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Just back from UK trip......

General chat about British Indian Restaurant curries

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British Indian
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Just back from UK trip......

Post by British Indian » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:25 am

Had quite a few curries whilst back in UK recently.

I got chatting to the chef/owner of a particularly good (IMHO) takeaway in Sale, Manchester, called Sajan. They’ve been there for 27 years and produce consistently good curries. My family members use this place regularly.

I mentioned that I set up a ran a business down here in Perth and asked general questions about their base recipe. He said they use onions, tomatoes, garlic & ginger, oil, coconut milk and spices in their base. They DON’T use carrots, peppers, potatoes, coriander, cabbage or anything else. He was quite amused when I told him I did, and asked why I would want to add these. They do use coriander in the curry cooking stage.

Time was limited and he asked to keep in touch via my wife’s Facebook page, as I told him he’d probably be quite rich if he knocked out his food down here in Perth. It really is in a different league to what we can buy down here. So, hopefully I’ll be able to get some more info from him now we are back home.

He actually threw in an extra curry for us on the last order. It was a chicken on the bone staff curry. Very nice, but very salty.

I forgot to take pictures of this last order, but did remember to snap a meal from a couple of days earlier. It was a chicken Tikka Jhalfrezi, Pilau rice, garlic naan and seekh kebab. All excellent. From the lid, I’m sure it’s obvious that there is a fair amount of oil in the dish, along with a very healthy amount of ginger.
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pauly
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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by pauly » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:36 am

All looks good BI, nice to see a good amount of oil used, I'm sure it's the first step to failure when newcomers reduce the amount.

stevielaad
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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by stevielaad » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:20 am

Curry looks good. I've always assumed the extras were to help out the consistency of the base but the last couple I've made I've went for quite a thin base.. can't imagine there would be much difference from just using onions and tomatoes in that case

Any non BIR curries are just onions and tomatoes as the basis of the curry so maybe the extras are just pointless :blink:

Willyeckerslike
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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by Willyeckerslike » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:21 am

Looks great BI. Hoping to go back myself next year for a few weeks of curries,. I just know I will put on weight looking at the oil content and the size of the naan :thumbup:

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andrw
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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by andrw » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:31 am

That food does look very appetising... sounds like you had a very interesting conversation, food for thought I guess.

Stunami
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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by Stunami » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:32 pm

I've always been dubious about adding cabbage etc to the base, they're just cheap ingreadients to thicken it and I don't use them, I prefer to reduce the curry down to thicken it, it's tastier that way.

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andrw
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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by andrw » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:47 pm

I think that you can make excellent curries with both a simple base and a more veg heavy base, I have tried both many times and personally prefer adding the extra veg (in my case carrot, pepper, celery and a little cabbage), I feel it adds extra layers of flavour and changes the resultant texture of the curries made, more similar to the BIR’s I have enjoyed the most over the years.

Overall I think it is a matter of personal preference.

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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by Stunami » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:55 pm

Yeah of course, I've tried adding dahl for that extra texture and flavour, (among other things ) I just doubt the high quality curry houses add cabbage etc but what ever they do they ain't saying, and who can blame them.

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Cory Ander
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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by Cory Ander » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:04 am

Welcome back, BI, and thanks for the write up.

Hopefully, you will be able to maintain contact and gain further useful information from him..... 8-)
Please make an effort to make at least 1 meaningful post each time you visit the forum

Regards

CA (aka Admin) :)

British Indian
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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by British Indian » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:29 am

I hope he does get in touch. I gave him my wife’s Facebook account details, and he WAS very keen on talking about Australia. He’s a British born Bangladeshi and hates the weather in UK :): .

So fingers crossed we hear something soon.

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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by DansakDave » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:37 pm

I'm quite enjoying getting to know the cooking side of BIR curry but I must admit there is something quite special about a a proper takeaway looking meal and yours looks fab! Too hungry to type now - off to find something in the fridge.

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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by rsaha » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:19 am

I'm on the side of a simpler base - haven't changed my recipe since I posted it here.

That said this has me thinking about trying some coconut milk and dropping the coriander in my next batch. Everything else he said is pretty much in line with my approach. I tend to do more and more South Indian so this could work out well. Maybe two bases?

"He said they use onions, tomatoes, garlic & ginger, oil, coconut milk and spices in their base. They DON’T use carrots, peppers, potatoes, coriander, cabbage or anything else.

I tried one based on ghee a while back based on input from a guy with a pretty successful restaurant in Adelaide. I didn't like it as much. Rich - but it tended to produce curries with muted flavours.

Thanks for the tip BI!

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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by cartz64 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:01 pm

Thanks for sharing that BI, that curry does look good!
For 4 kilos of onions i wonder how much tomato he would use? And basic spices? Coriander, turmeric, cumin,?
and also the amount of coconut milk?

onions obviously make the base 'sweet', but adding carrot and green pepper adds more sweetness I would say?


:hmmm:

British Indian
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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by British Indian » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:13 am

Well, we’ve been back a few weeks now, and nobody has been in touch from the takeaway. My youngest son is in Manchester at the moment. He had a curry from there last week and I asked him to remind the owner to contact us which he said he would.......but nothing as of yet.

I have made a couple of bases, loosely based on what he told me. It’s along the lines of Snoopys pro base, with fewer tomatoes and a half can of coconut milk added. I knocked up a few nice ( infact very nice)curries, but still tasted (or looked) nothing like the curries we had from the takeaway.

I will keep experimenting with this onion/tomato/coconut mix in a base and see if I can improve things anymore.

pauly
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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by pauly » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:08 pm

I don't know if you ever get the real story from them BI, & there's the likes of Raymond Blanc on tv, showing all the secrets of Michelin Star cooking.

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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by steveparadox » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:00 pm

Interesting feedback from the restaurant. I guess it varies from curry house to curry house, I've had others stress the importance of carrots.

As for "Any non BIR curries are just onions and tomatoes as the basis of the curry so maybe the extras are just pointless" that isn't necessarily the case. Lots of traditional regional curries don't use tomato at all. Roasted and ground dal is very common along with shredded coconut and yoghurt.

edwin catflap
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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by edwin catflap » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:36 pm

Hi BI are they ginger juliennes on the jalfreizi

Ed

British Indian
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Re: Just back from UK trip......

Post by British Indian » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:44 pm

Yes Edwin they are. I really enjoyed them. I make a point of adding a few now to my homemade Jhalfrezi/Madras type curries. And I used to hate ginger. Funny how our taste buds change eh?

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