Author Topic: Product review : Patak's South Indian Madras (3 sachets)  (Read 2598 times)

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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Whilst, like many CR0 members, I am no great fan of Patak's products, I believe that it would be a foolish would-be BIR chef to assert that they have no place in BIR cuisine at all.  Keeping an open mind, I purchased a pack of Patak;s South Indian Madras, composed of 3 sachets fastened together with an eyelet rivet.  Separating them was not easy, but the cooking process was simplicity itself :  gently bhoon the dry spices (mustard seeds, curry leaves, peppercorns and dried red chillies) in a little oil or ghee, add the sachet of spice paste together with 50ml of water, continue gently frying until almost all of the water has been driven off, add the pieces of chicken (or whatever), continue gently frying until they are sealed, then add the base and continue frying until ready.  The results were, to be honest, no worse than many of us will have accomplished while trying to achieve BIR perfection, and quite possibly better than some more  mediocre attempts.  To my taste there was a little too much tomato in the base, and the end result was thicker than I would have wished, but overall this product does produce an acceptable end-product without requiring a major investment of time.

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Offline livo

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Re: Product review : Patak's South Indian Madras (3 sachets)
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2018, 10:20 PM »
These look interesting Phil. I watched the short promo videos on Youtube and they certainly do appear to be a convenient preparation.  I doubt I'll get to try them though as they work out at AUS $28 per pack to have sent here.  That is the purchase price of $9 and some cents plus another $18 postage and handling. :-\

On the up side, Pataks do provide a very comprehensive ingredient listing with some percentages down to 1 decimal place, which would make these pastes quite possibly, nearly, close to copycatable by the foolhardy DIYer. (Maybe). Or maybe I'll just make a Madras when I want one. ;)
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littlechilie

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Re: Product review : Patak's South Indian Madras (3 sachets)
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2018, 11:55 PM »
Ingredients
Madras Sauce (77%) ^Water, Onion Purée, Concentrated Tomato Paste, Tomatoes ^contains Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid)], Rapeseed Oil, Ginger Purée, Garlic Purée, Sugar, Modified Maize Starch, Salt, Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid)], Madras Paste (22%) ^Water, Ground Spices ^Coriander, Paprika, Turmeric, Cumin, Spices, Fenugreek, MUSTARD Powder (0.3%), Black Pepper (0.3%), Ginger], Rapeseed Oil, Tamarind Pulp ^Water, Tamarind (0.5%), Salt, Acid (Acetic Acid)], Salt, Maize Flour, Acids (Acetic Acid, Citric Acid), Dried Crushed Red Chilli (0.2%), GarlIC POWDer, Black MUSTARD Seeds (0.1%)], Whole Spices (1%) ^MUSTARD Seeds (0.3%), Dried Red Chilli (0.3%), Curry Leaf (0.2%), Black Peppercorns (0.1%), Cloves (0.1%)]

Sorry To disagree Phil, I hated the results, tried it and binned it. I felt like I had sucked on a spoon of salt after my first taste. Flavour is overpowering and the taste of Patakas is completely overwhelming. Big no from me, nothing like Bir cooking.

Offline livo

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Re: Product review : Patak's South Indian Madras (3 sachets)
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2018, 04:01 AM »
Interesting LC. I know the Purple jar argument has been done to death everywhere, but what would you suggest is "the Pataks flavour" that seems so widely acknowledged?  Either love it or hate it, their appears to be no doubt that the Pataks flavour exists.  I can't say I notice it negatively, or that it troubles me greatly.  I used to use Pataks when it first came out in little tin cans and back then I never minded it.  I could still eat it today if needs be.  It was the closest thing to a restaurant curry I could do at home back then.  We only had Pataks or Sharwoods to choose from and not a lot has changed since. Well, it has a bit, but not much.

When you look at the ingredient list their doesn't appear to be anything in there that would add any obscure or unusual flavour.  It isn't as though Stone Flower is listed, although there is that general word "spices" in the ground spices section of the Madras Paste. which is left unexplained. Other than that, which could be anything, the list appears to be a pretty ordinary collection of common spices that you or I would normally use, so I wander what the cause of "the Taste" is.

Is it simply oversalted as a means of preservative do you think?  Salt is actually listed 3 times so I wonder if it is overly salty or if that is an error in the listing.  I immediately noticed this earlier today before re-reading the list in your post.  Perhaps they use Black Salt with it's heavy sulphurous taste.
 
If you had to use a couple of adjectives to describe the taste, what would they be?  Salty, soapy, mouldy, pungent, sour, bitter, rancid, fermented, chemical???
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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Product review : Patak's South Indian Madras (3 sachets)
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2018, 06:57 AM »
Ingredients
Madras Sauce (77%) ^Water, Onion Purée, Concentrated Tomato Paste, Tomatoes ^contains Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid)], Rapeseed Oil, Ginger Purée, Garlic Purée, Sugar, Modified Maize Starch, Salt, Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid)], Madras Paste (22%) ^Water, Ground Spices ^Coriander, Paprika, Turmeric, Cumin, Spices, Fenugreek, MUSTARD Powder (0.3%), Black Pepper (0.3%), Ginger], Rapeseed Oil, Tamarind Pulp ^Water, Tamarind (0.5%), Salt, Acid (Acetic Acid)], Salt, Maize Flour, Acids (Acetic Acid, Citric Acid), Dried Crushed Red Chilli (0.2%), GarlIC POWDer, Black MUSTARD Seeds (0.1%)], Whole Spices (1%) ^MUSTARD Seeds (0.3%), Dried Red Chilli (0.3%), Curry Leaf (0.2%), Black Peppercorns (0.1%), Cloves (0.1%)]
Very useful analysis -- thank you.

Quote
Sorry To disagree Phil, I hated the results, tried it and binned it. I felt like I had sucked on a spoon of salt after my first taste.
How odd -- the one thing I felt was lacking was salt, and I added a considerable amount of sea salt flakes to each piece of chicken just before I are it.

Quote
Flavour is overpowering and the taste of Patakas is completely overwhelming. Big no from me, nothing like Bir cooking.
Quot homines, tot sententiæ !

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littlechilie

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Re: Product review : Patak's South Indian Madras (3 sachets)
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2018, 10:27 AM »
Hi, thanks Livo for your in depth explanation and interest on the subject of curry paste, unfortunately for me there is no real explanation, it is what it is processed curry paste. it has the taste of processed curry paste. It is in my opinion overly salty, overly sour, overly heavy on the palate, overly spiced and overly preserved.

My concern reading your recent posts is that you are overthinking Bir, Bir cooking is a simple straightforward process relying heavily on technique experience and knowledge. Nothing complex, the base is simple as are the techniques, the two comparisons are worlds apart and cannot be compared. This being my humble opinion. I believe the biggest mistake we make is trying to taste, eat or judge our cooking with sensory spice overload. Take this away and we are missing nothing but achieveing everything. I was recently chatting to a Bir Chef about my interest and he openly told me there’s nothing to hide, his words it’s all on YouTube nowadays.
Edited today when I had a bit more time.
Lc
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 05:03 PM by littlechilie »

Offline livo

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Re: Product review : Patak's South Indian Madras (3 sachets)
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2018, 05:45 PM »
I don't have any commercial pastes at the moment and haven't had for years. I do have some home made Balti paste which I quite like, particularly with lamb. It seems to give the curry a real depth and new layers.  I do like to try new and different things. As with most things, I imagine there are ways pastes can be, and are used. I read in this forum that they do have a place in BIR.  Thanks for your explanation of how you taste commercial pastes. To be honest, I have found most packaged Masala blends, other than variations of curry powder, to be pretty poor. Pre mixed meal / dish packets are not as good as the same dish cooked from scratch. Those that I have tried do taste preserved or over spiced. I can't say I felt that way about Pataks when I did use it but it was a while ago.
Whiskey is the answer, but what was the question?


littlechilie

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Re: Product review : Patak's South Indian Madras (3 sachets)
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2018, 09:21 PM »
Hi livo yes and well put, I’m not saying there’s no place for commercial paste in commercial Indian cooking. As we know many establishments used them for Tikka and Tandoori cooking, also I use paste myself frequently Laziza, Kebab and Balti.
However I believe personally there is a huge difference between the way a commercial paste and a public convenience marketed indian home paste are used.
The home Indian Cook has come along way and the last 20 years and I remember well the canned patakas paste you mentioned earlier, In fact I prefered this to the modern alternatives.

There is also in my opinion a difference between home cooking uses needs, and a commercial establishment. a commercial establishment would use paste as a base to be Mixed and built upon with other ingredients to create the Bir taste as we know.
The home cook has no knowledge of such procedures, therefore reliant entirely on the product provided and the resulting manufacturing flavour taste it can offer. when I talk about the above South Indian Madras HomeKit I talk of my experiencing using the product. By this I mean I’m judging it as would any mass produced home curry. This leaving me with the opinion I have already posted. I have also talked with friends who have been impressed with the product, however they hold no interest in replicating Indian Restaurant Cooking.
Lc.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 09:35 PM by littlechilie »

Offline chewytikka

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Re: Product review : Patak's South Indian Madras (3 sachets)
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2018, 02:45 PM »
How sad, comparing any packet curry, to anything BIR quality is a joke. ::)
But if you dont like cooking or are challenged.
Have you considered Wiltshire Farm Foods Cornwall, just heat up and voilå.
https://www.wiltshirefarmfoods.com/ready-meals/indian-chinese/chicken-madras
Burn those spices "Singefry" and Bhunao are the keys to success.
Smoking Mustard Oil is good for You and your curries.....Lol


 

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