Author Topic: Syed dry-fried mix powder  (Read 8618 times)

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Offline romain

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Re: Syed dry-fried mix powder
« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2020, 10:01 PM »
Thank you for your kind words HugoBoss. Appreciate it :smile:

I asked the question expecting this to be the answer. There seems to be two camps in the restaurant curry at home world. Those, like Phil and myself, that bloom their spices and those, like you, that don't. So I would venture the notion that what you are doing is emulating the blooming of the spices in a dry pan to some extent.

If you have the time and inclination to try blooming your spices in oil before adding the diluted tomato puree, I would love to hear if you get the same or similar flavours you are experiencing with this dry roasting technique.

I am close to the point that I would bet money that you will find the curry in which you bloom spices to be even better because the fat soluble compounds released by heating the spices wind up dissolved in the oil. Almost - because I haven't tried this dry roasting powdered spices myself.

I know, when I have tried liquid then spices, it's almost as if I've forgotten to add salt. Everything is somewhat flat and lifeless.

FWIW, my house and my local Indian restaurants smell exactly the same when I'm cooking curries and it's the point where I add powdered spices to the pan that it happens.

Offline livo

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Re: Syed dry-fried mix powder
« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2020, 10:24 PM »

Which raises two points (at least):

1. Non stick coatings give off extremely noxious gases when overheated. Therefore:
2. For safety only heat large quantities of spice powders in a non-stick pan to ensure the "safe" temperature of the pan is not exceeded - as Syed demonstrated (and even then I'm a bit dubious).

And I assume, having not tried it, that there is an actual reason for doing it in a non-stick pan. Presumably they burn or stick in an uncoated pan?

At the end of the process there did appear to be residue that was stuck and the non-stick coating was not new at the start. Not many of my non-stick pans are either.

I seem to recall this discussion a few years ago.  The temperatures needed to become of possible concern are quite high and easily avoided.  Even if the temperature is high the hazard to anybody is extremely low. Your canary might fall off it's perch though.  Perhaps the stoneware range would be a better option or even a dedicated Teflon pan bought new for just one purpose. I doubt you'd have much success with this by puting powdered Turmeric in an over-heated Teflon pan. *1

When I try this I'll be using a small pan and reduced quantity on very low heat as per instructions.  My usual batch size is about 9 rounded tablespoons (Aus @ 20 ml) or approximately 1 cup in total volume. This is roughly half of the quantity in the video so my 8" pan should be adequate.

I would imagine that the same result could be achieved in a low oven (120-140'C) on a baking paper lined tray with the spices spread evenly and moved about occasionally.

Edit:  There is a question in the video's comments about bulk quantity for restaurant use to which it is answered that it is made twice weekly and done in a large rice wok.  So this would be a seasoned steel pan with no synthetic non-stick coating.

Note *1.  Video is not real time.  Observe video editing cut at the first chefs spoon of Turmeric going into the pan.  Immediate smoke. Cut to Turmeric spread across the whole pan and no smoke.  Pan too hot in Take 1 perhaps?
« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 11:38 PM by livo »
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Offline livo

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Re: Syed dry-fried mix powder
« Reply #32 on: June 02, 2020, 10:48 PM »
The sequence of cooking is a curious point Romain. I guess many are fearful of burning powdered spices in hot oil right at the start.  If you've ever done it, or burnt your garlic, you'll know that you can't continue. It's bin and start again.  This cooked curry powder may be another way of blooming the spices with reduced risk.

I have no hesitation in blooming whole seeds and other larger spices but doing powder is always a concern for me. I have never been shown exactly how hot the oil can or should be, or for what time powdered spice can or should be cooked without risk of spoiling.  I err to the side of caution and most likely at the expense of flavour and aroma.
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Offline Bob-A-Job

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Re: Syed dry-fried mix powder
« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2020, 02:55 AM »
Quick check, I couldn't find the post I saw a couple of days ago about 'mixing a small portion and frying it later'...

This struck me as a point of interest, the order in which the powders are added and so will be fried for longer.. obviously some benefit from heat more than others and so the initial Turmeric to the pan for the longest time.  Does this powder release any oils, even in dried form to help fry the other powders?
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Offline romain

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Re: Syed dry-fried mix powder
« Reply #34 on: June 03, 2020, 03:40 AM »
The sequence of cooking is a curious point Romain. I guess many are fearful of burning powdered spices in hot oil right at the start.  If you've ever done it, or burnt your garlic, you'll know that you can't continue. It's bin and start again.  This cooked curry powder may be another way of blooming the spices with reduced risk.

I have no hesitation in blooming whole seeds and other larger spices but doing powder is always a concern for me. I have never been shown exactly how hot the oil can or should be, or for what time powdered spice can or should be cooked without risk of spoiling.  I err to the side of caution and most likely at the expense of flavour and aroma.

I have burned spices. I have burned garlic. I have overcooked chicken. I have overcooked steak. My grill temp was high yesterday, my neighbour distracted me and I overcooked a lovely leg of lamb. Very sad.

I will do all of those things again. I have made more mistakes in the kitchen than I can remember. It happens to everyone. How else do you learn? It's like skiing. If you don't fall down once in a while you aren't trying hard enough.

I'm not an "expert" but I would like to suggest that anyone who is looking for that "elusive BIR something" (a term I have never understood until right now) start their quest by blooming your spices in oil. It's not hard. And it makes a huge difference.

Livo,

It's easy enough to figure out. I have started making some YouTube videos to accompany the blog - also under glebe kitchen. There are a few restaurant style curry videos where I have tried to clearly demonstrate the process. You could start there.

And then just grab your pan, some oil and a handful of some blend of Indian powdered spices. Heat your oil until it just shimmers. Toss in around 3 or 4 teaspoons (however much you usually add for a portion of curry) and stir continuously. Follow what I show in the videos. You want to be able to keep it in the zone for about 30 seconds before you add in a liquid ingredient.

If it burns you've just learned that your stove setting was too high. Throw it out, wipe out your pan and start again. In fact, if it ever starts to look like you've lost control abort by adding in your first wet ingredient (I use tomato puree in water in my workflow).

Try again. If it doesn't bubble like in the videos your heat is too low.

Try again. Eventually you will get the feel. I would be really surprised if it took you more than 5 tries to get it down. And even it takes you 10 tries what does it cost? 30 minutes of your time. A pint of oil. And $2.00 in powdered spices. What do you have to lose? It's a game changer...

If you are interested you can watch my intro to Indian restaurant video https://youtu.be/e7hgTpiXtjQ. I focus on the how and why in that video rather than the what. It is short and to the point...

Please don't fear it. Embrace it!


« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 04:00 AM by romain »

Online Hugoboss

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Re: Syed dry-fried mix powder
« Reply #35 on: June 03, 2020, 07:48 AM »
Thank you for your kind words HugoBoss. Appreciate it :smile:

I asked the question expecting this to be the answer. There seems to be two camps in the restaurant curry at home world. Those, like Phil and myself, that bloom their spices and those, like you, that don't. So I would venture the notion that what you are doing is emulating the blooming of the spices in a dry pan to some extent.

If you have the time and inclination to try blooming your spices in oil before adding the diluted tomato puree, I would love to hear if you get the same or similar flavours you are experiencing with this dry roasting technique.

I am close to the point that I would bet money that you will find the curry in which you bloom spices to be even better because the fat soluble compounds released by heating the spices wind up dissolved in the oil. Almost - because I haven't tried this dry roasting powdered spices myself.

I know, when I have tried liquid then spices, it's almost as if I've forgotten to add salt. Everything is somewhat flat and lifeless.

FWIW, my house and my local Indian restaurants smell exactly the same when I'm cooking curries and it's the point where I add powdered spices to the pan that it happens.

Romain, after 45 years of trying every method I have certainly used your approach many times also with success. However, I can cook up to 20 individual curries in one day and I prefer the small amount of liquid before dried spices as its less prone for error and everyone who eats my curries has no complaints whatsoever. This "new" method of dry roasting first helps me to maintain the safer approach but elevates the final outcome in my opinion. I can easily use your method of blooming the dried spices in oil first when I cook for myself and/or my wife so I will do a head to head at the weekend and post the flavour results.

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Re: Syed dry-fried mix powder
« Reply #36 on: June 03, 2020, 08:43 AM »
May I ask, Hugo, these 20 curries a day — are you in the catering business ?
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Offline mickyp

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Re: Syed dry-fried mix powder
« Reply #37 on: June 03, 2020, 08:48 AM »
In fact, their ground coriander is uncontaminated (albeit pricy, unless you buy their catering-size jars).  The confusion arises from the fact that in British English (don't know about American) "chilli powder" often refers to the blend of spices used to make a chilli con carne, which is why I always refer to the pure spice in its powder form as "ground chillies".  Anyhow, your own fault for using Schwartz instead of TRS/East End/Rajah/Shan/Laziza/Mehran/whatever, or even Mrs Balbir Singh's !

Your not wrong, I know better now, the pot is about 6 years old now and it only gets used for chilli con carne and the other half won’t let me chuck it. My spice cupboard contains no Schwartz whatsoever

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Re: Syed dry-fried mix powder
« Reply #38 on: June 03, 2020, 09:21 AM »
My spice cupboard contains no Schwartz whatsoever

Then you are assured of a place in Heaven, Micky, rather than looking forward to spending the afterlife having ghost chillies rubbed in your most tender regions while gently roasting in the fires of Hell !

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Offline noble ox

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Re: Syed dry-fried mix powder
« Reply #39 on: June 03, 2020, 09:51 AM »
My observation of cooking tomato paste after the spices made me notice that the cooking process stalled with cold paste.
So at prep time I used hot water to dilute which gave a more fluent result and better final taste , as with Syeds vindaloo adding his hot chilli gravy.Also noticed some birs have a pot of hot tomato dilute.
Somewhere in the archives is a post from b edwards on spice cooking worth reading if anyone missed it



 

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