Author Topic: CA's Curry Base (aka "gravy"/"sauce")  (Read 175486 times)

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Offline 976bar

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Re: CA's Curry Base (aka "gravy"/"sauce")
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2009, 08:06 PM »
I think you're right on both counts 976bar ("hallelujah!", he cried!  ;)).

I've tried exactly that (i.e. separately frying spices, etc, in oil).  I didn't have a great deal of success, but it's probably something I need to revisit.  There is a thread on it here:  http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=3295.0

I also have found that adding too much oil to the base makes it...umm....oily.

I'm surprised that Jerry managed to reclaim that oil after only 1 hour of gentle simmering.

Finally we're hopefully on the same wavelength... ;)

I'm thinking that possibly blending oil with maybe ghee or butter on a low to medium heat, will stop any burning and just fry those spices for a short while, then take off the heat and allow to cool.

I have to make some base early next week and will give this a go at the same time....

Today, I made a beef stroganoff. I used about 2 tbsp of oil plus 1 tbsp butter, where I cooked the onions until soft then added the garlic. After that I added 2 tsp of Paprika, which I cooked for around 2-3 minutes on a low heat. The smell was fantastic and the end result was probably the best stroganoff I've ever made, which I will post on here later with some pics.

But definitely frying those spices gently and for a few minutes certainly brings out the flavour more, than burning them on a high heat :)

Hope this helps......

Offline JerryM

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Re: CA's Curry Base (aka "gravy"/"sauce")
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2009, 10:26 AM »

Do you rate the reclaimed oil?

adding excess oil then removing it would weaken the spiciness of the remaining base.

all u need on reclaimed oil is here http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=2684.0. i'll update it on how long it keeps.

on weakening the spiciness - i feel no. i recently started to make a "low spice" version of the bases that i make. i was surprised that less was better. i'm now working on a norm around 2% spice c/w 3.5% previously.


Offline 976bar

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Re: CA's Curry Base (aka "gravy"/"sauce")
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2009, 10:49 AM »

Do you rate the reclaimed oil?

adding excess oil then removing it would weaken the spiciness of the remaining base.

all u need on reclaimed oil is here http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=2684.0. i'll update it on how long it keeps.

on weakening the spiciness - i feel no. i recently started to make a "low spice" version of the bases that i make. i was surprised that less was better. i'm now working on a norm around 2% spice c/w 3.5% previously.

Can you post the recipe for that please Jerry, I'd like to give it a go with a little less spice. I think you're right, less can be more :)

Offline JerryM

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Re: CA's Curry Base (aka "gravy"/"sauce")
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2009, 04:14 PM »
i cooked with the base last night. i have about 1/2 left to try out in the week.

my lad had butter chicken and my wife and myself kashmiri - they did not realise that the base was different. the curries were as good as i normally make.

i made a madras 1st which was no good for me - i have a problem with methi - the methi in the spice mix came through too strong for my taste buds (i used 1 tsp in 300ml).

i am very greatfull to CA for posting and enjoyed giving it a go. it has put my mind at rest that i haven't missed anything ie the threshold idea holds good. i now feel i don't need (and won't) try any new base recipes.

i will remake the spice mix without the leaf and powder methi and see how that goes in the week. i do like the idea of the powder garlic, cardamom and ginger in the mix powder. they were just overpowered for me by the methi.

i feel i need to try the base out on madras a bit more to come to a conclusion. the butter chicken and kashmiri don't challenge a base that much as the frying stage ingredients are more predominant.

in short - so far the base is up their with the rest but no step change.

i have pics of the curries if of any interest - they look same as i've posted before


Offline adriandavidb

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Re: CA's Curry Base (aka "gravy"/"sauce")
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2009, 01:07 PM »
Interesting to note we've followed similar paths ADVB

I've noted you comments about using home made stock and will give it another try (I've never had much joy, in the past, but I can see how it can undoubtedly add depth, savouriness and flavour).  I'll try your recipe for the stock.

I normally make about 5 litres of base in 'one-go'  The stock from the remains of one whole roast chicken (not much meat left on it after a roast dinner!) goes in it.

I usually boil it up with enough water to cover the left-overs completely (at least 2 or 3 pints), for a couple of hours or so; during the last hour I add some star anise, peppercorns,  a couple of bay leaves,  one  or three cloves (that's cloves, NOT cloves of garlic :)), cinamon; I don't bother adding the other traditional stock ingredients: onions etc, because they'll be plenty of that in the base anyway!

After is simmered for a couple of hours (3 max), I filter it through a culender , then a kitchen sieve (failing that, an old tea-towel would do).

I WOULD say tha at this stage you are likely to be put-off the whole thing by the somewhat discusting site of a  pile of nasty looking bones and slimy debris in whatever you've used to filter the stock: please don't be; it's worth sticking-with it for the results!

You should end-up with a couple of pints of watery-looking 'broth', perhaps with the odd dropplet of oil floating on top.

If it was allowed to cool at this stage a thin skin will form on the top, skim it off and chuck it - I don't normally allow it to cool before using it so this dosen't apply!

Use all of this stock, making it up to the required volume with water.

You may have to make a real conscious effort to do this as the sight of what's left of the chicken after it's removed from the stock really does seem a bit off-putting!

! REALLY recommmend anyone who hasn't tried this to give it a go: it's got be closer to BIR that most other things I've tried!

Offline Cory Ander

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Re: CA's Curry Base (aka "gravy"/"sauce")
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2009, 04:35 PM »
Thanks for your reply and further details ADVB. 

I have tried numerous stocks in the past (including off-the-shelf liquid stocks, stock cubes and granules, "akhni stock" and home made stock of chicken, vegetables and meat) but I will retry adding chicken stock, as you describe.

I am determined to find (what I feel must be) that missing ingredient from the curry base!
Regards,

CA :)

Offline JerryM

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Re: CA's Curry Base (aka "gravy"/"sauce")
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2009, 07:07 PM »
i had a go at the stock a while ago (link to pic http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=2614.msg23080#msg23080).

it was part of making currytesters base. the ghee was too strong for what i'm used to in terms of BIR taste. i also recall the stock not really taking me in the direction of BIR.

i took out the freezer the last few ice cubes of base from my local TA at the weekend to compare it with CA's base. i'd already compared it with the other bases i make regular (rajver, saffron, mytake CRO2). i've not been able to detect any real difference that could produce a step change in the taste of the final curries i make. i honestly think it must be at cooking stage in terms of ingredient or spice that accounts for that missing bit.

CA - are u able to describe what u feel is missing. i'll give it some thought overnight. i find it very difficult to put into words. i'll ask the boss.

pic is BIR base LH - CA's aka RH.


Offline JerryM

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Re: CA's Curry Base (aka "gravy"/"sauce")
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2009, 07:19 AM »
i asked the family (the lad and the boss). they said it was difficult to pick out differences as we buy a different dish from the TA (garlic chicken) than we make at home.

their differences were:
1) less oil than BIR
2) less salt than BIR
3) no 1/4 fresh tomato

my differences would be:
4) don't know the "exact" ingredients well enough per dish
5) tendency to add too much spice (i've just started reducing from 2 to 1 tsp per portion)
6) don't tend to have "all" the BIR ingredients in place down to time and availability

as i said earlier. the objective for me was to put to bed that the difference lies in the base. making CA's base has confirmed this for me and recipe improvement is now my focus (i have the equipment and technique sorted).

i think the other thing to remember is that u will never be able to get the exact taste of a dish from a BIR without knowing exactly what's done and what goes in. the test for me is if u close u're eyes would what u've cooked pass as BIR ie would someone eat it and that they'd think it was from a BIR.

Offline JerryM

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Re: CA's Curry Base (aka "gravy"/"sauce")
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2009, 08:08 AM »
on the real BIR base comparison with the site bases - there are 3 key differences:

1) much lower spice
2) much higher onion content
3) less veg

this view comes from the taste difference. the real BIR is spiced but very much in the background. the texture appears very watery but there is a lot of quite coarse fragments of onion (suggesting my blender is better than theirs). the appearance is of a 2nd rate base ie cost focused c/w to what i'd call the sites bases as "delux". i've made onion only base before and been amazed how good it tastes. i'm also conscious of the KD1 base which i've made a lot (essentially onion only) this is too cheap in comparison to the real BIR.

what i'm getting at is i think the ingredients are known - there's nothing new or missing. we've just got to be more "cost focused" on how much of everything that we use that is relatively expensive. i count onion and water as the only exceptions.

Offline joshallen2k

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Re: CA's Curry Base (aka "gravy"/"sauce")
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2009, 04:38 PM »
Quote
i asked the family (the lad and the boss). they said it was difficult to pick out differences as we buy a different dish from the TA (garlic chicken) than we make at home.

their differences were:
1) less oil than BIR
2) less salt than BIR
3) no 1/4 fresh tomato

Jerry, are you saying you compared CA's base head to head with BIR and those were the differences you noticed?

What dish did you make?

They put a quarter tomato in the base?

Is the BIR where you got the base from any good? Consistent?

Would you feel that if you upped the oil and salt content of CA's, that it would be closer to a match?

You mentioned that base was thin... in the pic, it looked on the thick side.

You go on to say....

Quote
on the real BIR base comparison with the site bases - there are 3 key differences:

1) much lower spice
2) much higher onion content
3) less veg

Very different observations than the first three. Is this in comparison again to CA's base, or a generalization you have come up with?

How does CA's base compare on those three differences?

Sorry for all the questions. I just get a little more excited when a member is able to head-to-head with a BIR base and be specific on the differences. I have no such luxury here...

Thx,
Josh


 

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