Author Topic: Ashoka Recipes  (Read 9940 times)

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Offline Bobby Bhuna

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Re: Ashoka Recipes
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2009, 07:38 PM »
Hi Panpot,

I'm really sorry that my post came across that way. I do really appreciate all your time and effort and should have undoubtedly been more tactful. Please don't let my negativity detract from your enjoyment of the forum. Reading Jerry and CA's responses (experienced members that have posted recipes that I enjoy) it looks likely that my attempt at the base / recipe was lacking. I do recall not getting East End marge and settling for a "spread", since nothing in Tesco actually said "margarine". I also used cumin seed rather than powder due to a mistake in the recipe which was later corrected.

Having read the feedback to my post, it is obvious that many people do thoroughly enjoy and have learned a great deal from your Ashoka experiences. Keep up the good work and I will try to get a change to revisit the Ashoka recipes, hopefully gaining superior results by sticking to the recipe religiously.

Once again, I'm sorry for coming across with such negativity.

Cheers

BB :)

FYI, The Ashokas I visit were the Ashoka Shak Dundee and the Ashoka Shak Coatbridge.

Offline Cory Ander

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Re: Ashoka Recipes
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2009, 12:26 AM »
Hi Bobby,

I do agree that the margarine and coconut (particularly in the specified quantities) imparts a particular and somewhat "different" flavour and texture to the base.  Not to everyone's taste, I'm sure.

It is also quite garlicky (which I think is what I probably enjoyed about it).

The onion paste also delivers a lovely aroma (though I'm not sure it adds much to the taste of the final curry) and is probably worth pursuing.

Unfortunately, I haven't tried the Ashoka base with any of PP's main dish Ashoka recipes.  They are quite different (to me) and I have a bit of difficulty getting my head around them (being of the old Bangladeshi BIR brigade!)  :P


Offline Secret Santa

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Re: Ashoka Recipes
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2009, 08:52 AM »
I've already said that I appreciate Panpot's efforts on this so I won't repeat it again...oh wait I just did!

However, there's regional variation and there's just plain wrong, and the Ashoka stuff is just plain wrong.

It's BIR style, no question about that but, for example, a Rogon Josh with high (or any) amounts of coconut, nuts, and cream is in no way a Rogon Josh, it's way way off the mark.

I'll stick to more traditional bases, the likes of CA's and Bruce Edward's, which produce curries that come close to about 99% of BIRs in the UK...i.e. those that aren't part of the Ashoka chain.

It seems that they have deliberately gone all out to completely redefine each dish by ignoring any basis on which the BIR dishes are founded, i.e. the original 'authentic' pakistani/indian/bangladeshi recipes.

Not my cup of chai at all!

What a shoka!

P.S. Panpot, I think you need to separate out criticism of you, and I don't think there has really been any, and criticism of the Ashoka method, for which there has been plenty!

Offline Secret Santa

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Re: Ashoka Recipes
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2009, 09:19 AM »
There are lots of jars of onion chutneys/relishes in the shops which seem to do the job just as well, try Baxters...

I looked for one but can only find 'cranberry and caramelised onion'! Not exactly BIR, but would add a seasonal touch to the curries.   :D


Offline Cory Ander

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Re: Ashoka Recipes
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2009, 09:40 AM »
However, there's regional variation and there's just plain wrong, and the Ashoka stuff is just plain wrong.

I'm not sure it's "wrong" SS, but it certainly is different.

Offline Panpot

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Re: Ashoka Recipes
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2009, 11:44 AM »
Cheers SS I take on board much of what you are saying however I will inevitably wish to defend The Ashoka here since they gave me the gift of getting backstage but more importantly The Award winning Chef gave me permission to post my findings on our site and later gave me the actual Handbook which I have shared also from.

I also need to point out that The Ashoka recipes by and large mirror regional tastes and much of the menus in the West of Scotland though there is within the chain Indian regional variation in the menu too.

As you will imagine there are hundreds of BIRs in Glasgow almost one in every street which is why it has on more than one occasion been dubbed the Curry Capital of the UK. The smell taste and texture of many of the meals I posted are right up there with the city's BIR experience and so it isn't accurate to think The Ashoka is on its own. As ever I believe that unless folks travel they are unable to really understand the extent to which regional differences vary. Hope this helps. PP

Offline Derek Dansak

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Re: Ashoka Recipes
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2009, 06:18 PM »
I accept your point about regional differences is probably correct. however it still shocks me that there is a certain bir taste, i have experienced up and down the country, that is totally missing from any curry from this site. the particular taste seems more common in bengal curry houses, than other types of bir. i believe the base they use, is quite a different beast to eg the safron base. in fact i would even argue that the safron base is very poor at producing a very good madras. although it seems ideal for most other curries.  Back to the threads topic, i would say the ashoka bhuna is a model bir bhuna, and is the real deal. so i would disagree that ashoka kit is wrong in any way, just a different style of base , and spicing technique. 


Offline JerryM

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Re: Ashoka Recipes
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2009, 06:58 PM »
i find i'm real picky about this curry stuff. it has to be Bangladeshi for me too.

i think it's Pakistani "Indian" that i don't like.

it's real clear cut as well - i instantly know when i taste the food.

of course Birmingham Indian Restaurant's or BIR's as we call them have now travelled a good way. but in travelling the dishes have changed a little. however in the main they are still BIR. i don't know what defines it for me.

it was interesting on this weeks F Word programme with a BIR competing with a Bangladeshi from south. it was a real surprise for me that i backed the south lot based on the recipe ingredients yet the brummie's won.

the other thing for me is this cooking malarkey is an art not a science.

anyhow in short it's how the food tastes that's important.

Offline Bobby Bhuna

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Re: Ashoka Recipes
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2009, 08:56 PM »
Hey guys

Well I'm happy to report that Panpot and I are back on good curry making terms. It turns out that chain that I visited was in fact not Ashoka but Ashoka Shak, an offshoot of the BIR chain designed to offer quick mainstream fast food style food in Cinema complexes etc. that do not offer the same level of quality as the finer restaurants that are part of the main Ashoka group, which is comprised of higher quality restaurants.

Cheers

BB

Offline Curry on up the Kyber

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Re: Ashoka Recipes
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2009, 12:23 AM »
Can I add my tuppence worth.

I have eaten at the best Ashoka restaurants for a number of years.  The Ashoka chain has made award winning curries.

I have practised and perfected Panpots recipes which are spot on. 

If they dont work for you either you are getting the recipe wrong or the regional difference is bigger than you imagine.

In Glasgow, a Rogan Josh does have coconut, cream and an almond taste to it.

Im not trying to pick sides or upset anyone.  This is just my opinion.

PS Panpot could you post a recipe for a South Indian Garlic Chicken?  Is the version you posted the complete one? 

PPS Thanks to everyone on here for their effort, my curry skills have increased tenfold. ;D


 

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