Author Topic: BIR-flavoured baltis  (Read 4011 times)

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Offline Onions

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BIR-flavoured baltis
« on: July 06, 2022, 12:44 PM »
I couldn't find a generic thread to ask in, but, confession, baltis have always confused me a bit. Probably due to geography, London rather than Birmingham, esp growing up when they would have been new. But I always thought a balti was a particular curry, with its own spice mixes, base and cooking technique. But recently (i.e., last decade or more and probably longer, but I only noticed a few years ago!) I'v seen entire Balti sections on menus, in which 'ordinary' BIR dishes seem to be turned into baltis too. Have a look at the random menu I found online, it's just what I mean. I'm wondering really, a)what the cooknbg difference would be between them, and what difference there would be in flavour (for example, if you make a Balti dupiaza, surely either the dupiaza spices will confuse the balti spices, or the other way round, and you'll end up with a hybrid tasting of neither?).

Apologies in advance for the convoluted question. Fractured my leg in two places and the co-codomols kind of drift in and out...   :mute:


Offline Secret Santa

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Re: BIR-flavoured baltis
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2022, 02:20 PM »
Well according to the info in the other thread the main difference appears to be in the base sauce which is high in aromatics, particularly cassia. Now that's all well and good if you make the curry with just the base, so the reduced base is the curry sauce, but the minute you add other spices it basically becomes a normal BIR curry. So, on the assumption that all proper (Birmingham) balti curries are distinguishable from a standard BIR curry, and I've no idea whether that assumption is valid or not, I like you am at a loss to understand how that is achieved.

At a guess maybe the balti mix powder that is used for balti curries is heavy on the garam masala to retain that USP of an aromatic curry. And of course it's cooked in a karahi and they claim it's the constant catching fire of the oil that lends an extra dimension to the dish. Anyway what most BIRs present as balti is anything but, being just a standard curry served in a karahi dish. I have bad memories of this as my last curry at a BIR was a "balti" and god was it bland. Or is that deliberate, is that what makes it a balti? It's annoying not to have had any experience of the real deal.


Offline Bob-A-Job

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Re: BIR-flavoured baltis
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2022, 04:48 PM »
I would be dubious as to what any of the dishes were if I am honest.

I can understand that there is a need for businesses to 'standout' and if that can't be done by quality or pricing then I guess mixing up the menu might work.  Does that equate back to quality, I doubt it.

I think they have invented a new dish.  I was told 'Dopiaza' was loosely translated as 'Double Onions'... "Dupiaza" / "strong flavour of onions"... same dish or just a spelling mistake?

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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: BIR-flavoured baltis
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2022, 05:54 PM »
I was told 'Dopiaza' was loosely translated as 'Double Onions'... "Dupiaza" / "strong flavour of onions"... same dish or just a spelling mistake?

Same dish, and not a spelling mistake, since the original (دوپیازه‎) is written in a non-Latin script and can therefore be transcribed more or less as the transcriber chooses.
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« Last Edit: July 06, 2022, 08:59 PM by Peripatetic Phil »


Offline Secret Santa

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Re: BIR-flavoured baltis
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2022, 07:37 PM »
I was told 'Dopiaza' was loosely translated as 'Double Onions'... "Dupiaza" / "strong flavour of onions"... same dish or just a spelling mistake?

That's nothing. Have a look around t'internet at the various spellings of jalfrezi. It's got to be the most varied dish in terms of transliteration. Oh and dopiaza, as far as I know, means  two (do) onion (piaza). The real conundrum is what exactly the "two" refers to. Is it literally two onions? Or is it double the onions, as in twice the amount of a normal curry. Or is it two types of onion? Or is it onions cooked in two different ways? No-one really knows.

Offline Bob-A-Job

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Re: BIR-flavoured baltis
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2022, 09:23 PM »
...dopiaza, as far as I know, means  two (do) onion (piaza). The real conundrum is what exactly the "two" refers to. Is it literally two onions? Or is it double the onions, as in twice the amount of a normal curry. Or is it two types of onion? Or is it onions cooked in two different ways? No-one really knows.

Got me on that one.. I used to get more onion in the dish, thought it was a way of 'bulking' the dish to make it cheaper... sort of forerunner to vegetarian.. or just increasing Profit ratio.  Some I had were quite good.



 

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