Author Topic: Struggling with base taste  (Read 6151 times)

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Offline fRAiLtY-

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Struggling with base taste
« on: August 25, 2013, 01:45 PM »
Hi guys,

Really struggling to get somewhere with my bases. I'm on my 4th attempt now over the space of 6 months or so. The first one I attempted was Julian's, then Dipu's, then Taz's and finally I've gone back to Julian's again after buying the e-book.

The thing about all bases is that they taste noticably of vegetables. I don't know why, I follow the ingredients to scientific accuracy so I'm reasonably confident it's not my ingredients. Julian suggests the secret is in the length of time the onions are cooked for. I usually do mine for between 1.30 and 2hrs. At the end of cooking onions are always soft and mushy so I think I'm doing it right. The problem I have is it tastes absolutely nothing like a takeaway, and not really any better than something out of a jar. It always has a vegetable undertone flavour to it, which carries through to the final curry. The flavours lack any depth whatsoever and I'm struggling to figure out what I'm doing wrong, as I've tried 4 recipes and each one has a very similar lack of flavour and vegetable taste?

I've tried dutch/spanish and english onions etc also but struggle to notice a difference in the finished article. Any help or advice is appreciated.

Cheers

Offline Les

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Re: Struggling with base taste
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2013, 01:59 PM »
Try this one, not a veg in sight (except onion and garlic, ginger)

http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php/topic,1894.0.html

This is the only one I use

Les


Online Garp

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Re: Struggling with base taste
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2013, 03:19 PM »
Or this one:

Ingredients:
4 x Big onions chopped up roughly.
50 grams unpeeled fresh ginger chopped up roughly.
50 grams peeled fresh garlic chopped up roughly.
6tbs vegetable oil
1tsp heaped salt
240g (small) tin of chopped tomatoes
1tbs tomato puree
1tsp turmeric
1tsp Paprika
2tsp Coriander powder
2tsp Fenugreek powder
2tsp Cumin powder
2tsp Garam masala
Method:
1. Fry the onion in 1tbs of the oil for 10 mins on a low heat until soft & translucent (don?t let them brown as this changes the taste).
2. Add in the garlic, ginger and salt then add enough water to just cover the top of all ingredients.
3. Bring it up to the boil then turn down to a light simmer uncovered for around 30 minutes.
4. While this is simmering, put the rest of the oil (5tbs), the tomatoes, puree, turmeric and paprika into another saucepan ? bring to the boil then simmer for 10 mins on low heat.
5. Let the 2 mixtures cool down then blend them both separately until they are super smooth.
6. Combine the mixes and bring to a simmer.
7. Add the coriander, cumin, fenugreek and garam masala and leave the whole curry base to simmer for 15 minutes.
8. You need the final sauce to end up being about 1.6 litres - if it's not, add water to this volume now and if there?s too much keep simmering to reduce.

Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Struggling with base taste
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2013, 05:34 PM »
I suspect that if you are looking for a base that tastes of curry rather than of vegetables, you might do well to try the Glasgow new improved 4Kg base.  I use KD1 (or, more accurately, KD1/PC), but never bother to taste it since it is the flavour of the finished curry in which I am interested, not the flavour of the base.

** Phil.


Offline fRAiLtY-

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Re: Struggling with base taste
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2013, 09:50 AM »
I suspect that if you are looking for a base that tastes of curry rather than of vegetables, you might do well to try the Glasgow new improved 4Kg base.  I use KD1 (or, more accurately, KD1/PC), but never bother to taste it since it is the flavour of the finished curry in which I am interested, not the flavour of the base.

** Phil.

Thanks for the recipes and advice. To be honest, I'm not particularly bothered what the base tastes like so long as the finished curry tastes good. The problem I have is that the lack of depth and vegetable undertone noticable in the base is also noticable in the end curry, almost as if the entire curry cooking process does very little to the final product.

That's where I think I'm getting confused. I've got loads of containers of base left so I'm not about to make another just yet.

Cheers guys

Offline ligs

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Re: Struggling with base taste
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2013, 12:06 PM »
Dont use a non stick pan, and make sure that the base caramelisis when making the final curry, this will change the taste. I used to have this problem and this helped a lot,hope it helps you. 

Online Garp

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Re: Struggling with base taste
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2013, 12:48 PM »
I agree with Phil in that the base is only a foundation for the finished dish. It shouldn't be discernable in the finished dish, but should merely add background depth of flavour and, probably more importantly, body and texture.

Before I found this site and started trying to make BIR style curries, I used to make a Pathia-style dish from scratch. I now make the same dish and add a few ladles of base sauce and hey presto. What a difference.

Anyway, I'm off work today and not many people seem to be posting, so just thought I'd have a waffle


Offline Stephen Lindsay

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Re: Struggling with base taste
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2013, 09:04 PM »
If you are cooking base for one and a half to two hours there's no way your base is underdone, so it's in the actual cooking of the curry that you need to concentrate on.

I am of the opinion that base recipies are much of a muchness and the key is cooking technique:

use heat - as high as you can manage without overly burning
two stages to the curry
first stage reduce to a thick paste
second stage reduce to a thickish sauce - too thin and the water from your sauce will leak water because it won't be able to hole the "solids" of your base
always look for oil separating - a sign that you are getting it right

You might also want to think about sticking to one curry, with the minimum of ingredients, until you are satisfied that you have cracked technique. I always think that a basic (medium) curry is a good way to do this. Your curry can't be hidden behind oodles of ingredients but you should still be able to achieve an excellent, rich tasting curry.

Hope this helps.

Offline rshome123

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Re: Struggling with base taste
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2013, 09:25 PM »
If you are cooking base for one and a half to two hours there's no way your base is underdone, so it's in the actual cooking of the curry that you need to concentrate on.

I am of the opinion that base recipies are much of a muchness and the key is cooking technique:

use heat - as high as you can manage without overly burning
two stages to the curry
first stage reduce to a thick paste
second stage reduce to a thickish sauce - too thin and the water from your sauce will leak water because it won't be able to hole the "solids" of your base
always look for oil separating - a sign that you are getting it right

You might also want to think about sticking to one curry, with the minimum of ingredients, until you are satisfied that you have cracked technique. I always think that a basic (medium) curry is a good way to do this. Your curry can't be hidden behind oodles of ingredients but you should still be able to achieve an excellent, rich tasting curry.

Hope this helps.

Hear, hear.  Wise words.

Offline harley

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Re: Struggling with base taste
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2013, 08:50 PM »
I normally put my onions in whole and check if a knife slips through with ease I know they're done, as shown in chewys video, and go for 90% onion. Chopping them up would make you get more in the pot and lessen the time but I've got a largish pot.

I've tried adding a little more of each veg, pepper, just to see if it enhances or detracts but I start to taste them in the curry and detracts the taste for me.

Hour and a half sounds about right, usually how long it takes for mine or a bit less. Not sure about for example adding 15-30mins waiting for a vinegar smell that Julian may of said. 

Anyway, if you're sure the receipes are followed correct I'd go along with what Stephen Lindsay posted, and probably say even stick to one base and one curry and be a little patient. flip flopping won't make things clearer


 

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