Author Topic: Another brick lane demo  (Read 6673 times)

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Offline grimmo

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Another brick lane demo
« on: March 17, 2005, 04:07 PM »
Okay, I?ve? finally had time to knock something together. I won?t repeat the thing Pete mentioned in his earlier review so assume that? things? not mentioned remain the same.

I met up with an old school mate that id not seen for a while for the demo. The restaurant was quiet and we had a pint and went over the menu. The choice was a little disappointing. My regular dish is a CTP, but as I?d just tried Mark J?s excellent recipe a few days earlier (btw,? i think? Dylans should also produce a very good result? - I plan to revisit this as I went astray first time)?anyway, I was planning to go for something different. In the end I went for a CT Jalfrezi, and my mate, curious by the title, went for a CT Balti Jalfrezi.

Once dressed up in chefs whites and hat, we went down to the kitchen. As I?d had to get over from Heathrow we?d had to start the lesson later so we omitted the cooking of the base sauce (in hindsight it might have been useful to see if they?d given the same recipe as to Pete). The base sauce itself was indeed thin. It looked very similar to me to what some of? the recipes on here produce i.e. a thin smooth soup like yellow opaque sauce with about a half inch layer of dark red oil on top. The chef said he?d made that batch that morning.

First up he got the pilau rice on the go.? Into a big casserole sized pot.

1.5 ladles of ghee (call it four dessert spoons - 4DSP).
Then 3 DSP of onion
1 TSP salt

After 2 mins of frying in went the pre-washed rice
Then 3 bay leaves (3 three veined variety)
4 cloves
2 green Cardomons
Cassia Bark/Cinnamon Stick (couple of inches)
And something that I thought he called ?Gultri?. Not sure what it was but it was a round flat spice about the size of a two pence piece. Any ideas what this was?

This all went in together and then was fried for 2-3 mins.

He then added water to an inch over the rice and he said ?boiled? for 5 mins with the lid on. I?d actually say simmered as the heat was quite low.

Next up was Sag Baji. All the following cooked in? 8 inch pans.

I DSP of chopped garlic (not chopped as fine as you might think it would need to be).
4 DSP of veg oil
2 DSP onion
? TSP of salt
A pinch of ?metti potti? that what his answer sounded like when I asked. ?Id got distracted here and didn?t get a good look. It was a green herb. Anyone any ideas?
1 TSP tumeric
5 DSP spinach (cooked and dried).

All cooked on high heat, stirred and shaken vigourously for a minute or so.

Then 1 Ladle of curry gravy
1 TSP fresh coriander
1 TSP quartered toms

Simmer for 2 mins. The taken off heat.

Next up Bombay Aloo.

1 Ladle oil
1 TSO onion
1 TSP of toms paste (from ?family size? tin)
1 TSP salt
1 TSP curry powder
Pre-cooked potatoes
A couple of piece of sliced tom
1 Ladle of curry gravy
Fresh coriander
Cook on high heat for 2 mins. Shake and stir vigourously. Take off heat.

Then CT Jalfrezi

 1 Ladle of ghee/veg oil. Not sure of ratio ? presume 50/50

1 DSP onion
1 DSP tom paste
1 TSP salt
1 TSP curry powder
1 TSP chilli powder
A portion of green chillis - chopped lengthways (seeds left in).
1 ladle of curry gravy
Pre cooked onion
Pre cooked Chicken Tikka
Pre cooked pepper
A couple of quartered toms
Fresh Coriander

Total time for all these ingredient to go in was 3 mins max (on high heat).

He then simmered on medium heat for another few mins added 2 more ladles of curry gravy when it got a little dry.

Next came the Balti Jalfrezi.

Basically it was the same recipe except for

1 DSP of Pataks Balti paste put in instead of the tom paste!

This might seem a bit of a cheat. However, when served, one was darker than the other and as they came in different dishes and with a different garnish (one had additional coriander, one had strands of red onion) you would expect them to taste a fair bit different. I suppose that?s half the trick?

There you go. No startling revelations but it may help to confirm a few things already worked out.

 Overall I?d say that the Bengal Cuisine was very nice, but just very average curry house fare in fairness. I?d guess that at somewhere of higher quality, you might get slight more complexity/sophistication to the ingredients, and dish variations.

I would recommend that anyone goes on this. We had loads of food and with two free pints of kingfisher each thrown in, it's hard to grumble at the cost.


Anything I may have missed out or been a bit vague on, give me a shout, and I?ll try to expand on.

Cheers

Phil.
?
ps - If anyone can get a bonafide restaurant korma recipe that would be great. It's the only curry my missus will eat and I can't get close to the resturant variety with the recipes tried to date.
? ?

Offline joe2

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Re: Another brick lane demo
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2005, 06:24 PM »
Bet that was a great experience, but its a shame you missed the making of the base, as we seem to have nominated the 'secret'of the making of the base as priority number one.


Offline curryqueen

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Re: Another brick lane demo
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2005, 07:10 PM »
Hi Grimmo,

Could it have been star anise that he put into the pilau rice?  It is about the size of a 2 pence piece but is like a five pointed star.   Curryhouse cookery ebook uses them in the pilau rice recipe too.  Shame both of your dishes were almost the same, nevermind, I might try it myself soon.

Offline Yellow Fingers

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Re: Another brick lane demo
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2005, 07:50 PM »
Phil thanks for the post it is very interesting. The 'metti' is kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaf).
I have loads of questions:

That seems like a lot of oil for the pilau. How much rice was used?

Did you get the brand of the 'family size' tomato paste?

What was the brand of curry powder used?

Can you elaborate on what you mean by dried spinach?

Was vegetable or butter ghee used?

Hope you can answer some of these? :)



Offline Mark J

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Re: Another brick lane demo
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2005, 09:11 PM »
Nice one Phil,

Methi - yes definitely dried fenugreek leaf.

The CTJ sounds almost exactly as I would expect the kitchens I have been in to cook it

It's all in the base sauce or maybe ghee to my mind?

cheers

Mark

Offline Curry King

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Re: Another brick lane demo
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2005, 09:27 AM »
Has anyone actually made the brick lane gravy that Pete posted and can say if it was any good or not? 
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Offline grimmo

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Re: Another brick lane demo
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2005, 09:35 AM »
Answers to questions:


The rice used was enough for four. One of the things I'd noticed was that the use of oil and ghee was even more liberal than I was expecting. The amoung of ghee drizzled onto the nans was amlost beyond belief!

The tomato tin was just a stainless steel tin, think the label had just been removed.

No idea on curry powder brand, but going on the empty jars I'd say one of the main brands found in Asian food shops.

The spinach had been cooked and allowed to dry. Its wasnt at all mushy as it can be. I suppose it had been part cooked and left to dry.

Butter ghee for the naans, vegetable ghee for the currys. The butter ghee was actually a big pots of the stuff in a green tin that you can get off the speciality foods shelf in Sainsburys. I forget the brand.

I dont think it was ?star anise, I have some of that in the cupboard at home. I was pale brown in colour. I don't think it was that vital an ingredient.

I'd agree. It's all in the base sauce and it's a bit of a conundrum.

Without meaning to be disrespectfu to curry chefs, curries at this level are assembled more than really prepared with any subltety. I did ask the chef what was in his base and he replied something along the lines of ?"onions, galric ginger, water...very simple".

The conundrum is why no-one on here can crack something that I can't see being that much of a trade secret. ? Skill no doubt comes into it, but surely it can't need that much skill.

If someone can get into a kitchen for the day and see the process right through and hopefully repeated a couple of times, ?I think that is the best chance of cracking it. Is there anyone that thinks they might be able to talk their local curry house owner into this???



Offline grimmo

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Re: Another brick lane demo
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2005, 09:39 AM »
I have a pot of it in the frigde at the moment using that recipe. I cooked it for getting on for 4 hours. It looks very similar to what I saw but still doesnt have that missing taste element. That said, the browing of the garlic is something I might not have got bang on which might explain it.

One thought I had is whether MSG is added. I dont know too much about it but believe it is added to chinese food. Could it also be added to curry, and would it have any effect on taste?

Offline Curry King

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Re: Another brick lane demo
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2005, 09:48 AM »
I have a pot of it in the frigde at the moment using that recipe. I cooked it for getting on for 4 hours. It looks very similar to what I saw but still doesnt have that missing taste element.

How strange given that its come from a restaurant chef that actually uses it to make he's currys, you would have thought that it would be as good as it gets  ???
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Offline pete

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Re: Another brick lane demo
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2005, 01:17 PM »
Those recipes are brilliant and I can't wait to try them.
The "missing" flavour must be in the base, though. where else could it be?
The other parts of the recipe are all very ordinairy.
I think the flavour comes from preparing a very large quantity of curry gravy in one go.
It just can't be as difficult as we are making it!
No way do you need a university degree to make the stuff and no way is there a secret ingredient that they hide.
Like the man said "it's simple"



 

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