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Everything posted by mongo_jones

  1. we'll be there with bells on. yes, only bells. our sorry friends, however, are out of town. so, just the two of us.
  2. we finally went to china gourmet in boulder a couple of nights ago. so far this is the best chinese we've had in boulder (though that's not necessarily the highest praise possible). we ordered a large chicken corn soup (i asked if it would feed two, the answer was "yes", and theoretically correct since it could in fact have fed 6), squid with ginger and green onion, and ma-po tofu. their chicken corn soup is exactly like the version made in better chinese restaurants in india, which is to say i loved it--now if i could only get them to add the bottle of vinegar with chopped green chillies floating in it to their condiment selection...; the squid was also very good--nice, clean flavors; the ma-po tofu was ordinary (a little too much soy and vinegar in the flavor) but better than ma-po tofus we've had everywhere else in boulder. in short, we'll go back again and try more things. it is clear, however, that they don't use sichuan peppercorns in anything. pity. and oh yeah, they've consolidated their 2 menu system into one large menu (the stuff on the special menu is now on the "chef's specials" section)--so if the woman at the counter is older don't ask for the special menu--unless you like having long, fruitless conversations with someone who doesn't speak much english (i was bailed out by a younger woman who materialized 30 seconds into my asking the 3rd time).
  3. i am told you'll get that opportunity very soon. in fact i may have jumped the gun on posting the url.
  4. http://www.singleestates.com/ i went to school with ananda (the man behind the operation), so i am biased, but he knows his tea--the family's been at it for almost a century (if not more). the store's not open yet but the site's a great resource for information on indian teas.
  5. speaking of things available in the local grocery that i wouldn't know the first thing to do with. what is horse gram and what can i make with it?
  6. please to give recipe for simple vada batter
  7. thanks a lot easyguru, gingerly! can you give a sense of what guvar and tindora taste like? (gongura, i know) would both the guvar and tindora be simmered over low heat? medium? gingerly, the gongura chicken sounds good--is that just an adaptation of the more classic andhra gongura maans? and would you mind sharing the link to the site you got it off of? and finally the gongura pulusu: you say in an offhand way "boil bengal gram with a little turmeric in a cup of water add to the mix and cook for a few minutes". it is going to take a long time for the dal to cook, right? basically whatever method one uses to get the dal to done-ness for regular channa dal should be fine, right? the rest of the stuff is kind of like a tarka?
  8. that's just part of the initiation ritual. (you should have seen what adoxograph did to me.) or you could just say i'm a doofus--after the blog week i barely knew what i was doing. i've been reading your posts with pleasure all over the egullet map--glad we now all have the opportunity for some concentrated boris. and now that switzerland has no further part to play in euro 2004 you should have a lot of time for us! edit: to get a sense of the higher mathematics involved in figuring out the chances of next-round qualification for the one team boris has family ties left to, see: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/euro2004/feat...=303562&cc=5901
  9. i always get tap-water. my biggest water related problem is in korean restaurants that serve only "brown" water--i like it in its own right but dammit i want my regular water.
  10. mpv? not your multi-purpose vehicle surely?
  11. the wife does incredible things with them involving sesame oil and frying. i will try to cadge a recipe out of her.
  12. well let's have some of these recipes; don't be shy gingerly.
  13. i'm guessing these restaurants aren't doing very good business today...
  14. somewhere in my recently ended blog i posted pictures from a trip to the local indian grocery here in boulder. they carry a large range of vegetables that are used more in south indian and gujarati cooking than in bengali or punjabi cooking (to the best of my knowledge) . since this stuff is available i might as well learn how to use it. so, let's have it. hit me with recipes for tindora, gongura leaves, dosakai, guvar, torai etc. etc.
  15. has anyone mentioned deep-fried mars/snickers bars yet? be careful who you invite...
  16. even in wodehouse bertie wooster's aunt dahlia's personal chef, the perennial target of raids by neighbouring gentry, is french (anatole?)
  17. growing up reading enid blyton i thought english food was wonderfully exotic. and then when i moved to the u.s i encountered watercress for the first time. but i've always associated pies, particular kinds of roasts, a whole array of breads and sandwiches, puddings etc. etc. with english food. and i've never thought of it as dull and boring--perhaps because in india we don't really have anything that resembles most traditional english food. in the european context i suppose it may look less exciting/bold and cause feelings of inadequacy among some.
  18. given the judgement criteria i don't think indian chefs would have done well--as i recall the few thai chefs who were on didn't do well either. but morimoto did use indian ingredients every once in a while.
  19. this is also a crucial part of the chapati-maker's arsenal--place raw chapati, wait 30 seconds or so, flip, wait 20 seconds and slide onto burner to puff up--use side of griddle/tawa to whack puffed up chapati onto plate waiting beside stove.
  20. that's not the beginning of an ethnic joke then
  21. this is my last post in this blog and i want to thank everyone who has participated. the blogger is only part of the story of any blog (in my case roughly 30% of the story) and i'd like to thank you all for the stimulating discussion, the laughs and the support. to be completely honest i'd resisted the idea of doing a blog for some time; both because i really didn't think anyone would be very interested in "hanging out" with me for a week, and also because i wasn't sure my ironic, smart-ass personality was a good fit for the blog. 460+ posts later i'm very glad to be wrong on both counts. and while i didn't start out with any fixed agenda or goals, in hindsight some seem to have developed and been met: discussing the diversity of indian cuisines, showing some of the difference between home-cooking and restaurant food, pointing people to the incredible resource on indian food that is the india forum on egullet, and introducing some of you to some of the wild and wacky colorado egulleters. i think one of the great things about the blog tradition is that it makes people who live on particular parts of the site interact and meet with people from other parts. i have myself gained a lot from doing this blog: new friends; invitations to dinner (far too few of these, by the way); and also a good model of creating cultural knowledge-- a communal, participatory model in which a lot of different people weigh in with their partial knowledge and experience and together create a shared archive that is more generous, assimilative and trustworthy than the sanctioned "book of the individual expert". and so thanks to everyone who pitched in with explanations, anecdotes and recommendations. i reserve the right to steal all the best lines and use them as my own. of course, it isn't all a happy story. some things remain incomplete. despite picaman's best efforts the steven tyler/joan rivers mystery is still out there (alongside a new question: why do men in shaving product commercials always seem to have completely shaven bodies as well? and if i buy their products will a terrible compulsion to shave myself completely come upon me?); my ass still hurts; and i still don't know why earl grey tea is not banned under the geneva convention. then again if all of life's mysteries were solved what would we do with our time? but i'm going on rather a lot again. in closing: blogging good, but the redoubtable but ABSOLUTELY NOT EVIL mrs. jones better (yes, she's finally evinced an interest in reading the damned thing--to buy some time i've told her it is housed on chowhound). if anyone would like to know more about any of the dishes etc. that i've talked about here, come to the india forum, pm me, or send me an email at mongo_jones@comcast.net as we wait for the next blogger to come online i leave you with one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite movies (even has a food name), animal crackers: captain spaulding: hello, i must be going. i cannot stay, i came to say i must be going. i'm glad i came, but just the same, i must be going. mrs. rittenhouse: for my sake, you must stay, for if you go away, you'll spoil this party i am throwing. captain spaulding: i'll stay a week or two, i'll stay the summer through, but i am telling you, i must be going. chorus: before you go, will you oblige us and tell us of your deeds so glowing? captain spaulding: i'll do anything you say, in fact, i'll even stay, but, I must be going.
  22. dried turmeric powder is almost entirely a coloring agent. you can buy turmeric root (pictured in the grocery store pics from tuesday) and other kinds of turmeric which function as flavoring agents, but i never have and don't have the first idea of what to do with them. this would be a great question for the india forum (in fact i think it was discussed there). okay, so probably one more post after this one.
  23. the last set of pictures for the blog. i'd originally thought i'd prepare a crazy feast today and invite some people to help us eat it, but as the weekend approached, energy ebbed. and in any case as t.s eliot (the first to be referenced in the blog's signature series) tells us, "this is the way the blog ends, this is the way the blog ends, not with a bang but a whimper". okay, so three new dishes isn't exactly a whimper. 1. rajma (red/kidney beans). uberleet, if you're reading this is the recipe i promised you ages ago. rajma is not something bengalis in bengal eat much of. this sort of a preparation is a north-indian, more specifically punjabi thing. when my calcutta cousins would visit us wherever in india we happened to be they'd always ask my mother to make this--it was a faintly exotic thing for them. as per my mother: "one way to cook rajma is to cook it exactly like you would a meat curry" ingredients: preparation: heat oil in a pressure-cooker (you pressure-cooker-phobes are on your own)--add a couple of bay leaves, 3-4 cloves, a small piece of cinnamon. when fragrant add about a cup chopped onions. saute till golden and add ginger-garlic paste (4 cloves garlic, 1 inch piece ginger). saute till brown'ish and add the masalas (1 tspn each red chilli pwder, curry pwdr and turmeric, plus salt to taste)--saute on medium heat for a bit and add 1 cup red beans. saute for a while, add 1 cup chopped tomato (since i was out of fresh tomatoes i used the pomi chopped tomatos instead). stir till tomatoes give up all liquid. add 4 cups water (you can always cook it down later) and pressure-cook till done (if you soaked beans overnight it'll take less time than if you didn't). uncover--mash some of the beans with a spoon, add 1/2 tspn garam masala, stir, bring to a boil, take off heat, garnish with a chopped green chilli and a little cilantro till it looks like this: you could also garnish it with some chopped onions, and if you like float a little cream on top. alu-kofir tarkari (bengali style alu-gobi) ingredients: roughly 600 gms cauliflower, 200 grams small potatoes quartered, 1/2 cup peas, 1 chopped tomato, 1 tspn panch-phoron mix, 1/2 tspn turmeric, salt, 2 green chillies and cilantro chopped for garnish. prep: heat oil. toss in panch-phoron, wait till popping begins to subside--dump in everything but garnish. stir on medium heat for a while. add a little water, cover and cook till potatoes are done (the water should all or mostly be absorbed). remove from heat. sprinkle a little of my mother's "only made in our house" masala on top, garnish with chilli and cilantro. serve. and the final product: potato and sweet potato medley with chaat masala i "invented" this one--again it is doubtless an unconscious recreation of half-remembered classics. ingredients: 4 small white potatoes and 1 large sweet potato diced. a shit-load of cumin seeds (well, maybe not a shit-load). 1/4 tspn turmeric, salt, a few pinches chaat masala, 1/2 a lime prep: heat oil. dump in cumin seeds. when nice and fragrant dump in the potato and sweet potato. fry, stirring vigorously to coat with cumin seeds. add the turmeric and salt and cook till potatoes are soft (if sick of stirring you can lower the heat and cover the pan). when potatoes are done, take off heat, squeeze the lime all over, sprinkle the chaat masala and stir. you're done. and you're in paradise. this can be a veg side dish or an evening snack by itself. this is what it looks like when done: phew! i'm never photographing food again! but once again i'll say that cooking for the blog has meant that i've cooked very carefully all week and as a result we've eaten fabulously. so, thank you all! probably just one post left tonight before i pass the torch.
  24. jon, good points all. however, i wonder if this is entirely a matter of history and vague historical justice. after all it isn't just that black people may not have gotten the historical credit they deserve for certain traditions--there's literal ownership questions that continue today. as a number of people have noted, there are very, very few black owners of barbecue establishments (in the south and beyond). not only has barbecue's history not been re-written outside of the realm of aficionados but black people rarely have physical ownership of, or the opportunity to profit from, contemporary barbecue. that's one of the areas where the jazz analogy breaks down (though probably not the blues one)--when most people think of jazz they think of miles davis or coltrane or ellington (though i am sure many also think of kenny g); but even in this conversation there's only one ed mitchell. i think that alters the stakes of this conversation a little. the question of ownership isn't just a turf thing (though it is clearly at least partly about that) it is also one of cultural identity--the very point at which the larger culture seems willing to acknowledge the black roots of barbecue in the u.s is also the point at which it is being claimed for everyone else. at the same time barbecue is one of the few extant american food "traditions" which has a kind of cachet to it--it doesn't surprise me that a lot of people from outside its traditional homes would like to be able to also plug into it. the relationship will probably take some time to work itself out. as de la soul put it in a different context, "stakes is high". but these are ideological issues--they don't alter how barbecue tastes in different places. nonetheless it is an important discussion and we owe walsh and elie and others thanks for forcing us to have it. mongo
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