Author Topic: How to test curries  (Read 12033 times)

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Offline chriswg

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How to test curries
« on: October 09, 2010, 07:09 PM »
The group testing of the starters is going really well with Bhajis lined up for this month and possibly garlic naans the next.

At some stage we will have the difficult task of trying to test the actual curries. The main reason it will be tough to get accurate results is that we can't realistically try the different recipes with the bases that they are intended to be used with. i.e. CA's Madras recipe with CA's base sauce. We also have the issue of non standard spice mixes too. It just isn't practical to make 5 bases to try 5 recipes.

I'd like to hear peoples thoughts on this and the best way to move forwards. My first thought is to set a 'standard' base recipe and spice mix and then the recipe can be amended slightly to accommodate this. For example is a recipe has it's own spice mix that includes chilli powder, but the 'standard' spice mix doesn't have any in it, it should be added to the recipe.

Getting the base right is a much more difficult affair. We can't just add in carrot at the end because the base didn't have any in. I imagine we'll have to make a generic base and make do with it. At least all of the recipes will be using the same one so it should be a fairly fair test. Any suggestion would be gratefully received.

Offline Razor

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Re: How to test curries
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2010, 07:39 PM »
Hi Chris,

Been giving this some thought, and agree, its gonna be difficult.

I think there has already been an attempt at creating a generic base on here before but it was before my time here  http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=4065.0

There is also a curry masala to go with this, albeit that there seems to be loads of ingredients in it at first glance..

I'm sure the more "long standing" members wouldn't object to us using these as a starting point?

If they were ok with it, then all we would have to do is ask members for their say "madras" recipe or whatever, using these two ingredients as standard but using their method.

Ok, it wouldn't be strictly their recipe but, it would at least be a dish cooked on a level footing whereby only the method changes.  We often wonder if the method makes the dish here, so this would be an excellent way of finding out.

What dya think?

Ray :)


Offline chriswg

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Re: How to test curries
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2010, 10:05 AM »
I totally agree, it's the only feasible way and I think we'll get some good differences between the recipes and methods. The last 2 tests have really taught me a lot about what works well with kebabs and tikka, if I learn as much from trying 5 Madras recipes then I'll be a happy man.

Offline Razor

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Re: How to test curries
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2010, 12:50 PM »
Hi Chris,

Quote
The last 2 tests have really taught me a lot about what works well with kebabs and tikka, if I learn as much from trying 5 Madras recipes then I'll be a happy man.

Same goes for me Chris.

I think we would need to choose the Title of the dishes carefully, something like, cr0 madras using CA's method and extras?

And obviously explain from the outset that this test bares no reflection on the method providers actual spec recipe..

Ray :)


Offline Cory Ander

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Re: How to test curries
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2010, 01:07 PM »
And obviously explain from the outset that this test bares no reflection on the method providers actual spec recipe..

I agree Ray (although I think it applies to ingredients AND technique). 

And it therefore begs the questions, "Why bother? What real value would it add? "  :-\

Unless you make it EXACTLY to the authors specifications (i.e. ingredients AND technique), it would have very little meaning, IMHO (apart from entertainment value).

Offline Razor

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Re: How to test curries
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2010, 01:29 PM »
Hi CA

And obviously explain from the outset that this test bares no reflection on the method providers actual spec recipe..


Unless you make it EXACTLY to the authors specifications (i.e. ingredients AND technique), it would have very little meaning, IMHO (apart from entertainment value).

Maybe that's good enough reason CA, just for the entertainment.  In all honesty, we would love to pitch one madras against another but it's too much work.  6 full blown base recipes, 6 different spice mixes, plus all the extras, it's just not feasible.

The cr02 base was developed a while back, I think you instigated the idea CA?, it just seems a shame that the hard work that was put in back then, has fizzled out, with only Jerry referring to it (My Take) albeit, with tweaks.

I think the trick with this one is basically, lets see what works best with the cr02 base and masala.  It won't bare any reflection whatsoever and any of the spec recipes.

You have a couple of unique ingredients in your madras such as your tandoori masala, spiced oil, 2 tsp sugar whereas, the Ashoka has it's Bunjarra, cooked g/g paste, so the flavours should be different.  I think it's SnS's method that includes adding water and reducing very gradually?  Dip's is almost an "all in and boil" method, again, should produce very different results.

The methods and extra spec ingredients are what will separate these dishes, so the methods in this test will be the benchmark more than the taste, if that makes sense?

Hope that explains it better CA, but your right, it does provide a little bit of entertainment for the members and I hope people are enjoying these group tests.

Ray :)

Offline Cory Ander

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Re: How to test curries
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2010, 01:38 PM »
The methods and extra spec ingredients are what will separate these dishes, so the methods in this test will be the benchmark more than the taste, if that makes sense?

Not really, to me, Ray.  I think if you deviate from the recipes (at all) then you deviate from the authors' intent.  The result will therefore be invalid (strictly speaking, for comparison purposes).

Quote from: Ray
it does provide a little bit of entertainment for the members and I hope people are enjoying these group tests

I agree that, provided the tests remain in that context, it's fine.  However, recent suggestions about making the "winning recipe" a "sticky" and forum members referring other members to the winning recipe worries me (for the reasons stated above).  Though I have seen that you've been gracious enough to repeatedly affirm the entertainment value (but some haven't)


Offline Razor

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Re: How to test curries
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2010, 01:55 PM »
Hi CA,

Quote
Not really, to me, Ray.  I think if you deviate from the recipes (at all) then you deviate from the authors' intent.  The result will therefore be invalid (strictly speaking, for comparison purposes).

Correct, but if this test goes ahead, we will not be creating any recipe providers spec recipe, we would just be using their method and any extras that they throw in such as spiced oil.  So validity shouldn't come in to it really.  Basically, it would be, for example, cr02 Madras, CA style and so on....and as long as that is well documented from the start, we should avoid any confusion, hopefully.

Quote
I agree that, provided the tests remain in that context, it's fine.  However, recent suggestions about making the "winning recipe" a "sticky" and forum members referring other members to the winning recipe worries me (for the reasons stated above).  Though I have seen that you've been gracious enough to repeatedly affirm the entertainment value (but some haven't)

I agree, we all said from the outset, that creating a list of elite recipes wouldn't be good for the forum or it's members.  Plus, it would be based on the opinion of a handful of testers with no qualification to create such a list.  I do think the suggestion was made in good faith, perhaps with the intention of raising the profile of what we are doing but no, it's purely a bit of fun.

As for pointing newbies toward certain recipes, well, that's always happenend on here.  I have pointed many many new members towards your recipes in particular.  I don't see it has being such a problem afterall, they may think that the suggested recipe isn't that good, and therefor we run the risk of having our opinion dismissed in the future.

Ray :)

Offline Cory Ander

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Re: How to test curries
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2010, 02:03 PM »
Correct, but if this test goes ahead, we will not be creating any recipe providers spec recipe, we would just be using their method and any extras that they throw in such as spiced oil.  So validity shouldn't come in to it really.  Basically, it would be, for example, cr02 Madras, CA style and so on....and as long as that is well documented from the start, we should avoid any confusion, hopefully

I understand what you're saying Ray, but I do feel that if "testers" are going to "adjust" recipes in light of the "standard" curry base that they are using (as Chris has suggested), then they are either going to have to be very experienced curry cooks (which I doubt) or the results are going to be largely irrelevant.  Therefore, the "entertainment value" may remain, but very little else will.

I know I may sound hypocritical, since I believe that you can mix and match main dish recipes with a decent (neutral, well balanced) curry base recipe and get good results (though many would disagree with me) but, for one-on-one comparisons, it becomes quite erroneous.

I admit that I'm more than a little peeved that Admin can't sort out a generic recipe rating system (for all members to use) but, as someone pointed out, that's probably just me muddying the waters!  :P

What do others think?
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 02:13 PM by Cory Ander »

Offline Razor

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Re: How to test curries
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2010, 02:33 PM »
CA,

The only relevance that this particular test would hold, is how each method fairs using a generic base and spice mix, and that's all. 

Maybe this particular test should be entitled "cr02 Madras Experiment" rather than test?  That should alert members to the fact that none of these dishes have ever been cooked before by anyone (maybe Jerry lol) and that the results should provide entertainment, and nothing more serious than that.

It's really like, taking my head, putting on it your nose, Chris's mouth, Jerry's eyes, Domi's hair, George's ears and seeing what we end up with.  It may end up a proper minger, or a real stunner?

Should be interesting, nonetheless ;D

Ray ;D



 

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