe except I used 1/4 tsp of the extra hot chilli powder and none of the chopped, green chillies.  You'll probably want 1/2 tsp for a "real" madras, but there was a slightly noticeable trace of heat.  It was plenty spicy for my wife, however.

I used 3 tbsp of oil since I wasn't sure how well my boiling experiment would work to ensure that there was enough oil to mix the spices and create the proper amount in the finished curry.  Here's what it looked like after it came out of the fridge:

(http://atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/madras_day2_2008-01-25_AST.jpg)
Left-over Madras following AST Vindaloo Recipe

Cory's earlier comments about "not enough oil" and end curries being "too dry looking" got me wondering.  Here's a 1:1 zoom of the original image where it's in focus showing the consistency of both the resulting curry and giving an indication of the amount of oil.  Opinions?

(http://atownley.org/images/cooking/saffron_base1/madras_day2_detail-2008-01-25_AST.jpg)
Detail of Madras Texture and Oil

With exception of the few that I made with the frozen base without boiling, this is pretty consistent with how they look in the container.  Once they're presented in the plate, the oil's not quite so obvious for some reason.

I also attempted to make a Jalfrezi following the same basic recipe, but added about 1/5-1/4 green pepper, sliced into strips, then halved and 1/2 of a tomato, cut into 4 pieces, 3 tsp of tomato puree instead of 2 (figuring it was supposed to be more tomato-y) and sliced two of the green chillies length-wise.  I used 3/4 tsp of extra hot chilli powder.

What I wasn't sure about was adding lemon juice.  It wasn't for me, so I didn't taste as I went all that much.  One of the recipes on this site said "yea" and the other said "nay", so I didn't put it in, however I felt that it was missing something.  From your experience, is this the only thing I would've left out?

Oh... you'll have to forgive the large chunks of garlic in the above.  I had to have my wife chop some while I was making curries, and she doesn't chop quite as finely as I do. ;)

If I can just fix the missing jalfrezi ingredient, that makes at least a madras/vindaloo and jalfrezi recipes to go with the Saffron base.  I also adapted the KD peas & mushrooms veggie side as well, but I need to revise the quantities for the amount of base somewhat.  I'll post it when I next make it as it turned out pretty tasty too.

Anyone else adapted any other curries to this base?

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 25, 2008, 02:15 PM
Nice effort and pics, as always AST  8)

Yes, plenty of oil there, for sure. 

If anything, I'd say the sauce looks a bit thick and stodgey...maybe it's been cooked too long and has congealed?

Sorry if you may construe my comments as being negative, in any way, but they are not meant to be, it's my honest opinion.

To my mind, the sauce should be nicely flocculated and not congealed.

By the way, my comments were general comments and not necessarily directed at your pics....but then again they may have been...but please don't take them too personally ok!  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 25, 2008, 02:25 PM
do you re-boil/re-simmer for a period of time, or do you just "warm" it?  (Genuinely curious, not trying to antagonize...)

Yes, I understand that you are not trying to antagonise AST  ;)

I just bring the curry base to a simmer.  A big part of MY reasoning (other than the textural thing) is to minimise temperature changes upon its addition to the main curry.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: curryqueen on January 25, 2008, 03:43 PM
Curry Base recipe copied to recipe section, by Haldi, here: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2358.msg20418.html#msg20418

Patia recipe moved to recipe section, by CA, here:  http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2405.0.html
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: adriandavidb on January 25, 2008, 04:27 PM
Hi CurryQueen

Is the 'garlic/ginger' puree you use home made or bought?  If bought I presume you mean a puree already containing both, not separate garlic puree and ginger puree.  Is it the sort of stuff made by Barts or Kohinoor?

How much of the base do you put in your Patia?

regards
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: adriandavidb on January 25, 2008, 04:29 PM
Please ignore the part of the question that asks 'how much base'!  I'm not the most careful of readers!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 25, 2008, 04:57 PM
Ok... enough with the uber-politeness, ok?? ;D  I *did* ask for your (collective forum) opinion.

If anything, I'd say the sauce looks a bit thick and stodgey...maybe it's been cooked too long and has congealed?

It may have cooked too long; I don't really remember.  Bear in mind that the container has just come out of the fridge, so it's possible that it has congealed a little.  However, the one thing I absolutely can't stand is a runny curry.  ;)

I can't recall the last curry I had out that didn't stay on top of the rice rather than running off of it, so maybe it's different expectations again.  I need to start eating them out again to see if the alzheimer's hasn't kicked in, though.

Quote
To my mind, the sauce should be nicely flocculated and not congealed.

Yeah, I'd agree with that too.  Maybe I am cooking them too long.  I'll try and time it next time just to see.

Thanks for the feedback! :D

Cheers,

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 25, 2008, 05:00 PM
Sounds yummy, CQ!

Thanks for the recipe.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 25, 2008, 05:02 PM
conventional wisdom

but where does this "conventional wisdom" come from...Have you been slumming it over at the other place CA?

Oooops!  Sorry, now I've gone and accidentally edited your post SS, sorry about that!  :-[

And this being a polite one too!  Typical  ::)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 25, 2008, 10:34 PM
Quote
..but where does this "conventional wisdom" come from

OK OK!  ;D

I meant that the weight of opinion of most people's collective experience regarding their interpretation of the various preparation techniques for this aspect of their curry cooking culinary experience is that one should gently thaw said frosted matter prior to rehomogenizing with an electrical whirly appliance prior to irradiating with a convenient heat source such a conventional domestic range...or something :P

In other words, it's what many people seem to believe  ;)

Quote
...Have you been slumming it over at the other place CA?

I think you may be right SS  :-[
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: haldi on January 26, 2008, 08:41 AM
Hi Haldi - Are you going to try this one?


Chicken or Prawn Patia 
I always make a patia/pathia to a phal strength for my OH and use either scotch bonnet or dorset nega chillies when I can get hold of them. 

Hi CQ
     Yes I shall try the gravy and pathia
Many thanks for the recipes
I think they deserve their own thread, they could get a little lost here and they are too special for that

Did you say "scotch bonnet" chillies?
You mad thing, they are so hot
I was in Leicester market yesterday and there was a stall that was selling loads of
chillies
Amongst them was a pile of scotch bonnet
A mini mountain about 8 inches high
Bright reds, oranges and yellows
I tried eating them raw a few years back
It's not just the heat is it?
They really do have a special flavour
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 26, 2008, 11:17 AM
I tweaked my Jalfrezi recipe for this base last night to a point that I'm happy with it.  I've posted it in the Recipes section (with a picture this time, SnS! ;)):  http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2326.0.html (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2326.0.html).

Unless something drastic happens, I don't expect it to change, so I figured it was finished enough to post.

As always, any and all feedback is welcome.

Cheers,

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 26, 2008, 12:05 PM
Hi Smokenspices -  The gravy that I have always used is quite basic and I feel because of this will accomodate any curry.  Well here goes!

Many thanks CQ. Will definately give this a go.

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: lorrydoo on January 26, 2008, 03:16 PM
I am about to make this curry, will post the results when finished.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: wardy11 on January 27, 2008, 12:13 PM
made this base last night. Forgot to add potato :-[ really pleased with the results. made a dhansak. best yet. Cheers for the info sns  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: lorrydoo on January 27, 2008, 03:10 PM
Ok, curry made and I am pleased with the results.  I feel the base will be very flexible where other recipes are concerned and will also be a good base to experiment with.  One of the best things for me personally is the fact that this base does not have any unpleasant aftertastes and it is most certainly not over powering, making it more adaptable.   Thank you to Smokinspice for submitting this very well researched high quality base.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 27, 2008, 04:00 PM
made this base last night. Forgot to add potato :-[ really pleased with the results. made a dhansak. best yet. Cheers for the info sns  ;)

Hi Marc

Glad you're pleased with the results Marc.

The potatoes give a little more "body" to the gravy but I'm not sure how omitting them would affect the final outcome (as far as taste etc). Chefs at Saffron were quite specific about the potatoes they prefer to use ... salad type (Charlotte). These are the common stock "salad spuds" and most supermarkets sell them.

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 29, 2008, 12:44 PM
Now that photo uploading is sorted, here my pictures of the base at the three main stages.

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/gallery/3840_29_01_08_12_41_43.jpg)

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/gallery/3840_29_01_08_12_43_21.JPG)

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/gallery/3840_29_01_08_12_44_02.JPG)

This is my favourite base to date.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 29, 2008, 12:55 PM
You've certainly got the oil to separate nicely there Bobby  8)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 29, 2008, 12:58 PM
Now that photo uploading is sorted, here my pictures of the base at the three main stages.

This is my favourite base to date.

Hi Bobby

Great pics Bobby.

I assume photo 3 is with gravy "at rest" (oil has completely risen to surface).

In Photo 2 the oil has started to separate with some froth, but is this still during the simmering stage (ie did the oil separate easily during simmering?). Did you have to remove any "scum"?

Regards

SnS  ;D

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 29, 2008, 01:09 PM
I assume photo 3 is with gravy "at rest" (oil has completely risen to surface).
That's right SnS, if you look at the times on the images, you will see that it has been left for a couple of hours or so.
Quote
In Photo 2 the oil has started to separate with some froth, but is this still during the simmering stage (ie did the oil separate easily during simmering?).
Right again, this is during the simmering stage and the oil did begin to separate with ease.
Quote
Did you have to remove any "scum"?
Yes, lots 8) I even got the tiny scum remminants that I couldn't get with spoon with some kitchen roll before taking photo 3 ::) Well you have to make it presentable ;D


Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 29, 2008, 01:27 PM
Quote
Did you have to remove any "scum"?
Yes, lots 8) I even got the tiny scum remminants that I couldn't get with spoon with some kitchen roll before taking photo 3 ::) Well you have to make it presentable ;D

Only reason I asked this Bobby is that some are confusing the froth with scum and so they end up removing too much oil/gravy mix. The froth can be stirred back into the gravy but the scum (like that thin layer of mucus you get on a cold cup of tea) should be remove as it can add bitterness to the gravy.

Cheers

SnS  :D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 29, 2008, 02:00 PM
scum (like that thin layer of mucus you get on a cold cup of tea) should be remove as it can add bitterness to the gravy.
Ah, I see. Well I removed some froth as well but not much. I had the recipe printed off so I stirred what I could back in but the re-offending froth just had to go :P
Now that you mention it though, I can see that membrane forming on edges in picture 2. Oh well, we'll know for next time!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Curry King on January 29, 2008, 02:47 PM
Great looking pics again Bobby, I might have missed a post or two in the thread but have you made a curry with the base yet?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 29, 2008, 03:06 PM
Great looking pics again Bobby
Cheers mate ;D
I might have missed a post or two in the thread but have you made a curry with the base yet?
Yes, I made the Madras and it was great. I put so much chili in it I could barely eat it. I struggled but got it down, only to awake in the night and throw it back up lol. I think my stomach rejected that level of spice as toxic. Or, it could have been because I made it at 01:30 in the morning while totally p***d. Here it is - the curry from hell! (the weird dark green bits are a result of my frozen fresh coriander technique 8)) I didn't have any onions left because one of them I bought was bad, so in this curry the onion was omitted.

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/gallery/3840_29_01_08_3_04_19.JPG)

I have since made another curry (with a little less chili ;)) and it was fab. Just one of my own recipes but the base really accommodated it well.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Curry King on January 29, 2008, 03:48 PM
I know your pain when it comes to a p :-X ed up late night curry, I came home from the pub once and the take aways where all shut, you can imagine what happens next!  I pulled a tub of sauce out and in my drunk state managed to cook up curried pork rashers , I didn't have any fresh garlic puree so just used extra ginger to compensate, not a good idea, I can't quite remember what else I put in it but seeing it in the frying pan the following morning was almost as bad as eating it  :)

Yours looks almost pro except for the one big lump of coriander, not bad for a drunken curry, I would eat it  :P
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 29, 2008, 03:57 PM
Bobby, was the "madras of death" also made with the original massive amounts of paprika in the base recipe?  That might've contributed some to your plight too...

Curried pork rashers, CK?  :o  You were desperate! ;D

I'm sure there'll be a drunken curry in my future too, but I have thus-far managed to avoid it somehow.

Curry on, Wayne! ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 29, 2008, 05:52 PM
Bobby, was the "madras of death" also made with the original massive amounts of paprika in the base recipe?  That might've contributed some to your plight too...
No, I can't say the volume of Paprika was too high, I would have remembered. I assume from what you say a mistake was posted in the recipe that was later rectified?
Curry on, Wayne! ;D
Curry on Ast! ;)
not bad for a drunken curry, I would eat it  :P
You really shouldn't! That's the hottest curry I've ever been near. When I was wretching it back up a few hours later it made my eyes sting. That really was a case of better out than in 8)

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 29, 2008, 06:40 PM
No, I can't say the volume of Paprika was too high, I would have remembered. I assume from what you say a mistake was posted in the recipe that was later rectified?

Yes Bobby. My original post for this recipe called for 25 grams of each of the main spices (including paprika). This should have been 25 ml (5 tsp).

The original posted Saffron Gravy recipe (6th Jan) was actually corrected some time ago (12th Jan) to avoid further mistakes being made by overspicing the gravy.

I made a comment regarding this here   http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2271.70.html

I will be making another batch of the Saffron base during the next week or so and I will be posting another more detailed recipe, with photos, on this thread.

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 29, 2008, 07:51 PM
I even got the tiny scum remminants that I couldn't get with spoon...

What is it with you people and scum?  Do you think there's this repugnant scum molecule hidden in every foodstuff that magically rises to the surface when boiled? The scum is totally inoffensive, if you don't believe me the next time you make a base leave all that horrible scum in and then tell me that it made a difference when you came to make your curry. It's namby-pambyism of the highest order.

Secret Santa, head of SLL (Scum Liberation League)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on January 29, 2008, 09:10 PM
Yes Bobby. My original post for this recipe called for 25 grams of each of the main spices (including paprika). This should have been 25 ml (5 tsp).

Sorry SnS, I wasn't trying to wind you up about this.  I was just curious, but I guess the "beer goggles" kept saying "What's wrong, chilli-boy?  Ain't got the chops for another teensy-weensy teaspoon of some of that super-hot-death chilli powder??  You some kind of wimp??"

... or perhaps something to that effect... ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 29, 2008, 09:22 PM
What is it with you people and scum?  Do you think there's this repugnant scum molecule hidden in every foodstuff that magically rises to the surface when boiled? The scum is totally inoffensive, if you don't believe me the next time you make a base leave all that horrible scum in and then tell me that it made a difference when you came to make your curry. It's namby-pambyism of the highest order.

Secret Santa, head of SLL (Scum Liberation League)

If the Head Chef at the Saffron emphasised the importance of removing the scum (which comes from the onions), I think I'd rather believe him than the Head of the Scum Liberation League.

There are also similar instructions in the making of the KD base.

This has nothing to do with Namby Pamby stuff.

From your previous comments on this base Secret Santa ...

Quote
I don't need to make this to know it will not produce what I need from a BIR curry. So where the heck am I going wrong?

and

Quote
Other than that this base has a very unpleasant smell ...

and

Quote
I have to say I really didn't like it at all. It had a sour taste and that was after I added 2 tsp sugar to try to compensate ....

Perhaps you'd better resign from the SLL and join us at FAGS (Federation Against Gravy Scum). Us namby pamby's don't appear to be experiencing any of your problems. ;)

SnS  ;D

ps: SS - look up the definition of scum !
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 29, 2008, 09:52 PM
Oh now come on SnS!

You've quoted from my remarks about the original base you posted and you know it, very unfair (although I hold to those views).

Quote
the importance of removing the scum (which comes from the onions)

prove it.

Quote
Perhaps you'd better resign from the SLL and join us at FAGS

I don't know whether to laugh or gird my loins (lamb loins of course)

Quote
ps: SS - look up the definition of scum

why would I look it up? I happen to speak English!


(To you , to me, to you...)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 29, 2008, 10:14 PM
Quote
the importance of removing the scum (which comes from the onions)

prove it.

Next time you make a curry base gravy SS, leave out the onions and you'll soon see there is no scum. This implies therefore that the scum originates from the onions.

Quote
Perhaps you'd better resign from the SLL and join us at FAGS

I don't know whether to laugh or gird my loins (lamb loins of course)

Have a laugh. It's generally accepted that laughing uses less muscles than that other thing you've suggested.

Quote
ps: SS - look up the definition of scum

why would I look it up? I happen to speak English!

SCUM (definition from Collins English Dictionary)
A layer of impure matter that forms on the surface of a liquid, often as the result of boiling or fermentation.

 ;D

ps: Let me know how the new Secret Santa "onionless" curry base gravy turns out !  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Jethro on January 29, 2008, 10:29 PM
I even got the tiny scum remminants that I couldn't get with spoon...

What is it with you people and scum?  Do you think there's this repugnant scum molecule hidden in every foodstuff that magically rises to the surface when boiled? The scum is totally inoffensive, if you don't believe me the next time you make a base leave all that horrible scum in and then tell me that it made a difference when you came to make your curry. It's namby-pambyism of the highest order.

Secret Santa, head of SLL (Scum Liberation League)

*Sighs*
Sorry to disagree with you again SS but that scum on the top contains all sorts of stuff that you would not know about.

Let me give you a little insight, if a pub served you a pint of bitter without a head on it, therefore robbing it of it's refeshing bitter flavour (in this case isohumulones are the reason), you would not be happy.
Same thing works in reverse, leave the scum on an onion base gravy and you will get an unwanted bitter taste (same with lentils btw).
I admit I do not know the chemical compound involved in this case, but I take it on trust that generations of BIR chefs, who advocate taking the scum off, cannot all be wrong, unless you know better?.
So yes it does make a difference IMHO.  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 29, 2008, 10:50 PM
but I take it on trust that generations of BIR chefs, who advocate taking the scum off, cannot all be wrong, unless you know better?.

Well yes I do know better, and do you know why? Let me tell you, when I make a statement it is because I have actually tried it. I have made a base that always produces scum (twice at the same time) and in one I skimmed and in another I did not. I used both bases in a curry with (as near as I could manage) exactly the same ingredients and same cooking procedure.

Result. Bugger all difference in the final curry.

The reason I am so adamant about the things I say is because I have actually pseudo- scientifically tried them.

Can you or anyone else say the same?

So Jethro in your "humblle opinion" can you say you do like wise?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 29, 2008, 10:55 PM
SCUM (definition from Collins English Dictionary)
A layer of impure matter that forms on the surface of a liquid, often as the result of boiling or fermentation.

Once again I ask, why would I look it up, I am English? I'm clearly missing the point here, aren't I?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 29, 2008, 11:12 PM
Now then Chaps (and any Chapesses here on this thread tonight) ...

The Saffron Base Gravy recipe  does  require the scum to be removed, but not the froth, which can be stirred into the gravy.
Please feel free to leave it in if you so desire - I personally don't care!  :-\

If you do want a cross between a curry gravy and a pint of bitter, then please don't complain about the gravy being bitter.

In my humble opinion, it is better and safer to remove it. There is no benefit (that I know of) in leaving it in and it's removal takes all of 5 seconds.

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 29, 2008, 11:53 PM
SCUM (definition from Collins English Dictionary)
A layer of impure matter that forms on the surface of a liquid, often as the result of boiling or fermentation.

Once again I ask, why would I look it up, I am English? I'm clearly missing the point here, aren't I?


What it means my friend is that once you start breaking into the molecular structure of an onion there are certain chemical reactions that take place and they in turn can create acids particularly when mixed with water (H2SO4) (that's is why your eyes sting when peeling an onion - chemical release). Some of these chemical "impurities" will rise to the surface during boiling which should then be removed.

SnS  :o
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 30, 2008, 12:00 AM
I can understand and appreciate what you're saying here SS, but if that's what the chef does, because he says it otherwise causes bitterness in the curry base, then surely that is what we should do IF we want to faithfully reproduce his curry base.

Like you, I also like to understand the rationale and reasoning for these things.  But often, of course, the chefs don't know (they are not food scientists, after all - they probably couldn't take the pay cut! :P); they just do it based on their learning and experience.  

In this case I can understand that it is undoubtedly an accumulation of chemicals and "impurities" created during the boiling process.  Has anyone actually tasted the scum to see if it is actually bitter?  :P

However, if you or I chose to ignore this advice (which we are obviously entitled to do) we can hardly then complain that the curry base is bitter (or sour) can we?  :P

As SnS says, at best, leaving it in will make no difference (as you believe) and, at worst, leaving it win will cause bitterness (as the chef says)....so why not spend a couple of minutes skimming it off, as the chef advises?  Sounds like a no-boner to me SS?  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 30, 2008, 12:01 AM
Oh sweeet jesus and haleluliah. We have a chemist on here at last. Would you care to enlighten us SnS as to how this H2SO4 gets produced? Perhaps a breakdown of the transition states that accompany this process. I'm all ears , really I am.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 30, 2008, 12:03 AM
Has anyone actually tasted the scum to see if it is actually bitter?  :P

CA you really really really need to read what people post, really you do!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 30, 2008, 12:07 AM
Oh sweeet jesus and haleluliah. We have a chemist on here at last. Would you care to enlighten us SnS as to how this H2SO4 gets produced? Perhaps a breakdown of the transition states that accompany this process. I'm all ears , really I am.

When I went to school (1970's) sulphur SO3 + water H2O = sulphuric acid H2SO4

Onions release sulphur when the molecules are ruptured.

Not rocket science (as they say SS)

 ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 30, 2008, 12:12 AM
CA you really really really need to read what people post, really you do!

Now, now SS...I do and I did..and nowhere (that I could see) did you say that you TASTED THE ACTUAL SCUM!?   :-\

Anyhow, to me there are two aspects to this "debate":


It seems to me that most people are focused on the former, whilst you seem to be focused on the latter.  

Maybe the latter should be in a separate thread entiled "The Mythical Benefits of Skimming the Scum Off Bases" or some such title?  ;)

As far as this thread goes, I'd be inclined to do as the chef does if we wish to faithfully reproduce and comment upon HIS recipe.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 30, 2008, 12:23 AM
As far as this thread goes, I'd be inclined to do as the chef does if we wish to faithfully reproduce and comment upon HIS recipe.


How can I argue with that? But of course in the same vein you will now stop arguing about the reasons behind including a brand name curry powder in the Madras/generic base thread. You will stop arguing because nearly every mix powder that actual BIRs use include curry powder, and that's what the BIR chefs do. OK?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 30, 2008, 01:29 AM
But of course in the same vein you will now stop arguing about the reasons behind including a brand name curry powder in the Madras/generic base thread

Not at all SS!  How DID I know you were going to come back with that little red herring!  ::)  ;D

This thread is about a SPECIFIC curry base from a SPECIFIC chef in a SPECIFIC restaurant.  The chef SPECIFICALLY says to remove the scum, so we should SURELY remove the scum IF we wish to make HIS curry base the way HE makes it.  It's really rather obvious, SS, I should think?  :-\

The Curry Base DEVELOPMENT thread is altogether different and not really a matter for discussion in THIS thread.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 30, 2008, 01:40 AM
I've got to second that.

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 30, 2008, 01:59 AM
You know when I started out with the Chuckle Brothers' joke? Well apparently it isn't so much a joke as reality. Do I need to say more ::)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 30, 2008, 02:04 AM
Do I need to say more ::)

No, you don't SS....but I'm sure you won't let that stop you...you don't usually!  ;)

SnS?...Any comments from you?...Chuckles perhaps?  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 30, 2008, 02:09 AM
You know when I started out with the Chuckle Brothers' joke? Well apparently it isn't so much a joke as reality. Do I need to say more ::)

Not quite sure what angle you're coming from there SS. Can it really be that there are two members who dare to disagree with you or is that you need some urgent assistance?

Only light hearted banter of course. Chin up me old mucker!  ;)

After all we're all on the same side.

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 30, 2008, 02:44 AM
The chef SPECIFICALLY says to remove the scum, so we should SURELY remove the scum IF we wish to make HIS curry base the way HE makes it.

I have an aunt who insists that the only way to make genuine felt is to wade up to your knees in edited by CA for inappropriate language, while bare legged you grind those sheep fibres into submission. The effectiveness of the method is indisputable being a traditional method going back to the 1400's at least, but you know what, I can make felt without the edited by CA for inappropriate language, and without the mind numbing drudgery of stomping it for hour upon hour.

There is no argument here, the scum is innocuous (ok in some limited circumstances it may not be) but in general it is an insignificant factor.

If you wish to promote the fiction that it makes a bit of difference to the finshed curry then so be it, but I suggest you ply your trade in that other well known forum where "if you say it's so, then it's so".
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 30, 2008, 02:50 AM
Can it really be that there are two members who dare to disagree with you...

Only two? I must be slipping up somewhere then. :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on January 30, 2008, 03:30 AM
The chef SPECIFICALLY says to remove the scum, so we should SURELY remove the scum IF we wish to make HIS curry base the way HE makes it.

I have an aunt who insists that the only way to make genuine felt is to wade up to your knees in stale piss, while bare legged you grind those sheep fibres into submission. The effectiveness of the method is indisputable being a traditional method going back to the 1400's at least, but you know what, I can make felt without the stale piss, and without the mind numbing drudgery of stomping it for hour upon hour.

There is no argument here, the scum is innocuous (ok in some limited circumstances it may not be) but in general it is an insignificant factor.

If you wish to promote the fiction that it makes a bit of difference to the finshed curry then so be it, but I suggest you ply your trade in that other well known forum where "if you say it's so, then it's so".

God bless your Aunt (and I'm not taking the Pxss). She is probably right and she will argue with you until the cow's (sheep) come home.

The fact of the matter is this:-

If you take the time to investigate recipe's, especially when making stocks and soups, you will find that Chef's throughout the world do recommend that you remove the scum from the surface, particularly if using onions. This includes BIR chefs, European Chefs, Australian Chefs, Asian Chefs, African Chefs and even American Chefs (yeh , even American Chefs..)

Please do not think that the "Chuckle Bros" are ganging up against you, as this is not true. I know that CA thinks very differently to me and he would not support anything I say without sincere consideration of the facts (and vikky verky). Unfortunately, it is a fact, that as Brothers we rarely agree on anything (I often wish this wasn't the case !).

This is NOT fiction. It is FACT.

Please lighten up, as I'm sure your comments are appreciated (and expected) by most members.

Best regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on January 30, 2008, 05:44 AM
Only two? I must be slipping up somewhere then. :)

True, SS, that's what I also thought  ;)

Quote
I have an aunt who insists....

But if she does that, and insists it right, and you try and replicate what she's doing, and it's not right (e.g. it's "sour"), then I suggest your best bet is to try and do as she does (and as she insists on doing) to try and replicate her results!  :P

Quote
If you wish to promote the fiction that it makes a bit of difference to the finshed curry then so be it

Why do you insist on missing the point SS?  I'm not trying to promote that at all.  I would probably agree that it's unlikely to make a significant difference.  But my point is that if you get a different result, then why not try doing what the chef suggests and see how it pans out?  ::)

I will be sorely tempted to delete these posts (mine included) if it continues in such a senseless fashion (if someone doesn't beat me to it!).

It is, however, a worthy debate probably worthy of an independent thread.  Why don't you consider starting a new thread on the matter SS?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 30, 2008, 11:41 AM
Yes, lots 8) I even got the tiny scum remminants that I couldn't get with spoon with some kitchen roll before taking photo 3 ::)
Who'd have thought I'd be quoting myself? 8)
Lol, what a can of worms my kitchen roll and I have opened. That said, my hardcore kitchen roll brandishing manoeuvre was just really for presentation - just look at that beautiful clear oil risen to the surface - f***** delicious! So delicious infact, that here it is again! ;D
(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/gallery/3840_29_01_08_12_44_02.JPG)
This thread is about a SPECIFIC curry base from a SPECIFIC chef in a SPECIFIC restaurant.  The chef SPECIFICALLY says to remove the scum, so we should SURELY remove the scum IF we wish to make HIS curry base the way HE makes it.  It's really rather obvious, SS, I should think?  :-\
CA - What a completely excellent use of upper case 8)
There is no argument here, the scum is innocuous (ok in some limited circumstances it may not be) but in general it is an insignificant factor.
JUST SPOON OFF THE SCUM! :P
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 30, 2008, 01:07 PM
CA, I was wondering if you have tried the Saffron base yet?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 31, 2008, 06:03 PM
join us at FAGS (Federation Against Gravy Scum)
And join you I have! Being in FAGS is just great 8)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Curry King on January 31, 2008, 06:44 PM
Don't be a FAG real chefs stir it all in, including the oil  :P
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on January 31, 2008, 06:49 PM
Don't be a FAG real chefs stir it all in, including the oil  :P
Come on now!!! There's no need to bring sexuality into the discussion ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on January 31, 2008, 07:25 PM
Ever had one of those days when you wished you'd just kept your mouth shut!?  :)
Title: Re: New REVISED Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 01, 2008, 10:07 PM
As promised, I have now reproduced the Saffron gravy recipe, this time at home.

I have taken accurate measurements and made a couple of small adjustments which haven't affected the final result.

1 tsp - 5 ml, 1 tbsp = 15 ml

So here it is again:-

VEGETABLES
Cooking onions (1.5kg unpeeled, 1.25kg peeled)
1 large carrot (200g unshaved, 160g shaved)
1 large green pepper (225g whole, 200g trimmed and deseeded)
4 to 6 Salad potatoes (250g unshaved, 210g shaved)

Chop roughly and add to a very large cooking pot

Add:-

2 medium tomatoes (chopped into quarters)
2 cups (500 ml) of fresh vegetable oil
25g finely chopped garlic gloves (about 4 large cloves)
10g finely chopped fresh ginger root (about 1 inch cube)
1 tbsp (15 ml) salt
2.5 litres of water, which will cover all the ingredients

Cover and bring to boil. Remain covered and simmer vigorously for 40 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add:-

Half a tin (200 g) of chopped plum tomatoes (Italian Napolina)

Boil covered for another 5 minutes.

Add:-

25 ml cumin powder
25 ml coriander powder
25 ml turmeric powder
25 ml sweet paprika (or deghi mirch)

Boil covered for another 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and blend for at least 5 minutes until very smooth.

Add 1 litre of water. The gravy will now resemble a very thin soup.

Bring to boil. Simmer vigorously (almost a boil) uncovered for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove any scum * (not froth) forming on the surface. When the oil completely separates the gravy is complete.

Notes:
Photo 1) The number of onions is greater than the previous recipe as these ones were fairly small (likewise with the spuds).
Photo 3) I used fresh garlic and ginger root, not ready made puree's (your choice).
Photo 13) The oil starts to appear - even at the blending stage.
Photo 14) The gravy is very thin (milk - like).
Photo 15) The oil starts to rise to the surface after about 20 minutes (this can easily be seen if the heat is turned down to a gentle simmer for a short while).
Photo 16) This was the amount of surface oil after only 5 minutes at rest. (I found it difficult to actually stir the oil back into the gravy).

* Scum not froth. The scum resembles the stuff you get on a cold cup of tea and may or may not form on the surface. After the gravy cools down there may be some scum floating on the surface of the oil. This should also be removed.

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on February 01, 2008, 10:41 PM
Great post, SnS,  8)

Nice, clear instructions and excellent (and helpful) photos.

I'll be trying this very soon....

Thanks for your excellent efforts; much appreciated!  8)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 02, 2008, 12:35 AM
Great post, SnS,  8)

Nice, clear instructions and excellent (and helpful) photos.

I'll be trying this very soon....

Thanks for your excellent efforts; much appreciated!  8)


Thanks for your kind comments.

Just need your perfect Madras recipe to go with it. Can you help on that one - when you've got some of the gravy.

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: haldi on February 02, 2008, 08:53 AM
Hi SnS
       thanks for this new post
Do you feel that the flavour exactly matches the base, brought home from the restaurant?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on February 02, 2008, 09:45 AM
Hi SnS,

Very nice post with the updated/revised instructions.  Good use of the photos to illustrate the procedures as well.

Many thanks for all the effort put in to make this as bulletproof as possible.  ;D

Cheers,

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on February 02, 2008, 10:07 AM
Just need your perfect Madras recipe to go with it.

BTW SnS, did you ever give my vindaloo recipe (or even the Jalfrezi) that I use with this base a shot?  If so, I'd be really interested to hear what you thought of it.  I still haven't gotten a chance to vary either the amounts or the composition of the spice mix yet.  I have tried it at both mild and madras strength though, and I thought it was still pretty good.

Bobby, are you still using Darth's madras recipe with it?  What's everyone else using?  Inquiring minds want to know! ;D

Cheers,

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on February 02, 2008, 11:44 AM
That's right Ast. I have used the Darth Madras, the CK Lamb Bhuna and some of my own freestyle curries, based around the Darth Madras with a little of this and that (I like a bit of fresh chili and Garam Masala, Methi etc. etc.) It has worked better than making any of these recipes with the authors suggested base - what a treat!

SnS, fantastic post - puts my image postings to shame. Having seen the ingredients laid out like that it really helps, I need more onion. Lol, you know when you said a large carrot? Well I've been eagerly seeking out these massive GM numbers (no FAGS jokes here please ;)) I think in future... less carrot!

Does the sweet Paprika make much difference over the standard kind. Also, it's easier for me to get Nicola salad potatoes. I guess your gonna say something like "the chef was very specific about the variety" but since they are similar salad potatoes do you think I can get away with them?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on February 02, 2008, 12:01 PM
...some of my own freestyle curries...

You tryin to start a new sport there, Bobby?? ;D

Where's the 2008 Freestyle Curry Competition to be held?  I need to clear my schedule...

;D ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 02, 2008, 03:01 PM
BTW SnS, did you ever give my vindaloo recipe (or even the Jalfrezi) that I use with this base a shot?  If so, I'd be really interested to hear what you thought of it.  I still haven't gotten a chance to vary either the amounts or the composition of the spice mix yet.  I have tried it at both mild and madras strength though, and I thought it was still pretty good.

Hi Ast

Used your Lamb Vindaloo recipe last weekend but without the Lamb and lamb stock (as I was using prawns). As far as I can recall, it was very hot and tasty, but to be honest we'd had a couple of bottles of wine (doing a bit of a Floyd, as you do when cooking) so I need to do it again when sober to make a better analysis.

As far as I can recall everything else was as per your recipe below (lamb bits omitted) and I also added a tsp of lemon juice.

AST'S VINDALOO ... Lamb version originally posted here http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2271.140.html

200ml Saffron curry base (shaken, not stirred.... )
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cooking onion, chopped (approx 40g or so)
2 tbsp minced garlic (approx 2-4 cloves, depending on their size)
1 pre-boiled (but not quite cooked completely), small salad potato, halved
2 tsp tomato puree (double-concentrate)
8 small green chillies, thinly sliced
2 tsp extra hot chilli powder
1 large pinch of dried methi leaves

"Haldi's Takeaway" Spice Mix (courtesy of Haldi's recent posts)

1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp corriander powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp Madras curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin

METHOD (basically the same as in the original Madras recipe)

As I've now restocked the gravy freezer, I will be cooking your Vindaloo again this weekend (possibly without the wine!)

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 02, 2008, 03:28 PM
Does the sweet Paprika make much difference over the standard kind.

As far as I'm aware Bobby, there are three type of Paprika, all of which have a relatively short shelf life (never use Paprika after the recommended date - it's orrible).

Hungarian paprika - the common stuff - is also know as sweet paprika, rose paprika or pimento pepper. Hot paprika (hotter peppers) and smoked paprika (smoked peppers) are less common and will impart a different taste.

Just use the standard hungarian paprika (this is sweet).

(I still have no conclusive information regarding Deghi Mirch. I gather it is made from a sweet, mild kasmiri chilli)

Also, it's easier for me to get Nicola salad potatoes. I guess your gonna say something like "the chef was very specific about the variety" but since they are similar salad potatoes do you think I can get away with them?

I'll let you into secret. The new recipe now says "salad potatoes" (no mention of Charlotte). Yesterday, I used a type called Juliette which looked the same as Charlotte and I couldn't tell the difference. Obviously, in future I will try to buy Charlotte, but I'm not going to worry too much about using a slightly different variety, so I guess you shoudn't either.

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on February 02, 2008, 03:45 PM
(I still have no conclusive information regarding Deghi Mirch. I gather it is made from a sweet, mild kasmiri chilli)

Whatever it is I can assure you it's definitely not mild, well at least the MDH version isn't.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on February 02, 2008, 03:48 PM
I'll let you into secret. The new recipe now says "salad potatoes" (no mention of Charlotte).

I'd be prepared to wager that you could use any potato and it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 02, 2008, 04:05 PM
I'll let you into secret. The new recipe now says "salad potatoes" (no mention of Charlotte).

I'd be prepared to wager that you could use any potato and it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference.

here we go again ...........

SnS  :-\
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on February 02, 2008, 05:45 PM
Hi Ast

Used your Lamb Vindaloo recipe last weekend but without the Lamb and lamb stock (as I was using prawns). As far as I can recall, it was very hot and tasty, but to be honest we'd had a couple of bottles of wine (doing a bit of a Floyd, as you do when cooking) so I need to do it again when sober to make a better analysis.

As far as I can recall everything else was as per your recipe below (lamb bits omitted) and I also added a tsp of lemon juice.

[snip]

As I've now restocked the gravy freezer, I will be cooking your Vindaloo again this weekend (possibly without the wine!)

No worries, SnS.  Like I said, just wondering what you thought.  I wonder if there's any equivalent to get a bit of "prawn stock" going for a prawn one.  I thought that the addition of the lamb/chicken stock from the pre-cooking stage really made a difference to the final taste.  I need to do a side-by-side comparison at some stage to confirm, but that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it! ;D

Of course, the wine might've made all the difference in the world... ;D

I'd be prepared to wager that you could use any potato and it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference.

My guess it's the consistency of the potato that's the most important vs. the particular variety.  The French Exquisa (or whatever it was exactly) that I used seemed to match the texture profile for the Charlotte.  I wouldn't want to see the results of using a really floury potato--even in the quantities mentioned.  It would melt away to nothing and probably end up adding very little.

Cheers,

ast
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 02, 2008, 07:59 PM
(I still have no conclusive information regarding Deghi Mirch. I gather it is made from a sweet, mild kasmiri chilli)

Whatever it is I can assure you it's definitely not mild, well at least the MDH version isn't.

Everything I've managed to find out about Deghi Mirch and the Kasmiri chilli fruit "Deghi Mirchi", indicates that it is used primarily as a red food colouring and is as mild and sweet as Hungarian or Spanish paprika. Generally Deghi Mirch should not be hot. If you are using the MDH brand of Deghi Mirch and it is hot, then don't use this in the recipe - use Hungarian Paprika instead.

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on February 02, 2008, 08:08 PM
I wouldn't want to see the results of using a really floury potato...It would melt away to nothing and probably end up adding very little.

The problem with that agument is that the potato, whetever type it is, gets blitzed into non existence along with all the other ingredients. If you look at the majority of  base sauce recipes they don't contain potato and I think this is another good argument for it not being neccessary. The only real effect the potato will have is to thicken up the sauce due to its starch content and that's just not required.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on February 02, 2008, 08:12 PM
If you are using the MDH brand of Deghi Mirch and it is hot, then don't use this in the recipe - use Hungarian Paprika instead.

Fair enough but, do you really think the vast majority of BIRs use Hungarian paprika? Seems highly unlikely to me.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on February 02, 2008, 08:27 PM
I wouldn't want to see the results of using a really floury potato...It would melt away to nothing and probably end up adding very little.

The problem with that agument is that the potato, whetever type it is, gets blitzed into non existence along with all the other ingredients. If you look at the majority of  base sauce recipes they don't contain potato and I think this is another good argument for it not being neccessary. The only real effect the potato will have is to thicken up the sauce due to its starch content and that's just not required.

Possibly, SS, possibly...  I'd originally intended to write more, but I guess there isn't much point. ;)  Yes, it gets blitzed, but, while I haven't performed a side-by-side test, my guess is the type of thickening observed/tasted would be slightly different.

Personally, I'll stick with the semi-waxy salad potatoes for this recipe. ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 02, 2008, 09:07 PM
Possibly, SS, possibly...  I'd originally intended to write more, but I guess there isn't much point. ;)  Yes, it gets blitzed, but, while I haven't performed a side-by-side test, my guess is the type of thickening observed/tasted would be slightly different.
Personally, I'll stick with the semi-waxy salad potatoes for this recipe. ;D

That it Ast. You stick with the recipe mate - that's what it's there for - isn't it.

If Secret Santa chooses to leave out the potatoes and the carrot, stir in the scum, remove the surface oil and not use sweet paprika let him. It doesn't sound to me like he'll be trying this recipe again anyway, so why he's even bothering to comment on what we should be doing, I really don't know.  ::)

Besides, from what I understand SS can turn any curry into a masterpiece, so now I'm just waiting for his secret recipe.

You get yourself 40 odd years of general cooking experience and knowledge along with nigh on 30 years of trying to get the BIR smell and taste (at which I have admittedly failed), mix it liberally with an energetic and enquiring mind and voila, you have someone who can turn the curry equivalent of a pig's ear into the proverbial silk purse. No secrets!

(at which I have admittedly failed)
No wonder! He's probably never ever stuck to a single recipe in all those 30 years.

Only joshing with you SS  ;D ;)

SnS  ;D

By the way SS, I'm also sure that the indian restaurant chefs don't go looking to buy HUNGARIAN paprika either, but that is probably what they use. It's labelled PAPRIKA POWDER (Product of Hungary (or Spain) written in small letters on the reverse side). ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on February 02, 2008, 10:02 PM
Hahaha, what a ripping ;D
SS, I would be curious as to where you draw the line regarding the way you decide what is and is not important while following a recipe.
Personally I think it is arrogant to assume that you know better than a recipe that has evolved over years into what it is, regardless of how much time you spent not achieving what you set out to do. Either you must assume that the chefs offering the recipe just add instructions for some unknown reason, or that you have a superior sense of taste to them. It just doesn't really wash.
You seem to be against every super-pedantic, "namby pamby" practise, and now your even suggesting just leaving things out?
I have to think to myself that with that attitude, it's no wonder you've never got quite what your after.
What I don't understand is, wasn't it you who claimed to have made two side by side bases and stirred in the scum on one and skimmed the other?
With that attention to detail and sheer will to get the "taste" and "smell", I find it really odd that now you just assume things about the addition, or lack thereof, of certain supposedly key ingredients... What's going on?

Ast - I'll see you at London Olympics Curry Freestyle qualifiers. Bring your best game because my Bhundaloo's packin heat! 8) :o
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: ast on February 02, 2008, 10:31 PM
Ast - I'll see you at London Olympics Curry Freestyle qualifiers. Bring your best game because my Bhundaloo's packin heat! 8) :o

You're on, mate!  I'll be practicin my curry, stir-fry hang-time technique and the frying spice hold-your-breath-so-you-don't-choke moves from now till then.  Bring it on, mister!! ;D ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Mag1973 on February 03, 2008, 11:54 PM
Okay, for my first foray into the sites recipes I decided to try this one,here is what happened.

Attempt 1

Followed the recipe faithfully, not a very nice smell from the base gravy at any point.
Went straight onto the Madras attempt, again following the recipe exactly.

Result- I can't describe the taste, it was horrible, not bitter not sour just horrible.Ditched the entire batch.

I hate being beaten by anything and have read some very good reviews for this base in this thread and so therefore decided it wasn't the recipe that was at fault but me somehow.First step was to throw out all my spices, they needed it as I started to realise just how long I'd had them.

Attempt 2

Wary of having to dump the lot again I cut all the ingredients down to 25% of the original so that I don't block the drains when I send it down the plughole again.
Brand new spices but same smell and horrible taste.Now I'm confused, there isn't much to go wrong but obviously something is ?.
I press on regardless and attempt the madras, this time I notice that horrible smell coming from the pan as I fry the onions off for the Madras recipe.
Result - I ditch the lot again.

I wake up this morning and all I can think about is this bloody base.
I decide to try to find out what is happening, I haven't any onions left from the original batches so decide to try rule out the pan and oil first.
I poured some of the oil into the pan I was originally using and heated it up, once it got hot the smell appeared.I then tried a standard teflon coated pan with the oil, again the smell.
The oil was freshly bought from my local Asian dealer.Its tradename is 'Pride' and its sell by is the end of 2009.

Attempt 3

New oil from my local supermarket, its Sunday so I don't have much choice, its also a lot cheaper than the 'pride' oil I used previously so I didn't have much hope.
Started again on the 25% recipe, this time whenever I took the lid off it smelled quite nice, so nice that I did a taste test throughout its cooking, no bad small, no bad taste, so far so good.
The end result of the base is that it is in no way unpleasant to taste, I begin to feel a little excited, maybe this time it wasn't a waste of time and money.
I knock up the Madras recipe improvising for 4 people and change it a little to add fresh chillies and a tsp of madras powder.

Result- Not what my local BIR serves up but I think that was down to my playing with the Madras recipe to get it to 4 portions without actually putting 4X the spices in there.It was however very very very nice and I'm sure that once I get the correct amount of spices for the portions it will be spot on.

I think the moral of this story is don't think that every oil tastes the same when heated.

Thanks for the recipe smokenspices I'll certainly be making more of this. ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on February 04, 2008, 12:10 AM
Thanks for reporting your findings Mag  8)

Did you use the revised recipe here? (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2271.msg20262.html#msg20262)

And did you use vegetable oil in all cases Mag?

If so, it's interesting that the BRAND of oil can have such a significant effect?  :-\

I sometimes use cheap, cheap, homebrand vegetable oil (because it's errr...cheap!) and it really does SMELL stale (and is often cloudy).  It seems to me that it's worth spending a little more, on a higher quality oil, for this reason alone.  But, in your case, you say you had a better result using a cheaper oil....

...incidentally, isn't the price of oil so prohibitively expensive!  :o 

Maybe BIRs are using less of it, as a consequence, and maybe THAT's another reason why BIR curries have changed over the years.  It certainly makes me think twice before heaping litres of it into a curry.  On second thoughts, no it doesn't...but I bet it makes BIRs think twice about it (sorry, I don't mean to de-rail the thread  :P)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Mag1973 on February 04, 2008, 12:21 AM
Hi Cory,

I used the original recipe,(just noticed there is a new improved one out),and yes the oil was vegetable in both cases, normally when i do a curry its made from fresh and I use ghee but this was the first time I've knocked up a base.
The first oil was around 1.50gbp a litre if I recall correctly (maybe a little cheaper but I never really noticed the price at the time tbh), the second was a Costcutter own brand at 89 pence per litre, but there is no smell at all from it, unlike the first I used.



Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 04, 2008, 12:30 AM
Result- Not what my local BIR serves up but I think that was down to my playing with the Madras recipe to get it to 4 portions without actually putting 4X the spices in there.It was however very very very nice and I'm sure that once I get the correct amount of spices for the portions it will be spot on.

I think the moral of this story is don't think that every oil tastes the same when heated.

Thanks for the recipe smokenspices I'll certainly be making more of this. ;D ;D ;D

Great report - many thanks.

I'm real glad you got there eventually. Many would have given up on their first attempt and then blamed it all on the recipe. 10/10 for perseverance.

Peculiar about the PRIDE oil though. Personally never heard of it. Do you know what type of veg oil it is? Does it say on the label?
Really is amazing that any cooking oil could be that disgusting.  :o Perhaps just a bad batch?

Regards

SnS  ;D

ps There are a number of Madras recipes on this site in which the Saffron gravy could also be used. Have you seen Ast's recipe on this thread?

Is your Pride oil pictured on this link http://www.westmill.co.uk/products/brands/pride/pride_home.html
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Mag1973 on February 04, 2008, 12:44 AM
Hi SNS,

Just looked on the bottle it came in and it doesn't really say much apart from made with GM sources, and a list of the standard energy, proteins etc
It may have been from a bad batch but I'll never find out because I certainly won't buy it again  ;D
On the same subject though I was doing a stir fry the other night , prepared all the veg, noodles etc then opened the freshly bought chicken breast from Asda and the smell that came out was unbelievable, it had even started to go white when I checked the underside, so I guess you can be unlucky in anything you buy.

I had read so many good reports of this base in this thread that I would never have been critical about it, for me it was a case of others have been successful with it so obviously something is wrong at my end.Thankfully I found what it was. ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 04, 2008, 12:49 AM
Mag

I'm not 100% sure, but I read somewhere that some recently imported brands of GM vegetable oils contained a large amounts of Soya. I wonder if it was this that created the bad smell/taste.

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on February 04, 2008, 01:02 AM
I used the original recipe,(just noticed there is a new improved one out)

Sorry about that Mag  :-[

I've now increased the font size, alerting people, in the first post!  :P
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Mag1973 on February 04, 2008, 01:09 AM
Not your fault Cory, I think I'm like most people and read the thread then only read further posts from the last I had read, it was by accident I went back to the first page and saw the improved recipe amendment.So even the enlarged font wouldn't have helped as I had already printed out the recipe so had no real need to go back.

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on February 04, 2008, 08:19 AM
That sounds really wierd Mag. I've never heard of anything like that. You get the odd person burning spices/ginger/garlic but nasty oil! That's a pain! Glad you got it to work out in the end though.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: dmac296 on February 09, 2008, 04:50 PM
Hi made the saffron base last weekend using the original recipe (grams). came out looking like others ive seen, smelt and tasted ok too,
Have since made it into Lorridoo's chicken tikka masala. Was a great success, chicken comes out really succulent and the sauce was just right for the friends i was cooking for.The only changes i made where using a full can of tomato soup (because i'd opened it) and 1Ltr of base (because thats the size i froze it in.
If other recipes come out half as good i will be more than happy. THANKS.
Title: Re: New Korma using Saffron Base Gravy Illustrated
Post by: SnS on February 09, 2008, 05:47 PM
Hi Folks

Have just completed cooking using my new Chicken Korma recipe using the Saffron Base.

Turned out really great.

Will be posting here later today with detailed recipe and photos.

SnS  ;D
Title: New Korma using Saffron Base Gravy Illustrated
Post by: SnS on February 09, 2008, 08:29 PM
Chicken Korma recipe can be found here

http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2408.msg20744/topicseen.html#msg20744

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 09, 2008, 08:40 PM
A picture of the finished Korma

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: malacara on February 10, 2008, 09:41 AM
made the base yesterday. I halved it as my fridge was packed with other bases. I measured everything very carefully to be as close to the recipe as I could. The cooking process went ok, at the end the base was not so dark as in the sns picture and not so much oil in the surface, however it had some. very nice smell and good and sweet taste (next time i will add  more salt though). I left it a couple of hours and then made a prawn madras (Haldi recipe) and I have to say that i am very happy with the results, i don?t know if it had exactly "the taste" but it had some of it, that?s for sure. I will try to make another curry very soon to see how it goes but to me it is definitely a keeper. Thanks so much for the recipe sns   
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 10, 2008, 01:17 PM
Hi Malacara

Pleased that it went okay for you. I think you are the first to comment on the newer "definitive" recipe so far.

I tend to agree with the comment on the salt, as I thought the same. Having said that, I think it's probably better to have too little as opposed to having too much, as salt can always be added later, to taste.

Despite now specifying the amount of water to be added at both stages, the amount actually remaining in the final gravy will depend on the evaporation rate during the cooking process, particularly during the final stage when the pan is uncovered and we're on a vigorous simmer. This will vary from person to person, according to heat settings, and to a lesser extent the material, shape and diameter of the cooking pot.

If however at the end of the cooking process there is not much oil at the surface (particularly after the gravy has rested a few minutes), it may be down to the gravy being slightly too thick. Add some hot water (eg: 250 ml), and cook for another 5 - 10 minutes.
The oil should then separate. :)

I'd be interested to know if anyone else has tried the newest version yet?

http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2271.msg20262.html#msg20262

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Curry King on February 10, 2008, 01:42 PM
Great pic SS, looks fantastic and I don't even like korma's  8)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 10, 2008, 02:00 PM
Great pic SS, looks fantastic and I don't even like korma's  8)

Ha Ha. Freudian slip CK. I hope that was meant to be SnS ?

 ;D

Thanks anyway  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on February 28, 2008, 07:57 AM
Posted by vmixture

The one thing that I dont quite understand is regarding the spices and the base. Are they simply added raw to the boiling liquid? With every other base ive tried they seem to be fried gently first, this seems a little different.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on February 28, 2008, 07:59 AM
Posted by SnS

The one thing that I dont quite understand is regarding the spices and the base. Are they simply added raw to the boiling liquid? With every other base ive tried they seem to be fried gently first, this seems a little different.

Yes, in the base they are added exactly like you say.

Also, not all spices in all curries are fried first. Some are added without frying and at later stages.

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on February 28, 2008, 08:00 AM
Posted by vmixture

The one thing that I dont quite understand is regarding the spices and the base. Are they simply added raw to the boiling liquid? With every other base ive tried they seem to be fried gently first, this seems a little different.

Yes, in the base they are added exactly like you say.

Also, not all spices in all curries are fried first. Some are added without frying and at later stages.

SnS  ;D



Thanks mate...as we speak your sauce is in the initial 40 min boil phase
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on February 28, 2008, 08:01 AM
Posted by vmixture

I hope this pot is going to be big enough (The Spry crisp n dry is not being used as vegetable oil)  ;)

I also failed to get a green pepper thinking I already had one so I substituted it with an orange one so im expecting a slightly sweeter taste
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on February 28, 2008, 08:02 AM
Posted by SnS

Hi vmix
Looking good so far .. need a bigger pot?  ::)

I don't suppose for one moment the base taste will change noticeably whether the pepper is red, yellow, orange or green.
Look forward to seeing your final review (on the Saffron base gravy thread of course). ;)

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on February 28, 2008, 08:03 AM
Posted by vmixture

Hi vmix
Looking good so far .. need a bigger pot?  ::)

I don't suppose for one moment the base taste will change noticeably whether the pepper is red, yellow, orange or green.
Look forward to seeing your final review (on the Saffron base gravy thread of course). ;)

Regards

SnS  ;D

Of course I will post the pics there but as I seem to have started here it only made sense to carry on for the time being. I will put all the pics into one post along with my thoughts of the base when its all done.

More pics
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: vmixture on February 28, 2008, 08:23 AM
Well the base is complete and after a quick taste test nothing new really to report. Very nice consistency, but not huge hit of flavour which of course there isnt supposed to be in this recipe. If I get a chance today I will use to to make a jalfrezi and give an update then, For the time being I'm looking for empty water bottles so I can start freezing  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 28, 2008, 10:23 AM
Well the base is complete and after a quick taste test nothing new really to report. Very nice consistency, but not huge hit of flavour which of course there isn't supposed to be in this recipe. If I get a chance today I will use to to make a jalfrezi and give an update then, For the time being I'm looking for empty water bottles so I can start freezing  ;D

Hi VMix

You are of course 100% correct about the taste. It is meant to be rather bland and not dominated by spices. This provides the versatility to use with many different curries. If of course you are looking to make a base to use specifically with one type of curry then there are some better bases (Darth's for Madras for example).

Just wondered, did the oil separate during stage 2 as shown in the photos. I assume your last photo was just after blending and before oil separation?

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: vmixture on February 28, 2008, 10:45 AM
Hi sns,

You are right the photo was literally straight after the blending. The oil did rise to the top after simmering, however as i have had to freeze 3/4 of the sauce its all been stirred back in. Hopefully a quick 15 minute simmer and it will reappear. Couldnt find any water bottles to freeze it in (although I love this idea as 1ltr bottles are the perfect size for a meal for 4) so i simply dipped a 1 ltr jug into the pan and scooped it into freezer bags. Bit messy but it got the job done.

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Chris303 on February 28, 2008, 11:43 AM
I just freeze 250ml portions in freezer bags.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 28, 2008, 12:00 PM
To freeze the gravy, I use all those old plastic takeaway dishes. Perfect size for 2 curries as they will hold 400 ml (2 x 200 ml gravy) .... and of course they're easy to stack in the freezer.

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Chris303 on February 28, 2008, 01:42 PM
metal take away are not microwavable for defrosting tho
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on February 28, 2008, 01:45 PM
I think he said the plastic ones Chris
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Chris303 on February 28, 2008, 01:54 PM
my bad.... apologies  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 28, 2008, 02:04 PM
I think he said the plastic ones Chris

Yep .. I did say plastic. Plastic is best.

However ......
I've actually been reheating takeaways in (ALUMINIUM) foil dishes in the microwave for years ... without arching or sparking.  :o

All my chinese takeaways go straight into the microwave as soon as I get home and the food zapped before I even open the lids (not the Chilli beef though).
This astounds many people, but try it. It is usually okay.  ::)

The outside of the foil dish must be clean and dry otherwise it will spark.

I think arching/sparking is caused by impurities on or within the aluminium foil.

Nevertheless over 95% of containers I've zapped have been okay. If it does cause arching simply remove it.

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Rai on February 28, 2008, 02:13 PM
Provided metal isnt touching metal you are ok I think?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: vmixture on February 28, 2008, 07:52 PM
What takes 2 days to make and is gone in less than 5 minutes?  ;D

Post moved to Jalfrezi thread here!  http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2326.msg21553.html#msg21553
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: christo on March 01, 2008, 04:36 AM
Hi Sns

Just made your curry base and a Chicken Madras (from your madras recipe). I have tried several of the bases here, but this is the best so far for me. many thanks!
Looking forward to trying the base with some other recipes now.

kind regards
Christo
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 01, 2008, 11:44 AM
Hi Sns

Just made your curry base and a Chicken Madras (from your madras recipe). I have tried several of the bases here, but this is the best so far for me. many thanks!
Looking forward to trying the base with some other recipes now.

kind regards
Christo

Hi Christo

Welcome to the forum and look forward to seeing more of your posts.

I'm pleased you finally found a base gravy recipe to your taste.

However, as you probably have "some" base gravy left and you like Madras style curry, I recommend that you try Ast's Madras/Vindaloo recipe here (reduce chilli for Madras)

http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2271.msg20297.html#msg20297

or Ast's Jalfezi here

http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2326.msg19966.html#msg19966

or use Cory Ander's Madras/Vindaloo/Phall recipes here

http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,1714.0.html
http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2293.msg20497.html#msg20497

These will be superior to the simple Madras recipe I posted in this thread.

Good luck

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on March 01, 2008, 12:33 PM
I have tried several of the bases here, but this is the best so far for me

Hi Christo and welcome to cr0!  8)

Which other curry bases did you try please?

Look forward to seeing more posts from you in the future too!  :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: christo on March 02, 2008, 05:41 AM
Thanks for the warm welcome to the forum, and the recipe links (SnS)

The last base I tried was Admin's New Base Sauce which made a very nice curry (with Curry King's Bhuna recipe) , but I felt the seasoning of the base was too strong for a base sauce. I have also tried Kris Dillon, and a not so good base sauce recipe I got from the Natco spice webpage.

A problem I have often had with base sauces is trying to get a subtle balance of fresh garlic and ginger so that there is not a raw flavour at the end, I have tried doing this by cooking the fresh garlic and ginger by frying and boiling. With  Saffron's recipe I used a prepreared garlic/ginger mince from a jar (for the first time) and was very happy with the result. The only strange ingredient for me is the potato. Without sounding like Secret Santa (sorry!) I may well try my next batch of sauce with no potato and a couple more onions as a replacement. I will of course post the results in the forum. Thanks again SnS for the great recipe!!

A quick question that I someone may be able to help with - I can never access the photo attachments on this forum (so have not seen SnS's series on the base sauce making) but do not otherwise have this problem with other sites, any suggestions??

Cheers
Christo
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Curry King on March 02, 2008, 09:21 AM
Hi christo,

What do you see in place of the photos an X?

Pictures from the start of this thread seem to be working ok so it could be your end although that doesn't explain why you can view pics on other sites  :-\

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: christo on March 02, 2008, 09:37 AM
Hi Curry King
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: christo on March 02, 2008, 09:40 AM
Hi Curry King, yes just an X in top left corner of an otherwise blank picture. Sorry to go off topic, it probably is to do with my computer security setup, but not sure how to fix.

Thanks
Christo
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: christo on March 02, 2008, 09:59 AM
Hi Curry King

Just managed to fix it and for the first time am able to look at the pics on this forum. It was a firewall setting on my laptop. I'm off to look at SnS's post with pics now!

Christo
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on March 02, 2008, 05:58 PM
Without sounding like Secret Santa (sorry!)
Christo

Jesus christo! (See what I did there? I was going to say jesus christ, but I put your nick in instead. No? Oh well...). Anyway, don't start another alias rumour or there'll be no end to it.  :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 04, 2008, 10:17 PM
I made another Korma tonight for "her indoors" (King Prawn) using a different (and much easier) method than the last, but still using the Saffron base. She ate like she'd been starved for a week. Best ever - or so she claims. I reckon the result was really close to BIR taste (and looks) .. or better.

I'll be trying it again this weekend (just to make sure I can repeat it), and if the results are the same I'll be back with a detailed (illustrated) recipe posting .. for all those mild creamy curry lovers.

SnS  ;D (stuffed with King Prawn/Mushroom/Saag Jalfezi .. xtra hot ... phew!)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on March 05, 2008, 08:27 AM
i am not keen on turmeric and this needs to be kept in mind on my feedback.

i was very interested in the salad potatoes not having bought/tasted before and sceptical whether normal pots could be used (i use for thickening gravy so convinced on there use). the salad pots do have a much better taste but would have to remake the base with normal pots to convince myself salad pots are essential.

i tasted as i went and probably cooked for 1 1/2 hrs at stage 1 (40mins) to be sure i'd got sweetness.

upto putting the turmeric in i was sold on the taste. in the finished curry (made chris303 rogan josh) the turmeric was less of an issue but still did not sit well for me. i would reduce to 5ml (from 25ml) on my next go.

everything else was spot on and clearly an excellent base (background is KD, followed by parker21 - adopted norm, followed by development base). i particularly like the absence of chilli (can be added at cooking stage) and the high yield.

Overall with the turmeric reduced i would say 9/10.
 
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: slipperz on March 05, 2008, 11:12 AM
I am on my third batch of this base now, even with the initial measure cock up at the start, it still tasted great, one of the best I have tried.

Looking forward to a good Madras tonight!

SLIPPERZ :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 05, 2008, 12:14 PM
upto putting the turmeric in i was sold on the taste. in the finished curry (made chris303 rogan josh) the turmeric was less of an issue but still did not sit well for me. i would reduce to 5ml (from 25ml) on my next go.

everything else was spot on and clearly an excellent base (background is KD, followed by parker21 - adopted norm, followed by development base). i particularly like the absence of chilli (can be added at cooking stage) and the high yield.

Overall with the turmeric reduced i would say 9/10.

Hi Jerry

Can you really detect the taste of such a small amount (25ml) of turmeric in such a vast quantity of gravy (over 4 litres)? Are you allergic to it?

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on March 05, 2008, 01:19 PM
SNS,

i known its a bit different but i had banished it (turmeric) completely up until recently when CA got me back thinking to try it again. i now think a small amount to be beneficial.

i started some time ago having cooked KD and started looking at how i could improve it. i tasted all the individual spices/ingredients looking to relate to the taste of takeaway/restaurant food. i found turmeric did not rate well. i ended up making the base many times each time leaving 1 ingredient out. leaving the turmeric out i found made the taste better. incidentally the only other change to KD was to x2 the tin of toms but i never got to thinking of other vegetables ie carrot, green pepper which deliver the next step up from KD.

i did have about 4.5l of the sauce and appreciate 5 tsp is not a lot. just a personal preference of what i will do when i cook the sauce next time (ie 1 tsp only).

everything else was spot on. many thanks for the post in the 1st place. it's a quality base no question.


Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 05, 2008, 01:42 PM
Incidentally the only other change to KD was to x2 the tin of toms but i never got to thinking of other vegetables ie carrot, green pepper which deliver the next step up from KD.

i did have about 4.5l of the sauce and appreciate 5 tsp is not a lot. just a personal preference of what i will do when i cook the sauce next time (ie 1 tsp only).

everything else was spot on. many thanks for the post in the 1st place. it's a quality base no question.

On my next batch I'm going to try adding another carrot and green pepper .... just to see how much the vegetables actually do influence the final taste.

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on March 05, 2008, 05:42 PM
SnS,

Quote
On my next batch I'm going to try adding another carrot and green pepper

Result will be very interesting. I was really taken aback by CA's development base. It has only onion in the way of bulk veg (0.4:1 veg to finished base vol) but tastes surprisingly good yet has no carrot and no green pepper.

My expectation is that the addition of carrot & green pepper and probably proportion of onion will enhance the base further (this being drawn from cooking KD for yrs then trying parker21 which is definitely a step change and has 0.5:1 veg to finished base vol and having carrot & green pepper but also coconut milk).

My thoughts are that once a threshold is reached then more veg has no effect ie crossed the line into soup. I thought your recipe proportions to be spot on (0.4:1 veg to finished base vol).

I intend to try a similar line and swop the salad pots to normal pots being interested in finding out more about what "pots" in general are doing for us.


Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on March 14, 2008, 08:01 AM
Morning All  :)

I've had a chance to make this base now (following SnS's revised recipe) and can report the following:


I wasn't too sure how to differentiate between "froth" and "scum" so I skimmed off what seemed to "congeal" (congealed "froth"?) in the middle of the top surface of the broth.  It didn't taste bitter anyway (further to recent "discussions" on the subject).

I'm not overly concerned about the oil not separating because I think it will separate in the main dish (however, rather less oil than I expected separated in the one main dish I have so far made).  But I am a little intrigued that my end result was quite unlike others, which appear very red and oily, in comparison.  Very curious.

So far, this base seems fairly typical of several other bases here.  I have no doubt that it will produce more than satisfactory curries, with the majority of main course recipes, and will suffice when "any decent curry base will do" is specified in the main dish recipe. 

However, it doesn't appear to be anything extraordinary.  I want the smell to leap out and hit me when it's added to the main curry.  I would probably choose Infinforu's (or Darth's) in preference to it.  Actually, I'd really prefer to use my own, of course  ;)

I did make a chicken phal from it, but I used deep-roasted curry powder , which probably masks any subtleness in the base (and makes the main dish very dark....as you can see from the photo  :P).  I will report further when I have made other dishes from it.

Meanwhile, I'd probably give it a fairly arbitrary 7/10 overall.

Thanks for the recipe SnS  8)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: adriandavidb on March 14, 2008, 10:02 AM
I have no idea if it's just coincidence, but when I have made bases, if I don't include carrot and pepper (eg base made from onion, garlic, ginger and tomato plus oil and spices alone), the oil seems to separate; but if I include carrot and pepper it never seems to separate out, no matter how long I boil it.

I wonder if something in pepper or carrot emulsifies the oil??


Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on March 14, 2008, 11:20 AM
Hey CA, good to see you back!

I couldn't get the oil to separate (even after boiling for 1 hour after blending)

That's really wierd!!! Mine looks nothing like yours! I wonder what we do diferently! When you boiled for an hour after blending, I gently simmered. Could that be it because are results looks world apart!

(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/gallery/3840_29_01_08_12_44_02.JPG)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 14, 2008, 11:40 AM
This really is wierd. I wonder why or what makes the difference - obviously there is something.

As adriandavidb pointed out, he can't get the oil to separate out if he uses the carrot and pepper. Really wierd.

The colour also appears much paler. Is the top photo straight after blending CA or the final gravy?

On my second batch, I had so much oil on the surface I had difficulty stirring it back in (like your photo Bobby).

SnS  ???
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on March 14, 2008, 11:52 AM
The photo is the end result.

Yes, it's weird.  I "simmered vigorously" as instructed....for an hour (twice as long).  I double checked everything, to ensure I followed everything correctly, and I'm pretty sure that I did.  I'll check again....

I did use straight hungarian paprika in mine (its really the only place the red can come from...there aren't enough tomatoes to really colour it like that).  I also used Italian Roma tomatoes.

Looking at some of the previous results, though, it seems that Bobby's is may be more the exception....particularly regarding his intense red colour (and loads of oil...looks more than 500ml perhaps?)?

It seems that some people got the oil to separate and some didn't.  This would indicate something other than the ingredients used (like total heat energy applied).  I don't think it really matters, per se (unless you intend to recycle the oil), but it does indicate unexplained differences between the individual attempts. 

I've no doubt that the oil would have separated, with prolonged simmmering, and that the colour would have darkened...but I doubt if it would have been to the extent that Bobby's seems to have done.

I also found it on curry base 2, where I couldn't get the oil to separate but AST did (and I also did on curry base 1).  Curious.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on March 14, 2008, 12:51 PM
Here's a possibility. Once I'm done cooking the base, I leave it on the hob (halogen) which still has a little residual heat to cool. This photo is of the finished base, at rest, on the hob, a couple of hours after I finished cooking.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 14, 2008, 01:08 PM
Here's a possibility. Once I'm done cooking the base, I leave it on the hob (halogen) which still has a little residual heat to cool. This photo is of the finished base, at rest, on the hob, a couple of hours after I finished cooking.

Despite the fact there is no oil on the surface (dark), doesn't explain the much lighter gravy colouring. Any thoughts on that Bobby? I also used standard sweet paprika last time and mine was much darker than that. Strange eh?

SnS ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on March 14, 2008, 01:25 PM
I just used the tub of Paprika's by Rajah - I've not checked the label at the back. Maybe CA's Paprika's different. I know the stuff from Sainburys is far duller than the Rajah stuff, which is pretty florescent.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: adriandavidb on March 14, 2008, 02:32 PM
Fluorescent paprika!  I do hope its not full of that carcinogenic 'sudan red' dye there was such a kerfuffle about in chillie powder recently!!

I'm sure  a brand like that wouldn't stoop so low...
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 14, 2008, 02:45 PM
I'll be making this base up tonight (from the revised recipe)....I was going to be making ifindforu's but I can't ignore this one any longer lol

I'll post up some piccies if I can get me camera working ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on March 14, 2008, 03:55 PM
CA just an aside input

Quote
not unlike the cr0 base in fact

the same thought crossed my mind. had got it on my to-do list to add carrot & green pepper to CRO2 to observe what the extra veg does.

also interested on your comment re the Infinforu's which convinces me to try it next.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on March 14, 2008, 03:59 PM
I was going to be making ifindforu's

Watch the coconut. I've never gonna get that batch out my mind, my freezer and my posts!!! I think 50 grams is the consensus, rather than the soap bar sized block the recipe specifys.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 14, 2008, 05:24 PM
Thanks Bobby ;)

The reason I've held off so long in trying that recipe is because I'm not a coconut lover either and having read some replies in that thread, I'd cut the amount too (or could I miss it out altogether?).

Of course it doesn't help that as soon as I get low on bases, someone goes and posts up another base and I never know where exactly to slip it into my list ::) ....and I'm not saying that's a bad thing :P but there's only so much time and so many curries....not to mention freezer space :o ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 14, 2008, 07:29 PM
Just blended the base and it's exactly the same in colour as the pics SnS posted :) I'll have to take some pics tomorrow as I'm out of batteries for the camera.

Smells delicious....about another 15-20 mins to go...

**EDIT** OK finished ;D I have a feeling I'm going to like this base, but then again I should as I like both Darth's and Stew's and this seems to be about half-way between the two, but now I'll have to wait 'til tomorrow when I try out a recipe :P

I'll let you know how I get on ;)

Thanks for the recipe SnS :-*
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 14, 2008, 09:31 PM
Hi Domi

I almost hate to say this - but as Bobby has now completed his "side-by-side" experiment, the Saffron base appears to be quite compatable with the Rajver Madras recipe (I assume this works perfectly well without major adjustments) ...  or use one of Ast's Madras/Vindaloo/Jalfrezi recipes which are posted somewhere on this thread ...

Best regards (and good luck)

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 14, 2008, 10:00 PM
whatever do you mean, SnS? 8) :P

I'll have a proper read of the thread tomorrow as I'm a tad stoned atm :o I'm really looking forward to testing this base though....it smellls lovely, in fact it smells stronger than it tastes. Speaking of taste, it has a pleasant sweetness about it (I used schwartz sweet and smoky paprika as I find it's not overly one or the other). I didn't get as much oil to rise as I was expecting, so I left the pan lid on and more oil rose as the sauce was cooling so there'll no doubt be more tomorrow ;D

Gotta say it's looking good :D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 14, 2008, 10:09 PM
I don't know if you've seen CA's earlier post yet, but can I ask, did you have the same pale colour that he got?

I was thinking whether this might be caused by using a starchy spud as opposed to a waxy spud. I know I might be well off track here but I'm just trying to eliminate the wierd results that CA got.

 ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 14, 2008, 10:54 PM
Mine is a creamy orangey colour, exactly the same as yours....unless it's darkened after cooling, I haven't checked it yet :-\ The oil makes it look darker, but I'm sure if I disturbed the oil the base would still be the same.

I used sainsburys vivaldi potatoes (as that's what I had in), I doubt potatoes would make a difference vis-a-vis darkening the sauce though ???
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 14, 2008, 11:22 PM
It sounds like you may just have a good result there Domi  8).

I was really trying to establish whether the spud had the potential to retain the oil during the cooking process.

Others have suggested that the type of spud used is not important (and yet I was told by Raj that it was very important). I believe that others who have tried the recipe may have been tempted to use "any old spud", and for that reason have not obtained the correct result.

Without researching further, do you know now whether the spud you've used is a waxy type or a starchy type. I know it may sound a pathetic question, but it may be the answer to a few recent weird results.

Tomorrow, I'm doing my third batch of S.B.G. (or is it the fourth?) I have decided to do three batches (I've just bought 10 kg of cooking onions from Bookers at 2.99p - wow that is cheap).

1) Same as recipe + 1 xtra carrot
2) Same as recipe + 1 xtra pepper
3) Same as recipe + standard cooking spuds (not waxy salad type)

I will let you know the results.

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on March 14, 2008, 11:48 PM
I was really trying to establish whether the spud had the potential to retain the oil during the cooking process.

Could be.  Could be several reasons.  Powder particle sizes (of the spice powders), for instance...but I'm sure that's probably pushing it, haha!  :P

I used Delaware or Nadine potatoes (I'm not sure which of the two they were).  Both are standard, cheap, run-of-the-mill, readily available, white-skinned spuds.  I'd be very surprised if BIRS use anything other than the cheapest spuds available that do the job.

The thing that intrigues me is that I saw the same thing (i.e. oil not separating) with the "cr0 curry base development" which (currently) has no potatoes, capsicum, tomatoes or carrots in it.  The oil separated in "curry base 1" but not in "curry base 2" (although it did when AST made it). The only (identified) difference between the two curry bases is half as much salt, in "curry base 2", and a different masala blend.  So maybe the answer lies amongst that little lot  :P

Having said that, I'm not too sure why people are hung up about the oil separating though, unless they want to salvage it.  It tends to come out in the main dish anyway.  It's only interesting in that it has separated for some people, and not others isn't it, thereby indicating a possible difference in procedure from cook-to-cook?

Haven't most people obtained a fairly light orangey-brown colour?  I'd think that Bobby's is more likely the exception here (colour wise)?  Some paprikas (and chilli powders) do have red food colouring in.

Can you ask Raj why he says the type of spud is important next time you're in there?

And are you returning for other demos (e.g. of accompanying main dishes) sometime?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 15, 2008, 12:07 AM
I used Delaware or Nadine potatoes.  I'm not sure which of the two they are.  Both are standard, cheap, run-of-the-mill, readily available, white-skinned spuds.  I'd be very surprised if BIRS use anything other than the cheapest spuds available that do the job.

It may therefore surprise you that both Raj and the head chef were very specific about using the salad type spud.

Dare I suggest that this may be the reason the oil was adsorbed and your results were different. If this was the case, then ultimately we can conclude that the variety or type of spud is all important.

I can't really ask Raj why he thinks this is important. As you know, Chefs will quite often do something "just because" and they know it works but they don't actually know the answer to why it works.

SnS  ;D

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on March 15, 2008, 12:23 AM
It may therefore surprise you that both Raj and the head chef were very specific about using the salad type spud

Yes it surprises me that they say that but I know that you've previously mentioned that they say it

Quote
Dare I suggest that this may be the reason the oil was adsorbed and your results were different.

You can obviously dare to suggest anything you like SnS :P 

Whether you're right or not is totally another question of course!  ;)  I also used Roma tomatoes and Canola oil.

But, to eliminate this possibility, I accept that I'd have to repeat it using a "salad type spud" (whatever that really is?).  I'd also have to keep everything else exactly the same as before.  I'm not sure I have the energy though and I'm really not that hung up about the oil separating.

Quote
If this was the case, then ultimately we can conclude that the variety or type of spud is all important

Yes, that would be the logical conclusion (if it proved to be the case)

Quote
I can't really ask Raj why he thinks this is important. As you know, Chefs will quite often do something "just because" and they know it works but they don't actually know the answer to why it works.

Yep, for sure.  That doesn't stop you from asking the question though does it (i.e. "what happens if you use another type"?)?  They might say "the oil won't rise".  I wouldn't think they'll say "I have no idea"! 

It's not like you to be backwards coming forwards SnS! Get in there man!  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 15, 2008, 12:36 AM
But, to eliminate this possibility, I accept that I'd have to repeat it using a "salad type spud" (whatever that really is?).  I'd also have to keep everything else exactly the same as before.  I'm not sure I have the energy though and I'm really not that hung up about the oil rising to the surface.

The point is CA (as you have in the past promoted yourself), if you are to cook from a recipe then follow it to the letter ... otherwise the results may be different.

A salad spud in UK is normally marked in the supermarkets as "salad potato" and are those small, thin skinned, waxy type (I'm sure I posted something about them a few weeks ago in answer to your same question). These are normally separated from the racks containing the standard cooking spud.

SnS   ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on March 15, 2008, 12:40 AM
The point is CA (as you have in the past promoted yourself), if you are to cook from a recipe then follow it to the letter ... otherwise the results may be different.

Yes, I agree with that and accept that (as I've said). 

But (as I also said) I'm not too fussed about the oil not separating.  I've seen it before (in spudless, capsicumless, tomatoeless, carrotless bases).

You, anyway, then stir it back in don't you?

Which potatoes did you use please Bobby (or others)?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 15, 2008, 12:53 AM
But, as I said, I'm not fussed about the oil not rising.  I've seen it before (in spudless, capsicumless, tomatoeless, carrotless bases).

You, anyway, then stir it back in don't you?

Oil separation is an important indication (to me) that a particular stage in the cooking process has been reached. Without it, something has gone wrong.

Regards

SnS  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on March 15, 2008, 12:59 AM
Oil separation is an important indication (to me) that a particular stage in the cooking process has been reached

Yes, clearly it's the stage at which the oil separates.  What does that infer (that's so important) in the curry base?  Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Quote
Without it, something has gone wrong

What do you mean "wrong"?  It's just "different" isn't it?

Maybe topics for another thread.  I'll make it again with "waxy" spuds to eliminate that as a possibility (and for no other reason)

The truth is, I personally wouldn't be interested in such a pernickity recipe  ::)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 15, 2008, 01:09 AM
I'm not experienced enough or old enough to know why oil separation is all important but I do know that it is important in ensuring a fusion of spices/oil/other ingredients, particularly with Indian and Asian cookery.

 ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 15, 2008, 01:17 AM
The truth is, I personally wouldn't be interested in such a pernickity recipe  ::)

You're having a laugh surely? I thought it was you that wanted to exact a measured value for a curry base.

How can you call it "pernickity". It's a damn site more simpler to produce than the KD base.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on March 15, 2008, 01:21 AM
oil separation is all important but I do know that it is important in ensuring a fusion of spices/oil/other ingredients, particularly with Indian and Asian cookery.

We're talking about the BASE here SnS, not the main dish where you're frying spices.

But this "discussion" is getting silly.  We are arguing for the sake of it.  

I have already agreed (several times) that using different potatoes MIGHT prevent the oil from separating.  Anything MIGHT prevent it from separating.

I have already agreed and accepted (several times) that I will need to make it again using "waxy" salad potatoes to see if this is the case.

But whether or not oil separation is important, or indeed desirable, in a curry base, is an interesting question that's highly debatable and probably best dealt with in a separate thread.

I will reiterate that, from what I've experienced so far with this base, there are better bases (and less fussy ones it seems) available that I would rather use (Ifindforu's and Darth's included).

Now please let's move on!  8)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 15, 2008, 01:30 AM
oil separation is all important but I do know that it is important in ensuring a fusion of spices/oil/other ingredients, particularly with Indian and Asian cookery.

We're talking about the BASE here SnS, not the main dish where you're frying spices.


I thought we were discussing the base here.

You apparently don't think that oil separation is important in producing the base. I disagree, so if you don't mind let's not move on.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 15, 2008, 01:37 AM
the spuds I used were Sainsbury's taste the difference vivaldis, but I'm sure it shouldn't make any difference ;) They're ideal for mashing and buttery enough so's you don't need to add butter to your mash or whatever it says on the bumpf :P definitely not a salad spud anyways.

I doubt that the spuds would be so important as you think SnS, you can't always get salad spuds and I doubt they'd forgo making the base for the sake of using a common or garden variety of potato. I think the potato is there for texture purposes only as four salad potato-sized king edwards wouldn't soak up a great deal of the 500ml of oil in the base anyway.....

It could be that some people don't add as much water to their base, since the recipe says 2.5 ltr, enough to cover the veg (which may not be at the same level for everyone as it depends on how chunky/fine their chopping is) - or lose more of it in the cooking process, thus the vegetable pulp will hold more of the oil than a more diluted base ???

I don't use much oil at all when I make a curry normally, yet I always (unless following someone else' method) have the orangey-speckled oil stained plate as I get in the restaurants ??? I think that's more to do with the way I cook them though ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 15, 2008, 01:42 AM
blummen'eck! 2 replies since I started my reply lol

For what it's worth I don't think oil separation is important in the base either, but I do from the finished dish....and you can get that without being heavy handed with the veg oil ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 15, 2008, 02:04 AM
I'm not saying the spud choice is significant at all, but what I am saying is that the Chefs that produces the gravy (ie: the Saffron) do go through the more difficult task of peeling a smaller salad spud for a reason.

This is NOT my recipe, it is the Saffron Restaurant recipe. If you choose to use different ingredients (including spuds) then on your head be it. Don't expect the same results. The recipe I've posted is as far as I know, quite precise (and most certainly not pernickity)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 15, 2008, 02:23 AM
Yes, clearly it's the stage at which the oil separates.  What does that infer (that's so important) in the curry base?  Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

When cooking the base, Anam the "Head Chef" pointed out to me the subtle sheen caused by the breaking away of the oil from the liquid at the surface. This is an indication of a completed base (ie: turn off the heat).

I have therefore assumed that this is important. Perhaps they're wrong then?

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on March 15, 2008, 02:54 AM
When cooking the base, Anam the "Head Chef" pointed out to me the subtle sheen caused by the breaking away of the oil from the liquid at the surface. This is an indication of a completed base (ie: turn off the heat).

I have therefore assumed that this is important. Perhaps they're wrong then?

No, I'm not saying they are wrong SnS.  I accept that this is the indicator they use (but a "subtle sheen" is a little different than swimming in oil, I'd suggest). 

I'm trying to understand WHY this is "an indication of a completed base".  What's actually happening (physically and/or chemically)?

I think it's a very pertinent and interesting question. 

I've started an new thread here accordingly (to keep this thread clean):  http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2528.0.html
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on March 15, 2008, 03:06 AM
How can you call it "pernickity". It's a damn site more simpler to produce than the KD base.

Sorry, I meant "pernickity" in that if it is so "sensitive" to, or "dependent" on, the type of potato used.  Probably a poor choice of word.

I have made the KD base a couple of times and will never make it again.  I am no lover of it, by any means.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 15, 2008, 04:15 AM
No, I'm not saying they are wrong SnS.  I accept that this is the indicator they use (but a "subtle sheen" is a little different than swimming in oil, I'd suggest). 

That all depends on what stage of the cooking process you're referring to? A subtle sheen while simmering = a surface of oil at rest.

If you leave it to rest, then yes, in the Saffron recipe you should have a pool of oil on the surface, as the recipe suggests.

If you decide not to follow the recipe precisely .. which you have clearly not, then don't expect 100% copy written results (come on CA, you should know this already with your experience).


Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on March 15, 2008, 06:33 AM
If you decide not to follow the recipe precisely .. which you have clearly not, then don't expect 100% copy written results (come on CA, you should know this already with your experience).

Yes, I've agreed and accepted that often enough, it's becoming exceedingly boring now (as I'm sure many others will agree), now let's move on  8)

PS:  SnS, please don't delete my post (I mean this one that you deleted) simply because you don't like the reply.  Thankyou!)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 15, 2008, 07:18 AM
Okay. Is there any reason why I should delete your last post CA?

I don't think so!

Keep smiling from down-under  8)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on March 15, 2008, 12:16 PM
Now, now, you two. Play nice or I won't be able to call you the chuckle brothers any more!

SnS regardless of whether the saffron recipe includes a potato or not, the vast majority of bases do not. That should tell you something shouldn't it?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 15, 2008, 03:39 PM
You're right SS. I'll tell the Saffron Restaurant chef's straight away ... or am I missing the point somewhere?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 15, 2008, 03:52 PM
I think far too much emphasis is being put on the potatoes....if it was so important, why do they not name the exact brand (if any) of spices used in the recipe as it is far more likely have an influence on the final taste of dishes. Potato adds very little flavour- or colour-wise, so it must only be there for texture....and I doubt that there would be a great deal of difference, given that the sauce is blended for 5 minutes, to distinguish one variety of potato from another....a more starchy potato will produce a slightly thicker sauce, but in this quantity of base-to-potato ratio it shouldn't make a great deal of difference ???
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on March 15, 2008, 04:03 PM
You're right SS. I'll tell the Saffron Restaurant chef's straight away...

My goodness SnS, sarcasm really suits you!  :)

You know where I stand on the issue of the humble spud, I think you will not miss it in any way if you entirely left it out of the base sauce. I'd be willing to put money on it that (as you said) this is one of those things that has been passed from chef to chef without any knowledge of why they do it, they just do it. But that doesn't make it right.

I don't have the time or the inclination at the moment to make two lots of Saffron base to prove the point but, didn't CA say he was going to do something like that?  Should be interesting.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 15, 2008, 07:13 PM
OK I've just had a curry using this base ;D I used my own recipe, which has served me very well whilst used with my normal bases.

For me it has a very nice flavour, not disimilar to what I'm used to(I usually use either Darth's or Stew's new bases) but I was expecting that since this base seems to be around a half-way point of those two bases. It smelt very nice indeed, as did the base when it was cooking, but it lacked punch for me.....All in all it's a nice base, but I'm more suited to something a little more robust, although I reckon I could make a bloody good fish curry with this base as it's more subtly flavoured and wouldn't overpower the flavour of the fish.

The curry was good, but it was like a more diluted version of Stew's base for me, not necessarily a bad thing, but I think overall I prefer Stew's as I don't have to alter any of my recipes as I would have to with this base as it is, but if I were to make the base again, I'd be a little heavier handed with the spices and maybe cut down on the water.....

Still a tasty base though SnS ;) thanks for the recipe :)

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on March 15, 2008, 07:24 PM
I reckon I could make a bloody good fish curry with this base as it's more subtly flavoured and wouldn't overpower the flavour of the fish.

Now that's interesting. I have never made a fish curry because I don't really like fish so I don't really have any experience in this. But Ali Haydor's balti cookbook always ups the quantity of spices when he makes a fish (prawn) curry and I thought that would be to mask the fishy flavour.

That's sort of contrary to what you are saying Domi, what do you think?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 15, 2008, 07:33 PM
I think it depends on the fish you're using, SS ;)

Prawns can take more spice than perhaps cod. I always use cod in my fish curries because it's a nice delicate flavour, good texture and works really really well with curry sauces. Too much spice would overpower and drown out the taste of the fish,:-X as I have found out when making fish pakora, so a more gentle spicing works better in my opinion.  :)

I'm allergic to prawns, which is a crying shame because I love 'em! I have to give 'em the swerve unless I want to look like the incredible bulk for a week. ::)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 15, 2008, 07:39 PM
SS & Domi

I was supposed to be making another batch of base today - probably be tomorrow now.

However, while we are on the topic of potatoes, do you think there is any mileage in me making a batch without any potato in it (and one with) ... post the results?

... or should I make one with salad spuds and one with starchy white potato - compare results?

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 15, 2008, 07:45 PM
LOL! I think you have spuds on the brain SnS  ;D

It's entirely up to you luv, I'll be glad to read the results of any test. :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on March 15, 2008, 07:54 PM
look like the incredible bulk for a week. ::)

Biting tongue...muuuust not respond...
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 15, 2008, 07:59 PM
pmsl....yer a nasty old goat SS  ::) anymore of that and I'll sit on yer knee.....you won't be able to walk for months ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on March 15, 2008, 08:00 PM
SnS to do it right you would have to do three bases.

1. No spuds
2. With floury spuds
3. With waxy (salad) spuds

I would genuinely be interested in the results, but I'm betting there wouldn't be much if anything in it.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on March 15, 2008, 08:01 PM
anymore of that and I'll sit on yer knee...

As long as it's only my knee.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 15, 2008, 08:43 PM
bloody hell SS! I'm fed up not hard up luv ::) ;D :P
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 17, 2008, 02:53 PM
I've just added a half teaspoon each of turmeric, coriander and cumin and a cube of garlic puree to a 250-300ml portion of this base, I'll be making another curry later on (although I'm using tikka made by Blade1212's recipe). I'll post up the results (and some piccies) later on. :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on March 17, 2008, 04:23 PM
smokenspices,

Quote
or should I make one with salad spuds and one with starchy white potato - compare results

to make all 3 bases would give the complete picture but probably ott on effort compared to value.

making the base was the 1st time i'd used pots. i was sceptical on using the posh salad pots but having tasted them they are clearly in a league above the std.

i started out thinking best to make the base with std pots but now think perhaps better without them. you are perhaps best to complete the test as you know what the sauce tastes like normally.

i use std pots to make gravy and it works well as a thickener. i don't think the base needs a thickener so std pots are out on that count. so i think the question comes down to "do the salad pots" help make the base. they certainly taste pretty good before cooking but is this extra taste lost in the rest of the ingredients.

i also ask as i'm puzzled on the ifndforu base which puts pots in (i presume salad) and then takes them out.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on March 17, 2008, 04:47 PM
I obviously cannot say for sure but I can't see the addition / removal of spuds changing this base into one that everyone feels the "smell" and "taste" leap out from. My guess is that your time is better spent trying out some new bases.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 17, 2008, 05:01 PM
I obviously cannot say for sure but I can't see the addition / removal of spuds changing this base into one that everyone feels the "smell" and "taste" leap out from. My guess is that your time is better spent trying out some new bases.

As far as the spuds are concerned, I think you're right Bobby. I want to do a few more expriments with this one first though.

 ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on March 17, 2008, 06:57 PM
What you got in mind? I'd be interested in removing the fresh tomato and reducing the oil content. My Saffron experiences have all turned out very very oily.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 17, 2008, 07:05 PM
What you got in mind? I'd be interested in removing the fresh tomato and reducing the oil content. My Saffron experiences have all turned out very very oily.

1) adding another pepper or carrot (don't know which yet, probably carrot), to adjust the sweetness.
2) reducing the oil to say 350 ml.
3) using Kasmiri Mirch insrtead of paprika (taste and colour).

 ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on March 18, 2008, 05:44 AM
3) using Kasmiri Mirch insrtead of paprika (taste and colour).

You know SnS I'd have a lot more faith in your (Saffron's) recipes if you used what you put in your first post, i.e. degghi mirch (you know like I did), then move on to ordinary paprika etc.

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on March 18, 2008, 08:31 AM
I've now had a chance to make a madras (see photo) and a biriani (photo to follow) from this base (both recipes were my own unposted recipes).

The base was darker and redder upon cooling, freezing and defrosting (though it still nowhere near as red and oily as Bobby's)

Regardless of whether the oil separated or not, this base produced very palletable and satisfactory results.  I'm sure many people would be delighted with the results.  I seems to be just about up there with the better bases on this site.  The only thing really lacking was the depth of flavour and savouriness normally associated with a decent BIR curry. 

I feel that Domi's earlier evaluation sums it up quite nicely.

I also agree with what Domi said about the potatoes.  They are sometimes added as cheaper alternative filler to onions (a restaurateur told me this) and/or to add body and texture to the base.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 18, 2008, 09:01 AM
The curry I made yesterday was delicious! I don't have any pics 'cos we ate it all....I made a big batch (for 4) and split it into two, one hotter the other for the kids and it was fantastic......All this base needs for me is beefing up with extra spices/garlic, which I suppose takes it closer to Stew's base really. The base as posted is a little too bland for me, it tasted watered down (Hubby's words).

The strange thing was, when I warmed up the base, then added garlic, and a half teaspoon each of cumin, coriander and turmeric, which did make it thicker (although not a great deal) but it did result in more oil being released when I gave it a brisk boil...I'd have thought the inclusion of more spice would have made it less likely to give up the oil. :-\


The base was darker and redder upon cooling, freezing and defrosting (though it still nowhere near as red and oily as Bobby's)

I think the pic Bobby posted is with the oil still on top, which makes it look dark and red...mine looked that way yesterday but the base underneath was still the same burnished orange. :) (unless I've been looking at the wrong pic - in which case, ignore me ;) lol
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on March 18, 2008, 09:49 AM
I think the pic Bobby posted is with the oil still on top, which makes it look dark and red...mine looked that way yesterday but the base underneath was still the same burnished orange. :)

That's spot on Domi, mine was the colour you describe under the thick layer of bright orange oil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 18, 2008, 10:12 AM
3) using Kasmiri Mirch insrtead of paprika (taste and colour).

You know SnS I'd have a lot more faith in your (Saffron's) recipes if you used what you put in your first post, i.e. degghi mirch (you know like I did), then move on to ordinary paprika etc.

Hi SS

The only problem with that is the Degghi Mirch that MDS supply is too hot and is not the type Saffron used. The Degghi Mirch they use is a different brand. It is closer to the mild red stuff that I presume is made from the Kashmiri chile. The nearest I can find is from Spices of India and is called Kashmiri Mirch so I thought I'd give that a go.

Regards
SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Domi on March 18, 2008, 11:24 AM
I used Schwartz Spanish Ground Paprika - sweet and smoky but not overly one or the other and gives a nice warmth to the base without overpowering the other spices :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on March 18, 2008, 11:38 AM
I'm on the Heera Paprika from my local Indian shop.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on March 19, 2008, 08:09 AM
the rajah paprika is very good and tastes significantly better than what i had previously bought from the big4 supermarkets.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: ianrollo14 on March 19, 2008, 04:09 PM
Just made this wonderful base and would like to thank you for sharing it with us....Had to cook it 30 mins longer for the oil to separate, but without a doubt the results were excellent.

Cheers Ian  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 23, 2008, 01:55 PM
I made a another batch last night (exactly the same as posted recipe) but with the following modifications

used normal potatoes
added 1 x red capsicum pepper
added 1 x carrot
replaced 25ml paprika with 25ml MDS Kashmiri Mirch
reduced oil from 500ml to 350ml

Followed the recipe cooking times exactly. Results were a thicker gravy. Oil did not separate. Tasted sweeter and creamy than standard recipe. No dominant taste. No bitterness. Much more flavour. Slightly redder colour than standard recipe.

Oil did not separate after the normal cooking time. I assumed this was due to the extra "thickness", so I added another 1 litre of water to thin it down. Returned to boil, reduced to gentle simmer for another 10 minutes during which time the oil started to break at the surface. After resting an hour, there was the normal dark pool of oil covering the surface.

I'm reasonably happy with the results and there is definitely more flavour to the gravy. Next time, I will revert back to waxy type (salad) spuds as I'm now convinced that this does influence the base viscosity which in turn prevents oil separation.

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Rai on March 23, 2008, 01:58 PM
I will revert back to waxy type (salad) spuds as I'm now convinced that this does influence the base viscosity which in turn prevents oil separation.

Great report but, as said before, who really cares if the oil separates?  What relevance does it have to anything?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 23, 2008, 02:03 PM
I know what you mean Rai - after all it's all going to be mixed up together anyway.
But I do think it's a good indication that

1) the cooking process is complete
2) the gravy is at the correct consistency

Regards
SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on March 23, 2008, 06:02 PM
Smokenspices,

very interesting

Quote
Results were a thicker gravy. Tasted sweeter and creamy

i'm also not interested in the oil etc.

i guess the red pepper gave the sweetness and your thoughts will be interesting once you've had chance to cook with it - is it nearer to BIR sweetness as a result.

on the pots i presume your saying keep them in and either std or salad are both ok with no real diff in taste
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 23, 2008, 06:15 PM
Hi Jerry

The extra pepper and carrot produced a sweeter taste.

I'll be keeping the spuds in - for the time being anyway.

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on March 23, 2008, 06:47 PM
Smokenspices,

thanks but which spud are u going to use salad or std or does it not matter

tasting the salad spuds on their own - they are clearly in a different league but is the price difference worth it?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 23, 2008, 07:01 PM
Jerry

I'm sticking to the salad spuds (personal preference) - for the small quantity used I can't see cost being an issue.

Regards

SnS  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Rai on March 24, 2008, 03:15 AM
I'm sticking to the salad spuds (personal preference)

"personal preference" lmao! ;D ::)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on March 24, 2008, 10:42 AM
added 1 x red capsicum pepper
added 1 x carrot
replaced 25ml paprika with 25ml MDS Kashmiri Mirch

...I will revert back to waxy type (salad) spuds as I'm now convinced that this does influence the base viscosity which in turn prevents oil separation.

SnS  ;D

So you added two new ingredients, changed one spice and yet concluded that the potato was the overriding factor? Hmmmm!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 24, 2008, 01:02 PM
Hi SS

You're right of course, it's not conclusive.

The next batch may prove the point as all the ingredients (except spuds) will remain the same.

SnS  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on March 24, 2008, 01:42 PM
Quote
concluded that the potato was the overriding factor

i'd taken conclusions as:
1) the red pepper was improvement - added sweetness & creaminess
2) the type of potatoes is not significant - use which type u like
3) the extra carrot was improvement albeit not essential - increased thickness

i guess smokenspices given the lawyers on the site u will need to adjudicate
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on March 24, 2008, 01:59 PM
Hi Jerry

I'm not really sure how much the "creamier" taste had to do with the extra carrot or pepper although I'm quite sure that the additional sweetness came from these two ingredients. Although, these probably did thicken the gravy somewhat, I suspect it was the floury potato that played the largest part. As SS correctly pointed out, this was non conclusive and can only be confirmed after my next batch when I revert back to waxy salad spuds.

Regards

SnS  ;D

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron - Moved by SnS
Post by: currytester on April 18, 2008, 10:19 AM
moved by SnS - new topic here:-

http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2614.msg22980/topicseen.html#msg22980
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on May 01, 2008, 08:02 PM
SNS,

for info on my last batch i used normal spuds instead of the salads. i only had memory to compare against but felt there was no significant difference in taste or thickness.

the curries made were just as good as always (madras curry, pathia & CTM).
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on May 21, 2008, 10:45 AM
i've had an astonishing turn of luck.

i've produce my best go at the saffron base yet. it's no longer a soup. it's very Moorish and on a blind fold test would swear (although i've never tasted the real) it's a BIR base. i say this as it tastes almost a BIR finished curry and u could imagine a quick fry and a few spices turning it into what we crave for.

i believe the recipe is essential as spec. only the finish point or last part of the cooking has changed from the way i've interpreted it in the past.

i did add red pepper in addition to green pepper. i also added cardamom (7 in total - they float on top at the point of blending and can be easily removed - i then added them back in to carry through to final cooking - personal choice). i used the full spec of salt (only used 1 tsp in the past). i also used pre boiled onion from my onion boiling sessions.

all of the above may have made a difference but not a step difference.

at the end of the "Simmer vigorously (almost a boil) uncovered for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally." stage i've never found the oil to separate - even boiling for a little longer and have simple switched off the cooker. it normally has a yellow appearance.

this time i had put a little extra oil in with the intent on reclaiming it for use at the cooking stage. i used 600ml c/w 500ml spec.

i thought for a while that previous experience was going to hold up and no oil would show. in fact it took 2 hrs before the oil started to appear. this yielded 250ml of reclaim. i left the base overnight and thought i would try to follow BIR technique so reheated ~1.5 hrs and reclaimed again yielding 450ml in total. i found the reclaim easier on the reheat.

during this 3.5 hrs additional cooking the base flavour changed. there was no extra sweetness but it changed from a sort of soup to what i would call a base. it now tastes Moorish and looks the business.

I think it was this Moorish taste that I was searching for and not sweetness. I now need to cook with it to be sure.

I?ve attached pics. 1st is old pic of rajver LH and saffron RH. The 2nd is the oil reclaim saffron
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Yousef on May 21, 2008, 10:51 AM
JerryM,

Try the Jalfrezi recipe i mentioned, with the squeeze of lime, your in for a treat.

Stew
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on May 21, 2008, 11:02 AM
Stew,

it's all lined up for tonight before the big match.

even spotted the timing for the chillies and lime.

your original post on the jalfrezi has been a real inspiration for me over the last few days - much appreciated
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on May 22, 2008, 06:23 PM
have now cooked with the moorish saffron base using the reclaimed oil.

best curry i've ever made (made my std madras and Admin's Jalfrezi).

i'm not looking to improve the base or technique further - it's as close to BIR taste and appearance as i'm going to get in a domestic kitchen.

i'm going to do a repeat tonight but pretty sure this was no fluke

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: joshallen2k on May 22, 2008, 07:26 PM
Jerry, I'm about ready to replenish my base, and your results look and sound great.

Could you summarize the specific changes you made to the revised Saffron recipe? What was added, where, extra steps, extra oil, etc.

I would really appreciate it!

-- Josh
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on May 23, 2008, 03:26 PM
i believe the change equally applies to all bases.

in terms of changes very little:

1) 3tsp of salt (as per the spec recipe - only used 1 tsp in the past)
2) 600ml oil (spec calls for 500ml, i got 450ml back as reclaim)
3) 7 cardamon (removed before puree - i then added them back)
4) at the point that i would normally stop cooking i continued for a further 2 hrs
5) the next day i cooked for a further 1 1/2 hrs

the purpose of 2,4 & 5 were to produce reclaimed oil for the cooking stage. the posts on oil reclaim - well worth a look (indebted to curryqueen)

http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,602.0.html (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,602.0.html)
http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,735.0.html (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,735.0.html)
http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,782.20.html (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,782.20.html)
http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=190.msg1069#msg1069 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=190.msg1069#msg1069)

i need to work on the technique for reclaiming the oil easier (took a lot of effort) - but when the reclaim oil hits the frying pan u know exactly where u are
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on May 23, 2008, 03:45 PM
pic of chicken madras using moorish saffron base and reclaim oil
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on May 23, 2008, 03:52 PM
1) 3tsp of salt (as per the spec recipe - only used 1 tsp in the past)

Just an obervation that you may wish to clarify Jerry.

The actual Saffron recipe uses 1 tbsp salt (15 ml) which is actually 3 x tsp (3 x 5ml)
... unless of course you mean 3 x tbsp (45 ml), which is a lot of salt  :o

or do you mean that you now use 3 tsp of salt as per spec recipe (only used 1 tsp in the past)?

Regards
SnS
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: joshallen2k on May 23, 2008, 10:05 PM
Jerry - that Madras looks the business. How does it compare to previous efforts (using the regular saffron recipe)?

Regarding the oil, did you reclaim it all at the end (i.e. after the 1.5 hours cooking on day two)?

Will try this on the weekend.

-- Josh
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on May 24, 2008, 07:59 AM
i used 3 off 5ml spoons of salt which is what the recipe calls for. i had used 1 off 5ml in the past.

when making ivangough's AIR it called for (and i used) 4 english ie 5 ml spoons of salt - i found this made a difference but the 4th tsp too much in 4.5l of base - hence have settled on 3 tsp.

in terms of difference compared to previous efforts - startling. just the smell of the reclaim oil hitting the pan says it all for me.

i am going to add a new post on the reclaim to gain help. i got back 450ml out of the 600ml put in. it was hard work doing the reclaim and i feel there must be an easier way - hence the new post.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: mickdabass on May 25, 2008, 08:51 AM
Just to let you know guys Id like to think I am a bit of an authority on potatoes - I grow sell about 3000 Tonnes per year!!! I also supply many Asians around Birmingham, and I can tell you that the potato of choice is a red potato called Romano - especially the small ones or mids as we call them.The reason they prefer them is because they don't start disintergrating when they are boiled for a long time. I personally cant see that the variety is critical, but they all seem to insist on red potatoes! 8)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on May 25, 2008, 10:00 AM
Mickdabass,

i will look out for the Romano.

i'm from near brum and i don't feel potato side dishes to be in any real demand. i can only therefore assume these red pots are going into the curry bases (and probably why they are so good IMHO  ;D).

the disintegrating bit is surprising as this suggests they are removed prior to blending which for me would be like defeating the object.

i must admit i was really taken aback when i bought salad pots (white) - the taste difference was quite something. Although I?ve made the base since with normal pots I still feel a niggle that the better pots are worth it.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: matt3333 on May 25, 2008, 11:16 AM
Hi mickdabass
I use red desiree potatoes in my veggie side dishes for the reasons you mention.
I suspect the preference for the variety is for side dishes rather than in a base sauce.
Matt
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: mickdabass on May 25, 2008, 12:17 PM
yeah desiree are ok too.Obviously if they are going to be liquidised, then the disintergration bit is probably irrelevent. I just thought I would give you all the benefit of my knowledge of wholesaling potatoes around Brum! ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on May 25, 2008, 03:38 PM
matt,

interesting on the side dishes - i suspect your right.

mickdabass,

i spotted the desiree in ASDA today but alas no Romano - i think i can probably get from my local Asian store - is there much difference though
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on May 26, 2008, 02:20 AM
Regarding a recent post relating to a proposed 'modified' Saffron base (and the potential subsequent repercussions of the possibilty of drying out the base in favour of taste) ...

This also applies to other bases.

Full thread here:

http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2603.0.html

Specific post here (many thanks to Josh for a great post):

http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2603.msg23892.html#msg23892

When you add base, if the base is thick and lacks water (as can happen if you dissapate most of the water by overcooking the base in an attempt to achieve a taster, thicker 'soup'?) then it may be too thick to 'water down' the curry and the boiling process (cooling) is replaced with a frying process (higher temp).

The secret is to add (hot) water (as Stew has found with his recent Jalfrezi) ... or add more watery base.

Stews Jalfrezi here: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2664.msg23549.html#msg23549

Adding more of the original watery 'Saffron base' would make the curry thinner and more fluid. Adding a thicker version of the Saffron base (or other) will also require addition of water (which counteracts the creation of a thicker base (for purpose of taste) in the first place).

There is a very fine line between a 'tasty curry soup' and a 'versatile curry base', and in my opinion (for what its worth), if the base tastes really nice (almost a curry sauce), then it is too rich and is not suitable as an 'all round' curry base.

Conclusion: for now, leave the Saffron base as it is - it may not taste great but the water has a part to play in the final stages.

Best regards
SnS
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on May 26, 2008, 08:00 AM
i've not read the listed posts yet but they will not change my view:

Quote
There is a very fine line between a 'tasty curry soup' and a 'versatile curry base', and in my opinion (for what its worth), if the base tastes really nice (almost a curry sauce), then it is too rich and is not suitable as an 'all round' curry base.

for me this is absolutely crucial - the base must be sort of bland and runny - SnS words above describe what's needed best.

I think the reason is down to leaving room for the addition of the spice mix and having enough water in the base to enable the cooking stage.

For me the saffron base as is ? is spot on. The water called for in the recipe ?Add 1 litre of water. The gravy will now resemble a very thin soup.? is a crucial step.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on May 26, 2008, 08:05 AM
Yeah, I'm on board with this one. Thin bases are where it's at.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: mickdabass on May 26, 2008, 08:08 PM
matt,

interesting on the side dishes - i suspect your right.

mickdabass,

i spotted the desiree in ASDA today but alas no Romano - i think i can probably get from my local Asian store - is there much difference though


Very little actually
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: mickdabass on May 26, 2008, 08:11 PM




i spotted the desiree in ASDA today but alas no Romano - i think i can probably get from my local Asian store - is there much difference though

Very little really
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: mickdabass on May 26, 2008, 08:26 PM
I've just finished the Saffron Gravy recipe, and I must say it has produced the best BIR tasting curry for me so far.
Its only the third different base I have tried. The first was Darth Phalls, and the second one I dont recall the author (soz), but it included filling a 7 1/2 litre pot up with onions and infusing the oil overnight with spices and using a mooli root (excellent ingredient). Both have produced brilliant results, but after reading all the interest in the Saffron Gravy recipe; I thought I'd give it a try.
 I didnt weigh the onions, but used fourteen medium english onions. I put in slightly more g&g - about two teaspoons. After adding the extra 1 litre of water,I was worried about the soup-like thickness of the sauce and the apparent lack of oil on the surface, so I continued the final vigorous simmering for an hour while I read a few more posts in this thread.
After leaving to cool down slightly, I scraped off the scum and I was amazed by how much oil had risen to the surface. I initially reclaimed the oil, but after further investigation I decided to stir it back in to the gravy and then bagged it up into 8 x 500ml portions. It looked beautiful in the bags- the oil created a lovely marbling effect ;D
I initially reclaimed about 400ml of oil from the 600 ml I started with.
One thing I have noticed from the recipe is that none of the spices are exposed to high cooking temperatures. (It makes me wonder if that is why there is such a tremendous depth of flavour to the finished dish).I then made a mild curry based on Curry Kings Lamb Bhuna Recipe using 2 medium onions, four lamb steaks pre-cooked as per Curry Kings recipe http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=1915.msg16602#msg16602  ,half a green pepper and a chile. I fried the onion, green pepper and chile in 4 tablespoons of reclaimed oil + 4 tablespoons of fresh oil until the onion started to go brown, added 2 tsp fresh garlic + 2 tsp fresh finely chopped ginger 2 tablespoons of tomato puree (ever tasted this stuff? its sooo sweet), 4 tsp Bruce Edwards spice mix, 1 tablespoon salt, but the mix was too dry and started to stick to the bottom of the pan so I quickly added half a cup of water and the let it reduce down a bit. I then added half a ladle of gravy. Wow..... The smell was amazing. I then put a good pinch of coriander and a good pinch of some fresh methi from out of my freezer bag, and then slowly added the rest of the gravy one ladle at a time.I finished it off with 2 fresh tomatoes quartered. In fact it is almost identical to Curry Kings Lamb Bhuna Recipe!!! The curry had so much depth of flavour and the lovely sweet tang that reminded me of one of my old favourite BIR curries - a lamb masalla...well how a masalla used to taste some twenty or so years ago. IMHO they now all seem to have  the same sickly - sweet bland coconut taste...yeeuch.

Thanks for the superb recipe sns :D

mick
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: joshallen2k on May 26, 2008, 09:54 PM
Interesting post Mick. Begs the question on whether the oil should be reclaimed, and how much. From the number of BIR demo posts on the forum, this does seem to be BIR practice. Using the reclaimed oil is in my experience, a definite plus over fresh veg oil. Aroma and depth of taste are appreciably improved. That said, from the 600ml in my last batch of Saffron, I probably got back 500ml of it, and the marbling that Mick describes was gone.

On the downside (if it is one) the additional cooking time required to get the base to release this much oil (about 2.5 hours at a very slight simmer) does evaporate *some* of the liquid out of the base, though certainly still soup-like.

Some quick math also tells me that the reclaimed oil should last the life of the base, which would be consistent with a BIR who may use reclaimed oil with every curry.

I'm for it, until taste says otherwise. That said, I'm sure there are those that will disagree with me  ;)

Josh
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on May 27, 2008, 09:02 AM
Mickdabass,

excellent post.

i like think u've hit on another advantage (is there more) of the saffron base - it's versatility - i do use scales but sometimes u can't help putting in a bit more or a bit less, i've even added red pepper. for some reason this base is able to take it all and still produce the business.

Quote
I was worried about the soup-like thickness
don't be u need this thin soup-like consistency for the cooking as u end up otherwise adding water at the cooking stage.

Quote
I decided to stir it back in to the gravy
this is where i have very set views - the reclaim is a must - with the oil still in the sauce the taste falls very short of what it tastes like with the oil reclaimed - obviously this depends on how much oil has been put in and i feel the max amount to stay in to be 150ml or thereabouts (in 4.5L finished volume).

Josh,

on the evaporation during the extra simmer i feel it's essential to add back water to maintain the original volume - i think i added back at least 1.5L.

i'm going to put the leftover reclaim oil into my next base.

going to have to have a look at CK's Lamb Bhuna though - i love his CTM.

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: mickdabass on May 28, 2008, 09:19 AM
Thanks for your comments JerryM.
I do intend reclaiming the oil, but rather than reclaim it all in one hit I thought I would reclaim it per portion as I use it!(400ml oil divided by 8 bags = 50ml per portion).I realise that the thin consistancy of the gravy is where it needs to be. I prolonged the simmering process hoping to seperate out more oil, but also to reduce & thicken the gravy. I realise the error of my ways now! I would put money on the fact that nearly all BIRs would reclaim the oil. After all, IMO thats what its all about
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on May 28, 2008, 05:09 PM
Quote
IMO thats what its all about

Mickdabass, just wait till your  reclaim oil hits the frying pan - u'll know not only what it?s about but where u are as well - the smells simply fantastic
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: lorrydoo on May 31, 2008, 06:02 PM
Have made and used all of this base now, it was good and very flexible.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: qprbob on February 05, 2009, 09:30 PM
Hi SnS
As a newbie on this forum I was amazed at the number of Base Sauces ther are. As yours seemed to have a lot of feedback, I gave yours a go. Made the b ase as per your recipe and was pleased with the result,although i could not get any oil to rise.then there was the curry to make and again I chose your Madras that was on the same thread. The result was not what I expected,although very tasty it was no where near a BIR Madras. The resultant dish was very sweet. Could this be the use of wrong onions? Bob
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 06, 2009, 01:36 PM
Hi qprbob

Could well be the onions - you should have used English cooking onions.

Try the SnS Base June 2008 next time as it is a modified 'improved' version of the original Saffron recipe. There is also a Madras to go with it (you can also use the Saffron base with this Madras recipe).

see here

http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=2757.0

Regards
SnS







Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: qprbob on February 25, 2009, 12:07 AM
As stated earlier, the base i made was very sweet. Could this be used to make a Korma or Passander. I really appreciate your answers, you can't beat experiance.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on February 25, 2009, 12:36 AM
How does the sweetness compare to other bases, and which ones have you tried? I only ask because too much sweetness is not something I've encountered in my many base trials, other than when I added sugar, or creamed coconut.

Cheers,

BB.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: qprbob on February 25, 2009, 12:46 AM
It was my first atempt at a base gravy, I've since made the SnS2008, which worked really well with a Prawn Madras and the Chicken Jalfrezi that I've made so far,
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on February 25, 2009, 11:27 AM
I'm wondering whether you used red onions as these are much sweeter and less pungent than other varieties.

Red onions are best used sliced in the final curry as they require little cooking eg: Jalfrezi, Dopiaza etc ...
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: qprbob on February 25, 2009, 12:02 PM
The onions  I used were large onions from Sainsbury's, I think Spanish. Made your revised 2008 base and used cooking onions and the base was not that sweet at all.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on February 25, 2009, 10:48 PM
The spanish onion no doubt would end up sweeter, not least so because you likely chopped it in larger chunks due to it's greater size over a standard cooking onion. It's naturally less bitter / oniony in the first place, so a milder flavour may well have resulted, possibly helping to bring the sweetness through.

That said, I like a base made with Spanish onions. Everyone has there own preference I guess. The BIR cash and carry's stock both and the BIR's I've seen chopping onions do tend to use really large ones, possibly Spanish, possibly not.

I'm really glad you had success with SnS's June 2008 base. It's my favourite, and I've tried more than a few! ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: windybum on February 27, 2009, 12:08 AM
Hi peeps,
just made the saffron base but the oil has not seperated anyone know why? 
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on February 27, 2009, 04:23 AM
Don't worry about it WB.

It never separated when I made it either (refer to previous posts in this thread).

It's really not a problem...and it's arguably desirable that it doesn't separate anyway (unless you're deliberately trying to generate recovered oil for subsequent cooking with).

Oh, and welcome to Cr0  :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on February 27, 2009, 08:42 AM
Hi peeps,
just made the saffron base but the oil has not seperated anyone know why? 

getting the oil to separate at the end of cooking is not easy.
i now take it off before blending. relevant post http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=2684.msg23835#msg23835
 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=2684.msg23835#msg23835)

the "need" depends on how much oil u put in at the start, how much u want to leave in and if u are reclaiming for cooking (ie have put extra in initially).

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on June 21, 2009, 10:08 AM
i've revisited this base which i've made many many times and sort of feel i've learnt what i know on currying around it. i'd not made it for quite a while now though having worked on the adapted version of the CR02 development base for near on 6 mths.

bottom line - this base does not disappoint.

also it always sticks in mind mind how after tasting real BIR base that this is the closest to it of the bases that i've made from the site.

the yield is brill at 4.5L (15 potions). i actually overflowed my pan at one stage. i will also need to water it down more but that's just to suit my stove which needs a very thin base due to the heat.

i wanted a lot of curry gravy oil this time so used more input oil than i've ever done before (1000ml c/ 500 morm). this base does not disappoint either in being able to reclaim it. i returned 900ml to the bottle before blending. i was surprised that taking so much oil out did not affect the taste as i'd previously anticipated that more spice would have been needed to compensate.

i did use whole spices and fresh coriander which are my norm but not technically as per spec.

i also for the 1st time following alfieb's prompt http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=1894.msg30927#msg30927 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=1894.msg30927#msg30927) doubled the garlic. hard to say without a side by side comparison but i too felt it moved the base in the right direction and will adopt as std.

have attached pic of finished base

nearly forgot - reason for revisit - this base uses what i call simple spicing. i felt for some time that this is the best approach. i've wrestled with using curry powder, mix powder and the dreaded garam masala. my mind is now made up simple is best. i don't even need to cook with this base - the taste say's it all.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: currypot65 on July 06, 2009, 04:45 PM
Hello everybody,I am new to this site,having just stumbled upon it.
I love curries and making them,however i have never made a gravy before,always made them from scratch? I guess there is another word for this.
So far,to date,i have never been able to make a Curry to restaurant style.Although edible,no where near as good.

For whatever reason i have just made this Saffron Base,so far it looks good,although i'm not sure what im meant to be tasting,it taste kind of blandish.

I'm looking forward to making it into a Madras later,will let uou know how it comes out.

There's so much info on this site,,seems brilliant,glad i stumbled upon it!!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: currypot65 on July 06, 2009, 04:49 PM
Sorry,forgot to add,there is no garam masala in this recipe,is this correct?
Also is a base necessary to make a curry?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on July 06, 2009, 05:05 PM
Hi Currypot

Welcome to the forum.

Yes the base is rather bland - similar to a 'spiced' stock.

The SnS Base Gravy June 2008 is my modified version of the Saffron base, which you will find easier to produce. It is a little less bland (more soupish).

A base is not required to cook a curry but it is required if you are trying to replicate the methods used to make BIR type curry.

Regards
SnS  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on July 06, 2009, 05:08 PM
....... and no garam masala!

 ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: currypot65 on July 06, 2009, 05:21 PM
Thank you SnS,also,,sorry for all the questions,how long can you keep the base in a fridge and can you freeze it? If so,how long would it last for?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SnS on July 06, 2009, 05:25 PM
Yes, you can freeze it.

Separate into portions using old plastic TA dishes.

I would suggest you don't keep it in the fridge for more than 3-4 days - although some members here have admitted to keeping bases in the fridge for 2 weeks  :o

SnS  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on July 07, 2009, 08:15 AM
Currypot65,

for defo u don't want or need garam in this base. the beauty of this base is the simple spicing which lets the rest of the ingredients shine through. it should taste like it's almost a curry but not quite there - the last bit of taste being added at cooking stage.

i keep base in the fridge and go on smell when to chuck it out. i generally get 7 days.  certainly freezing is a convenience option but i'm convinced the quality reduce.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: qprbob on July 07, 2009, 09:04 AM
I go along with Jerry on this. I've kept my base in a fridge for a week and it's been alright. The rest of the base is frozen in individual portions. As for the taste I have not noticed any discernible difference. Will test at some stage, a base that has been frozen, against freshly made and one that has been kept in a fridge for a week.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on July 08, 2009, 07:04 AM
qprbob,

results will be interesting.

the observation on the effect of freezing was when i got a portion of real BIR base. i froze most of it in ice cubes and took one cube out whilst i still had the fresh - it did not taste the same. i did not cook with it and don't have freezer capacity for base so i don't know if there is a significant difference in the final dish. the base tasted sort of diluted.

on the fridge storage i've found the base seems to take on a different smell at around 7 days and i chuck it at that point (i think it's happended twice as i tend to set up to cook at least 3 times over the week).
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: currypot65 on July 11, 2009, 10:27 AM
Well i finished the curry of to become a Prawn Madras,alas it did not taste right to me,there was a kind of sweet taste there(might of been the carrot)a taste i don't recognise with a takeaway.My girlfriend enjoyed it tho,but not me,sorry.
The base looked the same as the pictures shown,however the finished curry did'nt.
That finished madras picture shown was what inspired me to do this recipe,because it looked the real deal,alas i was left with a damp squib!!

I will try again,although ive seen a recipe here that uses 15 cloves of garlic,and many many years ago,an Indian friend of mine told me a similar recipe,so that one sounds very promising.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on July 11, 2009, 02:53 PM
currypot65,

it's real good experience to try a few different bases and the 15 cloves (admins) does have good review. i've not tried it myself so will be interesting in your comaprison with it and the saffron (i've tried quite a few bases and the saffron still sits in my top 3).

i'm sure the base turned out right so feel it's on technique where u can sort out the over sweet taste. u need to get a branded curry powder and try a few spice mixes too.

have added links to where i started my cooking "learning" and one on technique. this is the area that i've found most difficult.

any help needed - just give us all a shout

http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=2369.0
 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=2369.0)
http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,1454.msg12717.html#msg12717
 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,1454.msg12717.html#msg12717)
http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=1283.0
 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=1283.0)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: currypot65 on July 11, 2009, 08:48 PM
Thanks Jerry for your words of encouragement!!
Seems there is soooo much to do in trying to recreate a restaurant curry!
Over the years ive tried so many ways to cook and different flavours and yet still no nearer!!
Maybe we should all stick to just using a Pataks paste!

Or perhaps,maybe we have produced something near to a Bir but it has not registered in own minds.
I mean sometimes i'll make a curry and friends will say how great it is,yet i might hardly touch mine,might be because sometimes when you have been cooking,you sit down to eat and bang,your appetite has just gone even though your hungry!!
sounds crazy i know,but this has happened a few times to me.

Or,when we go to a restaurant,we have paid good money,so an appetite seems to come on stronger even if the food is just standard.

Well i am trying to make excuses for my/our failures,but maybe its just in our minds and not our tastebuds?

I mean,how hard can it be to produce a decent type restaurant curry!!!!!

Seems its easier to find our government secrets than it is to produce an authentic curry!!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on July 12, 2009, 11:39 AM
I mean,how hard can it be to produce a decent type restaurant curry!!!!!

Bloody difficult in my experience. I've been trying for well over twenty years now and I still can't achieve the aroma or taste of the curries I used to have. It makes me envious when people on this forum who have been doing this for five minutes seem to hit it first time!  :'(
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on July 12, 2009, 12:08 PM
currypot65,

just take u're time and get it in your mind that things won't go well all the time. ask the members on specifics too.

i've approached it as a jig saw of various pieces and have read up each area on the site and asked if i could not find the answer i was looking for or needed clarification. i believe everything we need is on this site.

i think also it's important to accept as Secret Santa is effectively saying u can't replicate exactly the taste u've had in a restaurant or TA. u can get very close if not better in that u can Tailor the recipe to suit u're own taste buds.

i'd also add that i get inconsistency and expect to do so for quite some time - if u think the BIR chefs are cooking many meals every day and it must become 2nd nature to them.

i think u're good lady or close friend is best to guide on how your curries are progressing - as u say in cooking yourself it makes it harder to make a judgement. what u don't need is polite comment either. i also tend to do side by side comparison  if i'm not sure.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on July 12, 2009, 01:59 PM
It makes me envious when people on this forum who have been doing this for five minutes seem to hit it first time!  :'(

 :o  It's quite unlike you to be so diplomatic SS!  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on July 12, 2009, 07:41 PM
:o  It's quite unlike you to be so diplomatic SS!  ;D

Oh it must be all this lovely summer sun some of us are getting. Makes me feel right sociable it does.   :P
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Sami on July 27, 2009, 04:08 PM
Last week I tested 3 sauces from this board with small batch and liked results from Saffron sauce.  I have up to now used a very basic onion ginger garlic tomato based sauce and used the final cooking stage to adjust flavour.  I have tried to duplicate the Saffron taste in the final cooking stage using my own base sauce but can?t get that appealing sweet and small sharpness created from cooking down carrot and green pepper.
Defeated, today I made a big batch of Saffron sauce with 1.8kg prepped onion and increased ingredients to suit. Made one small change and increased garlic + ginger by about 40%.
I recovered quite a lot of oil after about 40 minutes at the final stage. For those unable to recover oil from a sauce; you might be simmering too hard in the final minutes which is keeping oil at suspension. Also if your sauce is a little too thick the oil will be slow rising to surface.

I made this large batch on high pressure Wok cooker at rear of friend?s restaurant. Good choice for me because this curry sauce process can be messy and stain everything it hits.

Tested final sauce with quick chicken curry with fresh red chilli for heat and it tasted very very good  :P :-*.  Gave guy from UK a sample and he wanted lots more.
This sauce has a lovely sweet very pleasing taste with little background tang which is sure the carrot and green pepper combination. Not sure what the potato is doing other than giving body to sauce. I used a baking type potato in my ingredients.

Tried to load photo on this board but got reject ? to long loading. Here are photos on image shack.

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Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on July 28, 2009, 08:19 AM
Sami,

you clearly know your stuff. i well like the pics.

in general for bases i've recently upped the garlic (x2) and find it better. i don't feel the ginger works the same though and would be careful not to increase further.

i too have wrestled with the need for the potato. in the end i think it's optional but find with this base i find it better with than without. i too now use normal potato.

i know that with this base it's important to get the oil to release as the base itself only needs to retain ~100ml of oil to get it tasting at it's best.

ps like your stove and surprised to see u don't use it to cook on.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Sami on July 28, 2009, 10:00 AM
Sami,

you clearly know your stuff. i well like the pics.

in general for bases i've recently upped the garlic (x2) and find it better. i don't feel the ginger works the same though and would be careful not to increase further.

i too have wrestled with the need for the potato. in the end i think it's optional but find with this base i find it better with than without. i too now use normal potato.

i know that with this base it's important to get the oil to release as the base itself only needs to retain ~100ml of oil to get it tasting at it's best.

ps like your stove and surprised to see u don't use it to cook on.


I think I know my stuff when cooking Asian food in a Wok but this curry business can be frustrating and waste much time if you make errors  :'(. When stirring at the Wok I can taste and adjust in the few minutes it takes to prepare food but with curry preparation so much changes over long time period.
I have a good Chinese Chef in family; he is not much help with curry but a great help with understanding ingredients.

The cooker you see is made for a Wok and gives lots of heat power very quickly. I find it great for making large batches of soup and stuff because you can put stink outside and get stuff boiling fast. Its not so good for gentle cooking because it is a real fuss to set a low flame.

As you can see from one of my freezer areas this curry cooking is starting take over.

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(http://img150.imageshack.us/img150/3080/freezerkxl.jpg)
 
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on July 28, 2009, 06:27 PM
Sami,

this is not wok cooking for sure.

the freezer is not good for me. i like to cook fresh and use it all up before making base again. i know a lot on the site use freezing but i am sure it affects the taste (albeit you can live with it).

you should be able to cut the errors (expect them, nothing wrong just inevitable) by asking the members and searching on the web site - just post new what you need to know. my errors are now down to trying different ideas in the final dish. the base and technique is sorted (of which i include the saffron). you will be able to achieve the same.

i think you could make more of your stove for cooking dishes. my stove is not quite as good (i think) but does delivers heat very quickly ~8.8kw. as long as the base is very thin (more water) then no problems. the flames on mine lap around the "frying" pan which i think is important. i cook dishes on full heat. http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=1851.0
 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=1851.0)http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=1283.0
 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=1283.0)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Deadman on August 01, 2009, 03:59 PM
Thanks SnS. Just making this now. It smells yummy!

Lamb bhuna on the menu tonight!  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Deadman on August 01, 2009, 05:10 PM
Well I can honestly say after trying 4 bases previously, this one is very moreish in it's basic form. The missus and kids thinks it's like liquid gold!
Can't wait for my bhuna tonight  :P
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Madrasass on August 14, 2009, 11:28 AM
Hi Folks,
I'm new here and have a query. I am going to try SnS's base today. Can you point me in the right direction for recipes that will suit this base, for example bhuna, madras jalfrezi?
Many thanks
JJ
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on August 14, 2009, 12:50 PM
I'm new here and have a query....can you point me in the right direction for recipes that will suit this base, for example bhuna, madras jalfrezi?

Hi JJ and welcome to the forum.

SnS has posted his new and improved curry base recipe here:
http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=2757.msg24503#msg24503

Madras:  SnS has also posted his madras recipe to go with it here: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=2757.msg24504#msg24504

Bhuna:  CurryKings's bhuna seems to get good reviews here: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=1914.0

Jalfrezi:  Admin's Jalfrezi seems to get good reviews here: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=2664.0

Just be aware that SnS's base is quite tomatoey and you might want to compensate for that on the final curry

Or stick with this version of his base if you wish, it doesn't really matter too much, they are all much of a muchness

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Madrasass on August 14, 2009, 01:06 PM
Hi CA
I'll have a look at the newer base version. I'll take onboard your advise re tomato in the final curry's. Boy I'm gonna have fun.
Once again thanks for your help.

JJ
Title: Best Madras Ever, Illustrated
Post by: 976bar on October 03, 2009, 01:45 PM
Quote
I whipped up a quick prawn madras using 2 ladles (200 ml) of sauce and I've got tell you ... it was really great.

Here is the Madras (for one). For two just double up on all ingredients etc....

Half cooking onion chopped finely
200 ml gravy
0.5 tsp coriander
0.5 tsp cumin
0.5 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder (or more if you're a chilli head)
2 tsp tomato puree
A little veg oil (2 tbsp)

Heat oil (medium heat) add onion. Fry onion until just starting to colour (about 5 minutes)
Add spices stirring continuously for 1 minute
(add cooked meat here)
Add gravy and tomato puree and simmer (medium heat) for about 10 minutes stirring regularly. Add a little water if it gets too dry.
Add prawns near end of cooking.

I've just made the above SnS Madras and I have to say it's fantastic!!

The only changes I made were:
Add 3 tsp lemon Juice
Add 1/4 tsp Salt
Add 1/16th tsp Orange food colouring

I used TRS Extra Hot Chilli Powder 1 tsp

I've only made the sauce as I wanted to experiment. When I get a Madras it is usually more reddy/orange than the one SnS showed in his pictures.

The sauce is fantastic. Although it looks a little thick right now, I will be heating it up later and adding pre-cooked Chicken so I'll just thin it out a little bit if it needs it then.

Well done to you SnS for what is the best Madras I have ever made to date :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: PaulP on October 03, 2009, 02:39 PM
Nice work 976bar.

Any reason you chose the saffron base over the SnS 2008 base?

I only ask as SnS puts fresh corriander in the 2008 base but the Saffron recipe doesn't include this. I feel the fresh corriander adds a nice extra aromatic dimension to the base and final curry dishes.

I'm still trying to choose what base to cook next from this forum.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: 976bar on October 03, 2009, 03:05 PM
Nice work 976bar.

Any reason you chose the saffron base over the SnS 2008 base?

I only ask as SnS puts fresh corriander in the 2008 base but the Saffron recipe doesn't include this. I feel the fresh corriander adds a nice extra aromatic dimension to the base and final curry dishes.

I'm still trying to choose what base to cook next from this forum.

Hi Paul,

I made the SnS base last time and love it, but I want to try others too. This base is also fantastic.

The only thing about coriander in the base is that some dishes don't have it, so it, if you make those dishes then you are stuck with it.

I love Coriander but would prefer to add it to the final curry than base :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on October 04, 2009, 06:05 PM
I feel the fresh coriander adds a nice extra aromatic dimension to the base and final curry dishes.


I'm sold on coriander in base too - it's a key ingredient for me. I add the stalks to all bases i make (even saffron).
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: harry01 on October 30, 2009, 02:33 PM
After ages, I finally got round to making a base sauce. The first one I made a couple of years ago was the KD one from the book, it turned out green and quite bitter. I made this base last week and tried to follow it to the letter. I was a bit short on carrot and a bit short on pepper (though not by much) the base turned out absolutely fantastic, and I proceeded to make a chicken Korma for my missus and I. I made up the recipe from  a mixture of recipes   I have read on here and a clip from youtube with a guy making korma.
 It turned out really well, and is probably the best tasting/looking/closest to a TA I have made. It has renewed my interest in curry, and I am going to make more and also more regularly, cheers for the great base recipe :) :) :) :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Burygas on February 05, 2010, 03:30 PM
Hi

People.

I have just made this base,the oil has separated lovely,although it took longer than 30min,around 1 and a half hour simmering.

Do i stir the oil  back in to the base sauce to seperate into pots for freezing ???

Peter
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: PaulP on February 05, 2010, 07:05 PM
Hi

People.

I have just made this base,the oil has separated lovely,although it took longer than 30min,around 1 and a half hour simmering.

Do i stir the oil  back in to the base sauce to seperate into pots for freezing ???

Peter

If you're not saving some of the oil (reclaim) then yes - stir it back in before dividing into your freezer pots.

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on February 06, 2010, 12:52 PM
Burygas,

for me i would decant the oil off ie reclaim it and use it for frying with but i use the base fresh and don't freeze. if u do intend freezing the base then i think stirring back in would be best. the reclaimed oil is only good for a max 14 days in the fridge (mine is less as it contains a little marg).
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Cory Ander on February 06, 2010, 02:24 PM
Do i stir the oil  back in to the base sauce to seperate into pots for freezing ???

SnS strongly believes that it should be stirred back in, I believe, and for very justifiable reasons.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: nai on March 03, 2010, 09:37 PM
Wow! I've spent this evening reading all 46 pages of comments and I'm looking forward to making this base tomorrow.

Thanks for the entertainment too!!  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: floydmeddler on March 14, 2010, 02:18 PM
Knocking up this base at the minute for the second time. Love it!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: floydmeddler on March 14, 2010, 06:59 PM
OK. I ended up with 4.95L of base using this recipe. Do the rest of you get around this too?

Cheers
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on March 15, 2010, 05:56 PM
floydmeddler,

i get between 4.5 & 4.6L each time. i do tend to thin it a bit further when i start to cook with it (in the range of 300 to 500ml) - which would get me bang on u'rs.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: floydmeddler on March 16, 2010, 09:56 PM
Cool. I use 300ml per curry so that's around 16 portions! :) :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on March 17, 2010, 03:48 PM
floydmeddler,

yes for sure this base produces as u say a real good yield. i too use 300ml per portion plus 75ml going in with the spices.

the versatility across the full range of dishes is another plus for me.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: emin-j on March 17, 2010, 09:25 PM
JerryM ,

Do you put Coriander and Marg in the Saffron Base when you make it ?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on March 18, 2010, 07:07 AM
emin-j,

i do. in fact i make all 3 of my top 3 bases in the same manner and with specific ingredient additions. these being coriander root, marg, coconut block, x2 garlic, whole spice. the spices and the rest of the ingredients i keep exactly as spec other than i up the onion content.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: tarrawingie on April 07, 2010, 06:30 AM
I am new to site...re your recipe would making smaller quantities work, we live on the road in a trailer and do not have the fridge space..tarrawingie
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on April 07, 2010, 04:28 PM
tarrawingie,

yes i am sure it would work. i've not actually done it myself on this recipe but have used pro rata on other recipes. i tend to aim these day's for an 800g onion portion of base and might just give the pro rata a try on the next go.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: emin-j on April 07, 2010, 08:09 PM
JerryM ,

I am making a new batch of base on Friday basically like the Saffron but minus the Tomato and Garlic , I am partly using information I gained when I spent some time in the kitchen of our favourite T/A , the Chef said they do not put Garlic ( or Tomatoes ) in their base as the strong flavour of Garlic is too strong for a Base Sauce  :-\ anyway theirs is the best Madras for miles so I am at least going to try it .
I will also add Coriander stalks ( as T/A ) some Coconut Block and Marge ( found in other bases I have tried .
What do you think JerryM.  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on April 08, 2010, 08:47 AM
emin-j,

my minds in quite a turmoil at the mo - having made a fair tweak to the ashoka base (simply cut the proportion of marg down). it produced very good curry when it shouldn't in my book (basically onion and cumin). i feel it's competing to get into my top 3 and need to perhaps do a side by side with the likes of saffron to be sure.

what i'm getting at is that quite a lot of variations to base produce real top notch results.

i think the tomato could be left out for sure. i do u think u end up using more tom puree at frying stage to address the balance though.

on the garlic i've had a tendency to up the garlic  in a base (x2 spec amount). a characteristic of a good curry for me is to almost feel u can taste the garlic the next day. others can certainly smell it. i've wrestled with using fine chopped garlic and g/g paste at frying stage for some time. i've now settled on g/g paste (ashoka pre cook method). i'm beginning to feel more comfortable adding more of this at frying stage (1 htsp c/w 1 tsp) and feel this produces a better garlic impact than having lot's of it in the base.

i've never found a strong garlic flavour in any base i've made though. i use garlic a lot in normal cooking so i'm perhaps not the right person to comment. i use 2 whole bulbs when i make pizza for example. it's certainly something to try (leaving it out). i don't know what my local TA do.

on a personal preference mine would be to leave the ginger out if anything and not the garlic although i'd now go along with x2 being probably wrong and 0.5 is more like BIR usage.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: emin-j on April 08, 2010, 08:11 PM
JerryM ,

Thanks JerryM  , I don't think there is anyone on the Forum who has done more experimenting with Base sauce and Curries than your good self  :) so anything I think of you have probably tried it allready and got the ' T ' shirt !
I did try the Admin Base and that had a massive amount of Garlic in it and that made a very strong flavoured Curry , over rich for our taste and compared to our local T/A  their Madras is very light on flavour but it's easy to eat and you feel like you could eat more
whereas my Curries tend to be on the rich side ( whatever base I use ) and you know you've had a meal after and not much room left for a desert !
I think Garlic without doubt is a key ingredient in Curry but I think I am going to try to get a lighter less rich flavour this time around  :-\
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on April 10, 2010, 08:51 AM
that made a very strong flavoured Curry , over rich for our taste and compared to our local T/A  their Madras is very light on flavour but it's easy to eat

emin-j,

i too can relate to this. this for me brought about a tendency for "low spice" base which i've now adopted (~2% spice c/w with initial onion volume, 35g in 800g onion). i think u can get the amount of spice down further but i've not as yet got a conclusion (last ashoka had 8g)

i'll try reducing the garlic too given u're findings.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: emin-j on April 10, 2010, 12:24 PM
JerryM ,

Just finished filling containers with the Base for freezing , It needed 500ml water added ( I think ) to give a nice thin consistency and it made 5 ltrs , it's a nice yellow colour with silky like sheen to it ( all that marg and coconut probably  :) ) without Garlic in the Base it'll need adjusting accordingly in the finished Curry which I do tend to pile it in  ;D.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: FTM on May 13, 2010, 04:33 PM
hello Mate im making your Base Gravy for the first time right this minute and done everything step by step!Only problem is after ive blended the sauce and put it back on to boil theres No Oil rising up to the surface.Where do you think im going Wrong? :P
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: PaulP on May 13, 2010, 05:00 PM
Hi FTM,

If you leave it on a low heat and stop stirring the oil will probably eventually rise.

If it doesn't don't worry because when you divide up the base into smaller containers you will want the oil mixed back in anyway.

Paul
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: FTM on May 13, 2010, 05:24 PM
 ;)Thanks Paul,spot on Mate.Going to have a crack at a few diffrent currys tonight.I'll let you know how it goes.Thanks again for getting back to me so quick.Jonny (FTM)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: benalder on July 16, 2010, 02:25 PM
Made this base last night, thanks SnS - my first from this site. I reduced all ingredients by 50%.  Nice taste to it, the only concerns being that the oil did not separate and it only produced 1700ml - should I expect more? I wonder if the reason for oil not rising (after 45 mins of vigourous simmering) may have been due to the base still being too thick after blending? - I was only using a hand blender. Now going to try making AST's Chicken Jalfrezi using this base.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: floydmeddler on August 13, 2010, 04:01 PM
Making this again. Cheers cheers cheers!!!!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: prawnsalad on February 13, 2011, 02:15 AM
Just a quick note to say I did this base and Prawn Madras tonight exactly as described by SnS and found it really useful as its good proof that several ingredients I was using are total red herrings.

I didn't get BIR from it but that just brings us back to the usual torments.

Thanks for this old yet very important thread SnS.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Lumpy Gravy on February 17, 2011, 02:32 PM
Hi guys, I'm a newbie here and would appreciate a little direction. I'm finding excellent comments, advice and tips but I'm having real problems finding actual recipes etc. Please accept my apologies if they're staring me in the face but I'm struggling to find them. Are they perhaps within the threads themselves? Any pointers would be much appreciated.

Cheers  ::)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on February 17, 2011, 03:51 PM
Lumpy Gravy,

the recipe tends to be on page 1 of the post. any changes tend to be in the detail of the post and a bit hard to spot.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: George on February 17, 2011, 04:24 PM
Hi guys, I'm a newbie here and would appreciate a little direction. I'm finding excellent comments, advice and tips but I'm having real problems finding actual recipes etc. Please accept my apologies if they're staring me in the face but I'm struggling to find them. Are they perhaps within the threads themselves? Any pointers would be much appreciated.

Welcome to the forum. As you've posted your question on this thread, presumably you are looking for the recipe for the Saffron Base Gravy. As Jerry has said, it's on page 1 of this thread, which currently extends to 49 pages of discussion, modification  and all the rest of it. Be careful, though. The original (page 1) recipes can often be modified and improved, with or without the OPs agreement in the subsequent pages but the original recipes are only seldom updated to reflect the changes. For example in post 117 (page 12), Secret Santa thinks he may have made the 'wrong' recipe because he failed to build in some modifications. It's a minefield!

As a new moderator, I'll be happy to help improve the situation if I get enough support and agreement. I'll never alter anything off my own back, other than spam. We could start with this thread. Is it necessary or desirable to update the original recipe on page 1?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on February 17, 2011, 04:28 PM
As a new moderator, I'll be happy to help improve the situation if I get enough support and agreement. I'll never alter anything off my own back, other than spam. We could start with this thread. Is it necessary or desirable to update the original recipe on page 1?
IMHO, no.  But adding a link at the bottom to a revised version would quite possibly beneficial.

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: artistpaul on February 17, 2011, 05:25 PM
Welcome to the forum.

paul
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Lumpy Gravy on February 19, 2011, 05:43 AM
Many thanks for your guidance and warm welcome.

cheers
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Davemcurry on March 15, 2011, 03:49 PM
Hi
Just a quick posting to say that I've had a fantastic result making Chicken Tikka Jalfrezi using this Saffron Base with Ast's Jalfrezi recipe.  Both recipes followed to the letter, only one addition was some garam masala 5 minutes before serving the final thing.

It was unanimously voted thoroughly magnificent by 8 attending dinner guests, and I have to say, I was pretty gobsmacked myself.

Thanks to both SnS and AST...these two recipes make a superb combination!

Also, a superb Saag Aloo, again using the Saffron Base and Russell's BIR Saag Aloo recipe (to the letter, no modification whatsoever!!!)  So thanks also to Russell !!!

Marks out of 10 for BIR-ness...?  I'd give both 10, no question.

It's also probably worth mentioning that by chance, in both cases I used Pride vegetable oil, which gave no problems or horrible tastes/smells, so I can only assume it must have been a bad batch which Mag1973 used earlier in the topic...

Finally, yes I did say Chicken Tikka Jalfrezi...!  I've chanced upon an excellent 'cheating' way of creating thoroughly credible Chicken Tikka, and I'll post my recipe/method in a new post in the appropriate topic.
 

Cheers

Dave
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on March 15, 2011, 08:05 PM
It was unanimously voted thoroughly magnificent by 8 attending dinner guests, and I have to say, I was pretty gobsmacked myself.

Nice one Dave! When you cooked for 8, did you make several batches of curry? I always find that only one large portion per pan is possible before the results start to suffer. It's large enough for 2 people though as long as they're not really big eaters.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Davemcurry on March 16, 2011, 03:04 AM
Interesting point, Bobby...No -  indeed it was actually one quite large batch in a single wok-style frying pan, absolutely full to the brim.  And it was a last minute decision to add the garam masala (East End, by the way...) based on tasting. 

So you could well be right, and I may have only just got away with it...

The saag aloo, on the other hand was a much smaller quantity - perhaps only slightly more than a standard take-away sized portion (it was after all intended only as a side dish), and that didn't require any last minute modification.

As I've still got approx half a gallon (!) of the base sauce left (now frozen) another shot will be in order very soon, this time when we don't have guests coming.

So thanks for the tip!

Cheers

Dave
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bobby Bhuna on March 16, 2011, 05:51 PM
Yeah, definitley try one takeaway portion by itself. I think you'll be surpsrised by the difference! ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: currypot65 on April 29, 2011, 11:52 AM
For the original gravy of this dish,do you blend the contents afterwards?
Sorry if this has already been asked.


Sorry,have read it all now :P :P Doh!!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Pickledswede on June 06, 2011, 10:30 AM
I don't know if this is the right place to post this but I read somewhere on this site that the KD base wasn't ideal to make because she suggests boiling the ginger and garlic which gives off a very strong smell. However it seems to be the same in this base? I have read through as much as I can and done a few searches but so far can't find anything about the boiling of garlic and ginger in this recipe? Is it really just chucked in with everything else and boiled or is it fried first?

Cheers
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Ramirez on June 06, 2011, 10:42 AM
I am not too familiar with the KD base, but I think you'll find the majority of bases on here boil the garlic and ginger, along with the likes of onion, green pepper, carrots etc.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on June 06, 2011, 11:44 AM
Is it ]the garlic & ginger] really just chucked in with everything else and boiled or is it fried first?
Yep, all boiled together.  The smell is a matter of taste (if that is not an oxymoron, I don't know what is !) -- I don't mind it at all, others may find it offensive.  Using a pressure cooker will certainly reduce the smell, particularly if you have a hob with very fine heat control such that you can just keep the pressure maintained without any steam escaping.  See KD1/PC (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=5671.0) for details.

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: emin-j on June 06, 2011, 08:18 PM
I'm not really a fan of the boiling method so what I have started doing is putting 350ml of Veg Oil into a large pan then add all the Veg ( inc G/G ) then stir frying it all for about 5 mins then add the Spices and fry for another 5 mins then add the Water and continue with the Boiling process,when frying it gives off a very nice aroma and not so bad when the Water is added,I make 5.5 ltrs at a time.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on June 06, 2011, 08:35 PM
I'm not really a fan of the boiling method so what I have started doing is putting 350ml of Veg Oil into a large pan then add all the Veg ( inc G/G ) then stir frying it all for about 5 mins
Just as a point of interest, do you peel your ginger ?  I don't, with the boiling method (unless it is very old and gnarly, but I don't normally buy such ginger), but I have the feeling that if you were to fry ginger skin it might go rather hard and unpleasant ...

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: emin-j on June 07, 2011, 05:31 PM
I'm not really a fan of the boiling method so what I have started doing is putting 350ml of Veg Oil into a large pan then add all the Veg ( inc G/G ) then stir frying it all for about 5 mins
Just as a point of interest, do you peel your ginger ?  I don't, with the boiling method (unless it is very old and gnarly, but I don't normally buy such ginger), but I have the feeling that if you were to fry ginger skin it might go rather hard and unpleasant ...

** Phil.

Hi Phil, Yes I scrape the skin off the Ginger at the same time as scraping the Carrots then just roughly chop.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on June 07, 2011, 05:52 PM
Hi Phil, Yes I scrape the skin off the Ginger at the same time as scraping the Carrots then just roughly chop.
OK, then I think that pre-frying in those circumstances would work very well.  I suspect that most BIRs neither have the time nor the inclination to pre-fry, but then neither are they worried about the smell !

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: emin-j on June 07, 2011, 08:43 PM
Hi Phil, Yes I scrape the skin off the Ginger at the same time as scraping the Carrots then just roughly chop.
Quote
OK, then I think that pre-frying in those circumstances would work very well.  I suspect that most BIRs neither have the time nor the inclination to pre-fry, but then neither are they worried about the smell !
** Phil.

Your probably right Phil but me and the Mrs recently dined at a popular Indian Restaurant and sent our Curries back being flavourless  :o perhaps they should consider a quick fry  ;)


ATB
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on June 07, 2011, 11:22 PM
Your probably right Phil but me and the Mrs recently dined at a popular Indian Restaurant and sent our Curries back being flavourless  :o perhaps they should consider a quick fry  ;)
No, it's a sad fact of life : the better our own curries become, the less impressed we are with those from otherwise excellent BIRs :(  I have even found my last two t/as from the Taj of Kent to be sadly lacking, which bearing in mind the review (http://www.welovelocal.com/en/se/maidstone/marden/other-restaurants/taj-of-kent-tn129hs.html#review_66819) I posted when I first visited the place (and it has not changed hands in the meantime) is a very depressing experience ...

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on June 09, 2011, 06:55 PM
that the KD base wasn't ideal to make because she suggests boiling the ginger and garlic which gives off a very strong smell. However it seems to be the same in this base?

Pickledswede,

the KD base is not bad at all. there is KD1 and KD2 versions. the KD2 avoids the smell. in KD1 the smell is down to simmering the onion, garlic, ginger and salt.

the bases on this site differ from KD in that they add in veg ie say green pepper and this makes quite a difference in the final curry - for me better.

for all bases that i make including the saffron which i rate highly i chuck all the ingredients in at the start - for some reason this stops that nasty smell. i'd certainly recommend including coriander root in any base as this gives of a real aroma in with the rest of the ingredients.

you can also leave the ginger out completely.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Dix on July 20, 2011, 07:22 PM
Just made base everything went well was making basic madras everything going well until last bit adding tom puree used 2 TBS instead of 2 TSP nearly cried added a bit more base and in the end didnt taste to bad  a little thick and tom puree'ee but not not to got loads of base left so i guess i try again tommorow night
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: 976bar on July 20, 2011, 09:36 PM
Just made base everything went well was making basic madras everything going well until last bit adding tom puree used 2 TBS instead of 2 TSP nearly cried added a bit more base and in the end didnt taste to bad  a little thick and tom puree'ee but not not to got loads of base left so i guess i try again tommorow night

Stay with it!! We've all done that in our first attempts. It will come right if you persevere, don't give up, you'll soon be mastering mouth watering curries :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SteveyG on December 04, 2011, 05:18 PM
I had a go at this one today and am very impressed with the results.

Ingredients in the pot ready to start boiling:

(http://www.sdgelectronics.co.uk/images/cr0/saffronBase/step1.jpg)

After 45 minutes:

(http://www.sdgelectronics.co.uk/images/cr0/saffronBase/step2.jpg)

Adding spices:

(http://www.sdgelectronics.co.uk/images/cr0/saffronBase/step3.jpg)

Prior to blending:

(http://www.sdgelectronics.co.uk/images/cr0/saffronBase/step4.jpg)

After blending:

(http://www.sdgelectronics.co.uk/images/cr0/saffronBase/step5.jpg)

And at the end:

(http://www.sdgelectronics.co.uk/images/cr0/saffronBase/step6.jpg)

I did have to add some more water (probably another litre) as it started getting very thick, but not that much oil came out the base. However once I started cooking with it, the oil came out in abundance.

Made a chicken tikka phall with it tonight (with a potato in it too):

(http://www.sdgelectronics.co.uk/images/cr0/saffronBase/phall1.jpg)
(http://www.sdgelectronics.co.uk/images/cr0/saffronBase/phall2.jpg)

Overall I was very impressed with this sauce. The taste of the phall was almost indistinguishable from the one from my local takeaway, and I shall see how it compares with other dishes over the next week or so.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: curryhell on December 04, 2011, 05:41 PM
Terrific post Stevey.  The end result looks fantastic.  I'm just about to cook a curry for later on.  Undecided on what to have though :-\.   What recipe did you use for the phall?  And what made you decide to use the saffron base in preference to many of the other more popular bases?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Ramirez on December 04, 2011, 05:43 PM
That looks absolutely wonderful. Top marks!  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: SteveyG on December 04, 2011, 06:22 PM
Terrific post Stevey.  The end result looks fantastic.  I'm just about to cook a curry for later on.  Undecided on what to have though :-\.   What recipe did you use for the phall?  And what made you decide to use the saffron base in preference to many of the other more popular bases?

I've been going through the bases one by one on this site and this was the next one on the list. The Phall ingredients were:

3 cloves garlic, 1 piece of ginger about the size of a clove of garlic, about 1.5 tbsp tomato puree,
1 tsp Deggi Mirch, 1 tsp naga paste, 1tsp ground coriander, 1tsp ground cumin, 0.5tsp garam masala, 1tbsp mild madras curry powder, 1tsp methi leaves. Some salt and some sugar.

It wasn't from any specific recipe, but probably similar to a lot out there.

Fortunately we left just enough for dinner tomorrow  ;D  :D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: jackson81 on January 07, 2012, 09:21 PM
just made this today and all i can say is thankyou and respect !
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: TheDirector on January 12, 2012, 07:26 PM
deet..deet..duh..deet..deet...deet...deet...This just in... the latest results from the curry lab...

Ok, so you'll have to improvise on the sound effects yourselves--think Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam.

Wanted to post this so I don't lose it amongst all of my recent notes.  I've been trying a few different things over the past couple of days, and I think this one turned out absolutely brilliantly (of course, after eating this many curries lately, my objectivity may be slipping a little...).  I don't think this is a stopping point because I'm still working on my overall technique and exploring the different effects of spices, etc., but I think I *could* stop here and be pretty happy.

I'd be interested in feedback if anyone else tries this recipe.  From here on, the only variables will be experimenting with different spice mixes.  I'd experimented with vinegar and/or Worcestershire sauce, but neither seemed to really add all that much.  I may try again at some stage, but as a second pass.

I've also tried this with chicken and it works equally well, although pre-cooking didn't use the same ingredients.  This time I only added 1 tsp turmeric to CK's chicken method (I mentioned this previously somewhere in the thread, I think).

Unfortunately, I haven't tried this at Madras heat levels yet, so I'm not sure how well the flavors balance in that case.  I promise that I will try it soon, though.
 
Andrew's Latest Lamb Vindaloo (Jan 22 edition)

INGREDIENTS

200ml Saffron curry base (shaken, not stirred.... ;))
3 tbsp vegetable oil (see note 1)
1/4 cooking onion, chopped (approx 40g or so)
2 tbsp minced garlic (approx 2-4 cloves, depending on their size)
1 pre-boiled (but not quite cooked completely), small salad potato, halved
60-80g pre-cooked lamb (see note 2)
60ml lamb stock
2 tsp tomato puree (double-concentrate)
8 small green chillies, thinly sliced (see note 3)
2 tsp extra hot chilli powder (see note 4)
1 large pinch of dried methi leaves

"Haldi's Takeaway" Spice Mix (courtesy of Haldi's recent posts)

1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp corriander powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp Madras curry powder (see note 5)
1/4 tsp ground cumin

METHOD (basically the same as in the original Madras recipe)

Heat a heavy pan on med-high heat until hot.  Add the oil and wait until it starts moving easily around the pan, but isn't smoking.  Add the onion and garlic and sautee until just beginning to change color.  Add the dry spices and stir continuously, making sure not to burn them.  Wait until you can't breathe and then continue to cook them a bit longer, adding a little base if necessary.

Add the base and stir well to evenly mix the spices and the curry base.  Stir in the tomato paste.  When mixed well, add the chillies, lamb, lamb stock and the potato.  Bring to an energetic boil and reduce to medium.  Stir occasionally to check the consistency.  After about 5 min, stir in the dried methi and reduce to desired consistency, adding some water if it gets too dry.

Sprinkle with coriander leaves (freshly chopped or dry) and serve.

Note 1:

It seems that after freezing this base, the oil doesn't want to separate like it used too.  I know I'm cooking it the same way as before, but I've tended to end up with a tad drier curries trying to wait for the oil to separate.  It still does, but there just doesn't seem to be as much of it.  If you're using fresh, e.g. not frozen, curry base, you can reduce this amount to 2 tsp.

Has anyone else noticed this problem? ???

Note 2:

I used Curry King's method for cooking lamb (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,1915.0.html (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,1915.0.html)), except that I used 6 green pods, 5-6 small pieces of cassia bark, no ginger, 1 tsp of turmeric, 2 tsp of garam masala instead of the cumin/coriander mix and a large pinch of dried methi leaves.  There was about 650g of lamb which  was boiled on low for 1 hr and was also boiled with the hip bone and the hock ligaments.

Note 3:

I've no idea what they're called, but they look like this:  http://indianfoodrocks.blogspot.com/2007/10/make-your-green-chillies-last-longer.html (http://indianfoodrocks.blogspot.com/2007/10/make-your-green-chillies-last-longer.html)

Note 4:

I think what I bought is Raj, but I forgot to write it down before I threw away the package.  It seems to have quite a bit of cayenne in it from both the color and the taste.  I'd say it'd be *roughly* equivalent to 4 tsp of Schwartz hot chilli powder and 1-2 tsp of pure cayenne powder as this was about what I was using before I went shopping at a real spice store.

Note 5:

One of the things I didn't buy when I was at the Indian grocer was Madras curry powder, so I cheated and used Schwartz's Medium Curry Powder.  Probably nowhere close, but it's all I had.

Hi, wondered if someone can help - ive been reading through theis thread and confused at this post with the reference to a spice mix? The recipe above references the base sauce and then the lamb recipe, but where does the spice mix come in thats referenced?  Is this meant as an alteration to the spices used in the Safron base sauce?

Any help appreciated.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: curryhell on January 12, 2012, 07:53 PM

Hi, wondered if someone can help - ive been reading through theis thread and confused at this post with the reference to a spice mix? The recipe above references the base sauce and then the lamb recipe, but where does the spice mix come in thats referenced?  Is this meant as an alteration to the spices used in the Safron base sauce?

Any help appreciated.

Hi Director and welcome to CR0.  The spice mix is a blend of ground spices, like those listed above, whose proportions vary according to who created it.  Some people add additional spices to their spice mix.  There are many in this section of the forum:

http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?board=28.0 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?board=28.0)

The spice mix or mix powder as it is often referred to is used basically like a curry powder to add a more intense flavour as base gravy is normally very mildly spicey.  It is added to  fried onion garlic/ginger tomato puree before adding some of the the curry base which preparing the final chosen dish.  Have a look at some of the videos in the video section of the site to get a better idea. They explain more than i can in words.  Keep us posted on how you get along.

http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?board=21.0 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?board=21.0)

If you need any help just shout.  There are plenty of good people on here who are very knowledgeable and will try to answer any questions or queries if they can
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: martinvic on January 12, 2012, 08:09 PM
Hi CH

I may be wrong but I think he is asking where the listed "Haldi's Takeaway" Spice Mix is used in the actual Vindaloo recipe.

Meaning ast gives the spice mix ingredients in his post, but it doesn't appear to be actually used in his recipe. ???

Martin

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: curryhell on January 12, 2012, 08:45 PM
Hi CH

I may be wrong but I think he is asking where the listed "Haldi's Takeaway" Spice Mix is used in the actual Vindaloo recipe.

Meaning ast gives the spice mix ingredients in his post, but it doesn't appear to be actually used in his recipe. ???

Martin
Ah, thanks for the clarification martinvic.  And that's before i have  a couple of beers :o
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: TheDirector on January 12, 2012, 08:55 PM
Hi CH

I may be wrong but I think he is asking where the listed "Haldi's Takeaway" Spice Mix is used in the actual Vindaloo recipe.

Meaning ast gives the spice mix ingredients in his post, but it doesn't appear to be actually used in his recipe. ???

Martin

Hi Martin, yeah thats what i meant - the spice mix mentioned does not seem to be mentioned in the actual recipe, which got me confused.  Can anyone clarify this for me??

Ive been on this website about a handful of times over the last few years, but to be honest, I log off after about 5 minutes normally as there is so much info I just do not know where to start.  I did buy the KD book a couple of years ago and tried it twice (first time it was OK. Second was a disaster for some reason. Plus the stench of cooking the base sauce is hideous and the amount of ginger specified seems to massivley overpower everything!).  Only other one I tried was the recipe rick stein got from a bradford restaurant - which was OK but not great (once again, amount of ginger specified seems to be too much!).  I know the taste I am after, like the rest of you, but not sure where to start.

HOWEVER, strangely in recent months I have mastered a chickpea curry, which takes about 30 minutes to cook, yet actually tastes as good as a BIR curry (more or less)!  It has the right oily consistancy, depth of flavour...  I think I have an idea of some of the key things that make it work and got lucky the first time I experimented with the chickpea curry (I used a recipe I found and adapted it).  It makes me wonder whether I could achieve a quality meat BIR dish without a base sauce....  though I guess i risk being shouted down suggesting that!

Anyway, all that aside, I want to learn a good base sauce and so committed myself to read through this thread.  Only a fifth of the way through so far....
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Razor on January 12, 2012, 09:15 PM
Mr Director

  It makes me wonder whether I could achieve a quality meat BIR dish without a base sauce....  though I guess i risk being shouted down suggesting that!

How Very Dare you?
(http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/imagehost/pics/8a57550cf553555fedbf473641a5d848.jpg)

Ray :o
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: PaulP on January 12, 2012, 09:25 PM
Hi Director,

Any chance of posting your chickpea curry recipe please?

Cheers,

Paul
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: spiceyokooko on January 13, 2012, 01:14 AM
Can anyone clarify this for me??

Hi there TheDirector

I obviously cannot speak for the original author of the recipe, and for 100% clarification the original author would need to confirm what was meant. But having read the recipe and if I was cooking this myself, I would assume that the 'Haldi Takeway spice Mix and 2 tsp of Extra Hot Chilli Powder are added at the point within the 'Method' that states "...Add the dry spices and stir continuously, making sure not to burn them".

I think this is a fairly safe assumption to make given that 1/ Nearly all finished dishes will include a 'Spice Mix' containing the spices in the Haldi Mix and that 2/ the author makes a specific reference to the type of Madras Curry Powder used in the recipe note.

Give it a twirl and see how it works out for you, it looks like a good recipe.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: jh269789 on April 29, 2012, 06:45 PM
This recipe should come with a large warning to all newbee's like myself, when its says a large pot, double what you think! Just joined and am at this moment having a whirl on this gravy mix, towards the end and very impressed so far, BUT, my wife thinks I may be starting my own takaway service with the amount of gravy this makes!lol :D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: curryhell on April 29, 2012, 08:18 PM
 ;D ;D ;D Don't worry jh, you'll soon work your way through it making very tasty curries.  SWMBO will soon stop moaning when she starts tucking into those BIR meals ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on April 30, 2012, 07:40 PM
i've just switch to using infindforu's base (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=7621.0 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=7621.0)).

it's produces even more yield - it made 20 off portions and i've had to keep it un thinned down to the volume in the fridge and the need to use the pans for other cooking.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: OcTwenty on July 18, 2012, 10:03 PM
Hi lads.  Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question, being a newbie here im wondering, if this base is suitable for BIR style chicken Korma? cheers in advance.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: curryhell on July 18, 2012, 10:14 PM
Have never made this base but having read the thread at least twice, from the comments  it is a very versatile base and you should have no problems using this with any of the korma recipes on the site to achieve a good result.  Welcome and good luck.  Keep us posted on the results.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: goncalo on March 26, 2013, 04:44 PM
This base seems to have gone missing from the spotlight for a while and judging by the colour, I would imagine it is closer to what I am looking after (looks can be deceiving, however.)

I'm looking forward to give it a try tonight, I'm currently looking at the recipe which I believe is the most recent (page 24, reply #233) and I have some questions:

1. In the ingredients list, it is mentioned "2 medium tomatoes" but in the method, it is suggested "Half a tin (200 g) of chopped plum tomatoes (Italian Napolina)" do we need both the 2 tomatos and the chopped plum tomatoes?

2. The deghi mirch is the powdered form correct? If so my understanding is that it is a bit hotter than the kashmiri mirch (correct me if wrong) -- is this a spicy/hot base?

3. What do you mean by "Removing any scum"? I only heard of scum in the context of scumbags, sorry :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on March 26, 2013, 05:21 PM
1. In the ingredients list, it is mentioned "2 medium tomatoes" but in the method, it is suggested "Half a tin (200 g) of chopped plum tomatoes (Italian Napolina)" do we need both the 2 tomatos and the chopped plum tomatoes?

Pass.

Quote
2. The deghi mirch is the powdered form correct? If so my understanding is that it is a bit hotter than the kashmiri mirch (correct me if wrong) -- is this a spicy/hot base?

Correct on both counts.

Quote
3. What do you mean by "Removing any scum"? I only heard of scum in the context of scumbags, sorry :)

"Scum" is the detritus that accumulates on the surface of the base; it consists of a mixture of liquid, solid and gaseous matter, all of which cling to each other so that the scum becomes a semi-solid; it can be carefully manipulated with a spoon and then lifted clear of the surface. 

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: George on March 26, 2013, 07:24 PM
It's obviously totally genuine and you can make whatever constructive criticism about it
You can also be sure,the restaurant the curry base comes from, will still be using this recipe in two months time

Perhaps this base is ace. Or perhaps it's not. I don't know because I haven't tried it.

I don't see how anyone can say it's totally genuine, though. That idea was killed off for me when sns said they tipped all the base he made into a pot and he took it home. I'd have been far more convinced if they proceeded to ladle it out for curries being served to customers a few minutes later. What a lost opportunity.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: goncalo on March 27, 2013, 12:07 AM
1. In the ingredients list, it is mentioned "2 medium tomatoes" but in the method, it is suggested "Half a tin (200 g) of chopped plum tomatoes (Italian Napolina)" do we need both the 2 tomatos and the chopped plum tomatoes?

Pass.

Quote
2. The deghi mirch is the powdered form correct? If so my understanding is that it is a bit hotter than the kashmiri mirch (correct me if wrong) -- is this a spicy/hot base?

Correct on both counts.

Quote
3. What do you mean by "Removing any scum"? I only heard of scum in the context of scumbags, sorry :)

"Scum" is the detritus that accumulates on the surface of the base; it consists of a mixture of liquid, solid and gaseous matter, all of which cling to each other so that the scum becomes a semi-solid; it can be carefully manipulated with a spoon and then lifted clear of the surface. 

Thanks Phil, as I saw this on the phone on my way home, I ended up forgetting to acknowledge it. From looking at a few pictures, if I got it right, I may have seen while precooking chicken, but never while cooking a base

Goncalo
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: goncalo on March 29, 2013, 12:26 PM
This recipe calls for sweet paprika or alternatively deggi mirch. It's a bit strange that the option is either sweet/non-hot or hot -- any thoughts before I go ahead and do this one today, seeing as KD1 requires a few bits that I'm in short supply of :)

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on March 29, 2013, 01:10 PM
This recipe calls for sweet paprika or alternatively deggi mirch. It's a bit strange that the option is either sweet/non-hot or hot -- any thoughts before I go ahead and do this one today, seeing as KD1 requires a few bits that I'm in short supply of :)

Very odd indeed.  Version 1 says "25 ml paprika (deghi mirch)", version 2 says "25 ml sweet paprika (or deghi mirch)".  My /suspicion/ is that paprika was used, but that the author erroneously believed that deggi mirch was the same thing.  But I might be wrong : it would not be the first time !

Incidentally, KD1 base is about as simple as you can get : what are these "few bits" that you lack ?

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: spiceyokooko on March 29, 2013, 01:58 PM
This recipe calls for sweet paprika or alternatively deggi mirch. It's a bit strange that the option is either sweet/non-hot or hot...

They are to all intents and purposes the same thing. Certainly the Capiscums and Chilli Pepper varieties they use are different, but do they impart an essentially different flavour or are they there predominantly for colouring?

I've used both and I struggle to taste the difference between them when used in a base sauce.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: goncalo on March 29, 2013, 02:04 PM
This recipe calls for sweet paprika or alternatively deggi mirch. It's a bit strange that the option is either sweet/non-hot or hot -- any thoughts before I go ahead and do this one today, seeing as KD1 requires a few bits that I'm in short supply of :)

Very odd indeed.  Version 1 says "25 ml paprika (deghi mirch)", version 2 says "25 ml sweet paprika (or deghi mirch)".  My /suspicion/ is that paprika was used, but that the author erroneously believed that deggi mirch was the same thing.  But I might be wrong : it would not be the first time !

Incidentally, KD1 base is about as simple as you can get : what are these "few bits" that you lack ?

** Phil.

Indeed, sounds like it Phil. I've sourced sweet paprika in a small flask from lidl that says "paprika sweet" (I assume it's the same, though, oh well if it's not.) -- if you were to do this recipe, would you choose to use deggi mirch then?

Green Ginger and patience for all the different stages (though it might be simple, but if you consider my agenda today:

* plain basmati rice,
* plenty of g&g (tired of using the one from Al Noor and Shan)
* a new base
* banjarra (never done it, but I would like to experiment with it)
* precook chicken
* be ready to start cooking a kashmiri korma for me and the missus (her birthday was 2 days ago)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: goncalo on March 29, 2013, 02:06 PM
This recipe calls for sweet paprika or alternatively deggi mirch. It's a bit strange that the option is either sweet/non-hot or hot...

They are to all intents and purposes the same thing. Certainly the Capiscums and Chilli Pepper varieties they use are different, but do they impart an essentially different flavour or are they there predominantly for colouring?

I've used both and I struggle to taste the difference between them when used in a base sauce.

Thanks for clarifying spicy. In that case, I'd be more keen on using deggi mirch, but I'd be a tiny bit afraid that the spiciness it may add to the base may taint the milder/sweeter dishes like kormas, CTMs and passandas, which is pretty much what my girlfriend eats :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on March 29, 2013, 02:14 PM
They (sweet paprika & deggi mirch : PT) are to all intents and purposes the same thing. Certainly the Capiscums and Chilli Pepper varieties they use are different, but do they impart an essentially different flavour or are they there predominantly for colouring?

"To all intents and purposes the same thing" ?  Come, Sir, you jest.  Deggi mirch is a moderately hot chilli, powdered; sweet paprika is a mild paprika, powdered.  They are as different as chalk and cheese (dry-taste each as a powder and compare).

 
Quote
I've used both and I struggle to taste the difference between them when used in a base sauce

25ml of paprika or mirch compared to the volume of the other ingredients will not affect the flavour significantly, but I would expect the heat of the deggi mirch to come through (if used).

** Phil (who has just scratched his left eye with a thumbnail that was in contact with sliced chilli less than five minutes ago, and who is now seriously regretting those two interrelated facts ...).
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: DalPuri on March 29, 2013, 02:29 PM

Thanks for clarifying spicy. In that case, I'd be more keen on using deggi mirch, but I'd be a tiny bit afraid that the spiciness it may add to the base may taint the milder/sweeter dishes like kormas, CTMs and passandas, which is pretty much what my girlfriend eats :)

I wouldn't add deggi to a base again myself for those same reasons.
Deggi being a blend seems pretty hit or miss when it comes to heat levels. I made a base using MDH deggi mirch, and although i didnt really notice the heat myself, it was too hot for me old man and his farmers.  :P

I must add that i cooked a lamb and spinach curry and used some mixed powder which also contained deggi mirch which would've made the dish hotter. But still, some people just cant take any heat so I wont add chilli to a base again.
The old guitar player in the band would have sweat pouring off him just eating a Korma!  ;D Funny.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on March 29, 2013, 02:44 PM
1. In the ingredients list, it is mentioned "2 medium tomatoes" but in the method, it is suggested "Half a tin (200 g) of chopped plum tomatoes (Italian Napolina)" do we need both the 2 tomatos and the chopped plum tomatoes?

2. The deghi mirch is the powdered form correct? If so my understanding is that it is a bit hotter than the kashmiri mirch (correct me if wrong) -- is this a spicy/hot base?

3. What do you mean by "Removing any scum"? I only heard of scum in the context of scumbags, sorry :)

goncalo,

i made this for quite a while - it's top notch. i recently switched to the revised ifindforu base (the 1 without all purpose seasoning in) which is very similar to the curry2go. i just felt it was a tad better but it's a close call. SnS posted a revised recipe that i've not tried (2008: http://cr0.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2757.0.html (http://cr0.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2757.0.html)).

1) i add both the fresh and the tin toms
2) i just use normal chilli powder
3) the scum is open area of discussion with some members removing it and others not. after blending and addition of water the base is reheated for a period upto 1 hr which changes the characteristics of the base from a sort of soup into an almost curry. in the 1st 20 mins a "froth or scum" surfaces. taste it and then decide. i personally take it off with my chef spoon. after 20 mins is best to leave well alone as the oil starts to rise and it's difficult to just get the scum.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: spiceyokooko on March 29, 2013, 02:46 PM
Come, Sir, you jest.  Deggi mirch is a moderately hot chilli, powdered; sweet paprika is a mild paprika, powdered.  They are as different as chalk and cheese (dry-taste each as a powder and compare).

Not in my opinion they're not.

I also don't know how you can describe Deggi Mirch as being moderately hot? Deggi Mirch is a blend of Kashmiri Chilli peppers and capiscums. Kashmiri Chilli peppers are mild, so are Capiscums, they're used predominantly for colouring, not heat.

I think you're getting confused between a particular brand of Deggi Mirch (which to you is moderately hot) and the generic name Deggi Mirch which is mild to be honest.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on March 29, 2013, 03:00 PM
I think you're getting confused between a particular brand of Deggi Mirch (which to you is moderately hot) and the generic name Deggi Mirch which is mild to be honest.

I'm not "getting confused"; I have experienced only one brand of Deggi Mirch (MDH) and that is definitely hotter than the same brand's Kashmiri Mirch.  If generic Deggi Mirch exists, then I do not think it would be safe to pronounce on its heat, since by definition any two samples may significantly differ in their heat level.  Where have you seen generic Deggi Mirch on sale ?

** Phil (who bought generic Kashmiri Mirch in Abu Dhabi but who saw no corresponding generic Deggi Mirch in the same supermarket, which had more spices on display than I have ever seen in my life).
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: spiceyokooko on March 29, 2013, 03:17 PM
I'm not "getting confused"; I have experienced only one brand of Deggi Mirch (MDH) and that is definitely hotter than the same brand's Kashmiri Mirch.  If generic Deggi Mirch exists, then I do not think it would be safe to pronounce on its heat, since by definition any two samples may significantly differ in their heat level.  Where have you seen generic Deggi Mirch on sale ?

You are getting confused.

As far as you're concerned Deggi Mirch only comes from one supplier box - MDH, which incidentally describes the contents as a blend of Indian Red Chillies, no mention of Kashmiri Chillies, no mention of Capiscums, no mention of anything except Red Chillies. No surprise then that it's hotter than it should be!

For everyone else, Deggi Mirch is a generic name referring to the Indian equivalent of Paprika, which is a blend of Kashmiri Chillies, Capiscums and other mild Red Chillies, not all of which have to come from Kashmir.

Whilst the following article is in no way definitive or authoritative on the subject and I'm not posting it as such, but it's interesting that the article conclusion agrees with my definition and not yours:

http://nomoremicrowaves.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/wtf-is-kashmiri-chili-powder/ (http://nomoremicrowaves.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/wtf-is-kashmiri-chili-powder/)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on March 29, 2013, 03:42 PM
I'm not "getting confused"; I have experienced only one brand of Deggi Mirch (MDH) and that is definitely hotter than the same brand's Kashmiri Mirch.  If generic Deggi Mirch exists, then I do not think it would be safe to pronounce on its heat, since by definition any two samples may significantly differ in their heat level.  Where have you seen generic Deggi Mirch on sale ?

You are getting confused.

No, quite the contrary, but it is possible that you are, since you are asserting that I have said (or written) things that I most definitely have not.

Quote
As far as you're concerned Deggi Mirch only comes from one supplier box - MDH

False.  Deggi Mirch may well come from many suppliers : as I stated above, I personally have tried only one brand, and based my comments on my personal experience.

Quote
For everyone else, Deggi Mirch is a generic name referring to the Indian equivalent of Paprika, which is a blend of Kashmiri Chillies, Capiscums and other mild Red Chillies, not all of which have to come from Kashmir.

Perhaps for you; perhaps for some; certainly not "for everyone else". 

I repeat my question : Where have you seen generic Deggi Mirch on sale ?  And I add a new one.  "And did you buy some, and if so, can you describe its properties in terms of flavour, heat, etc. ?".  I am talking about real Deggi Mirch that I have bought, tasted and use regularly, and that others can easily obtain :  you appear to me to be talking about a hypothetical Deggi Mirch that /may/ exist, and about which you have read, but of which you have no first-hand experience.

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: spiceyokooko on March 29, 2013, 04:47 PM
No, quite the contrary, but it is possible that you are, since you are asserting that I have said (or written) things that I most definitely have not.

I'm not getting into yet another pissing contest with you Phil, because it's tiresome for me, and tiresome for people who have to read it.

Neither am I going to write out and repeat everything I've already written which contains the answers to your questions.

I shall leave you to your one-eyed view of Deggi Mirch that comes out of a MDH packet. You of course are right again Phil, as always, as usual, you're never wrong!  ::)

I'll leave everyone else to read what I've written, read the link I've provided and come to their own conclusions as to what Deggi Mirch is. If they've got any sense they'll google it and see what everyone else says about it too.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on March 29, 2013, 05:04 PM
Watch my lips, Spicey :  have you, personally, ever used "generic Deggi Mirch", and if so, from where did you get it and how would you assess it in terms of heat, flavour, etc ?  Because from everything you have written so far on the subject, it would seem that you have no experience of it whatsoever, and are simply spouting "facts" that you have found somewhere on the Internet.

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: DalPuri on March 29, 2013, 05:35 PM
This was interesting. Found this after reading a few things about reshampatti chillies being used in deggi.
They sell two different kashmiri powders.
One called Kashmiri Mast, which i assume means best quality?

http://kusumspices.zepo.in/product/Chilly-Reshampatti-Powder-id-111774.html (http://kusumspices.zepo.in/product/Chilly-Reshampatti-Powder-id-111774.html)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: spiceyokooko on March 29, 2013, 05:39 PM
have you, personally, ever used "generic Deggi Mirch"

Yes, I grind my own Chilli powders, I've mentioned this on here before many times.

...and if so, from where did you get it

It's a mixture of ground Red Kashmiri chillies, ground dried Red Pimientos (which I bring back from Spain) and Lal Mirch which are just generic red Chillies for heat. I can make it as hot or as mild as I want. Sometimes I put in some dried ground chipotle for a smokey flavour.

and how would you assess it in terms of heat, flavour, etc ?

It's pretty close to that of Paprika which is what I use it for and why I said they're interchangeable. But given I have full control over it, I can make it as mild or as hot, smokey or sweet as I want.

Because from everything you have written so far on the subject, it would seem that you have no experience of it whatsoever, and are simply spouting "facts" that you have found somewhere on the Internet.

Really?

Given that I'm probably the only person on this site that actually bothers to source, grind and blend my own Chilli powders from whole dried chillies suggests that I do actually know what I'm talking about.

What do you think?

Or do you just think that Deggi Mirch only comes out of an MDH box because that's the only experience you've ever had of it (because it's got the name on the packet) and are totally oblivious to the fact that it's actually a blend of Kasmiri Chillis (which are nothing more than mild red chillies) and dried Red Capiscums?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: spiceyokooko on March 29, 2013, 05:46 PM
One called Kashmiri Mast, which i assume means best quality?

Don't know.

But what's interesting about that is, the milder it is, the more expensive it is. The cheapest is the pungent one and the most expensive the mild one!

How curious.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: DalPuri on March 29, 2013, 05:57 PM
[
But what's interesting about that is, the milder it is, the more expensive it is. The cheapest is the pungent one and the most expensive the mild one!

How curious.

Could be that the cheapest one is full of all the nasties and millions of seeds, whereas the kashmiri mast is flesh only? Doesnt explain the grades in between though.  :D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on March 29, 2013, 05:58 PM
I grind my own Chilli powders, I've mentioned this on here before many times.

It's a mixture of ground Red Kashmiri chillies, ground dried Red Pimientos (which I bring back from Spain) and Lal Mirch which are just generic red Chillies for heat. I can make it as hot or as mild as I want. Sometimes I put in some dried ground chipotle for a smokey flavour.

It's pretty close to that of Paprika which is what I use it for and why I said they're interchangeable. But given I have full control over it, I can make it as mild or as hot, smokey or sweet as I want.

Given that I'm probably the only person on this site that actually bothers to source, grind and blend my own Chilli powders from whole dried chillies suggests that I do actually know what I'm talking about.

What do you think?

I think that you are sourcing, grinding and blending your own Chilli powders.  Whether any of your blends qualify as "Deggi Mirch" is at best moot.  For myself, I prefer to base my judgements on a commercial, easily obtainable brand, so that they are more likely to be relevant to the Deggi Mirch that others obtain and use.

Quote
Or do you just think that Deggi Mirch only comes out of an MDH box because that's the only experience you've ever had of it

For the third time, Spicey, because you have have clearly failed to read what I have already written twice, I do /not/ "think that Deggi Mirch only comes out of an MDH box".  But whether I think that your personal blend is (or could reasonably be called) "Deggi Mirch" is another matter entirely.  Since, by your own admission, "it's pretty close to that of Paprika which is what I use it for and why I said they're interchangeable", it's pretty clear to me (and perhaps to others) that what you produce is some sort of paprika substitute : why you would go to all that trouble when you can buy and use real paprika is quite beyond me.

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: DalPuri on March 29, 2013, 06:07 PM
why you would go to all that trouble when you can buy and use real paprika is quite beyond me.

** Phil.

It makes sense to me for someone cooking Indian food to use Indian chillies instead of solely Spanish or Hungarian.
I have a lot of respect for anyone that makes their own chilli powders.  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: spiceyokooko on March 29, 2013, 06:49 PM
For myself, I prefer to base my judgements on a commercial, easily obtainable brand, so that they are more likely to be relevant to the Deggi Mirch that others obtain and use.

How so when you haven't got the slightest clue what is even in that box, apart from the fact is says 'Deggi Mirch' on the packet? I've already told you, MDH don't even list the ingredients or what Chilli varieties have been used. It just says Red Chilli Powder - it could be anything.

Talk about blind faith.

Yet you've got the bloody cheek to sit there and say that's more reliable than my own blends when I know exactly what's going into them? You haven't got the slightest clue what goes into MDH's Deggi Mirch any more than you know what goes into Rajah or TRS's Paprika!

You just accept them, because that's what it says on the packet!

...it's pretty clear to me (and perhaps to others) that what you produce is some sort of paprika substitute : why you would go to all that trouble when you can buy and use real paprika is quite beyond me.

For the same reason I go to all that trouble to source, grind and blend my own Chilli powders - I know what's in it and I can make them however I want. You haven't got the slightest clue what is in yours, nor does anyone else. What is real Paprika anyway, anything that says Paprika on the packet?  ::)

Has it not occurred to you, that since I have all the ingredients to make Chilli powder blends, it's just as easy to make Paprika blends as well? I think you'll find that commercial Paprika varies almost as much as Chilli powders do.

When you pick a Paprika, a Chilli Powder or even MDH's Deggi Mirch - you're just taking pot luck as what they're going to be like, borne out by the fact that people have even mentioned on here that even MDH's Deggi Mirch varies from batch to batch!

::)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: spiceyokooko on March 29, 2013, 06:55 PM
Could be that the cheapest one is full of all the nasties and millions of seeds, whereas the kashmiri mast is flesh only? Doesnt explain the grades in between though.

I suspect you're right on the money with that, particularly given that seeds is where a lot of the heat comes from whereas the redder Kashmiri powders are much milder and probably don't contain any seeds at all, but as you say, flesh only.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: DalPuri on March 29, 2013, 07:00 PM
I emailed MDH a few weeks ago asking what types of chillies they used in their deggi mirch.
They never replied.  :-\
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: spiceyokooko on March 29, 2013, 07:13 PM
I emailed MDH a few weeks ago asking what types of chillies they used in their deggi mirch.
They never replied.  :-\

I doubt you'll get an answer for the simple reason they don't want to admit how much of the content isn't actually Kashmiri chillies, but a cheaper filler substitute. Which is probably the reason it's coming out hotter than it should do.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on March 29, 2013, 07:16 PM
You just accept them, because that's what it says on the packet!

No, I trust them because they are professional Indian spice suppliers who have been in business for almost 100 years.   

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: spiceyokooko on March 29, 2013, 07:29 PM
No, I trust them because they are professional Indian spice suppliers who have been in business for almost 100 years.

I used to, too before I read about Ian Hemphill's experiences in the Spice industry.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: George on March 29, 2013, 10:07 PM
How so when you haven't got the slightest clue what is even in that box, apart from the fact is says 'Deggi Mirch' on the packet? I've already told you, MDH don't even list the ingredients or what Chilli varieties have been used. It just says Red Chilli Powder - it could be anything.

Whilst it's true that none of us know the formulation of Deggi Mirch, I bet it's more consistent and reliable than anything you make, even if it's not as good in your opinion. Deggi Mirch is a known reference point, and useful because of it. How many BIRs mix and grind their own chilli powders like you do? I've never heard of any. It's far more likely they use packets of chilli powder, so it seems quite valid for us to do the same.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: goncalo on March 29, 2013, 10:24 PM
Due to some delays, the base is finally on the stove. I didn't have salad potatoes, so I used a single new potato that weighted 205g peeled. I used the `paprika sweet` from lidl as well, seeing as I've never used the MDH Deggi Mirch and the other paprika I have is from heera and the package makes no distinctions.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: spiceyokooko on March 29, 2013, 11:47 PM
It's far more likely they use packets of chilli powder, so it seems quite valid for us to do the same.

The don't use MDH Deggi Mirch either George!

I've said it before on here and I'll say it again. I don't copy what BIR's do, because what they do is mostly out of expediency and cheapness. I don't have the same cost constraints as they do and I like to know exactly what's going in my food.

If you want to copy them and use cheapo bags of chilli powder, that's your choice and prerogative.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: goncalo on March 30, 2013, 01:58 AM
(http://i.imgur.com/x4t7fsSl.jpg)

Is this what you refer to as scum? (the darker part that seems like a skin patch)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: fried on March 30, 2013, 06:51 AM
As far as I can tell, there's a little bit of scum in the middle of the pan. You should see it start rising up as the base heats another word to describe it would be froth.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: JerryM on March 30, 2013, 08:56 AM
goncalo,

no it's not wall i call scum. i don't know what it is but i get it too if i leave the oil on top to cool. i just stir this film back in.

scum is what fried refers to ie froth
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: goncalo on March 30, 2013, 10:25 AM
Ah, thanks Fried and JerryM. In that case I'll stir everything in. I am pretty sure this happened with all other bases and I never given much attention to it. I used to think the dark bits to be oil, but on closer lookup they look like film to me. :)

Goncalo
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on March 30, 2013, 11:06 AM
I don't copy what BIR's do, because what they do is mostly out of expediency and cheapness...If you want to copy them and use cheapo bags of chilli powder, that's your choice and prerogative.

You're on the wrong forum pal.  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: goncalo on March 30, 2013, 12:35 PM
I don't copy what BIR's do, because what they do is mostly out of expediency and cheapness...If you want to copy them and use cheapo bags of chilli powder, that's your choice and prerogative.

You're on the wrong forum pal.  ;)

No 2 BIRs would use the same ingredients, spices or do things in the same manner, so I'm not sure there is any point going through that route of "you cannot stray from the known standards". Heck, look around this forum. Nearly every recipe obtained here that gets to be tried is customized to a certain extent. Rare is the case the recipes are cooked to the letter and reported as such.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: spiceyokooko on March 30, 2013, 01:31 PM
You're on the wrong forum pal.

Yes, I forgot the forum seems to be mostly about copying what BIR's do without actually understanding why, perhaps that's why so many people struggle to achieve the desired results! ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on March 30, 2013, 02:25 PM
Yes, I forgot the forum seems to be mostly about copying what BIR's do without actually understanding why, perhaps that's why so many people struggle to achieve the desired results! ;)

I disagree.  What you forgot (or to be more accurate, what you overlooked) is that few if any forum members (other than your good self, of course) will be interested in blending their own Deggi Mirch, so offering advice based on /your/ interpretation (and blending) of Deggi Mirch is unlikely to be of much use to others.  Most members on this forum, if they want to use Deggi Mirch, will buy a commercial brand, of which MDH is by far the most easily available in the UK.  Therefore telling them what to expect if they use that brand, in terms of flavour, colour and heat, is far more likely to be of use than telling them what to expect if they blend their own to match your own (?unpublished?) forumul{a|ae}.

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on March 30, 2013, 02:40 PM
Yes, I forgot the forum seems to be mostly about copying what BIR's do

Now you're getting it.  :)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: DalPuri on March 30, 2013, 04:01 PM
Phil, you seem to be arguing for arguments sake.  ::)

How many BIR's do You think actually use Deggi Mirch (if any)?

What do you think makes the Best restaurants stand out from the crowd?

Do you believe that the top restaurants in the world use pre-ground packet spices?

Or are they a cut above the rest because they care more about their ingredients?

I think people should take a leaf out of Spiceys book because i believe he is trying to make His food a cut above the standard T.A.

It shows a lot of dedication to the cause and i for one, admire that.
Its more creative than what i do and many others on here.  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on March 30, 2013, 04:24 PM
Phil, you seem to be arguing for arguments sake.  ::)

No, I'm not DP : I am just trying to keep the discussion factual rather than other worldy.  This particular debate started when Goncalo asked about the apparent inconsistency between the ingredients for the recipe (the main subject of the thread) where the recipe states "sweet paprika or deggi mirch".  Sweey paprika and deggi mirch are as different as chalk and cheese, and the fact that Spiceyokooko chooses to blend /his/ Deggi Mirch so that it resembles sweet paprika is completely irrelevant : the Deggi Mirch that Goncalo would almost certainly use is MDH Deggi Mirch (by far the most easily available in the UK) and therefore it is essential that this thread clarifies that MDH Deggi Mirch is far far hotter than sweet paprika as well as having a totally different flavour.  Ensuring that this is clear to Goncalo and other readers is my only reason for continuing the debate.

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: spiceyokooko on March 30, 2013, 04:51 PM
the Deggi Mirch that Goncalo would almost certainly use is MDG Deggi Mirch (by far the most easily available in the UK) and therefore it is essential that this thread clarifies that MDH Deggi Mirch is far far hotter than sweet paprika as well as having a totally different flavour.  Ensuring that this is clear to Goncalo and other readers is my only reason for continuing the debate.

And that's where all the trouble started Phil.

If you read back to what was said, at no point was it ever mentioned this was MDH's version of Deggi Mirch. You naturally assumed it was.

I made my comments based on what the generic Deggi Mirch was, which is pretty close to Paprika. You made your comments on MDH's version which was not explicitly stated in the recipe. Nor was it stated in goncalo's question. So how do you know it was MDH's version or the generally defined generic version?

You're merely assuming that the recipe author meant MDH's Deggi Mirch (despite explicitly stating Deggi Mirch OR Paprika) and that anyone making the recipe will also use MDH's version.

And not only are you assuming without knowing you continue to argue the toss about your potentially wrong assumptions as well!

And no doubt the original author of the recipe ingredients is wrong too to have said Deggi Mirch or Paprika, because it doesn't sit happily with what your own sole experience of what Deggi Mirch is that comes out of an MDH box!

Good grief.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: DalPuri on March 30, 2013, 04:53 PM


I agree that anything which leads to superior flavours is a lead worth following, so if blending your own chilli powders is worthwhile, I'm keen to hear more.

As it happens, I was "introduced" to MDH Deggi Mirch by someone at one of the top London Indian Restaurants. He said their chef used it. The flavours in their dishes were amazing - probably the best Indian food I've tasted anywhere in the UK. So, if it's good enough for them, I thought it should be good enough for me, and I've used it ever since.


So yes, I do believe that the top restaurants in the world use SOME pre-ground packet spices.

Touche.  :)

"A" top restaurant George.  ;)

And deggi mirch alone isn't going to make a dish taste amazing.
I personally dont like the flavour of the MDH. I dont know, something about it tastes odd to me.
I quite often look at it and hesitate, then opt for one of the other two chilli powders i have when cooking a curry.
If i want heat, i'll add some bog standard chilli powder.
If I want flavour, i'll add Kashmiri.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on March 30, 2013, 05:01 PM
I made my comments based on what the generic Deggi Mirch was, which is pretty close to Paprika.

No, you did not.  You made your comments based on /your interpretation/ of the constituents of "generic Deggi Mirch", as blended by you.  I have now asked three times where you have bought "generic Deggi Mirch" and not once have you answered this direct question : instead you tell us that you blend your own.  What on earth leads you to believe that you know more about how Deggi Mirch should be formulated than (say) MDH ?  In your own words "good grief".  Have you /ever/ bought (not made, bought) generic Deggi Mirch, if so from where, and what were its characteristics in terms of heat, flavour and colour ?

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: uclown2002 on March 30, 2013, 05:20 PM
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz   >:(
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: spiceyokooko on March 30, 2013, 05:51 PM
No, you did not.  You made your comments based on /your interpretation/ of the constituents of "generic Deggi Mirch", as blended by you.

Phil, we've been over all this, why are you determined to carry on arguing this point just because you've made a fatal mistake in assuming that the original recipe must have meant MDH Deggi Mirch?

I've explained in some detail what Deggi Mirch is. In Hindu Deggi/Degi/Deghi means flesh of the pepper and Mirch means pepper or chilli. Loosely translated it means skin or flesh of the Pepper/Chilli. Lal Mirch simply means Red Pepper or Chilli. These are generic terms, not to be confused or translated by pedants such as yourself into brand names.

The next thing you'll be trying to tell me is that Garam Masala is only Garam Masala as long as conforms to what comes out of a Rajah packet. Now, you and I both know that Garam Masala can take almost as many forms as there are manufacturers who make it and not one of them will use the same ingredients. They're not generally interchangeable, Rajah's Garam Masala will be different to West Ends which will be different to TRS's and so on. Chilli powders are no different.

You'll then try and tell me than something is only Hot Chilli powder as long as it comes out of a packet that says Hot Chilli powder on it!

Do you not think I've tried MDH's Deggi Mirch? I'd be surprised to be honest if there's a single Kashmiri Chilli in it and is probably full of the much cheaper and much more easily obtained Byadagi chilli combined with more generic Lal Mirch, cheap fillers and artificial colouring. I didn't like it, I didn't like it's flavour and thought it was over-priced for what it was, particularly given I didn't know what ingredients it contained. But if you think it's good and can't taste the difference carry on buying and using it.

If you want to continue with your view that Deggi Mirch is only what comes out of an MDH packet and ignore the fact that as defined it is a generic blend of Kashmiri Chillies and Pimiento/Capiscums that is entirely your choice. Remain in your ignorance.

This is my last comment and post on this subject as I can see it's boring the pants off everyone else.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on March 30, 2013, 06:06 PM
If you want to continue with your view that Deggi Mirch is only what you blend, and that what comes out of an MDH packet is something entirely different, that is entirely your choice.   For myself, I prefer to trust the judgement of people who have been selecting, blending and selling spices in India for almost 100 years in preference to the opinion of someone who only joined the forum on 1st November 2011 yet who clearly believes that he knows it all.

This is my last post on this subject as I can see it's boring the pants off everyone else.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: goncalo on March 30, 2013, 06:30 PM
While you guys were arguing, I made a jalfrezi with this base sauce and I'm quite happy with the end result. The base seems somewhat similar to the taz base which I was quite happy with. It's too early to say whether it's a winner, but I'm anxious for the upcoming meals. Sadly I'm heading off for dinner at a restaurant so won't be until later or tomorrow.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: DalPuri on March 30, 2013, 06:40 PM
  For myself, I prefer to trust the judgement of people who have been selecting, blending and selling spices in India for almost 100 years in preference to the opinion of someone who only joined the forum on 1st November 2011 yet who clearly believes that he knows it all.


Tut Tut Phillip  ;D What relevance  when someone joined the forum has got to do with any of this?  ;D Poor line.  ;)
For all you know Spicey could've written 25 books on the subject before joining this forum.  :P

Shhhh, last post remember.  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: BoneHoney on August 21, 2013, 06:03 AM
Thanks for sharing this. I only have just found out about base gravy and it turned out that it was the vital missing ingredient in my years of trying to cook the perfect restaurant curry. the only base I have used to date is the Glagow Base Sauce and my Chicken Tikka Masala turned out sublime using it.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Drobbly on October 01, 2013, 09:26 PM
How long does it keep and can it be frozen in small portions?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: curryhell on October 01, 2013, 09:43 PM
How long does it keep and can it be frozen in small portions?
It will be good for up to three days in the fridge, although i have regularly used it when it's been refridgerated for up to five days.  A few others have kept it even longer :o  It freezes perfectly so a  take away is never far away with base in the freezer  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Prospero on June 15, 2014, 10:13 AM
The reason I've held off so long in trying that recipe is because I'm not a coconut lover either and having read some replies in that thread, I'd cut the amount too (or could I miss it out altogether?).
IMHO coconut has no place in a base sauce, and I have proof that it's never been used in any of our favourite dishes from any of our favourite restaurants. How? Because my wife is allergic to it, and breaks out in a hot rash at the slightest exposure. This means she avoids curries like korma which explicitly include it, but it also means it must be absent from the base sauce where she has eaten other dishes without any problem.

If in doubt, leave it out  ;)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on June 15, 2014, 10:53 AM
The thing is Prospero that we know from videos from real BIRs that coconut is used in some takeaways' base sauces. I recently made Alex's Glasgow base which has some in it and it's one of the best tasting bases I've ever made - the curries aren't great but the base is!  :-\
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Prospero on June 15, 2014, 12:51 PM
Sure SS - I think many do use it successfully, but I was just making the point that it doesn't seem to be an essential ingredient, and it's perfectly possible to make excellent curries without it.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: George on June 15, 2014, 01:14 PM
If in doubt, leave it out  ;)

I agree. I can't see that coconut needs to be cooked for several hours in a base sauce, so doesn't it make more sense to add it when making the final curry, only if justified?

Recently, the best final curries I've made have been made using the worst tasting base sauce. Go figure!
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Secret Santa on June 15, 2014, 01:48 PM
I agree. I can't see that coconut needs to be cooked for several hours in a base sauce, so doesn't it make more sense to add it when making the final curry, only if justified?

I don't think it's that black and white though George. Who knows what chemistry is happening on a long base cook compared to a brief fry off in a curry?

Quote
Recently, the best final curries I've made have been made using the worst tasting base sauce. Go figure!

Absolutely George. As much as I like the Glasgow base on its own, it's quite delicious, the curries just don't match the promise the base taste might indicate, at least not for me anyhow. I don't think in general there has to be any correlation between the base taste and the quality of the finished curry made with it.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: ELW on June 15, 2014, 01:55 PM
Just helps balance the flavour from a huge amount of boiled onions. In the quantities used in a base it will never end up coconut flavoured. Apart from the smell you'd struggle to know it was in there.

Great tasting curries from the worst tasting base ??? Need to take your word for that one George

Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Madrasandy on February 12, 2016, 03:50 PM
Does anybody still use this base?

Im more happy with the one Im using at the moment, but this Topic has the 2nd highest number of replies ever. Must have that many for a reason.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Xacuti on February 12, 2016, 05:31 PM
I'm going to give this one a try as my first effort. A question though: will this be ok for freezing, if I make up a batch and also, at the end, once the oil has risen to the top, presumably it would be best to try and stir thus back into the sauce to ensure an even distribution for each portion to be frozen?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: london on February 12, 2016, 05:34 PM
Stir the oil back into the base, cool and freeze in 300ml portions.

London.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Hawkeye on June 08, 2016, 04:53 PM
Thanks for this post, I made it last night and your Madras, worked a treat. Sometimes there appears to be more separated fat ( ghee? ) in restaurant curries?
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: london on June 08, 2016, 08:26 PM
the more oil or ghee you start with the more come out at the end.

London.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: ast on September 24, 2016, 02:48 PM
And it's not just the oil in the base either. It depends on how much you put in the pan for the final curry you're making and how much time you spend frying the base.

Mind you, I haven't done this for a while, but that's what I remember. The more time, the thicker the sauce due to the reduction and the more oil in the base is likely to be released.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on September 24, 2016, 07:09 PM
And it's not just the oil in the base either. It depends on how much you put in the pan for the final curry you're making and how much time you spend frying the base.

Mind you, I haven't done this for a while, but that's what I remember. The more time, the thicker the sauce due to the reduction and the more oil in the base is likely to be released.
All that makes sense to me apart from "how much time you spend frying the base" -- could you possibly explain how that comes into the equation, please ?

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: ast on September 24, 2016, 08:59 PM
And it's not just the oil in the base either. It depends on how much you put in the pan for the final curry you're making and how much time you spend frying the base.

Mind you, I haven't done this for a while, but that's what I remember. The more time, the thicker the sauce due to the reduction and the more oil in the base is likely to be released.
All that makes sense to me apart from "how much time you spend frying the base" -- could you possibly explain how that comes into the equation, please ?

** Phil.

Basically, it's about when you make it in the pan.  Rather than explain it again, and that I haven't really done it in at least 6 years, this is a post I did years ago earlier in the thread. Skip to the METHOD heading: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2271.msg19827.html#msg19827
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on September 24, 2016, 09:11 PM
All that makes sense to me apart from "how much time you spend frying the base" -- could you possibly explain how that comes into the equation, please ?

Quote
Basically, it's about when you make it in the pan.  Rather than explain it again, and that I haven't really done it in at least 6 years, this is a post I did years ago earlier in the thread. Skip to the METHOD heading: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2271.msg19827.html#msg19827

OK, so I misunderstood.  It's not (as I thought) how much time you spend frying the base /when you are making the base/, it's how much time you spend frying the base /when you are making the finished dish/.  All now clear.

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Nickywelsh on July 13, 2017, 08:30 AM
Apologies, can I ask, is the oil skimmed and 'reclaimed' or do I emulsify it into the end base (once it separates)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bing on October 25, 2018, 09:23 PM
This looks like the real deal to me, great appreciation for your shared efforts.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bing on October 28, 2018, 10:46 PM
Error post removed.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bobdylan on November 26, 2018, 10:04 PM
After patiently reading through the majority of Sns topic, I couldn’t help but feel for SnS. Clearly someone who put their time, effort and heart in a genuine recipe. Only to be extensively belittled by CorryAnders and his inability to except mistakes, continually rebuffing help and advice offered.
SnS if your still viewing! Awesome informative recipe and discussion. With thanks. Bob.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: livo on November 26, 2018, 10:52 PM
Bobdylan, your interpretation of Cory Ander's posts being belittling to SNS is not the way I read it.  The first 20 odd pages so far  anyway.  This from page 7 indicates that they are in fact well known to each other and were apparently quite convivial.
I have known SnS for some considerable time now (over 48 years in fact!) and I can POSITIVELY GUARANTEE that, if SnS says its from a pucker, high quality BIR restaurant/takeway, then it most certainly is!

A quick flick through, stopping to read only CA's posts indicates to me that he was predominately asking pertinent questions of other posters in this thread, albeit in his own abrupt style.  At no point do I read anything belittling to SNS, who incidentally has not posted since Jan 22, 2013. (You can find this out by clicking on the member's Username)

Thanks for posting in this thread though, because it is yet another great read, on a good base recipe and provides a real snapshot into the once superbly productive nature of the forum in it's heyday.

Edit: I think I see what you've done Bobdylan.  You appear to have mixed up SnS (SmokenSpices) with SS (Secret Santa).  I don't read anything other than an impassioned debate with CA and SnS versus SS about the definition and effect of scum.  This is around the middle of the thread. Still reading though.

2nd Edit.  I've read it all now.  The only "clash" between CA and SnS is around the mid 40's pages where they discuss the oil separation and potato types.  There is no hostility in any of this. Good healthy discussion and sharing of well researched results from testing.  I love JerryM's approach to his curry. He reminds me of me.  ;D
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Bobdylan on November 27, 2018, 04:57 AM
Livo I would like to suggest you keep your corrections to yourself, your opinion is welcome. However to try and suggest you have a better understanding of my post than myself, especially posting opinions about my posts before even reading the entire thread. Then making highlighted edits. Well this is the same arrogance displayed by CA the same arrogance I’m referring to ::) Oh and your little pat on the back to yourself at the end.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from vist to Saffron
Post by: Naga on November 27, 2018, 06:52 AM
I love JerryM's approach to his curry...

+1 Sadly missed from this forum.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: fried on November 27, 2018, 08:34 AM
Me too. The 40 odd page balti thread is worth a read if anyone hasn't already.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: livo on November 27, 2018, 08:39 AM
The fact is Bob, you were wrong.  Your claim that CA was belittling to SnS (the OP) could not be further from the written facts.  They were actually arguing the same point together against SS (Secret Santa).  Read it all again because you clearly missed the whole thing.  Read it again and again and then read your post. WRONG.   Not to mention that CA's contribution to the thread dropped right away at the point I commented in my edit to tell you how it was that you mistakenly mixed up the usernames. And you clearly did.  Either that or you are not always playing your A game..

Please show us all where CA and SnS were at loggerheads and how CA was in any way belittling to him.  Which page?  Use a quote if you wish.  Or more to the point, how was CA belittling to anybody other than mildly critical towards SS, who incidentally held his own, in a healthy debate about SCUM.  As much as CA has been chastised in the forum, this is clearly not the case  for it here in this thread.

I'm not patting myself on the back.  I pale into insignificance compared to JerryM.  I was simply implying that I also like to follow an analytical approach.
Title: A little oil on troubled waters (was "New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron")
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on November 27, 2018, 12:27 PM
As long-standing members of this forum will be well aware, I am probably the last person anyone would expect to leap to CA's defence (indeed, if I were not trying to pour oil on troubled waters, I might put that even more strongly).  BUT, reading this thread with Bob Dylan's and Livo's comments in mind, I have to say that I am unable to locate any evidence that CA was setting out to bellittle SnS.  The last post from CA in this thread was made in 2010 [1], a time when CA was still making a very positive contribution to this forum, and his replies to SnS in this thread seem factual and straightforward.  Bob, I think it might clarify matters if you could cite verbatim the response (or responses) from CA which you feel were intended to belittle SnS.

** Phil.
--------
[1]
Do i stir the oil  back in to the base sauce to seperate into pots for freezing ???

SnS strongly believes that it should be stirred back in, I believe, and for very justifiable reasons.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: chewytikka on November 27, 2018, 03:24 PM
Don’t really see the point in dragging up very old argument filled threads
and creating fresh argument’s over who said what and when.
Read a few pages of this and looks like it was derailed by many. ::)

SnS probably went on to make some good curries anyhow. ;)
Title: Re: A little oil on troubled waters (was "New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron")
Post by: livo on November 27, 2018, 09:20 PM
Bob, I think it might clarify matters if you could cite verbatim the response (or responses) from CA which you feel were intended to belittle SnS.

Bobdylan wont be able to provide such quotes Phil because they're not there.

Thanks CA.
Only to be extensively belittled by CorryAnders and his inability to except mistakes, continually rebuffing help and advice offered.

CA and CoryAnders is the same person.

I tried to explain where he understandably went wrong.  Bobdylan has clearly confused the usernames of SnS (who, it would appear, apparently changed username from SmokenSpices) and SS (Secret Santa).  Understandable mistake.  There is also room for confusion in as much as some posts appear to have been "moved" or for some other reason "reposted" by CA, but written by other members (and accordingly noted).  Simple mistake to make and excusable.

This is a good thread and I again thank Bobdylan for bringing to our attention again, There is some junk in it but it also contains lots of useful information.  CA's posts and manner have been well discussed and he copped it and moved on.  In this thread however, there is not cause to criticise him at all that I can see.
Title: Wet weather Micro-cook today
Post by: livo on November 27, 2018, 10:05 PM
We are currently experiencing what is known as an East Coast Low. An occasional weather pattern where the atmospheric pressure drops below 1000 HPa and we get pretty wet.  Sydney and surrounds is currently experiencing localised flash flooding with multiple rescues of trapped motorists. My wife is camping (in tents  ;D) with a group of special needs students from her school. 

A perfect day to remain indoors and do a curry micro-cook / experimentation day.  I'll be making a reduced quantity of this base and using it to make the recommended Madras.  I'll also do a Lamb dish. Not sure what yet.  I'm sure Mrs L will enjoy a warm curry tonight.  I may even stretch the base gravy out to include the Chicken Ceylon Naga makes.  (Original Recipe by guess who?   ;) )

Q1) Paprika, Kashmiri Mirch, Deggi Mirch?  Depending upon where you look these could be anything.  I have all 3 so I'm going to hedge my bets with  50/50 Paprika / Kashmiri Chilli which are both fresh this week.  My Deggi mirch is a bit older.
Q2) Fresh tomato and canned?  I'm not convinced this is really necessary but will do it as per instruction.

Comment 1: The revised recipe on P24 really is no different to the original on P1 other than the fact that SnS made it at home and provided weights and measures for his ingredients, changed pints of water to litres etc.

Comment 2: Salad Potato = more waxy / less starchy. What I used here is similar to UK Maris Peer variety. 

Pictures: Stage 1 & 2 ingredients for 1/2 quantity of Saffron Base as per recipe (see Comment 2 re potato)
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: livo on November 28, 2018, 02:13 AM
Done. Some observations.
The amount of water added after blending is insufficient. Someone posted early thread about being unable to cook to oil separation and blamed the wrong potatoes.  There is not enough water and the gravy is too thick, holding the oil in suspension.  I boiled it for nearly 90 minutes, adding small amounts of water along the way, with no result. I then added 600 ml of extra liquid and within minutes the oil had risen. The base gravy is now slightly off recipe specification as the liquid used was the lightly spiced water from the chicken pre-cook boil. So mild (minimal) Tej Patta, Cassia bark & chicken undertones may be present, but it's not going to make any difference to a curry using the same pre-cooked chicken. Once removed from the heat and allowed to sit, the oil really came out of the gravy.

It looks, smells and tastes like a nice gravy. The cooked curries will show up how it works.  I already seem to agree with JerryM that the Turmeric is too heavy, but I'll hold judgement to the finished dishes.

In "my opinion" the debate about scum is going to go to Secret Santa.  I diligently removed it every 5 minutes or so. Once I had collected nearly a cup and it showed no sign of stopping, I took a portion of gravy out and taste tested side by side.  No difference whatsoever. My Opinion only.  I used the collected scum / froth in the covering sauce for the pre-cooked chicken so it's going back in in one way or another.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: bolinao on December 01, 2018, 03:13 AM
Hi, I am new here, please be gently ;) , what recipes can i use this base gravy on ? thanks
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: Peripatetic Phil on December 01, 2018, 08:54 AM
I had to remind myself what was unique about the Saffron base, and two things leapt out :
The potatoes will make the base somewhat thicker than most, so I would not recommend it for a dish where you want the final gravy to be thin; and degghi mirch is so different to sweet paprika that I am staggered that the recipe allows a choice (admittedly the quantities involved are minuscule).  As to what dishes, there is nothing so off-the-wall about this base that you are likely to find yourself restricted by choice, but maybe pick a recipe published by SnS after he adopted the Saffron base as his base of choice (e.g., SnS's Madras using SnS's Base June 2008 (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=2783.msg24753#msg24753)).

** Phil.
Title: Re: New Base Gravy from visit to Saffron
Post by: livo on December 02, 2018, 10:18 PM
An update after I finally had an opportunity to cook with this base.  Firstly, the additional water / stock I added to achieve oil separation was very noticeable in the base, and in retrospect was a mistake.  The first curry I cooked, SnS Madras w/chicken, was watery to taste, so before it left the pan I did several extra rounds of base addition and cook down to remove that extra water.  This was a satisfactory fix and I cooked 2 nice curries, but it is a pain in terms of extra time. DO NOT add the extra water to this base just to achieve oil seperation.  Cook the base to specification and use it as is.  Plenty of oil comes out of it in the final dish as expected.  I may experiment without the potato to see if this is the culprit.

In saying this though, I don't think the base was the only issue with the Madras, which was lacking in depth and richness.  It is a very basic and easy recipe to follow but I found the amount of tomato puree, further diluted 3:1 with water, was too weak. I ended up adding extra tomato "paste", until I was happy with the amount of flavour.  I didn't have the same problem with the Chicken Ceylon I cooked afterwards so it wasn't just the water in the base.  This is a geographical issue with naming. 

What British recipes call Tomato Puree is called Tomato Paste in Australia.  So here's the tip for the new Aussie members.  Tomato Puree is Paste.  Out here Tomato Puree is simply pureed tomato or Passata.  Triple concentrated tomato is called paste.

In the end I achieved 2 very nice curries but it wasn't without extra work. An inexperienced cook would wonder what they did wrong.