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SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Recipes for curry bases
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ScotchBonnet
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SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by ScotchBonnet » Tue May 23, 2017 3:24 pm

This makes approximately 3.5 litres thick base gravy which can be thinned down with some hot water when making your curries. The aim is simplicity and minimal energy use rather than outright speed.

I used a "Pressure King Pro" electric pressure cooker but it could easily be adapted to other cookers. I chose the "SOUP" setting on my machine but can't honestly tell you what the pressure or temperature are other than that it makes the vegetables very soft and the onions taste quite sweet.

INGREDIENTS
2Kg onions, roughly chopped
2 green peppers, de-seeded and chopped
250ml oil
50g garlic paste
50g ginger paste
30g salt
30g sugar
30g mix powder
(I use SB's Mix Powder 1)
800g tinned tomatoes
500ml water

METHOD
Add oil to the pot and heat with lid off
Add onions, peppers, powders, pastes, tomatoes, water and stir

Put the lid on, close the pressure valve
Cook for 25 minutes then switch off and leave for about an hour
Open the valve to release any remaining pressure

Check that it is cool enough and then blend it.

FAQ's
Q How thick mate?
A About as thick as tinned pea soup.

Q Any cooking tips?
A Put all your powders in one bowl and your pastes in another. Put all the oil in the pot then add the chopped veg in layers sprinkling each with powder and slapping on some garlic and ginger pastes. This makes it easier to mix it all together especially if your cooker is pretty near full.
Last edited by ScotchBonnet on Tue May 23, 2017 3:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"There is no such thing as too much oil; just an insufficiency of naan".

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Greybeard
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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by Greybeard » Tue May 23, 2017 3:34 pm

Sounds good, SB. Any particular mix powder you prefer? Some photos would be useful if you get a chance.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by ScotchBonnet » Tue May 23, 2017 3:50 pm

I use my own Mix Powder which doesn't have any chilli in it, preferring to add heat during the cooking of the final dish. It was very easy to blend using my cheap ASDA stick blender, perhaps aided by the roundness of the bottom sides of the pressure cooker pot (as opposed to the sharp edges where the sides of a traditional pot meet the base).
"There is no such thing as too much oil; just an insufficiency of naan".

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ScotchBonnet
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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by ScotchBonnet » Wed May 24, 2017 4:07 pm

Some photo's as requested by GB...

(Note that there is no PLJ lemon in the gravy; I've just placed the bottle here to give some idea of the colour. The white log in the pan in the bottom is a block of creamed coconut that I am dissolving in water and gravy preparatory to making a batch of korma).
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"There is no such thing as too much oil; just an insufficiency of naan".

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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by Greybeard » Wed May 24, 2017 4:14 pm

Thanks SB, lokks really good. Will try that out next time I am making a base and report back.
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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by Rusty » Wed May 24, 2017 10:01 pm

Looks good SB I really like bases with simple ingredients and I would try this but I don't own a pressure cooker

Cheers Rusty
The best day of the week to prepare onions for a base gravy is a Fryday 8-)

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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by Greybeard » Wed May 24, 2017 10:52 pm

Don't see why this couldn't work with a big pot on the stove + more time, Rusty. You might have to adjust the liquid levels due to evaporation though.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by ScotchBonnet » Wed May 24, 2017 11:31 pm

Correct, GB. I only recently started making gravy in the pressure cooker (which I got 6 months ago). I used to make a large batch in big stock pots but it demanded attention to stop things burning/sticking/boiling over. At least I got about 50 portions per batch so it was worth the effort. With my electric pressure cooker I can only squeeze 2Kg onions in at a time but it's just so darned easy that I don't mind smaller quantities of gravy per session.

Rusty, this pressure cooker base gravy is just a variant on my Kilo-Base gravy so you could give that a try (just scale it up as required).
"There is no such thing as too much oil; just an insufficiency of naan".

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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by mishking » Wed May 31, 2017 2:33 pm

Made thus up last night SB. Looked and smelled great.

What ratio of water do you use to thin this out for the main curry?

Regards,
Greg

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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by Wrongway » Wed May 31, 2017 3:50 pm

Which Pressure King Pro are you using Scotchbonnet? I have the 5ltr one and with 2kg of onions wondering if it's big enough.
The 5ltr one seems to be known as the 12 in 1 and the 6ltr as the 20 in 1.

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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by ScotchBonnet » Wed May 31, 2017 5:24 pm

@mishking
I would add up to 50% again water (so 200ml thick gravy + 100ml water) but it depends on the heat you are using to cook your curry, the surface area of your pan etc.

@Wrongway
I have the 5 litre one. 2Kg onions, 1 pepper etc. means that it is pretty chock full. Leaving it for an hour or so before releasing any residual pressure 1]allows it to cook further without additional energy use and 2] stops it from bubbling up violently and blocking the vents etc. which is what can happen if you release pressure too quickly and your cooker is full. 3]It also allows it to cool sufficiently for safer blending - these cookers really do retain heat very well.
"There is no such thing as too much oil; just an insufficiency of naan".

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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by Wrongway » Wed May 31, 2017 6:24 pm

Thanks SB. I think my main worry is clogging the pressure relief valve and redecorating the kitchen. Hoping to try it tonight along with your SB spice mix. I only had powdered fenugreek so hope it will be ok.

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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by mishking » Wed May 31, 2017 6:31 pm

I did mine in a 6ltr instant pot and it was a tight squeeze but i didn't cover the kitchen in sweet onion so i reckon you should be ok!!

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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by ScotchBonnet » Wed May 31, 2017 7:28 pm

If you're worried you can simply half the quantities of everything. With slow pressure release all I get is some gravy on the inside of the lid but none in the valves. I'm much more cautious with dhal and other things that can foam up.
"There is no such thing as too much oil; just an insufficiency of naan".

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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by Wrongway » Wed May 31, 2017 7:40 pm

I had already started a half quantities batch before seeing your post. Partly to be safe fr the first go and also I was getting sick of peeling onions. :crazy:
It's smelling nice with 15 mins to go. I set it on the soup setting s there was no veg setting. The book says it runs at 150 degC at that setting but I am a bit sceptical of the pressure they claim. 0.5Mpa is equal to approx 72psi. No way. I think it will be 0.05Mpa which is 7.2 psi which would equate to the claimed temperature.
It will have a couple of hours to cool as I have to go out shorlty but I am sure it will still be warm and blend ok. The house smells nice though :)

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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by Wrongway » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:14 pm

Well, the gravy turned out very nice. I haven't done a curry yet, but the basic taste and smell is fantastic. I will probably do a batch of CA's basic base also as it seems to be the benchmark.

I was going to do a madras for the three of us tonight but our son has decided he is going to the local BIR (The Raj) with his mates, so will postpone for another night soon. He doesn't realise what he is missing :)

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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by stanb » Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:40 pm

IMG_0895.jpg

Quite a thick and rich base so I've frozen it in batches of 400ml for a there-four person curry and 200ml for a one or two person recipe. smells good and tastes good too - looking forward to using it.
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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by Greybeard » Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:17 pm

Both the base and the pressure cooker look good, stanb. Is that one of the older Prestige models with the floating weight on top?

PS: SB, after tonight's garlic chicken, I am now baseless, so this is up next at the end of the week.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by stanb » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:43 pm

Yes, it's a Prestige. I've had it years and it doesn't get much use, though it will now!

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Re: SB's Pressure Cooker Base Gravy

Post by Greybeard » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:44 pm

With the ongoing passage of time and the slow but sure descent into dotage often means that I forget things more frequently than I did in my youth. Case in point, I have a vague recollection of cooking a few bases "The old fashioned way" in a standard pot on the stove, but what recipe I followed or the exact details of the attributes of the resulting base escape me. What I know for certain is that 1) I could not make out any discernable difference in quality between a pressure cooked and a standard base and 2) It is so much quicker, easier, fuel efficient - what's not to like?

On my journey to BIR perfection, I have been very fortunate in that I have managed pretty much to recreate the taste and aromas that I remember from my many nights spend frequenting Indian restaurants. So far so good. The downside is that I have frequently failed miserably to get the colour and texture absolutely bang on, so while the dishes are great, from a photographic standpoint they are not quite there yet. Hence my continued experimentation.

SB's PCBG is the latest base to be tried in my small and cluttered kitchen. Like all PC bases, it is absolute simplicity to put together, and combined with SB's mix powder passes the first critical test - Can I eat it straight out the pan? For me, if a base doesn't taste really good, the final dish won't either. There is definitely something very BIR going on here, not sure if it is the extra pepper, fenugreek or the 5 spice powder, while the base is very mild heat wise (some of my bases definitely have more heat), it is a great platform to build on at the fry stage.

Friday night was a major curry night with friends; Pork vindaloo, Kashmiri chicken, Garlic chicken, Beef Madras, Chicken Tikka, Dhal with rice, naan bread and poppadoms. Serious curry fans, they specifically asked for a Vindaloo, and I knew that their opinion would be honest. All curries were cooked using SB's PCBG, and my guests were seriously impressed, making a comment I've heard a few times now - much better than the local TA fare.

So if you are undecided I'd recommend you try this base (along with the many others on this site), but also get a pressure cooker if you are serious about BIR as a hobby. Not only does it cut down the time involved in prepping the core ingredient of your curry, but it will save you money in the long run.
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