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@Kevin Farnell ...just half a teaspoon of chilli powder?:LOL:

Cooking curries are just about second nature to me. I can cook all the regular ones you would find and generally without following any recipe unless it's been a while. If I do need to check, I usually only check for the individual ingredients, not the quantity and I can usually make something decent from that. My favourite curries in order are Chicken Tandoori Masala, Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Jalfrezi, Lamb Rogan Josh. Chicken Korma, Dhal , Spicy Coriander King Prawns, Bombay Potatoes. Etc. I do tend to default to chicken for most dishes if I'm honest, but I do love chicken, so no apologies there. My family would sooner eat one of my curries than any shop or takeaway bought one, that apart from only the best Indian restaurants so that must say something.

I confess I haven't tried making a Balti so I will give your recipe a go.
 

Kevin Farnell

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@Kevin Farnell ...just half a teaspoon of chilli powder?:LOL:
Baltis are generally quite mild, but obviously you can make it as hot as you like. Personally, if I'm making a curry hot, I prefer to use fresh chillis than powder as I find they add a flavour as well as heat.
I hope you enjoy the balti, if you give it a go.

Kevin
 

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I'm the same to be honest. For most dishes I prefer to use fresh chillies. On a Jalfrezi I throw a small handful of finger chillies / Birdseye chilli halves on to the top with some Coriander.
 

Kevin Farnell

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Fresh chillies also freeze very well and can easily be chopped/sliced from frozen. I've spent far less on green finger chillies since I found this out. Also, if adding whole chillies to a dish that is going to be slow cooked for a long time, poke a knife into the chilli to make a little slit top and bottom. This allows the flavour to flood out (paraphrasing a teabag advert).

Kevin
 

Kevin Farnell

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To serve, drain the rice
Hi Ray

Have you ever cooked rice by the 'total absorption method'? I learned this technique many years ago and is now the only method that I use.
Basically, you measure twice the amount water to rice (so if you have 1 cup of rice, you need 2 cups of water). Place in a saucepan (many people say to pre-wash the rice, but I don't always bother) season and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and put a lid on the saucepan. Simmer for 8-10 minutes (depending on your hob), until all of the water has been absorbed and in this time DO NOT REMOVE THE LID! After the cooking time, turn off the heat, remove the lid and fork through the rice. Replace the lid and the rice will stay hot for 20 minutes or so. Allowing the rice to sit in the hot saucepan with the kid on will make it more fluffy without it becoming mush.
It may take 2 or 3 attempts to get the timing right for your hob, but once you have the results are worth it. I find basmati rice has much more flavour cooked this way. Also, you could try adding a teaspoon of coconut cream to the water/rice mixture to give a wonderful coconut rice.
My favourite basmati rice is the one that comes in a blue pack and starts with 'T'. I now buy this in 5Kg bags, as it lasts forever and is significantly cheaper than say a 500g pack.

Kevin
 

Ray Finkle

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Have you ever cooked rice by the 'total absorption method'?

Never tried it but will schedule something in for this weekend to give it a bash. Sounds excellent (y)

My favourite basmati rice is the one that comes in a blue pack and starts with 'T'.

I use the same brand :)

Although I have been known to use the microwaveable packets from time to time :whistle:
 

Kevin Farnell

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Never tried it but will schedule something in for this weekend to give it a bash. Sounds excellent (y)



I use the same brand :)

Although I have been known to use the microwaveable packets from time to time :whistle:
Personally, I think the rice tastes better cooked that way as nothing is thrown away with the water. It may take one or two attempts before you get it right, but I think you'll be pleased with the results when you do. I've even done it in the microwave. Using a Pyrex casserole dish (with lid), I weigh twice the amount of water (cold) to rice, season and then give it 20mins on power setting 3 (950W microwave).
Only, one time I forgot to set the power level so it had 20mins at full power. The kitchen was full of smoke and the once clear casserole dish now looked like it had received the darkest window tint available and the lid was welded on! It went in the bin.

Kevin
 

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There was something on the news admittedly sometime ago that said you're best not to boil the water away as rice can often contain excessive amounts of arsenic.
 

Kevin Farnell

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There was something on the news admittedly sometime ago that said you're best not to boil the water away as rice can often contain excessive amounts of arsenic.
That's interesting and not something I had been aware of. It makes you wonder about the people of Asian countries for whom rice is a staple food and many eat it 2 or 3 times a day.
I did a quick web search and found this BBC report -


It found that soaking rice in water (5 parts water to 1 part rice) overnight prior to cooking removed 80% of the Arsenic and is more effective than just boiling the rice in excess water.
I guess if we worried about everything in our food (hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives etc), we'd never eat anything. Ultimately, a well balanced diet is the best you can do.

Kevin
 

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So true. We eat fairly healthy in our household. We probably don't eat as much fruit and veg as we should though. My kids like spaghetti bolognese which is their favourite so as the chef of the house I take the opportunity to add celery and carrots whizzed up with tomatoes, garlic and basil. It's a good way to hide veg if they won't otherwise eat it.
 
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It does look very tasty but too much oil or ghee for my liking. I'm getting an ulcer just watching the video. When I make my own I prefer to use the bare minimum.
 

Kevin Farnell

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I found this YouTube video (Rockstar Eater), trying British food in Los Angeles, at the Cat and Fiddle pub and restaurant. Initially, I was chuffed to bits when he first entered the pub. On the wall were a list of English towns and city's. Top on the second board was 'Bloxwich', the small town in the West Midlands where I was born and grew up. Sadly, it all went rapidly downhill from there. The owner says that her chef has 'improved' the recipes of her English mother-in-law, by adding more garlic, onions and fresh herbs. A look at the menu shows that their Shepherds Pie contains lamb and beef :wideyed:. The guy is served a pot of tea, which had virtually no colour to it, puts in way too much milk and then a huge amount of honey.
Onto the food, they serve Bangers and Mash, Fish and Chips, Shepherds Pie and Beef Wellington. The 'bangers', though home made were burnt. the beef in the Beef Wellington was way over cooked (succulent, tender and medium rare please!). any mashed potato served looked anaemic and if any chip shop ever served me fish in batter like that, they'd have it thrown in their face! To finish off, they had Sticky Toffee Pudding. This should be an absolute delight, but it looked far too pale and was served with blueberries.

If anyone wants to see how bad it was, here is the video -


Kevin
 

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I won't be going out of my way to visit them if I'm ever in town. The tea was shocking and the lumpy gravy looked disgusting 🤮
 
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