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British Restaurant Style Curry


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1 hour ago, The Hierophant said:


I struggle to see how that can be right I am afraid. The base gravy is made from stuff we generally have already or would buy as part of the weekly shop. Even if you had to start from scratch you’ll have loads of spices left over. One batch probably makes a dozen portions. 
 

Edit: I need to make a batch. I’ll work out how much it costs me and how much base I get. 

 

I'm not saying it would cost that much to buy two teaspoons of cumin or whatever is needed for the recipe, I mean the cost to purchase the whole packet (as you can't purchase two teaspoons of cumin).

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12 hours ago, stephen129 said:

 

I'm not saying it would cost that much to buy two teaspoons of cumin or whatever is needed for the recipe, I mean the cost to purchase the whole packet (as you can't purchase two teaspoons of cumin).


No but if you are going to make curries and Chilli and soup be stuff you need cumin. By whole seeds and grind when needed and it will last ages. 

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On 27/06/2020 at 14:58, The Hierophant said:

Well last week I did a couple of BIR curries as I was bored and had been given both volumes of Misty Ricardo’s cook books for my birthday. 
 

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They were amazing.
 

 

 

Just a head's up. If you don't mind using cookery books through the Kindle app then it's 99p this month. Here.

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On 29/06/2020 at 18:43, stephen129 said:

Don't get me wrong, I love cooking, but purely from a cost perspective, I can't really see how this isn't really expensive.

 

I looked at all the ingredient's from Al's base gravy 2 and wrote down what it would cost to actually buy everything (excluding the oil. water and salt). 

 

The total came to £30.84 (that's just the base, doesn't include any meat or extras you need to make a curry.

 

I realise that I will have a lot of the ingredients already and you don't use a whole bag of spice, but you still need to buy it at some point.

 

A lamb bhuna costs £6.95 from my takeaway and a chicken tikka masala £7.50

 

Even if I went to the Indian shop and bought all the spices there I'd probably only save £5-10. 

 

 

1Kg peeled white onions (halved)  £1

Sliced 1/2 Red Bell pepper 40p

1 chopped Green finger Chile 20p

1/2 sliced carrot 10p

60ml Vegetable oil 10p

1 tin good quality Plum tomato's 80p

50g coconut block (KTC) 40p

125g sweetened condensed Milk £1

50g Garlic (just peeled)  £1

50g Ginger £1

2 teaspoons turmeric powder 10p

1 tablespoon tomato puree 20p

2 teaspoons Coriander powder 10p

2 teaspoons Cumin powder 10p

2 teaspoons Paprika 10p

2 teaspoons Tandoori Masala powder 10p

1 teaspoon salt 2p

100g White Cabbage 50p

1/2 small potato (leave skin on) 5p

Handful of Red Lentils (~40g) 15p

30g fresh Coriander (leave stems in as well) 50p

1 or 2 teaspoons of Butter Ghee (EAST END) 30p
3 Bay Leaves Free

7 Green Cardamoms 20p

4 cloves 5p

2 teaspoons small Black Mustard seeds 20p

2 teaspoons Fennel seeds 30p

2 teaspoons whole Corriander seeds 20p

2 teaspoons Cumin seeds 10p

1/2 Star Anise 10p

Small piece of Cinnamon bark 5p

 

It's less than a tenner for me and I'm been fairly liberal with the costings, so probably a bit lower than that. I buy most of my Indian spices from here. I spent £40 on herbs and spices last month and that will sort me out for 18 months or so. If you can afford the initial outlay, you save lots of money in the long run. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My point is you can't go to the shop and buy 10p worth of garam masala or 100g of cabbage or 4 cloves. You have to buy 100g of garam masala, a whole cabbage and a jar of cloves. The reality of cooking is that unless you know how to use all the excess ingredients you'll get wastage. I rarely cook Indian food so a whole can of ghee just isn't going to get used.

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@Stopharage Surely the spices are going to lose potency (and therefore flavour) long before you run out of them?

 

@stephen129 Isn't that the whole point? If you think you'd end up with wastage then just stick to getting takeaway curries because on that basis you won't be getting good value for money.

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But any home cook is going to have a store cupboard of staples - cumin, coriander, garam masala are all basics I keep in stock even if I don't have a recipe lined up to cook - I am a bit OTT with spices though and have hundreds of them (so many Hungarian paprikas, Mexican dried chillis, indian spice tin etc)

 

Home cooking is often not about cost per portion (it can of course be) its about far exceeding quality of what is available commercially and knowing everything you are putting in

 

Saying I can't buy 10p of masala seems a pointless argument.

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30 minutes ago, Gabe said:

@Stopharage Surely the spices are going to lose potency (and therefore flavour) long before you run out of them?

The spices will be fine for 12-18 months. Obviously the fresher it is the better. But if they’re sealed they’ll be fine. The seeds last for 3-4 years, so no issues there.  I do a lot of home cooking so I’ll get through those spices easily. 

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only just saw this but surely the process is make a curry, then add a shit ton of ghee?

 

I get by with about 15-20 spices, and I make my own mixes with them. Home made garam masala is amazing. And yes always always buy whole spices. When it's ground it reacts with the air and loses most of it's flavour in days, let alone years in a jar.

 

Once you start using spices you'll get confident enough to experiment and then you'll find you get through them much more quickly.

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My wife bought these for around £20 and will keep us going a while. If it’s something you’re going to make reasonably regularly the cost is ok. If you’re only going to use them once, it’s not very economical obviously.

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I made a batch of both base 1 and 2, they were made on the 22nd December I've just used the last one and I'm having around 1 curry a week. I would usually have it out a jar that would cost around £4 for 2 jars as the kids don't like it hot. I would occasionally get a takeaway that would cost about £25-30 for us say twice over the 7 months. Now I've made my own different variants I can use one base for the 4 of us and adjust the heat without the Need for another sauce.

 

I will freeze my chili's and batch up some garlic and ginger to freeze.

 

The spices I already have for making other meals spice rubs/chilli Mexican spice mixes etc.

 

For me there is a cost saving. The base 2 is quite a bit more expensive but you could ramp up the scale of you had the freezzer space to maximise the savings. Base 1 is pretty cheap and is good too

 

 

I don't actually do it for saving money as its not a focus for me when cooking. Steaks and fish cost me a fortune.

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52 minutes ago, Pete said:

only just saw this but surely the process is make a curry, then add a shit ton of ghee?

 

I get by with about 15-20 spices, and I make my own mixes with them. Home made garam masala is amazing. And yes always always buy whole spices. When it's ground it reacts with the air and loses most of it's flavour in days, let alone years in a jar.

 

Once you start using spices you'll get confident enough to experiment and then you'll find you get through them much more quickly.

You got a recipe for that garam masala? I've been meaning to try some out for years but never got round to it

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@davadvice1

You'll need to dry roast the spices before grinding (it's from Rick Steins' far east book), this makes enough for a small jar and lasts me about a month:

2 tsp cardamom seeds (40 pods!)

1 tsp cloves

2 x 6cm cinnamon stick

4 large bits of mace (might need to go to waitrose or an asian shop for this one)

2 tbsp cumin seed

2 tbsp coriander seed

1 tbsp black peppercorn

 

Heat them on a very hot pan until they smell amazing and the oils start to come out. Then grind it, smells like heaven.

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I got both books at the weekend, but seeing as I am moving in a couple of weeks I couldn't  really make a vat of the base sauce. I did  make the dal from volume 1. Dal recipes are two a penny, but this was really good. I used chana dal instead of red lentils and it tasted so much better the next day.

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On 01/07/2020 at 12:26, Kryptonian said:

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My wife bought these for around £20 and will keep us going a while. If it’s something you’re going to make reasonably regularly the cost is ok. If you’re only going to use them once, it’s not very economical obviously.

 

I like the look of this. I suspect a lot of my ground spices have lost a lot of their flavour. Also I don't have a good way to see which spices is which. They're all in a shoebox so I end up picking out loads of them trying to find the correct one. With these tubs you can see each one if you stack them all on top of each other. I need a spice grinder too.

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Made a fresh batch of base gravy last night. It’s so easy. The most work is peeling the onions.

 

As to cost, the only things we bought to make this batch was the onions, a cabbage, condensed milk and a bunch of coriander. Everything else we either has anyway or from previous batches of base gravy. I also reckon I’ll buy some more onions and coriander and make another batch to use up some of the cabbage and condensed milk. 
 

 

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12 hours ago, The Fox said:

Is the Al's base gravy on YouTube recommended over the one in the Misty Ricardo book?


@The Fox Al’s Base gravy 2. It’s the more elaborate one. I’ll probably try the Misty Ricardo one at some point but I’m sticking to what works for now. 

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Making ginger-garlic paste and bunjarra tonight, then tomorrow I'll be doing base gravy and pre-cooked chicken ready to do a bhuna and garlic chilli chicken in the evening. Excited.

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Time saving and, according to the Misty Ricardo book, it gives more tender chicken that avoids rubberiness. The chicken is poached in flavoured water, then coated in a basic curry sauce marinade before going in the fridge or freezer.

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13 hours ago, The Fox said:

Time saving and, according to the Misty Ricardo book, it gives more tender chicken that avoids rubberiness. 

 

I don't understand how it saves time? I've put chicken breast directly into things like green curry and it comes out very tender. You just need to ensue you don't overcook it. Can't see how cooking it separately provides any benefits. Happy to be proved wrong though. 

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Chicken madras (Made this as I somehow forgot to buy green chillis for my garlic chilli chicken :rolleyes:. Colour is a bit off because I had to use Kashmiri chilli power which is very bright red, mixed with some cayenne as I had no normal hot chilli powder. Flavour was absolutely spot on though)

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Also made a bhuna for the kids, which I didn’t get a photo of, and butter chicken:

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This isn’t the type of curry I’d normally go for but it had great depth of flavour. Extremely rich and calorific though, even though I halved the recommended 60g (!) of ghee.

 

One thing I noticed with the Misty Ricardo base gravy is that he doesn’t thin it out at the end like Al does; instead you portion the thicker, concentrated gravy, then thin it out with water as and when you use it. This makes it more convenient for freezing as it’s obviously taking up far less space. I’m sure you could adapt the Al’s BG2 in the same way.

 

The only thing I had to tweak from the Misty Ricardo recipes was when they call for chopped coriander stems. Supermarket coriander doesn't come in a nice bunch where you can slice the stems off, and picking off all the leaves would take an age, so I just used mixed stems and leaves instead.

 

The prep was easy for the most part and made cooking the actual curries so quick and painless, but when my ginger-garlic paste runs out (which thankfully shouldn't be for a long while), I will be trying to source some of the frozen blocks that the book mentions, because *fuck* peeling that much garlic and ginger again.

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Did another bhuna for the kids and got a pic this time!

 

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Dunno why they’re all sideways but whatever.

 

Also finally did my garlic chilli chicken.

 

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Learnt from last time and made a paper towel splash barrier.

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