The Benefit of a Balti

Every Brummie knows that their much loved local dish was created in Birmingham and that the real thing is fast cooked in vegetable oil over a high flame and served up in the same pressed steel dish (a sort of flat bottomed wok) in which it is cooked.

Now further research commissioned in the Jewellery Quarter through the University College Birmingham has revealed  unique health and taste properties  by comparing a properly prepared balti in one of the Jewellery Quarter made bowls with a typical pan fried curry.

 It reveals that:

  • traces of health giving iron in a proper balti are twice the amount of a curry cooked in a frying pan and transferred to a separate serving dish ie..Iron content on fast cooked balti cooked and eaten from pressed steel balti bowl (20.9 mg per kg)compared with one slow cooked and transferred to serving bowl (9.5 mg per kg). Given that a typical portion of balti is 360mg then the amount of iron in a proper balti is 7.7mg….. more than twice a normal slow cooked curry
  • the fat content of a balti cooked in vegetable oil (which the high flame helps to burn off) is half that of a typical curry with identical ingredients but slower cooked in ghee.Eg.Fat Content on fast cooked balti in veg oil (6.5%) compared with one slow cooked in ghee (10.8%). Salt content on fast cooked balti (0.47%) compared with one slow cooked in ghee (0.59%)In fact,  Iron is recognised as the most important mineral for the survival of the human race and it is vital in giving energy. As the recommended minimum intake for a man is  8.7 mg( its actually 18% for women of child bearing age) a proper balti is a significant contributor!). Incidentally, it is a myth that a pint of Guinness gives the most significant contribution to iron intake as a pint provides just 0.3mg or less so you would need to drink about 25 pints to gain the same benefit as a balti.Incidentally NHS advice on iron intake advises ‘Taking 17mg or less a day of iron supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.’ So the balti dose can only do you good not harm it would appear!
  • the slightly sweeter caramelised taste in a balti is caused by the  Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars triggered by cooking at high temperatures.
  • the method of cooking a genuine balti also seasons the cooking pan giving it natural non stick properties which compares favourably to manufactured non stick cookware where recent research suggests that much of that available may be carcogenic in use. 

ANALYSIS STATS:

  • Fat Content on fast cooked balti in veg oil (6.5%) compared with one slow cooked in ghee (10.8%).
  • Salt content on fast cooked balti (0.47%) compared with one slow cooked in ghee (0.59%)
  • Iron content on fast cooked balti cooked and eaten from pressed steel balti bowl (20.9 mg per kg)compared with one slow cooked and transferred to serving bowl (9.5 mg per kg). Given that a typical portion of balti is 360mg then the amount of iron in a proper balti is 7.7mg ….. more than twice a normal slow cooked curry.
  •  Iron is recognised as the most important mineral for the survival of the human race and it is vital in giving energy. As the recommended minimum intake for a man is  8.7 mg( its actually 18% for women of child bearing age) a proper balti is a significant contributor!). Incidentally, it is a myth that a pint of Guinness gives the most significant contribution to iron intake as a pint provides just 0.3mg or less so you would need to drink about 25 pints to gain the same benefit as a balti.
  • Incidentally, the NHS site states the following. ‘Taking 17mg or less a day of iron supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.’ So the balti dose can only do you good not harm it would appear!
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