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1
Lets Talk Curry / Proper vegetable Samosa recipe
« on: September 14, 2016, 04:48 PM »
Hi,

does anyone have a recipe for some proper vegetable samosas? I tried a recipe I saw in a video and it was no good. I do actually like the frozen ones you can buy (with potato, peas and sometimes carrot) and am trying to replicate something similar to them.

Any feedback much appreciated!

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This is a restaurant-quality recipe for a turkish lentil soup. There are likely as many variations of this soup as there are turks. You can tell you're in an authentic place if you see turks sitting there eating this soup. Can be used as a starter or main course. Consistency should be a lot like a cream of tomato soup.

Stage 1:
375g red lentils
2 onions, chopped
1 large potato, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp vegetable stock powder (or use 2 liters of vegetable stock instead of this and the water)
1 tsp black pepper, crushed
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 liters water

Stage 2:
1 Tbsp fresh mint, finelymchopped (or 1 heaped tsp dried mint, perfectly fine)
1/2 Tbsp fresh basil, finelymchopped
1/2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finelymchopped
2 1/2 Tbsp butter
1/2 Tbsp sweet paprika powder
1/2 Tbsp hot paprika powder ('Pul Biber')
1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste (double concentrated)

Stage 3:
1 tsp cumim powder
2-3 tsp lemon or lime juice

Garnish (per plate/deep dish):
1 pinch of cumin
1 pinch of crushed chilli flakes
2 basil leaves

Stage 1:
Wash the lentils well using cold water. Peel and chop the potato, carrot, onions amd garlic.

Bring the water to a boil in a large pot and add the potato, carrot, onions, lentils and powdered vegetable stock (you can replace the water and powdered vegetable stock with 'proper' vegetable stock if you want, but the powdered stuff is fine). Once everything has come a boil again, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer with a lid on for 30 minutes. Stir often to avoid the lentils catching on the bottom of the pot.

Stage 2:
After 30 minutes, melt the butter in a frying pan and add the tomato paste, paprika powders as well as the basil and parsley. Keep stirring and fry it all for about 2-3 minutes to cook the rawness out of the tomato paste. Don't let it burn. Once done, add everything to the pot and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes. Then use an immersion/stick blender to blend the soup well.

Stage 3:
Add the cumin powder and lemon or lime juice and stir well.

Serve and Garnish
Finally, ladle soup into deep dishes and garnish with a pinch of cumin, a pinch of crushed chilli flakes and 2 leaves of basil. You can also add some more lemon or lime juice if you like.

Serve with flatbread or toast.

Please try it and let me know if you think it's as good or better as BIR dhal :)

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Lets Talk Curry / Easter weekend adventures
« on: March 30, 2013, 07:04 PM »
Ok, so yesterday was a busy day so no pictures I'm afraid. I wanted to give C2G another chance so I used the latest revision of the eBook. I started by making the 3 litre version of the C2G base. Apart from usinng TRS Mild Madras instead of Rajah it was fully up-to-spec (can't get Rajah dry spices). Tasted like a quite gingery onion soup but also very, very bland in the end. Never did get that smell he mentions in his book despite cooking forever, though.

Next up, was the pre-cooked lamb - also fully up-to-spec (with almb, not mutton, though). This turned out fantastic! Will definitely make it again.

Next, I wanted to do the Madras. This is where the trouble started. In the book, his Mix Powder includes Bassar as the main ingredient. I cannot get this for the life of me unless I order it from the UK. So, since I still have a sizeable amount of CA's spice mix I used that instead... (I later remembered I could have checked hos video again where he prepares a mix powder without Bassat). Then came the Tandoori Masala. Julian doesn't specify any kind of brand and for some daft reason I didn't check whether I had any in the cupboard prior to cooking so I chose CA's/Pat Chapman's Tandoori Masala which I also happened to have still laying around...
The recipe specifies 1 TBL chilli powder per portion so since I was doing a double portion I used 2 TBL. However, I figured I'd just use Deggi Mirch instead, just to avoid the dish getting too hot... Many, many deviations from the main recipe, I know. To make a long story short: Madras desaster again :/ The sauce itself tasted bland, boring - definitely not 'that' taste AND much, much, much (!) too hot. This was more like really bad Vindaloo. Luckily no afterburner today, though. Cooking those spices properly really does seem to help. Or maybe all the cream we added later helped...

So, while I still didn't make his recipe to spec this rules out all other recipes from the C2G ebook for me, too (apart from the delicious pre-cooked lamb). I will never be able to male them up to spec due to the Bassar. The revision of the ebook also still has various errors in it, too, and some other side-dishes I tried were also not quite my thing. Ok, one less eBook/Author I have to worry about, I guess.

I'm not letting that stop me, though  8)

Tonight/tomorrow I'm doing a 'Chicken Tikka Contest'. I've chose Blade1212's "Better than BIR" (without yoghurt), CBM's recipe using two Patak's paste and CA's/Pat Chapman's recipe (since I know it very well) as contenders. All three are in the fridge now  :D

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Lets Talk Curry / Doing it the lazy way?
« on: March 18, 2013, 11:30 AM »
This past weekend I dreamed up a little Bistro with my wife. We even started designing the menu, where we made sure to re-use as many core ingredients as possible. Apart from various other dishes, we came to the conclusion that we'd need 2-3 essential curry dishes, too.
First off would be basic Chicken Tikkas which we'd also put on a Pizzas, Pitas, Salads and whatnot. They'd have to be made on a flattop, oven or pan, though.

Based on the Tikkas we'd probably offer a Chicken Tikka Masala but also a Madras (using pre-cooked chicken and/or king prawns, though). So, in the end there'd be a CTM, a Chicken Madras and a Prawn Madras. I'm hesitant to do a Prawn Massala as we'd have lots of king prawns marinated and we're unsure how well they would sell. Better leave them unmarinated for cost reasons, I guess. The frozen Prawns can just be chucked into the Madras sauce and that should work fine.

Anyway, while thinking about the amount of labour involved with all of our other dishes, and ways to minimize this labour, a couple of questions/ideas popped up in my head:
  • CTM: If I use pre-cooked Tikkas and a pre-made Massala sauce (without the base gravy) - why not simply prepare a ton of finished Massala sauce that already contains the gravy ? Ideally I'd just ladle some finished CTM sauce into the pan, heat it up well, toss in the prepared Tikka and heat that through, too. Done. Is there anything wrong with this logic ? Would this work ? Please keep in mind that Curries here in Germany are terrible and that we'd probably still produce a better curry than most restaurants IF this even works.
  • Madras: Here I have a similar logic - wouldn't it be possible to cook the Madras sauce separately from the meat (with the base gravy in) and just chuck it all together when an order comes in and heat it up ?
  • Keeping in mind that this needs to be kept as simple as possible I would actually change my usual course and prefer recipes that use Patak's pastes and as little ingredients as possible -> which ones would you recommend for this scenario ? CBM ? C2G ? Dipuraja ? Any others ?
  • Do you reckon there should also be a King Prawn massala after all ?
  • Which dish is DEFINITELY missing ?
  • Which vegetarian dishes should go on the menu ?
  • Has anyone every tried marinating beef mince in a Tandoori marinade and just fry it off ? That'd be interesting for a Sandwich if it worked/tasted good.

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Lets Talk Curry / "Soup Nazi's" Mulligatawny Soup
« on: June 26, 2012, 01:56 PM »
Hi everyone,

you might have seen "The Soup Nazi" on some Seinfeld episodes before. Well, in one episode, Kramer orders a Mulligatawny soup.

After the show aired, a fairly famous US food cloner named Todd Wilbur went out to copy that recipe. I found it in the Book "Todd Wilbur - Top Secret Recipes Unlocked".

Please mind that I have not tried this recipe but since I've never had a Mulligatawny soup before in all my life I wouldn't be able to make a good comment on it, anyway.

I'd be interested to hear what you professionals think of it (and if a Mulligatawny soup is something I should definitely try). It'd be even more interesting if someone tried out this actual recipe, of course.

There are also some user comments on the official homepage which might be helpful:
http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/Soup-Nazis-Indian-Mulligatawny-Soup-Recipe.html

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

Elaine: "Do you need anything?"
Kramer: "Oh, a hot bowl of Mulligatawny would hit the spot."
Elaine: "Mulligatawny?"
Kramer: "Yeah, it?s an Indian soup. Simmered to perfection by one of the great soup artisans in the modern era."
Elaine: "Oh. Who, the Soup Nazi?"
Kramer: "He?s not a Nazi. He just happens to be a little eccentric. You know, most geniuses are."

Kramer was right. Al Yeganeh -- otherwise known as The Soup Nazi from the Seinfeld episode that aired in 1995 -- is a master at the soup kettle. His popular soup creations have inspired many inferior copycats in the Big Apple, including The Soup Nutsy, which was only ten blocks away from Al?s original location on 55th Street. Yeganeh?s mastery shows when he combines unusual ingredients to create unique and delicious flavors in his much-raved-about soups. In this one, you might be surprised to iscover pistachios and cashews among the many vegetables. But it?s a combination that works.

I took a trip to New York and tasted about a dozen of the Soup Nazi?s original creations. This one, the India n Mulligatawny, was high on my list of favorites. After each daily trip to Soup Nazi headquarters (Soup Kitchen International), I immediately headed back to the hotel and poured samples of the soups into labeled, sealed containers, which were then chilled for the trip back home. Back in the underground lab, portions of the soup were rinsed through a sieve so that ingredients could be identified. I recreated four of Al?s best-selling soups after that trip, including this one, which will need to simmer for 3 to 4 hours, or until the soup reduces. The soup will darken as the flavors intensify, the potatoes will begin to fall apart to thicken the soup, and the nuts will soften. If you follow these directions, you should end up with a clone that would fool even Cosmo himself.

Ingredients:
4 quarts water (16 cups)
6 cups chicken broth
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery
2 cups peeled and diced eggplant (about 1/2 of an eggplant)
I medium onion, chopped
1 cup frozen yellow corn kernels
2/3 cup diced canned roasted red pepper
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1/2 cup roasted cashews
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
pinch dried marjoram
pinch ground nutmeg

Method:
1. Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and place over high heat.
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 to 4 hours, or until the soup has reduced and is thick and brownish in color. It should have the consistency of chili. Stir occasionally for the first few hours, but stir often in the last hour. The edges of the potatoes should become rounded as they fall apart, and the nuts will soften. Serve hot.

MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS.

Tidbits
Because of the extreme reduction, I found that the salt in the chicken broth was enough for the recipe. However, if you use a low-sodium broth, you may need to add a little salt to the soup.

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Lets Talk Curry / Looking for a good Sag Aloo
« on: June 25, 2012, 08:37 AM »
Hey everyone, I invited some guests over for this weekend. It turns that one of them is a strict vegetarian. I'd like to server a Sag Aloo for this person but I can't decide which recipe to make (I didn't find very many either).

Can anyone recommend a Sag Aloo recipe for an inexperienced curry eater ? ;)

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Pictures of Your Curries / Sunday dinner (my first experiment)
« on: June 18, 2012, 10:13 AM »
This weekend I put my newly discovered knowledge (thanks to this site) to the test. This was the first time in about a year that I ruled the kitchen ... well, apart from the Seekh Kebabs a couple of days ago.

I made a batch of CA's Mix Powder, CA's Tandoori Masala Spice Mix, CA's Chicken Tikka, C2G's Onion Bhajis, Dipuraja's Mint Raita and a generic chicken curry using CA's base, some Garlic/Ginger paste and some mix powder plus coconut and cream.

Making the base was quite fun but also a lot of work to get everything prepared. I initially thought it might have be a bit too "gingery" for my taste but it tasted pleasant when done. My wife said she'd eat it as soup anytime ;) The house smelled great while cooking it (not sure if my neighbours agree, though ;)

Making the Tikka was also a lot of fun and they smelled and tasted marvellous (thanks CA!). Getting that damn food colour off my fingers again is another story ;)

Based on CA's gravy and spice Mix I came up with a chicken curry as outlined above. I didn't follow any particular recipe at all and it still turned out to really nice !!! It even looks the business (to me at least). I settled on calling it a "Korma", even if it isn't really ;)

Curry2Go's Onion Bhajis were a bit of a disappointment, though. They tasted OK, just not as exceptionally good as I hoped they would. I've had an onion bhajis recipe for years that's much better than this one. Since I'll be inviting some guests over in a week's time I'll have to find a better one for sure. I think I'll try CA's next and if that one fails to impress me, too, then I'll try the Ashoka recipe.

Dipuraja's Mint Raita was also just "ok" - usually I lick the stuff off the plate but this time I didn't. I'll need to find a better one for sure. Any recommendations ?

Here are some pictures of the stuff I made. I didn't take enough pictures because I was quite knackered at the end.

CA's Spice Mix (Masala)


CA's Tandoori Masala Spice Mix


CA's Chicken Tikka/Tandoori


CA's Base Gravy - before cooking


CA's base gravy after cooking and blending


C2G's Onion Bhajis, Dipuraja's Mint Raita and some generic chicken curry:


Please let me know what you (honestly) think and if you have any recommendations for Onion Bhajis and Raita.

9
Lets Talk Curry / Usage of Star Anise
« on: June 15, 2012, 10:36 AM »
Something I've been wondering about is how to use star anise. I realize that if you use it to cook as whole spice then you just remove the whole spice again later.

However, there are recipes where it says to grind the star anise - do you really grind the whole star anise or just the seeds that are in them ?

10
Lets Talk Curry / Common ingredients
« on: June 13, 2012, 02:24 PM »
Hey everyone,

while attempting to make some Seekh Kebab a couple of days ago I noticed that I always seemed to be missing one or two ingredients, no matter which recipe I tried. My improvised recipe did not turn out to well ...

So I finally sat down and made a note of every single ingredient used in CA's, C2G's, Panpot's/Ashoka's, Abdul Mohed's, Dipuraja's and CBM's recipes. I figured this might be a good thing to share even if the list really is quite extensive ...

Herbs and Spices
All Spice (Piment)
Asafoetida (Hing)
"Al Noor" Bassar (Kashmiri Masala - Pakistani)/Basaar
Bay Leaves (Asian)
Black Cardamom Seeds (or shell black cardamoms)
Black Pepper corns
Brown Cardamom Seeds (whole)
Cardamom Powder
Cardamom Seeds (or shell green cardamoms)
Cassia Bark
Chilli Powder ("Kashmiri Mirch" if possible)
Chaat Masala Powder (CBM only)
Cinnamon (ground)
Cinnamon Sticks
Cloves
Coriander Powder
Coriander Seeds
Cumin Powder
Cumin Seeds (black)
Cumin Seeds (white)
Curry Leaves
Curry Powder (mild - i.e. Rajah Mild Madras)
Dried Mint Leaves (i.e. Garden Mint)
Fennel Seeds
Fenugreek Leaves (Methi)
Fenugreek Powder
Fenugreek Seeds
Garam Masala (or make CA's or C2G's)
Garlic Powder
Ginger Powder
Green Cardamom (whole)
Green Food Colouring
Jaggery (Unrefined Palm Sugar)
Mango Powder (Amchoor)
Mustard Seeds (black / brown)
Mustard Seeds (yellow)
Nutmeg
Panch Phoran
Paprika Powder (sweet)
Rajah Mild Madras Powder - this would be great
Rajah All Purpose Seasoning (CBM only)
Red Food Colouring
Salt
Star Anise
Sugar
Tamarind (OPTIONAL)
Tandoori Masala Powder (or use CA's)
Turmeric Powder
Wild Onion Seeds ("Kalonji", "Nigella")
Yellow Food Colouring

Other Ingredients:
Almond Meal/Flour
Almonds (toasted)
Baking Powder
Basmati Rice
Brown Sugar
Butter Ghee
Carrot
Chapatti Flour
Chicken
Chicken Stock (optional)
Chilli Pickle
Chillies (fresh)
Coconut Cream
Coconut Milk Powder
Coconut Powder
Coconut Meal/Flour
Coconut (Block)
Coconut (Desiccated)
Corn Flour
Cucumber
Dried red chillies ("Kashmiri")
Egg
Fresh Coriander
Fresh Tomato
Garlic
Ginger
Gram Flour
Green Capsicum (Paprika)
Ketchup
Lamb (minced)
Lamb Stock
Lemon Juice (fresh)
Lime Pickle
Mango Chutney
Mango Pickle
Margarine (vegetable)
Milk
Mint Jelly (NOT in vinegar)
Mustard Seed Oil
Oil (for deep frying)
Onions (brown)
Patak's Balti Paste
Patak's Kashmiri Masala Paste
Patak's Madras Kebab Paste (or Pasco) and/or Patak's Madras Paste
Patak's Tandoori Paste
Patak's Tikka Paste
Pineapple Chunks
Potato
Red Capsicum (Paprika)
Red Lentils (pre-cooked)
Single Cream
Spinach
Sultanas
Tandoori Powder
Tomato Paste (diluted ?!)
Tomatoes (plum, tinned)
Vegetable Oil
Vinegar
White Cabbage
Yoghurt (Greek)
Yoghurt (not Greek)

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