Author Topic: Indian Styles for beginners.  (Read 12469 times)

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Offline Madrasandy

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Re: Indian Styles for beginners.
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2014, 08:47 AM »
Maybe youll have to take a trip to Brum and find out for yourself livo. I have never been myself ,but it is on my to do list.
 Most restaurants in Hull have baltis on there menus, but they are very similar in flavour to any of the non balti curries .
 I ordered a chicken tikka balti garlic chilli korai  :o last Monday, and to be honest it was a little disappointing , it was nice but not as good as I have made. It was a little wet and I cant help thinking that it would have been far tastier if it were to be reduced further. Definitely not a Balti IMO ;D

Online livo

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Re: Indian Styles for beginners.
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2014, 10:26 AM »
I can't see that happening any time soon M, and really it isn't going to cause me to toss and turn.  I'm just a little confused as to what actually constitutes a curry being called a Balti.

Mind you I di not intend this topic to be totally about Balti.  There are many areas of general confusion in this area of cooking.  I guess I was just hoping that there was a simple explanation.  Obviously not and after 38 pages of discussion in the Three Baltis thread I'm not sure even the gurus actually know either.

Never mind.  I might just buy a book and put a sign out the front that says Birmingham.


Offline JerryM

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Re: Indian Styles for beginners.
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2014, 06:35 PM »
What makes a balti a balti?

for me this is a few things - surprisingly nothing to do with taste

1) the naan bread is far better than BIR and mandatory - its sort of crisp and used to eat with (there is no rice)
2) the food coming in a smoking cast iron pot is well impressive
3) the ability to take your own drink (and pop ie family friendly)


Online livo

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Re: Indian Styles for beginners.
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2014, 09:57 PM »
So Balti is a dining experience, only available in Brum, rather than the food?

I have been reading everything I can on Balti and Kushi on the site and following the links and one thing that is emerging is that there are regular references to a Balti being just a BIR (albeit a good one).  I am puzzled by the posts of some, who like their balti with "lots of sauce" and want to "keep the base gravy thin".  If anything at all, these characteristics would in fact make it "anything but a balti".


Online livo

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Re: Indian Styles for beginners.
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2014, 10:47 AM »
Balti Sauce / Gravy compared to BIR.

Online livo

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Re: Indian Styles for beginners.
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2014, 09:32 PM »
It was too late to do observations here last night so here is a list. Based on loose transcription to 1kg onion quantities.

Note: * in CA sauce spices means they are in the spice mix he used. 

I intend to do similar analysis of as many other sauce recipes as possible over the next fortnight as I'll be slowed down a fair bit from surgery this afternoon.

Balti sauces contain around 6 whole spices not found in the BIR.
The kushi balti has considerable vegetable in the form of capsicum and carrot.
Other spices in the balti are double and 4X that in BIR.
Balti sauce uses at least double the amount of tomato.

These observations do not take into account the preparation of actual dishes yet.

Offline Madrasandy

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Re: Indian Styles for beginners.
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2014, 09:41 PM »
Great post livo  :) keep up the good work


Online livo

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Re: Indian Styles for beginners.
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2014, 11:22 PM »
I haven't cooked a curry in a couple of weeks as I've been eating from the freezer. I have been doing a lot of research on basics though and trying to get my head around the many and significant inconsistencies in the styles of cooking.  I would really like to understand the characteristic brought to a dish from each individual spice as well as how they interact.  A task I know.

I'm amazed by how many times I've come across somebody posting something like, "Well that dish can't be that dish because it doesn't have this ingredient".  For example the Madras is extremely controversial as to what should and should not be in it.

The big surprise in the above table is the large amount of spice and body in the Belting Balti base when compared to the CA BIR base sauce.  CA's has 2400ml of water and only 5 1/2 - 6 Teaspoons of spice where as the Belting Balti is only 600ml of water and 24 Teaspoons of spice, which equates to 16X the spice level plus it also has the whole spices cooked in as well.

No wonder Balti is different.

Offline JerryM

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Re: Indian Styles for beginners.
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2014, 06:19 PM »
livo,

am sure like quite a few am very interested in your work and post replies don't reflect the interest.

will help where i can.

i do feel you have set a massive challenge for yourself.

if i gave the impression that Balti is all about the experience i must add clarification. the food is very different to BIR.

i think you are right in that most of this difference is down to the spice ie the base and cooking technique are not the game changers.

don't worry too much on thinness as its the finished consistency that is important - both BIR and Balti are similar with Balti having more sauce across most dishes - they need sauce to enable eating with the naan.

my current thought on the difference is that it is down to using gm in place of mix powder. i do think the base will be different but not hudge.

i have a very good book (100 Best Balti) which i've been inputting to spreadsheet to do similar to you. i can email it if you need (pm me). the data is in but not formatted well. i'm having a too busy year and most of my to do list has gone nowhere. if its any use to you in its basic form its yours.

i do think balti will keep you scratching your head. an example from my trip last xmas being i'd always thought of balti having less puree and would defo not have tandoori masala powder. both were wrong. it could be they have changed to meet their changing customers - i dont really know. the adil offering that i sampled was really spot on a 10. others have reported it poor. i know the kyber well which is a different restaurant. the food is different at both places yet the owners are know to each other (possible relatives). you would think this would make for the same but its not. balti in itself much like BIR is quite a wide variable.

make the adil balti using a normal base. do a garlic tarka in heavy pan (ideally karahi) and you should get a decent idea of what a steaming balti looks and tastes like.

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Re: Indian Styles for beginners.
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2014, 09:15 PM »
Thanks J.
I have seen that book and I'll probably add it to my growing library of cookbooks.  At Graeme's suggestion I recently bought the "Real Balti Cookbook" (Baljekar). 

The interesting thing about this book (and others I already have) is that it provides a recipe for a restaurant style base sauce right at the beginning but then there is only a small section at the back of the book that uses it.  Only 6 recipes of the 100 in the book use the Kadhai Gravy (Balti base sauce) and another 5 use the Makhani Gravy (Butter Sauce). The rest of the book is predominately "Balti" cooked in traditional style.  To me they just look like any other Indian Recipe cookbook.

The apparent "definition of a Balti" from her viewpoint is that it is cooked in the Balti pan or Karahi, and actually refers to the Kadhai Sauce in one recipe as Karahi Sauce by mistake. Balti, Kadhai ,Karahi and wok all being different names for the same type of pot.

Some people claim BIR came from Balti style while others claim that Balti is a sub-section of BIR. Chicken / Egg syndrome? Or perhaps it's both in that BIR was developed from the Baltistan style of cooking as a region and then the "BRUM Balti" was refined and developed out of that.  It could be that we are actually dealing with 2 very different animals.

It is interesting you say that it contains more gravy as I have read the exact opposite.

I have put the data from a couple more Base Sauce recipes into my spreadsheet so today I'll add the one from this book and post another screenshot.


I agree that it is a task to try to investigate / replicate but it is something to do.  There is so much conflicting info and varied accounts of both BIR and Balti so there will be no definitive answer here, just my own observations.



 

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