Author Topic: The Holy Grail....  (Read 2366 times)

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Offline broski

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The Holy Grail....
« on: March 14, 2011, 01:03 PM »
If, as seems the case, I am correct in my assumption that we all here are trying to emulate the very curry produced in our local TA/BIR then it occurs to me that there would be a rather simple test to see whether our search for the Holy Grail is in fact valid- or indeed a wild goose chase...

Maybe the conditions, cooking utensils, ingredients etc actually present ONLY in the restaurant kitchen are responsible for that unique taste that we are so desperately trying to copy in our home kitchens??

That being the unknown factor then the acid test is surely to try and get one of the BIR chefs to reproduce in his OWN kitchen at home the identical curry he gets to make whilst at work?


If this is possible and achieved, then the search goes on- IF HE CANNOT however then clearly we are on a wild goose chase and maybe we would be a bit more satisfied with our own  efforts in getting "close but no cigar" ???

Anyone know such a chef that would be prepared to go through this test and use only his own sourced ingredients and home kitchen utensils and such??

Offline Stephen Lindsay

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Re: The Holy Grail....
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2011, 01:13 PM »
As far as I understand, those members who have paid a chef to cool in their own home have found that the chef's dishes have been superior using the same domestic kitchen, ingredients and cooker / utensils. Therefore it would appear that technique is imortant. My own efforts using the Taz base suggest to me that this is the case.
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Re: The Holy Grail....
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2011, 01:21 PM »
I think there is another aspect to be considered.  We know that the BIR chef is familiar with preparing BIR in his commercial kitchen; but at home, he (if his wife does not cook for him) probably prepares traditional Indian cuisine.  It may therefore take him more than one experiment before he can satisfactorily replicate at home what he achieves on a daily basis in his commercial kitchen, because of the various adjustments that will almost certainly be necessary.

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Offline Razor

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Re: The Holy Grail....
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2011, 01:27 PM »
Hi Broski,

Once again, some very valid points.

On the utensils, I have everything, the long handled spoons, the Ali pans, you name it, I've got it.  What I don't have is an industrial style range like the BIR kitchens.  Obviously, I'm never going to reach the heat that these burners can get to, and therefor, it can't be ruled out as a missing element to my home style cooking.

It has often been debated about the TA kitchen environment v the home kitchen environment, and what the major influences can be.  For me, one of the main differences is, how they handle their base sauce over a nights service. 

The majority of us here on cr0 probably make up our base sauces, with all the usual suspects, onion, peppers, carrots, garlic ginger and a few spices, pretty much the same as the TA's but, we then, portion them up and freeze them, whereas the TA's, will keep this massive pot of sauce, on the simmer throughout the evening, probably topping up as the service continues.  To my mind, this is going to have a massive effect on the changing flavour of the base sauce over the evening.  Maybe this is the single most element that we are missing in our home style TA curries?

The only way to prove this out, would be to hold a curry party at home, and have the base simmering away all evening, then making each individual dish as and when needed.  Even then, the copious amounts of Ale, would influence our taste perceptions, ha.

This is one subject that will roll on for ever.

As for your suggestion of getting a TA/BIR chef into our own kitchen, to see if they can reproduce what they cook in their TA kitchen, I think one or two lucky members have actually achieved that.  What I would like to see, is the reverse of that.  Put one of us in the TA kitchen and see if we can reproduce the TA/BIR flavours.  If not, then method and experience comes into play!

That's my slant on things, I guess others will have their own points of view.

Ray :)
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Offline solarsplace

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Re: The Holy Grail....
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2011, 01:35 PM »
Hi Broski,

...snip

The majority of us here on cr0 probably make up our base sauces, with all the usual suspects, onion, peppers, carrots, garlic ginger and a few spices, pretty much the same as the TA's but, we then, portion them up and freeze them, whereas the TA's, will keep this massive pot of sauce, on the simmer throughout the evening, probably topping up as the service continues.  To my mind, this is going to have a massive effect on the changing flavour of the base sauce over the evening.  Maybe this is the single most element that we are missing in our home style TA curries?

snip...

Hi Ray & All

I am positive that the TA's and restaurants that I frequent, produce better results later on in the evenings! I really find it noticeable the difference between say a lunch time curry, which is usually nice, but thoroughly lacking in magic to a just opened curry with is similar to lunch time, but say an 20:45 curry and perhaps later seems to have developed and extra quality, the magic as I call it....

Anyone else noticed anything similar to this?

All the best

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Re: The Holy Grail....
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2011, 01:41 PM »
Could it be that the increased alcohol level in your bloodstream at 20:45 compared to (say) 12:45 might cause you to be more aware of the subtle nuances that make a BIR curry what it is ?!  ;D

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Offline solarsplace

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Re: The Holy Grail....
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2011, 01:43 PM »
Could it be that the increased alcohol level in your bloodstream at 20:45 compared to (say) 12:45 might cause you to be more aware of the subtle nuances that make a BIR curry what it is ?!  ;D

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Ha ha :)

No, never touch any booze me - honest guv ;)


Offline Malc.

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Re: The Holy Grail....
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2011, 02:42 PM »
I am positive that the TA's and restaurants that I frequent, produce better results later on in the evenings!

Could this be due to different chef's working different shifts.

At this point in time, my feeling is that we will never be able to truly produce identical dishes without doing the same as the BIR/TA kitchen, cooking on a bulk scale. Things I have read on here, been told by others who have visited kitchens and seen for myself, suggest this.

That's not to say we won't be able to cook up equally tasty food, far from it. Just not 100% identical in a practical way. That won't stop me trying though, however fool hardy I may feel it is.  ::)

Offline Ramirez

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Re: The Holy Grail....
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2011, 03:01 PM »

At this point in time, my feeling is that we will never be able to truly produce identical dishes without doing the same as the BIR/TA kitchen, cooking on a bulk scale. Things I have read on here, been told by others who have visited kitchens and seen for myself, suggest this.


Pretty much my thoughts on the matter. I think we can get 90% of the way, but the elusive 10% may never be attained. Sometimes I am reminded how far away I am when eating a top quality BIR curry - I just don't think I will ever be able to achieve that quality.

Offline matt3333

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Re: The Holy Grail....
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2011, 08:10 PM »
Hi Ramirez
Totally agree but lets not be to hard on ourselves, the chefs who produce dishes at the "top end" of the quality spectrum have probably been learning their trade for many years- so I think we should be very proud of our achievements.
And it just keeps getting better. :D
Matt


 

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