Author Topic: Syed's basic chicken curry and pilao rice  (Read 2085 times)

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Offline Secret Santa

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Re: Syed's basic chicken curry and pilao rice
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2020, 03:51 PM »
I don't understand why anyone would want their emulsification to break like this and spoon the oil off (unless calories were more important than flavour). You aren't just lifting calories. All the flavour from the spice infused oil is lost as well.

There's nothing inherently wrong with adding an excess of oil. Indeed I would argue that an excess is required to achieve a BIR result. I do spoon off all excess when the curry has cooked though (oil separation a must as an indicator of doneness) and use this as my spiced oil rather than creating a batch from fresh. So the spice infused oil is not "lost" it is reused.
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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Syed's basic chicken curry and pilao rice
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2020, 03:52 PM »
As regards the oil on the base why don't you either:

a) spoon it off before using the base (it can of course be reused so no waste) and/or
b) give the base a good stir each time before use to distribute what oil there is uniformly throughout the base?

The latter may work — I will try it this evening, D.v./insha'Allah.  But the former I would not do, simply because I like a film of oil on my bulk base — it acts as a protective layer, and stops the organic layer underneath from festering if I forget to re-heat it for a few days.

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Offline romain

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Re: Syed's basic chicken curry and pilao rice
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2020, 05:48 PM »
I don't understand why anyone would want their emulsification to break like this and spoon the oil off (unless calories were more important than flavour). You aren't just lifting calories. All the flavour from the spice infused oil is lost as well.

There's nothing inherently wrong with adding an excess of oil. Indeed I would argue that an excess is required to achieve a BIR result. I do spoon off all excess when the curry has cooked though (oil separation a must as an indicator of doneness) and use this as my spiced oil rather than creating a batch from fresh. So the spice infused oil is not "lost" it is reused.

I'm not sure if we are speaking across each other. How much oil is excess oil in your estimation? I  typically run 4-6 tablespoons of oil in each portion so is excess 10 tablespoons?

My observation is simply that there are a significant number of oil soluble compounds in spices. If you cook your curry until it breaks and spoon it off then those spice flavour compounds are not in the oil you have spooned off and not in your final dish. Further, the mouthfeel provided from the fat is also removed.

Also, why do you feel that breaking the emulsion is an indication of the dish being done? What characterizes done?

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Re: Syed's basic chicken curry and pilao rice
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2020, 07:13 PM »
However, what is a ladle ?  I have no idea how many ml of base Syed's ladle holds, any more than I know how much mine holds.  In his video, I see him adding approximately 31/2 ladles of base.  I added 2.  That may have been only 0.57 of the required amount, it may have been more, it may have been less.  FOAM sufferers would undoubtedly have asked Syed how much his ladle holds.  I did not.

So this evening I decided to see how much my ladles do hold.  I have four, but only three were quickly accessible (including the one that I used to make the curry yesterday) so I measured those.  70, 80 and 120 ml respectively.  It was the 120 ml that I used yesterday, so that was 240 ml or two cups of base.  My observation of Syed's video suggested to me that he used 31/2 ladles, but 31/2 of what size ?  If he used a 70ml ladle (my smallest), then 31/2 x 70 = 245 ml — virtually the same amount that I used.  The only way to resolve this is to ask Syed to measure his ladle.  I will do that.

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Offline vinotinto

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Re: Syed's basic chicken curry and pilao rice
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2020, 07:41 PM »
Well I may be going against the grain, but the oil doesn't bother me - and given you think its one of the best you've made Phil then I think I shall follow suit with this recipe.  As others say, you can spoon the oil off but I reckon I'd be soaking it up on my nan bread :)

Offline livo

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Re: Syed's basic chicken curry and pilao rice
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2020, 07:42 PM »
He adds a little extra on several occasions after the initial gravy and continually refers to the thin consistency of the 'Curry' as opposed the 'Bhuna'. I think that right at the start he emphasises that his Base Gravy has been thinned down for the dish as well, but I'd need to re-watch it to confirm.
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Re: Syed's basic chicken curry and pilao rice
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2020, 08:42 PM »
Please see photographs (below) of tonight's version.  Sadly not on a par with yesterday's.  As "instructed", I used the full 31/2 ladles of base.  It was too much, as I had feared it would be.  The spicing was too dilute, the flavour lacking.  I ate only five of the seven pieces of chicken, and shall use my own judgement in future as to how much base to add.  The basic problem is that if there is almost twice as much base but you want the same level of flavour with the same amount of spice, you have to reduce the volume to the same as was made using two ladles, and then the sauce will be too thick.  The alternative, which is the one I chose, is to reduce until the consistency is correct and then put up with the lack of flavour.  Ah well, at least I now have a new Chasseur casserole dish at a very reasonable price.

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Offline livo

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Re: Syed's basic chicken curry and pilao rice
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2020, 10:52 PM »
Looks to me like you need a new dinner plate to go with that Chasseur casserole Phil. Is that a crack running right across it?  The father of a surfing mate of mine growing up would have smashed it on sight.  Right or wrong  he destroyed any cracked crockery after proclaiming it to be a bacteria breeding colony.

Now that I've had a go at your plate, I'll say that I'm not a fan of wet curry either. In my experience excess gravy is wasted and ends up down the sink.  I imagine the spice could be adjusted by simply adding extra mixed curry powder if you did like wet curry and wanted the extra.  Syed does definately say to double the spice mix if cooking fresh or boiled chicken. 

I don't know if it's just lighting, but your basic chicken curry appears to be much darker than mine, and (from memory) Syed's.

I haven't gone back to check on whether he uses watered down gravy yet.  If he does that could explain the colour difference but it would also mean even lighter spicing than you're getting.  Ok. I'm pretty sure he's referring to the gravy in the finished curry being thinner, and not the base gravy.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 11:07 PM by livo »
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Re: Syed's basic chicken curry and pilao rice
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2020, 06:23 AM »
Looks to me like you need a new dinner plate to go with that Chasseur casserole Phil. Is that a crack running right across it?  The father of a surfing mate of mine growing up would have smashed it on sight.  Right or wrong  he destroyed any cracked crockery after proclaiming it to be a bacteria breeding colony.

"Bacteria, schmacteria".  Yes, the plate was cracked; it remained that way, getting slowly worse, for about eighteen months, and then the two parts finally parted.  I took my trusty two-part Araldite epoxy resin, stuck it together, and it remains perfect to this day (and handles being washed up daily in quite hot water).

Quote
I don't know if it's just lighting, but your basic chicken curry appears to be much darker than mine, and (from memory) Syed's.

When I feel more awake I will bring the remains of last night's curry upstairs to check if the on-screen colour rendition is faithful and report back.

[Update :  OK, I have both the plate and the pan upstairs now, and whilst the colour rendition is not perfect, it is not so far off as to create a false impression.  Do you have any photographs of your basic chicken curry, Livo (and if not, could you take one/some next time ?).  I have to say, the sauce has improved immensely simply by being left overnight — if it weren't so d@mned early in the morning, I might be tempted to resume eating the curry !).

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« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 08:44 AM by Peripatetic Phil »
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Offline livo

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Re: Syed's basic chicken curry and pilao rice
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2020, 10:47 AM »
You must really like that dinner plate Phil. I can't say I've ever bothered Aralditing a dinner plate back together and probably never will.

There is a picture of my Basic Chicken Curry over on Josephine from June 22.  It is the 3 pieces of chicken right at the top but unfortunately the gravy is under the Turmeric Rice.  You can however see, from the colour of the chicken pieces, that it is clearly a much lighter colour than yours.  I'll be doing another tomorrow.
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