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Messages - Invisible Mike

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Lets Talk Curry / Re: That smokey background flavour
« on: June 22, 2017, 01:52 AM »
Yep. The penny dropped for me about 6 months ago when I ordered a garlic chilli chicken at a restaurant. The smokey flavour was definitely the result of browned garlic. Ever since when making a base I always fry the garlic and ginger paste until slightly brown at the baghaar stage and also when making the final dish. It's definitely one of those fabled "missing 5%" flavours. Before, I was always afraid to brown garlic thinking I'd ruin the dishes!

Incidentally, just a tip when making a base. Simmering for another hour after adding a browned garlic baghaar really mellows out any harsh burnt garlic notes, but you still get that moreish depth of flavour...  ;)

Chinese takeaways use it too. See video.

Curry Base Chat / Re: Restaurant Base Sample
« on: June 03, 2017, 12:42 AM »
**Veggie Base Update**

600g Spanish Onions
50g Carrot
1/3rd Yellow Pepper
1/3rd Green Pepper
30g Potato
125g Frozen Sweetcorn
10g Coriander Stalks
3/4 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 Veg Oxo Cube
1 1/2 litres Water

Add the above to a saucepan, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 3 - 3.5hrs

75ml Veg Oil
25g Garlic & Ginger Paste
3/4 tbsp Cumin
3/4 tbsp Mix Powder
100g Fresh Tomato (finely chopped).

In a seperate pan fry the garlic until lightly browned, then add the mix powder and cumin and fry gently for 1 minute. Add the tomato and fry for another 3-4 minutes. Add to the onion pan and simmer for a further 1/2 hour then blend well. Add more water to thin down if necessary. Use.

To cut a long story short how I got to this recipe, I tried somebody's home made vegetable soup and it tasted virtually the same as the veggie base from the restaurant that I've been trying to replicate! Anyway after finding out what went into it I adapted it for base gravy applications and I've nailed it. THIS MAKES A SUPERB CURRY, better than most "proper" base recipes. The sweetcorn gives it a lovely smooth, rounded flavour but does mean it requires blending for longer than usual. Try it!


Lets Talk Curry / Re: Three baltis
« on: April 16, 2017, 11:12 PM »
I went to Shebab's in February. As you say fine, but not spectacular. Done Adil's that was good, Saleem's (now shut) was also good and Khyber Pass good.

Kushi when I went about two years ago was very disappointing but oddly their book I think with the odd tweak makes as good a BIR tasting curry as you'll get.

I think Al Frash is the next on the list...

Lets Talk Curry / Re: Three baltis
« on: April 16, 2017, 01:04 PM »
Every balti house's interpretation of the dish is different in my experience but I think that's what makes things more interesting when visiting different places.

Check out the oil on top of the base in this vid 1:20.

Curry Base Chat / Re: (Vegetable) (Spanish) Onions?
« on: April 06, 2017, 03:03 AM »
Just my two penny worth but I think large Spanish onions being milder and sweeter make a far better tasting curry than Dutch or English varieties and are my number 1 choice nowadays (although Dutch are the next best choice if not available). Not only that but they tend to 'melt' softer and quicker too in my experience. Whereas with your standard cooking onions even after 3 hours can be a bit tough still. 1/2 a teaspoon of bicarb in the pan can neutralise some of the acidity of stronger varieties.  I've also seen sacks of Chilean onions that are about the same size as Spanish available but never tried them. TBF I like to buy as much British produce as possible for my cooking but curry onions are definitely one exception so it just goes to show how highly I rate them!

Pictures of Your Curries / Keema Peas
« on: March 21, 2017, 01:02 PM »
I thought I'd try something different from  the usual chicken whilst testing my new improved base recipe. The perfect 'scoopable' texture for naans and so moreish. A new one added to my list of favourites.

Lets Talk Curry / Re: Orange curries, please help!!
« on: February 21, 2017, 03:37 PM »
To be honest if I ever made it again I'd probably drop the oil to 150-200mm myself. And as you said, the curries you are trying to replicate are "not overly oily". I like to start off any curry with oil, if only reclaimed from the base itself or pre-cooked chicken as I like to tarka the G&G and mix powder to mellow the flavours before "building" the dish so to speak. It's a nice base and the subtlety leaves room for extra spicing to suit your tastes. My madras is as follows.

3 tbsp Oil (skimmed off the top of the base if using the original recipe amount!)
1 tsp Garlic & Ginger Paste
1 tsp Mix Powder (you could also get away with up to 1 tbsp in this base)
1 level tsp Methi crumbled fine
1 tbsp Tomato Paste (1 pt tomato puree 2 pts water)
2 tsp Extra Hot Chilli Powder (or to taste)
Pre-Cooked Chicken (I quite like the Glasgow recipe)
2 ladles Base Gravy
Squirt of Lemon Dressing
1 tbsp Fresh Coriander finely chopped. (1/2 Stirred into the curry two minutes from the end and 1/2 sprinkled on top)

You know the rest!  ;)

Lets Talk Curry / Re: Orange curries, please help!!
« on: February 21, 2017, 01:18 PM »

The Taz base produces a madras that is orangey coloured and subtly spiced, at least when used with my madras recipe.... You might want to reduce the oil content though.

Pictures of Your Curries / Re: Midweek curries Korma and Vindaloo
« on: February 02, 2017, 10:41 PM »
It was really nice actually. So much so that the next curry I made was a vindaloo with vinegar soaked potato. Might try the ketchup though next time.

Talk About Anything Other Than Curry / Re: Supermarkets
« on: January 31, 2017, 12:05 AM »
There's apparently a big shortage of courgettes at the moment... Although why anyone would want to buy imported "summer" veggies in winter is beyond me. I say support British producers and buy what's in season.   ;)

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