Author Topic: 3 Hour Curry Base  (Read 101071 times)

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Offline Salvador Dhali

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Re: 3 Hour Curry Base
« Reply #210 on: November 25, 2012, 09:58 AM »
I too would like to know the bunjarra please Salvador.

There's a bunjarra / bunjara / spicy onion paste recipe on this site here: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=3921.0, and I've had great results using the onion paste recipe from p. 20 of Mick Crawford's pdf, though I tweak it a little (as I tweak everything - can't help myself!) by using a little less tandoori masala, cutting the teaspoon of sugar out (the caramelised onions are sweet enough for me), and adding a little tomato puree.

Mick is known as Curry Barking Mad on this forum, and you can get hold of his book in pdf form from here: http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=3921.0

Fantastic value, and for me it's well worth it for the onion paste recipe alone.

A word of warning though. Do set aside anything up to an hour to make this properly. It's the slow caramelisation of the onions that's key to the success of a good bunjarra/bunjara, and you need to be watching over the pan like a hawk, stirring regularly (and being particularly vigilant towards the end). Don't use a heavy based pan that retains heat for hours after it's taken off the flame/hob. Your perfectly caramelised onions will continue to cook their way into pure carbon territory!

It's a dead simple process really, and once you've cracked it there's a good chance that you'll become hooked on the stuff, as I have.

Make a reasonable sized batch, and jar it. Keeps in the fridge for weeks.

If you can, try to leave some of your bunjara-ised curry overnight for sampling the next day. You should find the intensity levels have nearly doubled!
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 10:18 AM by Salvador Dhali »
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Offline chewytikka

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Re: 3 Hour Curry Base
« Reply #211 on: November 25, 2012, 06:43 PM »
Made chewy's base sat night pretty much to spec, everything went bloody excellently.

Here it is after blending


With the oil separated, scum mostly removed and final consistency


Madras done pretty much to chewy's madras recipe


Tastes absolutely divine, proper BIR/TA taste and smell.

My sister was round and got to sample it. We've had a family madras curry every week for the last 15/17 years. Her eyes jumped out and said "that's a Madras" and was stunned how much like a top TA it tasted like. We were both pretty stunned. Eating more and it just got better. Can't believe how much depth in flavour, the transitions, no tomato just that familiar TA taste and texture and after taste. The key for me was the final bit of sauce left and how good it tasted and had to be mopped up. Many times in the past my curries fall away half way through eating and don't come through with that savory texture that just glides and demands to be eaten and miss the  background flavour building up.

We concluded it was a mixture of a restaurant and takeaway we've gone to many times, like some divine hybrid. We both said its actually a touch more fresher and better. In looks its more like the restaurant, my preferred TA is bit more redder and thicker/richer with a bit more oil left in. The balance was very good and my sister doesn't like too much oil and is really impressed with the spicyness and then the flavours taking over. The restaurant is a bit weak on heat for their madras. On cooking I did add 2 fresh cut bird eyes chillies in with a small bit of diced pepper/capsicum. More like a mix of chewys two madras videos but I left out the small bit chopped onion. my local TA does put a small quantity fresh cut chillies in the cooking stage and perhaps some other stuff like pepper, onion.

Some small differences I did, around 2.5 kilo of onion. The resulting base was slightly thinner than chewy's video I've watched over and over. Did 2 cups of water instead of 3 because the base seemed thinner. Perhaps the water in a few more onions helped. Sunflower oil instead of regular veg oil. My chilli powder in the mix powder is Deggi Mirch by MDH instead of chewy's Kashmiri mirch. I believe there' not much difference. Didn't have time to sieve but felt I did a good job blending it.

A big thank you to chewytikka, this forum and its members.

With chatting to the head chef at my local TA over the years, talking about how good his are he's pretty insistent how many are too tomatoey and for me this is another key in no tin of toms used in the base. Sure this is what the chef is alluding to.

All the powder is from my local Asian store that the curry houses use.

Fantastic review Harley and thanks for the feedback. ;)
Scaling up from 2kg to 4kg of Onions, won't make any difference to my original recipe.

Once you have everything in the pan, your water level should be about two thirds of its depth.

Curry On...
cheers Chewy

This was a scaled up version for a huge pot.
http://www.curry-recipes.co.uk/curry/index.php?topic=8542.msg75643#msg75643
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Offline curryhell

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Re: 3 Hour Curry Base
« Reply #212 on: November 25, 2012, 08:56 PM »
Well it obviously went down very well ;D  Looks just like my plate when i've been to the BIR.  Very inconsiderate of you not to provide all the curry porn before you demolished it though  >:(  ;) EDIT Apologies, you did.  Now you've gone and made me hungry again, god dammit >:( >:( ;D
So singe baby singe, the curry's getting better ..........

Offline harley

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Re: 3 Hour Curry Base
« Reply #213 on: November 27, 2012, 08:24 PM »
Thanks for the in depth reply Salvador Dhali on the bunjarra. Look forward to trying it. :)

Cheers chewytikka. Yeah, with that huge base link I can see I don't need to add any more.

I added some ground up Star Aniseed, about third of a star, put it in the pan after the mix powder and seems to be part of the taste that my fav local has. The liquorice taste disappears into the corriander, lemon etc and compliments the lot and adds a extra throaty taste and feel on the after tangy taste, very similar indeed. I wonder if they add some into the base. Anyway, definitely a must addition for me.

I read in another thread of chewy's that Razor did the same (use star aniseed). Must be a few restaurants and takeaways that use it around Audenshaw/Denton area of Manchester. Would recommend quarter or third ground up, any more would take over probably.

Incredible chaps, thanks again for your efforts.


Offline uclown2002

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Re: 3 Hour Curry Base
« Reply #214 on: December 05, 2012, 04:40 PM »
This seems to be the most popular base so I'll put it my list of things to try.

I have a 3.8 L and 5 L pots; will these get the job done?

I don't have a food mill at the moment so to those that use a sieve; is it effective or do you feel it would be significantly better with a mill?

Thanks guys.

Offline fried

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Re: 3 Hour Curry Base
« Reply #215 on: December 05, 2012, 06:03 PM »
I use an 8l-pot and this can get pretty full and I need a bit of room as I'm a fairly* messy cook.

I usually sieve it, but some times don't bother if I'm running short of time. It's quite time consuming and is easily the most hard work part of making the base. If I had the space I'd invest in a food mill.

*My missus' definition of fairly is not the same as mine ;)

Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: 3 Hour Curry Base
« Reply #216 on: December 05, 2012, 06:06 PM »
(deleted, accidentally posted twice)
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Re: 3 Hour Curry Base
« Reply #217 on: December 05, 2012, 06:07 PM »
I don't have a food mill at the moment so to those that use a sieve; is it effective or do you feel it would be significantly better with a mill?

A big sieve and a convex-backed nylon cooking spoon will do the job without major effort -- the key is that the convexity of the spoon needs to be a reasonable approximation to the concavity of the sieve.

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Offline uclown2002

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Re: 3 Hour Curry Base
« Reply #218 on: December 05, 2012, 06:22 PM »
I use an 8l-pot

Yikes!  Guess I'll have to scale it down then.

Offline uclown2002

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Re: 3 Hour Curry Base
« Reply #219 on: December 05, 2012, 06:26 PM »
I don't have a food mill at the moment so to those that use a sieve; is it effective or do you feel it would be significantly better with a mill?

A big sieve and a convex-backed nylon cooking spoon will do the job without major effort -- the key is that the convexity of the spoon needs to be a reasonable approximation to the concavity of the sieve.

** Phil.

Thanks Phil.
Good idea with the spoon.

Anyone noticed any tangible difference between sieving and not?


 

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