Cook until oil separates?
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Thread: Cook until oil separates?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default Cook until oil separates?

    Hi everyone!

    I have a question:

    I have had a few curry cooking lessons, and read (and tried.) a lot of recipes over the years, and there has been a common thread about cooking at certain stages of recipes until the oil starts to separate from the rest of the sauce.

    I have asked various people why this is so important, and what is happening at this point (chemical reaction?) that makes such a difference.

    The generally vague answers are that it indicates that the spices have been fully cooked and their flavours have blended / mellowed.

    Anyone have any idea or reasoning behind this?

    Cheers.
    I posted on Real Curry Recipes so can you!

  2. #2
    Shanecummins65 Guest

    Default

    A few years ago, I remember having a very brief discussion about cooking curries with the owner of a local Indian restaurant.Most of the conversation escapes me since, but I distinctly remember him talking about the importance in cooking until the oil seperates and he said "this is what we call the masala"

    Now I have only cooked Bhuna and am doing Jalfrezi tonight but I haven't come accross it yet in any of the methods so I am not sure exactly sure where it fits in or where to apply it.

    Sorry, I seem to have expanded rather than answered your question

    Thanks,
    Shane
    I posted on Real Curry Recipes so can you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Hi Shane,

    Thanks for the reply. Maybe I just have to accept the "cook until oil separates" tip, without understanding why it is important.
    I posted on Real Curry Recipes so can you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    France
    Posts
    2,174

    Default

    Hard to explain this, but cooking "until the oil separates" is not an issue if you just cook with enough oil, and hot enough.
    I know this isn't the answer you were looking for, however....if you cook very hot and with plenty of oil, the point at which you add gravy will result in a flash and eventually a separation of oil from sauce, but the magic bit is actually well before that: it's when you hit the hot oil with garlic/onion/pepper, then spices/tomato paste/sugar, and cook them fast and hot. Then the gravy goes in and you make an emulsion....and then you break the emulsion (and split out the oil). But that's just the end of the process, the reduction of the sauce, the completion of the flavours. In many ways it's the least important - or at least the easiest - stage.
    I can't do this justice with words. Check out some of the videos and see if you can tell what I am trying to explain.
    Regards,
    Ferret

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Hi Ferret,

    Thanks for the reply, I have to agree that it is easy to cook to with too little heat and oil. When I have seen more traditional Indian cooking, at classes etc. I am reminded about using plenty of oil and a quite fierce flame.

    I have not ever really tried the BIR style gravy recipe type dishes, but obviously need to have a lash. Cheers.
    I posted on Real Curry Recipes so can you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Kirkcaldy in the Kingdom of Fife
    Posts
    149

    Default

    Hey Ferret,maybe YOU should make a wee demo vid and running commentary to us what your meaning...go on,you KNOW you want to!
    I posted on Real Curry Recipes so can you!

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