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Messages - Bob-A-Job

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Lets Talk Curry / Another take on the 5%
« on: May 10, 2022, 03:56 AM »
We have all read this topic (which I can't find a consistent thread for - move this comment to it if you know it) over the years and thrashed it to death with opinions and possible explanations and some people have claimed to have come close.. and so I throw my hat into that ring with an observation from earlier this evening that immediately reminded me of this subject!

I have enjoyed many days out over the years and when it came to early evening, the aromas coming from 'Takeaways' and restaurants firing up ready for the evening trade have always made my mouth water, even if I couldn't immediately distinguish one style from another.

Earlier this evening, I was making my favourite from curryhell, which is the only recipe I have come across that uses a particular ingredient... during the final cooking process I used the opportunity to take some rubbish(refuse) out to the bin(garbage) and being a particularly warm, pleasant and clear night, I spent a few minutes staring up at the stars.

And so returning to my opening point, as some have discovered, we suffer from sensor overload whilst over the pan and curries have 'tasted' better the day after and food prepared by someone else always tastes better...

So maybe the missing 5% is all of that, being cooked by someone else, no sensory overload and a particular ingredient we associate with our favourite restaurant (I am sure they all tried to be unique and used more/less of some ingredients, 2 I remember well, 1 used way too much salt, the other too much ginger, yet some people liked them enough that one is still going strong 40 years later).

Add in a smatter of fondness of memory and all the vagaries that brings and I wonder.. was there ever a 5% or just some smell we associated with our favourite restaurant/dish/end of the night out?

Slightly off topic but when I used to go abroad, I could never get a 'proper' cup of tea until I was back in England.  So if you never had BIR, trying to explain it and the taste of it, even if perfect might be impossible and not as palatable as your currently much improved takeaways or best home efforts to reproduce have rewarded you with.

Conclusion.  The missing 5% does not exist, it is subjective.

Lets Talk Curry / Re: Curryfest
« on: March 12, 2022, 04:43 AM »
We had our first curryfest since the start of the pandemic last week, and my enthusiasm bubbled over to the point that the table was groaning under the weight, but a mixture of friends and neighbours got through most of it with a little left over to give my son 3 lunches.

Thank the heavens the Covid restrictions are lifted and we can return to the new normal.

Tempest! Wow! I have read and reread this many times... I wish I was there!

For the neutral readers here, can we lose the Off-Topic posts/sniping please (including this line. not something I like seeing everyday!)

My prayers and condolences for the family and friends of Simon.

I wasn't going to contribute until I read Ghoulie's post and it reminded me that on the Pyramid of Predators, we are only ranked 5 (top) because of our ability to use tools, other than that, in the natural environment of other predators, we are barely a 2.

Sobering thought.

Lets Talk Curry / Re: Balbir Singh Goa Vindaloo spice blend
« on: February 17, 2022, 11:03 AM »
Also (a more serious point), has anyone ever encountered a recipe book in which reasons are given for each ingredient and for each stage in the cooking process ?  I ask because I used Constance Spry's recipe for my cottage pie, and after softening the onions she says to "add [one teaspoonful of] flour [and] allow [it] to colour".  Now why would one add flour to the onions ?  I understand why one would want to brown it if one had added it, but why add it in the first place ?  What is it intended to achieve ?

** Phil.


My grandmother, mother and so consequently so do I (it was how I was taught) always used to flour mince when it came to adding it to the pan.  I only do it for cottage pie though, never for sheperd's pie, bolognaise, chilli or anything else that uses mince (my grandmother would likely never have heard of them, let alone "...made that foreign muck" I can hear her saying).

There are many opinions and reasons given for the practice I have just found but I will let you do that search yourself; personally I suspect that quality and quantity is probably the original reason.

Or even just 'Marketing Speak' for.... Pay more.

Lets Talk Curry / Re: Chef Din: 1970's BIR
« on: December 10, 2021, 11:27 PM »
a small observation on the "restaurant food tastes better" comments:

restaurants use a lot more salt than you think

restaurants use a lot more sugar than you think

restaurants use a lot more fat than you think

because salt, sugar, and fat make everything taste better, because we're programmed to crave them all.


I am not sure about more but maybe more concentrated?

We used to (when I was a child) make family stews... not a lot of meat but lots of vegetables.  Each day, servings were taken and the pot would be added to with more vegetables and maybe some meat. I continued this when I left home in my teens as a cheap way of having a meal.

I have had a few attempts recently where I have lost track of time and have left the base on a low heat for extended times, causing it to reduce substantially... but then when cooked with, the oil of the curry has really taken on the flavours, having been much more concentrated and I preferred in my lamb, madras and bhuna dishes.  I find it hard to get this flavour into chicken, so again, in the curry sauce that the meat sits in, it works, mostly.

Is it therefore a possibility that takeaways produce the base and that over hours (days or from the increased power of the burners) it reduces and liquid is added for consistency but the flavours are already there from the reduction that we do not get at home from smaller scale production?


Talk About Anything Other Than Curry / Re: Is there anybody out there?
« on: November 03, 2021, 06:30 PM »
Back to the main thread topic, the lack of any response to my post, or many others, seems really indicative of how participation in this forum has fallen to what may be an all time low. It's so sad. Does anyone have any ideas of how we could re-generate some interest? The group tests done a few years ago were not a bad idea. I am guilty of not posting about things I have done over the past year or two, like buying quite a few curry tree plants and having them all die, before buying some more recently, to try again with a different approach. Maybe someone here knows about how to grow curry tree plants, for example.

I am guilty of not posting also.

Phil's recent discovery that lunchtime is the best time to prep. didn't need any further comment, imo, as I assume 99% of commercial BIR is prepared during the lunchtime/afternoons before evening service begins as cleaning after could run into the early hours?

I have not been keeping up with growing chilli's the last few years as my wife took a liking to succulent's called 'Japanese Money Trees' (aka Jade Plant - Crassula ovata) and my front window is full of the darn things without any space to get seedlings started over the winter/spring months and even then, my old greenhouse is all but a frame and a certain Pandemic put pay to replacing it with the larger one I wanted (as well as other issues).

My photo contribution has similarly been lacking as I am unlikely to inspire.  I know what I like, I try to cook what I like and that tends to be the same old recipes to be honest.  By the time I get home and to cooking something, I usually just want something quick and that involves going to a very short list of dishes I think I can cook passably/good.  The 'Josephine' thread was always inspiring for me.

As for 'real' BIR, I am not sure there is any left any more, particularly where I live.  It all seems to be Pakistani or Bangladeshi, with hundreds (I jest not!) of Fried Chicken offerings, so no real way to compare my production against Traditional/expert offerings.


House Specialities / Re: Eastern Tandoori Chicken Patala
« on: October 11, 2021, 08:01 PM »
Excellent CH, I wasn't sure if you would have them, I didn't.  The only reason I took a screenshot was because it has several elements to it and with short cooking times between each, I was getting tired running between rooms from the Kitchen to the computer and back.

@Onions: That will be the 2 Tbsp of almond powder + Tsp of Coconut powder + 1.5 Tsp of Sugar.

@Livo:  Got me thinking about the food colouring... not sure if it loses potency over time but I have to say the stuff I have is over 20 years old and was from when I used to bake cakes and pastries (sometimes in the sponge or the Iceing) and as you said, a pin heads worth was enough, so a 400g jar lasts forever!  That might explain why I have to add so much more of it these days?

House Specialities / Re: Eastern Tandoori Chicken Patala
« on: October 10, 2021, 10:01 PM »
Eastern Tandoori Chicken Patala


- Portion of cooked Chicken Tikka
- 350 ml portion of heated curry base
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- 2 knobs of butter (each approx 1 Tbsp when melted)
- Rounded Tbsp finely chopped Onion
- 2 Tsp Garlic (ginger) paste
- 0.5 Tsp Meethi leaves
- 0.25 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tsp Tandoori Masala powder
- 1 Tsp Mix powder
- 0.5 Tsp Chilli powder or to taste
- 1 Tbsp Tomato paste already diluted 1 part paste to 2 parts water
- 2 rounded Tbsp ground Almond (or Almond powder)
- 1 level Tsp of Coconut powder or dessicated coconut
- 1.5 Tsp Sugar
- 2 Tsp Tomato Ketchup
- 1 Tsp Lemon juice
- Half a Tomato cut into quarters
- 3 Tbsp single Cream
- 0.25 Red Food Colouring
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh Coriander


- Add 2 Tbsp spoon of oil to your curry pan and place on medium heat
- Add the finely chopped onion and first knob of butter and fry till they start to take on a little colour
- Add pureed garlic/ginger and fry until the sizzling from the puree subsides, about 30 to 40 seconds
- Add the meethi leaves, salt, tandoori masala, mix and chilli powders, pre-diluted tomato paste and fry for 30 to 45 seconds mixing well with the pan contents – DO NOT BURN
- Add 2 chef spoons of the heated curry base and stir in well and fry for 30 to 45 seconds
- Add half of the remaining curry gravy, almond and coconut powders followed by the sugar
- Give the pan a good stir ensuring all ingredients are well mixed
- Add the chicken tikka and stir
- Leave for 3 to 4 minutes to cook, checking occasionally, do not let it burn
- Add the remaining curry gravy, tomato ketchup, tomato quarters, lemon juice, stir and cook for 2 minutes
- Add the cream and food colouring and stir through the curry
- Reduce heat and leave to thicken to a normal curry consistency
- Add the coriander stirring it through the curry
- Add the knob of butter folding it in to the curry until it has melted
- Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh coriander

Tandoori Masala Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons Ground Coriander
3 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
3 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
3 Tablespoons Paprika
5 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
5 Teaspoons Mango Powder
5 Teaspoons Dried Mint
3 Teaspoons Chilli Powder
1 Teaspoon Red Food Colouring Powder

@Onions: I had already typed it up but not printed it for some reason.  There are some Capitalisations that are not in the original and I had put it into a standard format I like to use but the qty's are all correct.  I have some scribbles on my screen print, where I have used 1 Tbsp of Food colouring in the Ingredients to get the brilliant red colour in CH's original photo's.   I hope this helps.

House Specialities / Re: Eastern Tandoori Chicken Patala
« on: October 10, 2021, 05:52 PM »
I can retype the recipe from my screenshot if that would help?

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