An idea - has anybody tried?

#1
Just been thinking..I love cooking but many dishes I'd like to recreate require buying ingredients that would only be used once in a blue moon. I dont really have the space for a spice rack housing little used exotic stuff for example. I know there are specialist supermarkets selling cheap ingreidients but once again - it involves storage.

What would be the likely answer if I went to a Chinese takeaway and just asked for the base ingredients for say number 234 off the menu?

Would an indian takeaway be likely to just sell me the herbs and spices that go into a particular dish?
 
#3
Yeah, Ive seen the curry club. looks good but it does require a degree of planning. I can't explain but..say I come home from work and just decide I fancy xyz but want to cook it myself. Thats the scenario I'm basing this on.
I tend not to plan meals - I make things up as I go along. I have no idea what I will be eating this evening, let alone tomorrow.
 
#5
supermatelot said:
Just been thinking..I love cooking but many dishes I'd like to recreate require buying ingredients that would only be used once in a blue moon. I dont really have the space for a spice rack housing little used exotic stuff for example. I know there are specialist supermarkets selling cheap ingreidients but once again - it involves storage.

What would be the likely answer if I went to a Chinese takeaway and just asked for the base ingredients for say number 234 off the menu?

Would an indian takeaway be likely to just sell me the herbs and spices that go into a particular dish?
Go to your local takeaway and ask - if you go there regularly already they are more likely to let you have stuff.

At one stage I was going to the local keebab place and getting a free bottle of wine or assorted freebies thrown in. That was due to going there virtually every night from re-opening on a change of ownership. After about 3 months a change of diet regime was in order.
 
#6
I dont use them very often to be honest. I like the idea of the kitchen guru website markin posted - but like I said - I'd prefer a more ad hoc method.

If I fancy Chicken mahkni in an hour but want to cook it myself - would it be realistic for me to drive 3 miles to the nearest indian and just ask for the base ingredients, ghee, spices etc?

I suppose I could always just go and ask them but 1 - don't want to look a cnut and 2 - has anybody here ever tried it?
 
#7
Dunno whether my local takes-aways would oblige: like you I don't use themn that regularly.

I do know that my local supermarkets have packs of the "stuff" - but it's better fresh.

Waitrose (one near you?) are pretty good for the odd handful of this-that-n-the-other, but where I am (Aylesbury, Bicester, Milk'n'Beans, Candleford), the best sources are little 'ethnic' shops half-a-mile from the shopping centre, market stalls, even Londis - the li'l shops often staying open till silly o'clock. Same was true in Woking where I lived before (with 2 pukka Italian delis in the same street !!!)

Do you reside in an ethnic Danishally pure part of England devoid of such vendors?

Perhaps you haven't taken the time to find out where your local 'ethnic' shopping happens.
 
#8
Don't think that much of the idea to be honest. How much would you like in terms of spices? How often would you go to the restaurant/takeaway. They will have the spices separate in the kitchen and it maybe finicky for them to make them up. Buying your own will be cheaper, and also you are asking them to give you the spices to make your own when they want you to buy theirs.

If you do have a spice shelf then you can easily make up your own variations and it's inexpensive. I have a cupboard dedicated to spices, but then what I did was to make up some pots of the combinations I like and then I just need to open the appropriate jar and take oput a spoonful. Sure you need to dedicate a small amount of work to set it up, but it doesn't take long, and once done with say three or four combination jars then you are set. Saves me a huge amount of time, and the mixes are mine, perhaps the takeaway will be a bit heavy on one thing but you can correct that with your own recipie.

Golf Lima
 
#9
No room for a spice rack? Really? Try a box about 8"x8"x8". If you can't fit that in your home then it's probably time to move.
 
#10
I had no room for all my spices, so I bought a rack and screwed it onto the outside of an existing cupboard door, now I can go spicetastic with gay abandon.
 
#11
Stonker said:
I do know that my local supermarkets have packs of the "stuff" - but it's better fresh.
On the contrary - most spices come dried. Some herbs are better fresh, such as basil, parsley or flat leaf coriander, but some other herbs such as oregano are just as good, if not better, when dried. My wall-mounted spice rack contains the following;

Curry shelf; turmeric, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, black pepper, cardamom pods, nutmeg seeds, ground cumin, cumin seeds, dried chillies and bay leaves.

Everything else shelf; cinnamon pods, ground cinnamon, paprika, chilli powder, dried oregano, white ground pepper, dried tarragon, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, whole cloves, star anise and, of course, gyros spice. :)

The above rack doesn't take up a lot of space, doesn't cost much at all, and contains just about every spice needed to make the basics of most Indian and Chinese dishes. I appreciate that you want ad-hoc recipes, but not everyone can do a Keith Floyd and get away with it - you need to practice in slow time first. Try making a couple of recipes you like, after making them once or twice you'll establish your own twists and shortcuts.

If you do decide to buy some/all of the whole spices listed above, I can also recommend buying a decent granite pestle and mortar. Grinding your own spices enhances the flavour ten-fold.
 
#12
I live on Dartmoor. Nowhere is near.

Does anybody here know..do takeaways actually use fresh spice or is it all the jarred variety? I thought they all used a base "sauce" regardless.

Hence my question really.
 
#13
supermatelot said:
I live on Dartmoor. Nowhere is near.

Does anybody here know..do takeaways actually use fresh spice or is it all the jarred variety? I thought they all used a base "sauce" regardless.

Hence my question really.
Ones in my experience have a tray of dried spices which they combine as per need.
Indian restaurants and takeaways usually have a base sauce ready but then add the necessary from the spice dishes. This is what I do. Do you want the base sauce recipie? I make up a big pot and freeze it in portions. Makes a huge positive difference.
 
#14
but not everyone can do a Keith Floyd and get away with it - you need to practice in slow time first. Try making a couple of recipes you like, after making them once or twice you'll establish your own twists and shortcuts.
I think I'll go with that advice.

Cheers fellas :eek:
 
#15
A couple of Tupperware containers mix spices you would commonly use i.e. one for Chinese one for Indian mix well and use as required supplemented with star species of the day for a change works for me.
 
#16
I think if you asked most Canto takeaways they would tell you to 'dyu lay lo mow'.

However, if you present said takweaway with it as an idea for a new revenue stream, I think they would take it on board.
 
#17
Steenbergs Organics:

I had a party pack of all things Asian/Chinese sent me on my birthday, the box converts in to a wall cabinet (well it leans agains the wall).

All excellent:
Clickety
 
#18
If you dont have a spice rack,get yourself one of these!,It's what the Indian householders have & use. (as do I)

http://www.pureindianspices.co.uk



This special promotional pack provides the essential spices required to cook up a fabulous indian meal. There are several ALAKH pure indian spice blends, which can be used for specific dishes, but most indian households have a 'spice tin' which contains the following essential spices. These will be provided to you in the 'Essential Spice Collection' in the given quantities:

* Red Chilli Powder (1 x 500g pack)
* Cumin Powder (1 x 500g pack)
* Coriander Powder (1 x 500g pack)
* Turmeric Powder (1 x 500g pack)
* Garam Masala (1 x 100g pack)
* Compounded Asafoetida (Hing) (1 x 100g pack)

Please see individual items on product list for descriptions on above spices.

This promotional offer also comes with:

Stainless Steel Masala Container with Clear Durable Cover

Authentic Stainless steel spice 'masala' container (also known as a 'daba') with 7 individual spice holders, as used in Indian households and establishments worldwide. The daba also includes a small spice spoon for your convenience. Cleaning is also easy, as the daba and its component parts (Not the Cover) are suitable for the dishwasher.


Keep all your favourite ALAKH pure indian spices stored conveniently, hygienically, and stylishly with our masala daba. And don't forget ... order directly from www.pureindianspices.co.uk when you need to re-fill your daba!

Dimensions:

Diameter (whole daba): 20cm (approx)
Depth (whole daba): 8.0cm (approx)
As for Chinese,
I find I can get by with light & dark Soy Sauce,Oyster sauce & Fish sauce and that's all I need really.
 
#19
spike7451 said:
If you dont have a spice rack,get yourself one of these!,It's what the Indian householders have & use. (as do I)

http://www.pureindianspices.co.uk



This special promotional pack provides the essential spices required to cook up a fabulous indian meal. There are several ALAKH pure indian spice blends, which can be used for specific dishes, but most indian households have a 'spice tin' which contains the following essential spices. These will be provided to you in the 'Essential Spice Collection' in the given quantities:

* Red Chilli Powder (1 x 500g pack)
* Cumin Powder (1 x 500g pack)
* Coriander Powder (1 x 500g pack)
* Turmeric Powder (1 x 500g pack)
* Garam Masala (1 x 100g pack)
* Compounded Asafoetida (Hing) (1 x 100g pack)

Please see individual items on product list for descriptions on above spices.

This promotional offer also comes with:

Stainless Steel Masala Container with Clear Durable Cover

Authentic Stainless steel spice 'masala' container (also known as a 'daba') with 7 individual spice holders, as used in Indian households and establishments worldwide. The daba also includes a small spice spoon for your convenience. Cleaning is also easy, as the daba and its component parts (Not the Cover) are suitable for the dishwasher.


Keep all your favourite ALAKH pure indian spices stored conveniently, hygienically, and stylishly with our masala daba. And don't forget ... order directly from www.pureindianspices.co.uk when you need to re-fill your daba!

Dimensions:

Diameter (whole daba): 20cm (approx)
Depth (whole daba): 8.0cm (approx)
As for Chinese,
I find I can get by with light & dark Soy Sauce,Oyster sauce & Fish sauce and that's all I need really.
A quick look in the foreign foods section of Sainsbury's will reveal these same spices at much lower prices. All you then need to do is pop down to Ikea and grab a couple of cheap jars and Bob's your uncle.
 
#20
This is the place to go, when I lived near Sudbury in Suffolk she was always willing to help and gave good advice.

Raffis Spice Box

Hope this helps

J
 

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