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Old 04-04-2014, 08:28 AM   #1
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Problems with curries and bolonese sauce

Curries, my issues are that its not creamy enough. Now ofc alot of 'traditional' curries are loaded with stuff like coconut, ghee, etc etc however I would like a creamy curry whilst still being healthy :P. I tried adding low fat milk but that still didnt improve it much as it makes the curry more curdled than anything, the yoghurt and the wateryness form the tomatoes etc would just separate out rather than mix together. So any suggestions for making curries richer/creamier in consistency without being unhealthy?

As for bolognese sauce...I find it always ends up bland, in a similar way to the curries I make. They are just watery without any consistency or taste. They taste more like heated tomatoes and a little bit of spice rather than a unique tasting meal :(. I also love a bit of strong cheese on them but I find as soon as the cheese gets hot it just turns into this tasteless plasticy goop which galvanizes itself to my fork and the dish. I have wrecked a few dish cleaners form this ominous substance getting caked to their surface making them unusable afterwards.

So tips please! :)

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Old 04-04-2014, 09:10 AM   #2
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It's difficult to offer advice without knowing exactly what you are currently doing. Personally, I like to make a lot of tomato based curries, just for the reasons you describe. Not that I feel yogurt or coconut milk are necessarily unhealthy, but they can jack up the calories (by the way, if you do use yogurt, it must be the full fat variety, which isn't as quick to curdle when heated).

You can usually replace any or all of the coconut milk, yogurt, or cream with tomato puree. If there isn't enough gravy, or it's too thick, just add a little water or stock until the consistency is what you are looking for. Sometimes I add just a dash of cream at the end to give a little more richness.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:17 AM   #3
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Thanks, yes for me its the opposite my sauces are too runny and just juices. I dont do anything really except add vegetables and spices for either dishes, so that is why i didnt say it cos i basically just wanna know the essential ingredients which make sauces rich and creamy (apart from cream :P).

If it is the case that its only adding coconut or cream then maybe ill look for some healthier alternative which retains the same binding properties without the health hit?
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:35 AM   #4
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Re: Bolognese. What do you make your sauces with? Bolognese is a meat sauce with some tomato in it. Not a tomato sauce. It also includes dairy either milk or cream. Post a link to the recipe.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:43 AM   #5
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Well no recipe, i just made it up as i go :P

I just used 3 tins of tomatoes and basil, onions garlic and quorn mince for the meat- not that im vegetarian for the record just like it for a change sometimes..
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:58 AM   #6
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For your curries try adding creme fraiche instead of yoghurt towards the end of the cooking time and/or a tablesp (per 1/2pt of sauce) of ground almonds sprinkled in. This will give you a beautiful flavor and WILL also thicken the sauce so just remember that.
For your tomato sauces, try tinned plum tomatoes with a dash of ketchup mixed in with some fresh or dried oregano or basil. Don't add any more water than absolutely necessary and cook your sauce long and slow, preferably the day before you want to eat it. Use the leanest and best meat that you can afford and just before serving add a dash of balsamic vinegar. The cheese needs to be a hard cheese such as cheddar or best of all, grated parmesan type cheese.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:04 AM   #7
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Well no recipe, i just made it up as i go :P

I just used 3 tins of tomatoes and basil, onions garlic and quorn mince for the meat- not that im vegetarian for the record just like it for a change sometimes..
That's a tomato sauce, not a Bolognese sauce, which like Andy pointed out is more of a meat ragu with some tomato, wine and milk.

Drain the tomatoes, add tomato paste, red wine and let it cook down. It will thicken up as the water evaporates.

Make sure you season it with salt and pepper at the beginning.

Cook it with a rind of parmesan cheese in it for added flavor. Remove before serving.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:59 AM   #8
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Thanks both,

menumaker thats some great tips, had totally not thought of adding nuts. I have no qualms about using nuts since they are good fats :)

Right will try tomato paste in the mix next time. I just hadnt bothered as i figured ive got loads of tomato in already why add more :P?
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:01 AM   #9
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Thanks both,

menumaker thats some great tips, had totally not thought of adding nuts. I have no qualms about using nuts since they are good fats :)

Right will try tomato paste in the mix next time. I just hadnt bothered as i figured ive got loads of tomato in already why add more :P?

Tomato paste adds a little thickness and depth of flavor. So it might be a good addition to a sauce that is watery and bland.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:02 AM   #10
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Try fat free evaporated milk for the curry
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:44 PM   #11
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Re: Bolognese. What do you make your sauces with? Bolognese is a meat sauce with some tomato in it. Not a tomato sauce. It also includes dairy either milk or cream. Post a link to the recipe.
I still won't get used to the fact you use milk etc. in your Bolognese over there.. before I read it here it has not even occurred as a possibility in my thoughts..

search the forum for some bolognese recipes, I'm sure there are few, either in the ethnic or the veggie section. A Ragu bolognese is quite simple, it just needs its time
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Old 04-05-2014, 05:52 PM   #12
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Curries, my issues are that its not creamy enough. Now ofc alot of 'traditional' curries are loaded with stuff like coconut, ghee, etc etc however I would like a creamy curry whilst still being healthy :P. I tried adding low fat milk but that still didnt improve it much as it makes the curry more curdled than anything, the yoghurt and the wateryness form the tomatoes etc would just separate out rather than mix together. So any suggestions for making curries richer/creamier in consistency without being unhealthy?

As for bolognese sauce...I find it always ends up bland, in a similar way to the curries I make. They are just watery without any consistency or taste. They taste more like heated tomatoes and a little bit of spice rather than a unique tasting meal :(. I also love a bit of strong cheese on them but I find as soon as the cheese gets hot it just turns into this tasteless plasticy goop which galvanizes itself to my fork and the dish. I have wrecked a few dish cleaners form this ominous substance getting caked to their surface making them unusable afterwards.

So tips please! :)
Curries: If you add the yoghourt at the end of the cooking time, allowing the dish to go off the boil slightly before adding the yoghourt it shouldn't separate. Another ruse is to stabilise the yoghurt with a teaspoon or two of corn starch and let it cook off. Whole milk yoghourt behaves slightly better than low fat.

Bolognese: The obvious suggestion is salt. Do you cook the Bolognese for long enough to allow the flavours to coalesce and the unwanted liquid to evapourate? Do you add a pinch or so of sugar to take the edge off the tomato's sharpness? As for the cheese With spaghetti (etc) Bolognese grate the cheese on immediately before eating rather than cooking it in the sauce. Cheese will go stringy if you cook it too much. Are you using "proper" cheese or are you using the stuff we have over here which goes by the sinister name of "cheese product". Without knowing your recipe it's hard to know where you are going wrong.
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Old 04-05-2014, 05:58 PM   #13
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Thanks both,

menumaker thats some great tips, had totally not thought of adding nuts. I have no qualms about using nuts since they are good fats :)

Right will try tomato paste in the mix next time. I just hadnt bothered as i figured ive got loads of tomato in already why add more :P?
Tomato paste enriches he flavour of the canned tomatoes.

Incidentally, if using Quorn I wouldn't add it until almost the end of cooking as it can get a bit rubbery when cooked for a long time.
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Old 04-05-2014, 06:08 PM   #14
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Thanks, yes for me its the opposite my sauces are too runny and just juices. I dont do anything really except add vegetables and spices for either dishes, so that is why i didnt say it cos i basically just wanna know the essential ingredients which make sauces rich and creamy (apart from cream :P).

If it is the case that its only adding coconut or cream then maybe ill look for some healthier alternative which retains the same binding properties without the health hit?
Coconut milk has undergone rehabilitation of late and is now thought very good for you - in moderation, of course.
The health benefits of... coconut milk | BBC Good Food

You can buy lower fat coconut milk but it isn't (IME) as thick as the full fat stuff. Shake the can. If you can hear it slopping about in the can it isn't very thick so choose the can that doesn't slop.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:05 AM   #15
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Yes the pasta sauce I think the tomato paste really did the trick. Just like one poster said it really added to the depth of the tomato taste. I bought a lil parmesan too to add. So I think that one is pretty much sorted now :). I love adding capers to them which I had forgoten about.

Will give the curry suggestion a go next! :)
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