• Administrator
  •  
    Welcome to BIRCurries.co.uk Discussion Forum
    Your One-Stop Resource for Discussing Anything to do With Replicating British Indian Restaurant (BIR) Style Curries at Home!


    Please note that you need to be a member to access certain parts of the forum and will need to make 3 meaningful posts before you can access the recipe sections - REGISTRATION is FREE!


    Your contributions are important to us - please help us grow the forum by actively participating - irrespective of your level of expertise!

    Please note that your account may be downgraded to Inactive Member if you do not continue to participate and post and you will no longer be able to access the recipe sections (please see Policy for Managing Inactive Members for further information).

    Alternatively, you may like to consider the Donating Member Option, if it suits your circumstances better:


    Image

    October's Curry Club Curry of the Month is adeypayne's Shatkora (open to all members & guests):

    Image

    Please send me a Personal Message or email me, at admin@bircurries.co.uk, if you have any questions or if you need any assistance with using the forum.
     

September 2016 - rsaha's Kerala Pepper Chicken

Group testing of selected forum recipes by forum members
Locked
User avatar
Greybeard
BIRD'S EYE
BIRD'S EYE
Posts: 1590
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:18 pm
Favourite Curries: Dopiaza, Kashmiri, Madras or Garlic chicken
Location: Somewhere north of Watford but south of Inverness
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by Greybeard » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:51 pm

One of my regular points of reference for everything culinary is John Mitzewich, famously known as "Chef John", the American chef, video blogger and YouTube celebrity from Food Wishes. We share quite a few things in common – a spoon fetish, a respect for technique, but most importantly in the context of this review, a love of red cayenne pepper. Very few of his dishes escape a sprinkling of this, and like that wonderful “lights on” moment when I discovered the delights of Red Kashmiri Mirch, cayenne just adds that extra special dimension to my dishes. While I rarely use cayenne specifically in BIR curries, I always have a bottle of Schwartz black and red pepper to hand as I find it invaluable in other dishes, and a good sprinkling always adds a certain pizazz especially to prawns and steak.

So I was intrigued by this new variety of pepper, Malabar. Sadly, my imported South African whole black pepper grinder from the local el cheapo shop (BM's) did not state the species of plant, other than the country of origin. I was also very aware that the FDA had a salmonella alert (albeit many years ago) against the American Costco brand, and living in the UK would mean a degree of creativity when it came to blending the pepper. The JALOBO principle (Just A Lot Of Boiled Onions) also went against the grain a bit for me, as I tend to lean towards flavoursome bases. My ongoing struggle with base consistency versus flavour carries on unabated, but as I was throwing together a new batch of base I decided to compromise on my garlic quantity (only 4 bulbs went into the base) along with a small tub of fresh tomatoes, 1 ½ peppers, a small carrot, a good dash of tomato puree and a Kilo of onions. The spice mix used was what rsaha used in his simple base, freshly ground.

As to the pepper mix, as this was the main feature of the dish, I settled for ½ tsp of coarsely ground whole South African peppercorns, ½ tsp of the Schwartz mix and horror of horrors, ½ tsp of white pepper. Knowing Mrs GB's reaction to really hot curries I decided to err on the side of caution. Coconut powder came in the form of a Patak's sachet, along with the remains of my click seal coconut powder box, probably just over 1 ½ tbsp, although having given up on direct measurement and too lazy to go and dig out a fresh packet from our cavernous food cupboard under the stairs, I just tipped in the remainder en masse.

There was no surprises at the cook off, and I added the coconut to fry off immediately after the tomato purée. As expected, the curry was very absorbent, and despite adding a lot more base than specified in the recipe it still ended up quite thick. I had to adjust the sugar and salt quantity upwards at the end tasting just to get the right balance, but the end result was excellent.

This is an interesting curry to taste through the fry off stage. Despite keeping the pepper levels on the conservative side, tasting it mid-way through the pepper was quite harsh, dominant and overpowering. I continued to fry it off in the belief it would mellow out, and indeed it did. There is a sweet spot where the coconut hits the front of the mouth and the heat of the pepper hits the back, a really nice morish effect, hot but not harsh. Once I achieved that, it was time to dish up. An added touch of elegance was added by throwing in the scrapings of the uncooked garlic paste just to add another dimension. The seeping oil was really a joy to behold.

Mrs GB and I have not had a curry since the great big cook off at Mother in Laws, and when the cry of “Wow that is spicy” was heard from the other room as I was photographing the results, worried me somewhat. I thought that this would end up with a low score, but Mrs GB gave it a 8.5. The pepper is the star, the rest of ingredients are the flavour. Taste wise, it was excellent, but despite my best efforts to get a “layered” effect from the heat, it stubbornly refused to emerge from it's one-dimensional cave. I think the addition of the coconut really pushes this dish over the edge in terms of quality and balance, without it there is just a short-lived overall impression of heat. All of these observations are purely subjective though, and if you like pepper heat and flavour, go for the 2 tsp quantity and don't fry off as enthusiastically as I did. You will be met with a curry that is the equivalent of an American muscle car, fast off the line (but hopeless on corners). Lots of “in your face” raw power at the start, a head sweat and burning rubber. Or choose the coconut version, the Greenpeace special, that offers extra cuddles. While not renewable, it does include added fibre and sweetness. Regardless of version, subtle, this curry is not. Any recipe requiring 2 tsp of pepper that is not in the litre volume range can attest to that.

If you are looking for curry with personality, something different from the norm, this is it. A worthy addition to the curry club, but don't place it anywhere near a Korma. They'll just argue.
pc_001.jpg
Jarred pepper
pc_002.jpg
Pepper mix, black, Schwartz, White
pc_003.jpg
Rsaha's mix
pc_004.jpg
Dished up
pc_005.jpg
On the plate
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

User avatar
rsaha
SERRANO
SERRANO
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:06 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by rsaha » Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:43 pm

Greybeard, thank you for trying my recipe and for the wonderfully written review. I have to say, I made this again tonight and I think you should stop wasting your time with whatever it is you do and become a curry critic. Your review is spot on. More sugar - absolutely. Like an in your face American sports car - exactly. I haven't had a chance to do the coconut version yet because I needed to try this again to absorb your observations.

I would suggest, for those who have yet to try the non-coconut version, to up the sugar to at least a teaspoon and decide whether you prefer the full pepper experience or whether you would prefer something more balanced. For the former, up to 2 tsp pepper, for the latter perhaps 1 tsp pepper. I haven't done the coconut version but I think with 3 Tbsp of Maggi coconut milk powder 2 tsp would still work. I will make this version shortly and report back.

coarsepepper.jpg
I took a quick pic of the pepper I use along with some cumin seeds to give a reference in hopes that this helps those who next try this recipe to get a similar result to what I intended. I hope this helps. I think the finely ground white pepper Greybeard used would equal around double the amount of coarse black pepper.

I'm really enjoying this curry of the month thing and at the end I will likely post a new and improved crowd sourced recipe :) Thank you all.

User avatar
Greybeard
BIRD'S EYE
BIRD'S EYE
Posts: 1590
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:18 pm
Favourite Curries: Dopiaza, Kashmiri, Madras or Garlic chicken
Location: Somewhere north of Watford but south of Inverness
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by Greybeard » Sat Sep 10, 2016 3:20 am

Thanks rsaha, your kind words are much appreciated.

Just in case my photos mislead anyone, the amount of pepper in the sample dishes is way over the measurements I finally settled on (as quoted in the text). I was still messing around trying to put a blend together at that point ....
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

User avatar
Rusty
BIRD'S EYE
BIRD'S EYE
Posts: 1326
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:30 am
Favourite Curries: Vindaloo
Location: Adelaide South Australia

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by Rusty » Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:10 am

Hi Rsaha

I Will be giving this a go, looks fantastic interesting your thoughts on the base,as I also like keeping the base simple after trying several bases from the forum, the texture looks very similar to the madras I have been making which I really like.
Another thing I love the flavour and smell curry leaves produce so they are in for me 8-)

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

User avatar
charliebir
CAYENNE
CAYENNE
Posts: 1212
Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 2:45 pm
Favourite Curries: Pathia, Garlic Chilli, Madras.
Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by charliebir » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:54 am

Looks interesting.

My wife loves lots of pepper on anything.

Might give this a try !
Charlie.

British Indian
BIRD'S EYE
BIRD'S EYE
Posts: 1259
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:11 am
Favourite Curries: Ceylon, Madras
Location: Perth, WA
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by British Indian » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:47 pm

What a fantastic review Greybeard. You certainly have a way with words.

Well, I cooked this up yesterday, and we ate it tonight along with a few other curries.

After reading Unclefranks review, I thought I would maybe cut back a bit on the pepper, but then after Reading rsaha's reply, I thought no, I will do it exactly to the letter......and I was pleasanty surprised.

I had a taste of it yesterday when I cooked it and I thought it was pretty hot, but after 24 hours in the fridge it must have mellowed. It has a very rich all round flavour, with a peppery aftertaste smack, but not harsh at all. Judging by the fact it has a tsp of Kashmiri powder ( normally my absolute limit) AND two teaspoons of pepper, I thought I would struggle, but I got through half of this curry before everyone else could get to it.

I didn't cook one with coconut this time, but I think this will be a real winner. It was very enjoyable and a nice pleasant change from having the same 4 or 5 curries every week.

Thanks rsaha, for me this is a definite winner.

Sorry I couldn't figure out how to resize the photo on the ipad

User avatar
steveparadox
CAYENNE
CAYENNE
Posts: 1159
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:05 pm
Favourite Curries: Garllic Chilli, Naga, Tarka Daal, Aloo Chaat
Location: Surrey, England

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by steveparadox » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:48 pm

Great looking dish, very typical ingredients but the pepper interests me....I've never added 2tsp of ground black pepper to a dish like this.

Unclefrank - I've been using passata recently too, I find the end result is better than using puree/water mix

User avatar
rsaha
SERRANO
SERRANO
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:06 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by rsaha » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:01 pm

Glad you liked it BritishIndian. I like to mix it up myself which is why I am always looking for south indian dishes to "BIR" up.

I've just finished making the coconut version. It tames the pepper somewhat and adds the expected creaminess but you still know pepper is the star of the dish. I also upped the sugar to 1 Tsp.

User avatar
Chickenbhoona
JALAPENO
JALAPENO
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:27 pm
Favourite Curries: Chicken Tilkka Bhoona.
Location: Cornwall UK

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by Chickenbhoona » Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:26 am

Going in on this one very soon obviously I need curry leaves,I have ordered Fresh Sri Lankan curry leaves? Have I made a boob normally it just says Curry leaves just wondering how dim I am :question:
Nice but dim. :confused:

User avatar
rsaha
SERRANO
SERRANO
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:06 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by rsaha » Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:32 pm

Sounds right to me. Green shiny leaf.

Smeghead
PIMENTO
PIMENTO
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:28 am

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by Smeghead » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:54 am

I'm a big fan of black pepper, going to have to give this a try on the weekend.

looks awesome.
thanks

rik
JALAPENO
JALAPENO
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:41 am
Location: Bulgaria

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by rik » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:03 pm

My word, your kerala pepper chicken looks great! The ingredients too, just itching to be made, looking forward to replicating this one.

Reminds me of of a pepper chicken (Kalimirch) from Martins Corner restaurant in Goa from a few years ago, very peppery and very tasty.

Rik
Nicholas Parsons!

Gauderbock
JALAPENO
JALAPENO
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:45 pm
Favourite Curries: Lamb Tikka Naga Special, Chicken Vindaloo
Location: Tirol, Austria

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by Gauderbock » Sun Sep 18, 2016 2:44 pm

I've just made this, just with a few minor changes. Left out the curry leaves - I wouldn't know where to start getting hold of them here. I also liked the coconut idea, so added a tbsp of desiccated to the tomato mixture and let it soak a while to soften. Lastly, no kashmiri chilli here, so I used a good mild paprika with a touch of hot chilli powder.

I've got to say it was pretty exceptional, certainly up there in my recent favourites. Good and spicy but a different type of heat than usual. A winner - and I'm already planning a king prawn version...
tmp_6600-nameUnknown-640x5061450738337.jpg
tmp_6600-nameUnknown-640x5061450738337.jpg (121.59 KiB) Viewed 1753 times

User avatar
rsaha
SERRANO
SERRANO
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:06 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by rsaha » Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:06 am

Looks great. Glad you liked it!

Smeghead
PIMENTO
PIMENTO
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:28 am

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by Smeghead » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:16 am

Got around to making this on Sunday.
Was very good (definitely into the recipe book)
though personally I would use a bit less sugar next time (used 1 TBS)
and might try the coconut variant.

edit: Doh.....

Just rereading your posts, I thought you'd posted that you'd upped the sugar to 1 TBS

I have to read more carefully, no wonder I thought it was too sugary.

actually I should check into what a tbs and tsp are in UK.
I'm in Australia and a tbs is 20ml and a tsp is 5ml.
I've got the vague idea that I've read that the measurements are different over there.

thanks again for the recipe :thumbup:

User avatar
rsaha
SERRANO
SERRANO
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:06 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by rsaha » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:25 am

I'm glad you liked it.

I'm almost as far from the UK as you - in Canada. You may have hit on a nice variant from a sugar perspective. Where I am 1 Tsp is 5ml and 1 Tbsp is 15 ml so you are four times my modified sugar at 20ml and eight times my original. Something for people to consider - this curry seems to sweeten up well although it seems 20ml may be too much...

What's a Tbsp in the UK?

crmdgnly
JALAPENO
JALAPENO
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:43 am
Location: Sunshine Coast

Re: Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by crmdgnly » Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:03 am

UK tbsp is 15ml.
I'm from the UK but in Aus and purchased a set of measuring spoons and for a good while thought the tablespoon looked big, but didn't give it much thought. Then I discovered the Aus tbsp is 20ml and it became much clearer to me why the likes of Cory Sender specify in their notes that a tbsp is 15ml.
I now annotate in recipes I write if it's a tbsp or an au tbsp I use.

User avatar
Alchemist
BHUT JOLOKIA
BHUT JOLOKIA
Posts: 4579
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:50 am
Favourite Curries: Lamb Jalfrezi
Location: West Yorkshire, England

Re: September 2016 - rsaha's Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by Alchemist » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:47 am

Thanks to Uncle Frank, Greybeard, British Indian, Gauderbock and Smeghead for trying this one out and posting photos and feedback in the recipe thread (obviously the Curry Club was closed this month due to ongoing maintenance!!!). Anyway...here's a collage of the photos posted alongside the original one from rsaha. Still a short window for anyone else to give this a go (it's on my list, but it's been one of those months..what with cooking up 14 veggie curries for my daughter to take to Uni with her!).
Attachments
Curries.jpg
Curries.jpg (228.69 KiB) Viewed 1776 times

User avatar
Alchemist
BHUT JOLOKIA
BHUT JOLOKIA
Posts: 4579
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:50 am
Favourite Curries: Lamb Jalfrezi
Location: West Yorkshire, England

Re: September 2016 - rsaha's Kerala Pepper Chicken

Post by Alchemist » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:26 am

Thanks again to all those who took the time and trouble to try this one out and post their results :thumbup: . This thread is now locked, so please continue to make any further posts in the original recipe thread.

Locked

Return to “Curry Club (Guests Welcome to Browse)”