Author Topic: BIR Myths..........Seeing the Wood for the Trees  (Read 40375 times)

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Offline Secret Santa

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Re: BIR Myths..........Seeing the Wood for the Trees
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2013, 05:32 PM »
Vegetable ghee is something I've yet to resolve

Nothing to resolve in my humble (ok, maybe not so humble) opinion.  ;D

For a short while, several decades ago now, I used veg ghee in traditional Indian cooking and saw no benefit from its use. However, as some on this forum have insisted it's a vital part of the base and curries I (very sceptically) thought I'd try it again, just in case I'd missed something. And, again, I'm left wondering how people fool themselves into believing that a tasteless vegetable fat (Khanum brand in my case) could in any way add to the BIR experience or be a vital ingredient.

I'm therefore intrigued as to what the veg ghee acolytes feel that it does for the curry - perhaps I'm just using it wrongly?

Offline natterjak

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Re: BIR Myths..........Seeing the Wood for the Trees
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2013, 06:02 PM »
Vegetable ghee is something I've yet to resolve

I'm therefore intrigued as to what the veg ghee acolytes feel that it does for the curry - perhaps I'm just using it wrongly?
I'm guessing, because I'm not an "acolyte" myself, but is it down to "mouth feel"? Ie does the ghee, being saturated fat, coat the taste buds in a way in which unsaturated veg oil does not? In which case it could act as a "flavour enhancer" whilst having no discernible flavour itself. (In the same way MSG does)

All speculation on my part, I hasten to add


Offline harley

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Re: BIR Myths..........Seeing the Wood for the Trees
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2013, 06:18 PM »
The use of onion gravy for the bulk of a curry is clearly the largest factor, but i know for sure that blindly following a recipe on here or elsewhere, will unlikely produce the bir flavour at home. I notice how many people new to making curries with base gravy, frequently report "better than their local" results, after only a few attempts, while grizzled curry veterans disagree. ???. Something wrong there.


I notice you say that a lot about new members, must be 3-4 times in the past week or so you've repeated that.

I've read many of the long threads here, been a lurker for 2 years and to me it seems a mixture of some "experienced" people have cracked it and some new members have while some new members report to not getting it right, wasting their money and never posting again disappointed while being encouraged to stick at it.

Some of mine lately have been lacking the aroma, depth of flavour. I thought my spices needed replacing but last night my curry turned out as good as the best ones. I seemed to go down a route of over doing the cooking. I changed a bit to keep it more liquidy throughout the cooking, not to dwell to much at each stage and really brought out the aroma and knew soon as I go that smell the curry would be good. Seems to be a fine line between spoiling the curry. I can see more how when chefs talk about preventing the spices from burning, over do it a fraction its gone.

Maybe some so called experienced are stuck on a way of doing things from years ago when less info was around, or can't actually cook, or don't see what is going on in front of them and know what to adjust on the fly. What is experienced anyway? Someone who cooks in general who maybe considers themselves good could easily not get the spices thing for years as its a lot different. Even more so when you get guys who don't cook at all before their curry quest but have been at it for years and seen as some curry guru.

One experienced member was claiming (can't remember the name) how he wasn't getting the bir taste/aroma. Many pages later in the discussion back and forth he actually elaborated that actually he was on about some mystical 70s taste and aroma and could replicate BIR/TA of today. I also read many new members who state they're trying something and never report back. So many dead end threads and posts on this forum. Then you have member jb has replicated everything, had lessons, does the spiced oil properly. Is he not experienced enough?

When I think of good curry houses, the chefs have been brought up cooking spices every day, they build up a knowledge and get taught from parents and know what's happening in the process. Your typical English curry quester hasn't and may never get it right most of the time, conversely he/she may find a way that works by chance and stick to it or is good at observing and taking in info to get better.

Reminds of italians mama's special sauce, you can spend years and never get close. Also when watching some Asian cooking programs, the elder parent said how it took 20-30 years to get as good as their parents.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 06:39 PM by harley »

Offline Yousef

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Re: BIR Myths..........Seeing the Wood for the Trees
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2013, 07:10 PM »
Well put Harley.
I think it's down to understanding heat and releasing the spices correctly during cooking.

In addition the reduction of liquid concentrates the flavour and I believe these factors all contribute to getting close to the BIR.

Next time you make a spice mix where possible use whole spices and roast them and grind in a postal and mortar, e.g cumin seeds and coriander seeds.... Changes the game.

Stew


Offline ELW

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Re: BIR Myths..........Seeing the Wood for the Trees
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2013, 08:24 PM »
Hi Harley, "say that alot about new members"? yes glad that drew some debate.I'm a fairly new member here myself & considering there's not a whole lot of places around to dicuss bir cooking, I'll use new members posts to gauge what is "known" & what is not. I also credit people who have gone out of their way to join a forum such as this, who have been posting their results for +6 years, with some cooking skills.
"Experienced" On cro(?) I reckon is awareness of information gained from kitchens & their subsequent home replications. I put it all together. Recipe's on here are useless to me without user feedback.

@jb. yes i'm very familiar with jb's input. (base gravy fom his fav bir is similar to his home version)..he may have something more interesting coming up than that soon though

@admin - I was in what a lot of people consider one of the best bir restaurants in Glasgow last night(est 1959), mad expensive......trs powdered spice on their shelves :-\

Regards
ELW
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 08:39 PM by ELW »

Offline Stephen Lindsay

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Re: BIR Myths..........Seeing the Wood for the Trees
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2013, 08:41 PM »
I really don't subscribe to this notion of granny's lentil soup requires 30 years effort to get it right - to me this is one of the myths that we need to kick into touch.

Offline ELW

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Re: BIR Myths..........Seeing the Wood for the Trees
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2013, 08:48 PM »
I really don't subscribe to this notion of granny's lentil soup requires 30 years effort to get it right - to me this is one of the myths that we need to kick into touch.
Beat me to that Just edited my post to reflect that stephen

?? anyone else posting & not appearing...is the modify time shorter?
am i using white font on a white background?


What I was posting was that bir is set up for mass production, pre bir boom it may have resembled traditional cooking in a way, minus the meat stock gravy used across the board. The t/a acroos the road from me sells; donner kebab, bir range(huge), fish & chips, pizza. The chef?, well he works in the newsagents next door during the day as his boss own it all. In the small amount of bir video footage available, i don't ever remember seeing a bir chef tasting the food as he goes


Offline Stephen Lindsay

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Re: BIR Myths..........Seeing the Wood for the Trees
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2013, 09:32 PM »
agree entirely ELW - I'll bet only a fraction of BIR chefs are actually qualified chefs. There's no secret, no holy grail and no missing 5%. As Bruce Edwards says we have all the info we need on this site.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 09:48 PM by Stephen Lindsay »

Offline JerryM

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Re: BIR Myths..........Seeing the Wood for the Trees
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2013, 03:51 PM »
this site is a fantastic opportunity to all to cook BIR "restaurant quality" at home.

there are though several drawbacks (am sure you can work them out) which stem from peoples expectations or needs being different - what tastes good to one person often does not to another. what's worse is that dishes vary across BIR's.

i see BIR as a jigsaw and not only do you need all the pieces but they need to be in the right orientation to fit. i am as confident as i can be that all the pieces are posted and most are in the right orientation. some have a big effect some very small.

what this means to me is that i see no need to improve 4 off mains yet a further say 10 off need work. this has only been achieved through the site - reading and searching posts to find my gaps.

the only help i can offer is to try things for yourself and drop them if they don't work.

Offline JerryM

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Re: BIR Myths..........Seeing the Wood for the Trees
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2013, 04:06 PM »
the veg ghee piece is a fair example.

what alerted me to it was if a TA meal aluminum container got cold there is always a very small amount of solid fat to be seen around the rim. my oil stays liquid even in the fridge.

the ashoka base confirmed use in it's base - if you compare the base with standard site bases you realise the effect is too much. it adds a smoothness nothing else.

yes for sure it can be left out - it's contribution is small.

the trouble is if all the "smalls" are left out then the result won't be BIR. 

ps the chriswg posts confirmed for me it is also used in red masala.


 

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