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November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Group testing of selected forum recipes by forum members
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steveparadox
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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by steveparadox » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:37 pm

Haha, I very rarely eat spuds these days but I do like it as a curry starter or side and even better chips with curry! Naga and chips = winning!

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Alchemist
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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by Alchemist » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:13 pm

Not having ever needed to purchase chaat masala before I had to make a special trip to my local Asian grocers before I could make this one. I'm a big fan of potato based curries so was very hopeful about this month's Curry Club choice. I even went to the trouble of buying a fresh lime to ensure I got the full experience. At the end I added a dash more base gravy as it was a tad dry and glad I did as it turned out just saucy enough for my tastes.

After making it I had a quick taste and was blown away! The flavours really danced on my toungue, with the lime really setting the whole flavour profile up superbly. Well done Steve, a real triumph of a dish which is going straight into my curry recipe book hall of fame! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
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steveparadox
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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by steveparadox » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:39 pm

Hey Alchemist, that really looks on the money, great job! Nice one for making the effort to obtain the chaat massala and fresh lime. The lime really does, in my opinion, make a difference and brings out the complex flavour. Like you, I sometimes make the dish wetter too, depending on my mood and what else I am eating it with! I am honoured that you are adding this to your curry recipe book hall of fame! Cheers mate.

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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by Cory Ander » Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:33 am

All looking very good, curry testers! 8-)
Regards

CA (aka Admin) :)

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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by James » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:14 am

Looks good....

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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by rogthehero » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:20 pm

When one of my dinner guest says they are vegetarian it means it's going to be a curry night. It's so easy to satisfy every one they will all like the veg dishes and one or two meat options will keep the meat eaters happy. Thank you for this one, I shall certainly try it. I have added the black salt to my next shopping order.

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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by Alchemist » Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:29 pm

Black salt?

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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by rshome123 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:27 pm

Black Salt is usually an ingredient in Chaat Masala. Has a sulfurous taste that is quite distinct. :thumbup:

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steveparadox
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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by steveparadox » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:57 pm

Are you not going to use chaat masalla then?

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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by Greybeard » Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:08 am

Having spent a good amount of time going through all my spices and every cupboard in the kitchen etc. last night I discovered my 1/2 used packet of chat masala is formally missing in action.

All is not lost though, if you have enough spices, you can make it yourself - I will be using the recipe goncalo has kindly provided here viewtopic.php?f=42&t=551

Usual terms apply to curry club so a Greybeard review and some photos will be forthcoming very soon provided I remember to buy some cucumber this weekend ...
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

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steveparadox
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Re: Aloo chaat / aloo chat - steveparadox

Post by steveparadox » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:55 pm

tonight's aloo chaat puri
IMG-20161118-WA0001.jpg

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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by TiptonNick » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:58 pm

That looks great!

Nice photo, Steve!

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steveparadox
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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by steveparadox » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:02 pm

Cheers Nick,
thats the way I think it is best served, though home made, deep fried puri would have been even better!!!

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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by davost » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:41 am

i will cook this tonight, what about Maris Piper spuds?

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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by Alchemist » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:46 am

A waxier potato may be better, but as long as you are careful not to overcook them (as they will start to fall apart in the curry) then you can use any potato I would say.

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steveparadox
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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by steveparadox » Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:51 pm

I personally would only ever use waxy potatoes, Charlotte, Jersey etc....most small potatoes you get in supermarkets will be waxy. They are more forgiving when you pre-cook them and won't turn to mash so easily!

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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by haldi » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:47 pm

I've been dying to try this for weeks. I made fresh puri for it, too. I bought a lime so I could follow the recipe exactly. One of the best curries I have made. Absolutely delicious. Thanks for posting Steve. Out of interest, which base did you use? The slightly cooked cucumber works so well!

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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by ScotchBonnet » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:38 pm

Into the second half of the month and the score (if we're keeping scores) seems to be 10 testers so far and with favourable comments:


steveparadox (obviously)
ScotchBonnet (try before you buy and I'll be making it again)
Chickenboona (nice picture, loads of coriander)
andrw (a very nice picture - you can almost taste the sauce sticking to the potatoes and you can clearly see the cucumber pieces)
TikkaTom (lovely in-pan shot)
Mr.Everready (good-looking dishes)
rshome123 (big chunks of potato or small balti dish and then a photo without any visible spuds)
edwin catflap (liked it better a few hours after cooking it)
Alchemist (curry lovingly posed in a long takeaway dish and looking like a proper portion)
haldi (liked the cucumber)


Keep'em coming.
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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by British Indian » Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:14 am

I cooked up a few curries last night for the first time in a few months (been very busy renovating). I was suffering severe withdrawal symptoms so was in dire need of a BIR hit.

We all really enjoyed this. It is pretty rare for me to cook a curry that doesn't contain any meat. But this one will be a regular on my list. The only difference was I used lemon rather than lime. But next week, I will make sure I have a lime to try it 100% to the letter.

IT gave a nice hit with the fresh chillies, but not too hot to cause concern. All up, 9 people tasted this last night and everyone liked it. :thumbup:

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Re: November 2016 - steveparadox's Aloo Chaat

Post by Greybeard » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:48 am

I wonder sometimes if I have some sort of masochistic gene, or potentially some long term psychological childhood damage that causes me to follow the most difficult and arduous path. Here in Cumbria, we have the most incredible scenery and walking country, a landscape that is ideal for adventurous cycling or motorcycling, nature reserves and a very strong tourist economy. And what hobby do I take up? BIR curry making. Apart from having to order anything slightly esoteric online, our local supermarkets do not stock anything like the range of produce found in larger population areas. Forget large heads of garlic, fresh curry leaves or even sometimes fresh ginger. What style and size of fresh chilli available on the shelves will depend on a combination of the phase of the moon, the latest plot twist in your favourite television soap and the price of Gorgonzola cheese in Uttar Pradesh. And as for Charlotte potatoes, when Mrs GB went shopping she didn't dare ask as the mirth on the face of the shop assistant would have been so terribly embarrassing.

Apart from that, I live in a very old and rickety house. The “kitchen” is a post-war add on, installed in an extension at the rear of the house as an afterthought. I have friends with bigger sheds. The amount of preparation space is very limited, so on any curry night the spice ritual follows a strict regime. Take dabbas and plastic boxes of spices out from the pantry under the stairs, lay out on dining room table (removing Cat 1 or Cat 2 that are dozing there as the table in right next to the radiator), measure out into glass dishes, and decant to kitchen for the final fry off etc. Return spices to cupboard. The chances of losing something is fairly slim, unless a) one the animals eat it or b) Mrs GB has a “tidy up” of the pantry. Now as a mere male, I am happy to organise things once, put things back in their place, and leave them in that order for eternity. Not so my better half. I came home one night to discover both my rice steamer and grinder had relocated to the welsh dresser in the dining room “to make more space”. Now admittedly, my food processor does live there, but there are a number of reasons for that. Firstly, it is knackered. The bearings are on the way out, the feed funnel has a crack in (where I stuffed a very slightly oversized potato into the blades) and it struggles to blend or chop anything of substance. Secondly, I hate the darned thing. It was a cheap and nasty replacement for my previous high quality, faultless, built like a tank Braun blender that died due to overwork and exhaustion at age 25, but I suppose a lifespan of 8 years is not that bad. So it stays out of sight and out of mind, a bit like the half used packet of chaat masala I swear I put back in the pantry. Saying that, there is a strong possibility that I am degenerating with age like my food processor and have forgotten I threw it out. The solution to the steamer and grinder issue was easily found, they are now back in in the kitchen, emitting a duet siren cry of “cook a curry tonight” every time I pass. The chat masala issue was slightly more complicated.

I decided that rather than order a commercial chat masala with a major premium on postage, I would make my own. Thankfully, there is a recipe on the forum for this (thanks goncalo). One of the ingredients I had on hand was black salt. This is not used much (similarly for amchoor powder) in BIR cooking, but for some reason I had ordered some. The amchoor powder was leftover from a previous BIR dish, the exact one I cannot remember. Both these spices are very pungent, almost in the same category as hing, devil's dung. Smell these out of the container, and you will wrinkle your nose and wonder how on earth you can create anything resembling a tasty dish. The home-made chaat did resemble the commercial product I remember, albeit a bit lighter in colour.

So onto the cook off. We had potatoes, what exact variety I haven't a clue. They had light brown skins with a few pink / purple patches where eyes had started to develop. Peeled, sliced into big chunks, they were par boiled until a sharp paring knife would just penetrate at the tip. I drained these and left to steam dry while I fried off the spices and the rest of the veg. As the Aloo Chat was going to be a side dish, I had to reserve my best aluminium pan for the curry, so I pressed into use non-stick frying pan number 1, complete with silicon spatula (don't ask) and lid. The theory behind this was to keep the Aloo hot while I cooked the curry (a mongrel cross between a Kashmiri and garlic chicken with some yoghurt and cream thrown in) and the Harlyali chicken (A chicken tikka style dish marinaded in coriander, mint, chilli, garlic, ginger and yoghurt).
Cook off was a bit tricky, like a Biryani balancing the dryness and wetness of the final dish requires watching the pan like a hawk, and at the same time you don't want to burn the spices or for it to be too sloppy. As my final dish was on the dry side, after I added the cucumber I left the lid on for a bit, giving a stir from time to time. This still gave a bit of bite to the cucumber, but at the same time warmed it through.

Personally, I have a great love for potatoes in curry. The way they are able to absorb the base, and transform themselves from bland, parcels of starch into mouthfuls of flavour never ceases to delight. Like Dhal, an Aloo is a warm, comforting staple, something that is an essential in your BIR repertoire. If I'm honest, it was the dish that got me started cooking curries again a while back, I knocked up some Bombay Aloo one night and realised I hadn't cooked a really decent curry in ages, and that was what led me to the BIR trail …

So Steve, despite all the mad panic trying to source the rather obscure (for Cumbria at least) chaat masala, all's well that ends well. You are in the honoured position of Mrs GB giving your dish a 10, and I can't argue with that.

Now, as to where my gadgets live …
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Aloo Chaat in frying pan number 1
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The spices
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The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

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