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Old 11-14-2016, 02:32 PM   #1
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Spice colours when cooking

Does anyone find that the colour of spices in a curry, for example, suffers during long, slow cooking? If I cook a lamb curry, it invariably comes out brown. If I do a similar one which chicken breast, it comes out bright yellow. I wonder if turmeric is not as thermally-stable? Has anyone else found the same? The same happens (though to a lesser degree) if I do a chicken thigh dish. I've even started cooking the lamb separately for a little to make it less homogeneous, though I don't like to lose the lamb flavour.

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Old 11-14-2016, 02:47 PM   #2
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Check your turmeric, I do get brick red or warm orange or yellow when cooked for 1 hour, just dont boil to hard but slowly simmer.
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Old 11-14-2016, 03:32 PM   #3
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I do think I have a habit of boiling hard because I'm afraid of it going off the boil! Perhaps I should use the simmer burner more. Or practice with yogurt/meat tenderiser to reduce cooking time!

If I do lamb for 3 hours, I will get guaranteed brown colour.
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Old 11-14-2016, 05:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthseaxa View Post
I do think I have a habit of boiling hard because I'm afraid of it going off the boil! Perhaps I should use the simmer burner more. Or practice with yogurt/meat tenderiser to reduce cooking time!

If I do lamb for 3 hours, I will get guaranteed brown colour.
Why are you afraid of it going off the boil? A gentle simmer is best for long-cooking meats.
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Old 11-14-2016, 05:12 PM   #5
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I mean entirely off the boil. No bubbling at all. I've never really thought about it actually. What is so wrong with that? As long as it's still hot, right? :D
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Old 11-14-2016, 05:21 PM   #6
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Once you bring it up to a boil and then reduce it, just keep checking for a while to be able to see little bubbles around the edge. Shouldn't take very long for you to realize it has "stabilized" at a certain 'bubble'. Then you can leave it and perhaps just check it once in a while (like perhaps every 1/2 hour). Do not go off to the cinema until you really really know your hob!

I don't know if you can get what I call a diffuser. I'll look for a picture to post. but don't have one right now. It is usually two metal plates with maybe a 1/4" between them - full of holes. It is placed on the burner with the pot on top. It diffuses the heat before reaching the pot and you are able to 'simmer' better.

I'm probably not explaining this very well. Someone will come along and do a better job.
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Old 11-14-2016, 05:24 PM   #7
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I've got one I use for my tagines and whenever I make a tahdig, but it has never occurred to me to use it for ordinary simmering before! That's something to try.
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Old 11-14-2016, 05:24 PM   #8
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As long as it's still hot, right? :D
It has to maintain a minimum temperature to be safe. I think it is 140 f. Definition of "hot" is not good enough. Hot is a concept and can mean anything.
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Old 11-14-2016, 05:25 PM   #9
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I do have one, but I only use it for tagines and when I make tahdig. I never thought of using it for simmering! Thanks :)
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Old 11-14-2016, 05:34 PM   #10
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OK - I'll make the squid and you make the tahdig. I just had to look it up and it looks scrumptious! Along with the curry, we'll feast all night!

Looking at your original posting here, don't think turmeric should change colour like you are describing. I'm guessing, like the others, it is the heat, even thou that seems strange. Is the pot burning on the bottom? That could possibly be another reason.
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