Author Topic: How to Make Spicy Oil ? The Secret to Truly Replicating BIR curries?  (Read 71615 times)

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Offline Cory Ander

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There is no doubt that many members will be more than happy with the results they are getting from the recipes on this forum.  There is also no doubt that many of these recipes are capable of producing a very tasty curry that is bound to suitably impress family and friends.

However, there is also no doubt (in my mind...you may disagree, of course) that none are actually capable of producing the depth of flavour and aroma (i.e. sweet, smokey and savoury) which is the trademark (whether it be a humble mushroom or saag bhaji, tarka dhal, special fried rice, korma, tikka masala, madras, phal, etc...anything with OIL in it...not necessarily curry base!) of a decent British Indian Restaurant (BIR).

a)   Many have conjectured that it's "all in the technique" used to prepare the final dish.

b)   Many (including me) have conjectured that it's "all in the curry base"

c)   Many have conjectured that it's largely to do with using "reused" oil.

I have tried many permutations of the above, but with limited success (i.e. with respect to producing a curry that is TRULY a replica of a decent BIR curry regarding taste and smell).

However, I am heartened by Haldi's recent claims (which I believe, knowing his fanaticism and dedication to the goal) that he is able to fully produce replica BIR curry bases, together with decent BIR curries, "simply" by using the "reused" oil supplied by his local BIR.  He considers this paramount to truly producing curries with "the taste" and "the smell" of a decent BIR curry.

Therefore, the question is - how can we reproduce this spicy oil at home?

Many people reclaim and use the oil floating on the curry base.  I've tried this and, alone, it doesn't seem to produce the depth of flavour and savouriness I'm looking to replicate.

What other methods have members used to synthesise this spicy oil?  What have been your conclusions?  Alternatively, what methods would members suggest I try?
« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 12:01 AM by Cory Ander »
Regards,

CA :)

Offline Curry King

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Re: How to Make Spicy Oil ? The Secret to Truly Replicating BIR curries?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2009, 02:58 PM »
I don't think you replicate it at home due to the volumes a fully running BIR will go through.  It's not like a base recipe that you can scale down, the amount of oil that gets used\reused in a nights cooking must be a few months worth at home. You could keep topping up your spiced oil with oil from finished curry's but as said it would take weeks before you got anywhere near the amount of times a BIR would do it in just one night.
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Offline lightboy

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Re: How to Make Spicy Oil ? The Secret to Truly Replicating BIR curries?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2009, 03:25 PM »
I tend to concur with CK .. i think the flavour from the oil is a result of many many
usings.. it needs to be really infused with flavour to make much of a difference ..
personally i think the BIR "taste" we are looking for is probably:

15% due to base
35% due to cooking method
50% due to oil

regarding cooking method .. i once asked a guy i got very friendly with called Raj, who ran an epic BIR(sadly now closed) near me in Ilkeston, what the secret to the taste was .. and though he was a bit coy, he said as well as ingredients, the cooking method was very important and when i asked him to illucidate further, all he said was that the first 30 seconds or so are the most important .. but that was all i got out of him ..

Offline Derek Dansak

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Re: How to Make Spicy Oil ? The Secret to Truly Replicating BIR curries?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2009, 03:38 PM »
Hi CA, i have often thought this spiced oil is the answer. however from time spent in a bir kitchen i did not see them using such oil. they could have been lying when they said they only used veg oil. i think they did hold back on some secrets of the trade, as they stand to gain nothing by revealling all. however during my demo's over several weeks, i was baffled as to how they got those missing flavors. its odd. it must be something to do with bulk cooking and possibly the oil. wish i new the answer mate :)


Offline Frying Tonight

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Re: How to Make Spicy Oil ? The Secret to Truly Replicating BIR curries?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2009, 05:33 PM »
CoryAnder, have you tried going to a BIR and purchasing some oil from the top of a simmering base?  Cook with it, and then you'll know.   

Offline haldi

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Re: How to Make Spicy Oil ? The Secret to Truly Replicating BIR curries?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2009, 05:36 PM »
We all are trying to get a 100% result
I am extremely miffed that I have done this four times using BIR oil.
I have had about a litre of the stuff, taken from the top of a restaurant curry gravy.
I used it in conjunction with home made curry gravy and it was incredible.
The aroma of this oil heating up was absolutely euphoric

This oil is SO important
At all the demos I have been to they fry the garlic/ginger for ages and it doesn't brown
If I use fresh oil (or even my salvaged curry gravy oil) things start burning after moments.

I have watched them start a dish with tomato puree cooking in the oil
They lazily spread it around the pan as the flames leap up.
When I cook tomato puree it turns dark and bitter very quickly.

The oil tastes amazing and affects how everything is cooked
You are cooking all the ingredients in a totally different way
The gas is up high but the oil temperature is low

Please someone else, try it


Offline SnS

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Re: How to Make Spicy Oil ? The Secret to Truly Replicating BIR curries?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2009, 05:58 PM »
Is there a difference between 'recycled' oil and 'seasoned' oil?

I definitely think so. Purposely seasoned oil may well be the answer to that missing 5%.

I ask because seasoned fresh oil is used in other branches of Asian cookery.


Offline Unclebuck

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Re: How to Make Spicy Oil ? The Secret to Truly Replicating BIR curries?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2009, 06:26 PM »
Quote
How to Make Spicy Oil ?
this pops it head up from time to time heres some older threads

Spiced Oil Recipe
http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=789.0

Spiced oil
http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=735.0

It's in the oil and technique used - I think!
http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=190.msg1069#msg1069

Spiced oil from a BIR
http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=782.0

Offline Cory Ander

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Re: How to Make Spicy Oil ? The Secret to Truly Replicating BIR curries?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2009, 11:13 PM »
I don't think you replicate it at home due to the volumes a fully running BIR will go through

I'm not suggesting we try to produce it in exactly the same way as BIRs do (i.e. loads of frying, of large volumes of ingredients, in loads of oil).

I'm suggesting we "create" an alternative method for producing a spiced oil infusion...e.g. by frying a mixture of spices/garlic/ginger/onions/chillis, etc, in, say, a litre of oil.

I'm sure that, if it is done in a BIR, it can be reproduced at home...and probably with more consistent and reproducable results.

The question is how?
Regards,

CA :)

Offline Cory Ander

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Re: How to Make Spicy Oil ? The Secret to Truly Replicating BIR curries?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2009, 11:17 PM »
from time spent in a bir kitchen i did not see them using such oil

Yes, I anticipated that this one would raise it's head.  A number of members have also stated that their local BIRs only use fresh oil.  The trouble for me is that I've exhausted any other viable (and realistic) options that I can think of!
Regards,

CA :)


 

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