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Messages - ast

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1
A couple more that I used to use that don't seem to be here (which, of course, were the ones I was looking for in the beginning.... ;):

"SnS Mix Powder" (I don't remember which post this was in)

2x coriander powder
2x cumin powder
1x turmeric powder
2x paprika
1x dried methi (a guess based on my interpretation of "some" vs. what I normally use)

"Haldi's Takeaway" Spice Mix (Individual Portion) (from this post: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,2296.msg19612.html#msg19612)

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

2
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

3
Brilliant collection, and a fantastic resource!

Getting back to doing curries after a bit of a hiatus, and lost my copies of all my recipes here-even mine...

Spice mixes were one of the things I'd been trying to find.

4
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.

5
Finally had a chance to try this yesterday/last night, and I have to say this rocks, SnS!!  Very nice work.  Like Bobby, I'd been disappointed with my curry results lately (I think more due to the amount of effort I was putting in rather than anything else--mostly done in a hurry).  This certainly was the best effort yet, and it was the closest to the restaurant I like.

I've more thoughts on this, but it deserves a separate post, and it won't happen this week.

I did omit the carrots and used 240g potatoes instead since I was making this for my mother, and she's allergic to carrots.  Compared to others with the carrots vs. this one without, I'm not sure that I could personally taste a whole lot of difference.  I tasted it at various stages to see.  I also could not find the Kashmiri mirch, so had to use regular paprika.  I'll keep looking though.

The coriander stalks probably added the most difference compared to when they're not there, and I noticed the base had just a hint of a kick to it with the chili powder instead of without.  It was nice, but it meant that I had to tone things down on the other end to get a truly mild (ok, boring in my book ;) curry.

Since I was making 3 portions with 3 different heat tolerances, I mixed up a "SnS Mix Powder" batch of:

2x coriander powder
2x cumin powder
1x turmeric powder
2x paprika
1x dried methi (a guess based on my interpretation of "some" vs. what I normally use)

I used 2tsp of the above for each curry, and then I could just measure the chili powder the way I do when I use Secret Santa's mix.  I used a level 1/8 tsp for my mother, heaped 1/8 tsp for the wife (she's out of practice lately) and a heaped tablespoon of the extra hot chili powder for each of the curries.  I also made the ginger paste, since I couldn't find any at the shop, and I had loads of fresh ginger.

The result was OUTSTANDING!  Although, I did notice that I forgot to add any msg/salt and garam masala during the cooking process as I was making all three batches at the same time.  That was a bit trickier than expected, but it all worked out ok.

Having had a discussion with a local restaurant lately, and in light of my previous thinking/questions about the merits of various cooking methods, I think the method for the madras is where 80% of the difference comes from.  I'd been having trouble getting mine as hot as the restaurant--even with all the chillies (fresh, powdered, Habanero, Scotch Bonnet, finger (red & green) by the handful, mixed and individually).  He was saying that its all in how long that you actually cook the chili powder that gives it the essential depth.  They only add fresh chillies (if at all) towards the end.

I made a few experiments afterwards which were better (and somewhat influenced by SnS's madras recipe and others where you add small amounts of base at a time), but I didn't quite achieve the results I wanted.  However, I am *convinced* that the repeated reduction of the curry base and variation of the heat is important to achieve restaurant results at home.  I also noticed that what I got at the restaurant was similar in consistency to what I was making when I started posting here (which many think is too thick).  Obviously, to get it to that level requires longer cooking/more reduction and results in a more concentrated taste.

I tried all three last night, and ended up adding different amounts of water to each of them, depending on how they were cooking.  This was probably partially offset by the fact that there was some of the broth from the pre-cooked chicken included with the meat when I added it.  Mine was the thickest (not surprising given the amount of powder), but the others weren't that far off, but they did require longer cooking times.  You could certainly taste more complexity from the base without the extra chili powder, but a surprising amount came through even with all the extra chili powder in mine.

I'll certainly be making this base again!  I also want to use it for some experiments on the final curry method, but at the rate I've been cooking lately (this was the first curry in about 6 weeks!), I'm not really sure when it'll happen.  Having guests over on Wed. night which will polish off the rest of the base, so I'll have to find some time to make some more.

Many kudos to SnS for taking the time to put this together and for sharing it with the masses.  Keep up the good work, and happy currying!

ast

6
Hi billycat,

Welcome to the forum!

Here's the version in the picture: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=2250.msg19097#msg19097, but I've moved on a bit since then.  I haven't made it like that again since January.

My current version is this one:  http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=2271.msg19827#msg19827.  The newer vindaloo recipe is the basis of my jalfrezi recipe in the recipes section too (http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=2326.msg19966#msg19966).

I've had an epiphany or two lately and been meaning to post them, but I'm just too busy at the moment with work.  Hopefully soon though.

Curry on! ;)

ast

7
Cooking Methods / Re: Know your Onions!
« on: March 05, 2008, 08:07 PM »
Thanks for the info SnS!  Great stuff! ;D

8
Try the Saffron base. I guarantee, if you follow the recipe exactly it will not be bitter.

SnS  ;D

I'll second that.

I've tried 4 different bases (some several times), and I've never ended up with a bitter result.  I'd say Stew's right--you're not cooking it long enough.  Made the Saffron again last night, and I noticed that it took at least 20-25 min to really start boiling properly.  Unless you're making a small batch (like with 1 onion), I can't see how 1 hr would be nearly enough.

Good luck getting it sorted.

Cheers,

ast

9
Starters and Side Dishes Chat / Re: Which accompaniments?
« on: March 02, 2008, 11:40 PM »
I guess I'm kinda boring to the rest of you.  I've never gotten too much into the "munchies" they serve while you're waiting, although popadoms aren't bad.  It's something I'll eat if they're there, but I won't go out of my way for them.

Pretty much every time I order a curry out, I'll just forgo the starter and get an order of pilau rice and garlic & coriander naan (or plain if I'm feeling cheap).  It has to be a pretty rare day that I can't finish a "standard" portion of curry and everything else. ;D

Yep... I'm a pig!  :o

10
Curry Videos / Re: how-to-make-onion-bhaji
« on: March 01, 2008, 10:06 PM »
Hi Domi,

Thanks for this.  It actually looks pretty straightforward.  I haven't ever tried to do this (I know there's loads of recipes on here, but I just haven't... ;))

BTW, did you see this one?  It was actually quite interesting.  The jalfrezi one was interesting too, but not as good...

http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-make-prawn-curry

Cheers,

ast

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