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Everything posted by mongo_jones

  1. i hate you, i hate you, i hate you!
  2. the fish is lethal is what it is. 5 broken up dried red chillies and 5 sliced (unseeded) hot green chillies! and a total of 3/4 cup of water to cut it. luckily the kokum (the thing soaking in the water) also retards the heat a little, and deploying rice helps as well. as for crosswords: as i said earlier, solutions to all crossword clues may be found in this blog--you just have to know where to look. translation of latest sig: first some background: as all my close friends know i am obsessed with hindi film music from the golden age of bombay cinema: roughly 1949-1971 (for those in the know, roughly speaking spanning the period when kishore kumar's career started and s.d burman's glory days ended). in those days a large number of urdu poets worked as lyricists in the industry (the incomparable sahir ludhianvi, kaifi azmi, shakeel badayuni etc. etc.) and music directors such as salil chowdhury, o.p nayyar, naushad, s.d burman and hemant kumar were mixing classical influences/training with popular/folk forms and western influences (the twist, rock and roll) and turning it into something never seen before and never seen again. and then there were the singers: lata mangeshkar, rafi, geeta dutt, mukesh, manna dey, hemant kumar, and my personal favorite, kishore kumar (also an actor, producer, music-director and madman)--perhaps the greatest genius the indian cinema has produced. a little later in the 60s, as the golden age wound down we got another great lyricist, working in hindi this time, gulzar. for many hindi film lyric aficionados it really comes down to sahir and gulzar. i've quipped in another place that all conflicts are merely a metaphor of the battle between sahir and gulzar. and so: the lines in the signature are from a song by gulzar that begins "jab bhi yeh dil udas hota hai", from the film "seema" (1971). the lines i quote translate as follows: "i have made no vows, why then do i find myself waiting for you? when the heart/soul receives unexpected satisfaction/stability/rest/patience it remains/feels forever unsatisfied/unstable/restless/impatient" my one conceit for this blog is to have a new signature every day. connections/significances, if there are any, are to be drawn by people other than me. (edit to shamefacedly translate qaraar properly)
  3. wasn't there a knight in the morte d'arthur whose castle was named the dolorous gard? the atmosphere in the jones home tonight is funereal--i'm hiding out in my basement-cave office where i won't be in danger of bringing the roof down around my head by saying the wrong thing about the pistons' championship. anyway. here's some food shots from this evening. first the aforementioned samosas from the indian grocery. these are "home-made". if you are like me and like to eat your "home-made" foods qualm-free you don't ask too many questions about the home in which they were made. here are 4 perfect samosas (reheated in a toaster-oven), arranged around the most traditional of dipping sauces: maggi's hot and sweet tomato sauce. if there is a better dipping sauce for samosas than this i am yet to encounter it. and if there is a more perfect combination in the indian snack universe than samosas and tea, well, i'd like to know what it is i also photographed the inside of the samosa to give you kids a chance to see that not all samosas have to have dramatically spiced stuffings. these, as you see, have very light insides with a very subtle flavor. really, really good--i recommend these samosas to all boulder egulleters. they are apparently available daily at the boulder store. i was told they don't send them to the aurora store--don't know if that means they're available at louisville and lafayette (and afoodnut, she mentioned both those stores to me today: maybe yours just moved?) dinner. apologies to soba and others waiting for the promised mango chutney pictures and recipe. thanks to the basketball game i didn't have time to make more than one thing. and since i couldn't in good conscience eat another meal today with liver as the star (my cholesterol count is higher than many baseball stars' batting averages) i made the fish. here's the before picture: and here the after: this recipe is from penguin india's excellent kerala cookbook from their regional cookbooks series. the author is vijayan kannampilly . here's the recipe and some discussion. i'd been asked to post it to the india forum after i first raved about this dish. the dish is called nadan meen kari. nadan means "country", meen means "fish" and kari is the original thing that got corrupted into "curry"--as far as i know kari refers to any "gravy" made with curry/kari leaves. just a few more words on this: the growth in awareness of south indian cuisines in the u.s seems to already be accompanied by certain fixed ideas: prime among them is that all south indian fish dishes are made with coconut or coconut milk. while there is some basis for this belief, up-country malayali cooking often does not feature coconut at all. in his excellent intro to his book, vijayan also points out that until relatively recently it was only the coastal areas that even had access to seafood and so there are variants of malayali cooking that don't even feature seafood prominently. now i have eaten my fair share of malayali food, but i don't know a whole lot about it. on the india forum we have a treasure in ammini ramachandran (peppertrail) who is a font of information on malayali vegetarian cuisine (and especially the cuisine of her home region of kochi). in addition to this cuisine (only the brahmins are pure vegetarians), the other major strands of malayali cuisine are non-brahmin hindu cuisine (and even among the brahmins the namboodris and the nairs--the two dominant brahmin castes of kerala--have differing practices), muslim/moplah cuisine, and christian cuisine (st. thomas landed in kerala way back when). malayali food is beginning to become very popular in other parts of india--there's a number of restaurants in delhi now that serve it, and penguin has already published two extremely successful cookbooks on the region: vijayan's and k.m mathew's "flavors of the spice coast"; hopefully ammini will soon publish hers as well. i urge those interested in this cuisine to seek out these cookbooks (available on indiaclub.com) and to exploit the resource we have in ammini to the hilt--she has recipes/knowledge in her possession that very few others have. and check out her website as well.
  4. interesting--never eaten or heard of this don't know about that--it is hard to tell from the picture but the thing in the store had a much redder tinge to it and was a lot more bedraggled looking (not a sign of freshness, i think) than the veg in the picture on the page you linked to. yeah--in my experience, a very unusual thing for indian stores in the u.s. as i've noted on the india forum, they have multiple brands of south indian style rice, but only one of basmati. this is why i thought the owners were south indians too--now it turns out it is the majority of their customers who are (i had to tell the owner that people from andhra cook with gongura--i guess they just order it because enough people ask for it). now can someone give me a recipe for gongura maans? the area around the living room is now very dangerous--shaq has 2 fouls in the first quarter and the pistons just went on a 8-0 run to reclaim the lead.
  5. i'll be willing to bet big bucks that this woman is a killer bengali chef. of course, the restaurant serves "saag paneer, tandoori chicken and chai". i don't blame them--there's a set business plan for successful indian restaurants in the u.s. but still. i think we should go check this place out--what say? maybe i can call and sweet-talk her in bengali and see if she'll go off-menu for us (this sounds vain to say, but it is true: older bengali women looooove me). squeat, the poori and the luuchhi are related. the difference is in the type of flour--the luuchhi is much lighter than the poori. not only do you have to be good with the dough to get it to fluff up properly and taste almost insubstantial when it gets to your mouth, you also have to be good so as to not get it overly oily. others: there's a picture at the bottom of this page of a poori from our trip to india this winter. this is a tamil-style poori from the incomparable saravana bhavan (the delhi outpost)--episure, any update on what the fate of the chain is? for those, who don't follow episure's news updates on indian food in the india forum, the owner of the saravana bhavan chain decided to become the villain of his own real life hindi movie a few years ago. from episure's post of april 26, 2004: "Well, well, what do you all know, the honorable sounding upright Tamil Brahmin Mr. P. Rajagopal, owner of Saravana Bhavan has been up to no good. This restaurant has been visited by our egulleteers recently and was discussed on this forum as quoted above. According to news on Television and Print media yesterday, he has been jailed for 10 years for kidnapping the husband of a woman he was in love with but has been acquitted of the charge of murdering him. Rajagopal owns the Saravana Bhavan chain of south Indian restaurants in India as well as abroad, including in the USA and the Middle East. He was said to be in love with Jeevajothi, whose father was employed at one of the restaurants. Rajagopal and his men began threatening the couple and Jeevajothi lodged a complaint with police in 2001. On October 18 that year, according to the prosecution, Rajagopal and his goons kidnapped Shanthakumar and Jeevajothi and took them to Tirunelveli, where they were kept captive for weeks. Shanthakumar then went missing. Jeevajothi, who managed to escape, complained to the police that her husband was missing. Weeks later, Shanthakumar's decomposed body was found near the hill resort of Kodaikanal. " as mohandas gandhi once remarked, "i have known a number of vegetarians who were far more violent than non-vegetarians". or close enough.
  6. she had already eaten indian food--entirely in restaurants in los angeles. it actually took her a while to adjust to my no-cream, lighter-spiced home-cooking. she likes it so much now that she encourages me to do 2/3 of the cooking. after eating my mother's and my aunts' cooking she's not as impressed with my skills as she used to be. after just one visit to india she already cribs about all the things we can't get here and which i can't cook. and she likes cilantro but unlike me she thinks there is such a thing as too much cilantro. she likes pretty much everything but she isn't a big fan of coconut or the very heavily sweet sweets (though she loved certain varieties of shondesh in calcutta); she can't stand gulab jamuns in the u.s but couldn't stop eating them in delhi. i had eaten some korean food before i met her but i didn't have the first idea about how to eat it and which dishes went together and so on. so much so that i'll say that she introduced me to korean cooking. she's an excellent cook as well, but when we lived in l.a it seemed superfluous for her to make certain painstaking dishes when we could get such excellent versions in koreatown or her relatives' homes. now, of course, it is a different story. as you know we purchased some hardcore korean cookbooks on our recent trip to l.a--she hasn't cracked them open yet. when my aunt and uncle were here last week she did all the cooking (i had devious plans of making my aunt--one of the world's great cooks--do all the cooking while she was here, but it turned out she had plans of her own and wanted to eat nothing but home-made korean food!). if there is interest i can post pictures of some of that as well. our biggest problem (outside of the fact that i am an angel and she is evil) is that she is a laker fan and i am a clipper fan (who also roots against the lakers on principle). in fact, if the lakers lose tonight, as they likely will, and if i cannot control my glee, as i likely won't be able to, i may not survive the night. so, i should say a provisional goodbye. if the blog doesn't continue past 9.45 pm mountain time, you'll know why. (edit to add: uh oh, i already hear pained screams coming from the direction of the living room--perhaps i should watch the game in the bedroom)
  7. i've only been to one indian restaurant in dc--it was an overpriced fancypants place near the white house. don't recall the name--make of that what you will. but you don't need my help with dc indian--you have monica. and chef balraj bhasin's (egullet's bbhasin) restaurant, bombay curry company, is within reach, i think--somewhere in virginia. (i'm trying to make sure i answer everyone's questions--who knew i was going to turn into the perfect hostess?--i'm getting to them all out of sequence but i'll get to them all, i promise, before this blog ends, unless someone else does first.)
  8. the luuchhi is a quintessential bengali bread. here's a picture. the fluffy things at the bottom of the picture are luuchis. the monsters at the top of the picture are my nephews (so if you know who my nephews are you know who i am). this picture is from 2000. my nephews have grown--luuchhis still look the same. (edit to change "what my nephews are" to "who my nephews are"--though "what" is probably more accurate)
  9. okay, so the missus has asked that samosa devouring be pushed back to 6 p.m. so here's the grocery pictures: india's grocery, boulder (on 28th street, just south of valmont) some dals more dals even more dals (there's even more varieties but i didn't want to redo their whole display for my photodocumentary purposes) some of the flours (again, there were a lot more) half the veg display the other half the price-list okra gongura leaves (used as a souring agent in andhra and hyderabadi cooking) tiny little satanic eggplants (perfect for most bengali recipes) snake-gourd mangos, mango leaves and karela (bitter-gourd) turmeric root paan leaves, long beans and things (the leaves in the box at top-left are something called "tandalju"--she didn't know what the english name was, said gujaratis and some south indians cook it) chillies, other gourds does anyone know what these are? and finally, their bhujia and dalmut dispenser they have lots of other vegetables as well--i needed to get home (i know, not very dedicated of me). when the india forum hands check in later they can identify everything, correct my mistakes and tell everyone how/where each of these things is cooked. but one last picture. this is high comedy. an ad for a local indian restaurant. afoodnut, other coloradans--been there? the yoga of food, my ass. and just in case we don't get they're indian, there's a huge picture of the taj mahal, and they point out that the flavors are exotic. man, it is tiring being a blogger, but things like this ad make it all go away.
  10. soon there will be photographic evidence. the store carries both kinds in the same box. most of the ones i picked up today are pretty long (about 3-4 inches). is this lebanon, as in beirut, lebanon of which you speak or is this lebanon, texas or lebanon, oregon? (i don't actually know if there is a town called lebanon in either texas or oregon but the odds are on my side.)
  11. to most indians dal just means one of an endless variety of lentils. see the india forum for recipes of different kinds of dals (i will make 2 other kinds during this week). i just got back from my planned trip to the local indian grocery. i'd noted that since they'd said they'd get a new shipment of veggies at 1 i was going to go around 3. as it happens i got there at 3.45 and the veg didn't arrive till 4! good to see that globalization has not impacted indian standard time. but it was a good thing i was there when the truck arrived since they only had about 10 unripe mangos. thought about grabbing them all but got charitable and only took 4. it was a very interesting trip though (and bloviatrix i get pretty much everything i need except goat meat--the store is run by vegetarians--decent mustard oil--prohibited by the fda--and indian mangos--that damned fda again). since i had 15 minutes to twiddle my thumbs i asked the store-owner for permission to photograph things and then when the stuff arrived she explained the things that she knew and i didn't--some of the stuff neither of us could i.d or say what they were for. i'd thought the owners were south indians (the store has tons of things aimed at south indian kitchens) but it turns out they're gujaratis. she was surprised to hear that i am a bengali since she had no idea that bengalis also make green mango chutney (see my long post from yesterday). gujaratis, she told me, make many variations, including one with green cardamom. i'm sceptical about this cardamom business but i'll give it a try on another occasion. i'll post the pictures of the veg and other things (including varieties of dals and flours) later. now i have to do something about eating the home-made samosas i bought from them as well (only $.80 each). boulder egulleters will also be interested to know that this family (who also own indian groceries in lafayette, louisville and aurora) are thinking about opening a small gujarati restaurant in the same strip mall their boulder store is in. i'll keep you posted on details. it might well be that we might be among the few american neighbourhoods to have a dedicated gujarati restaurant/cafe. tonight's menu: all the leftovers (minus the liver) plus malayali fish curry and unripe mango chutney (rejoice soba). okra will probably be on tomorrow's menu--it is so fresh i want to cook it soon. more soon. edit to add: lisa's right, non-lentil dried peas etc. also fall into the dal category
  12. katzenjammy, i don't mean to sound like a curmudgeon (though i don't mind if i do) but the only indian restaurant i have eaten at in boulder/denver that i would go back to for a second meal is masala (i understand the bigger branch is in aurora--haven't made it there yet). hands down, the worst has been sherpa's--who serve crappy indian food and even worse alleged tibetan and nepali food. for what it is worth these opinions are shared by not just other indian colleagues but also people like afoodnut on the colorado forum. caveats: have not been to saffron (heard a rumor that they're owned by the folks from masala) and the royal peacock. haven't had time to go to saffron yet (but i do want to go), and have avoided the royal peacock (despite the good reviews) because a friend of a friend owns the place and i have this terrible habit of saying what i think of things when people ask me what i think of them (this got me in terrible trouble with the same friend when a different friend of his asked me how i'd liked his new movie--a major indo-american production from a couple of years ago). i will say this though: the average indian restaurant lunch buffet in boulder has been of a higher standard than those in los angeles. buffets visited include those of the taj in the basemar centre and the tandoori something place in the table mesa complex. bombay clay oven, where we colorado egulleters went for our first egullet dinner was serviceable but nothing to get excited about. but the food was not the primary point of that meal and they did do us an expansive special menu for just $20 each. and now i must cleanse my body and go to the indian grocery. talk amongst yourselves.
  13. lisa, very good question. bengalis, in general, are not big on the pink on the inside thing. while i'll eat my steaks bleeding and my tuna barely seared i tend to cook bengali food like a bengali (this is the first time i've consciously faced that contradiction). most bengali fish are similarly cooked through completely--however, because they're almost always simmered in a sauce they remain moist. there's no reason why you couldn't sear your liver first (well, not your liver). in fact, do it and follow the rest of the recipe and you'll be a practitioner of "new indian cooking"! i should have added with the pics that this is not a classic recipe. there are no classic recipes in home-kitchens--there's only endless variations on common concepts. so anyone making this liver curry should feel free to vary proportions of spices, leave out the potatoes and vinegar completely, make a completely dry dish etc. etc. i used to curse my mother's recipes when i first started cooking in a big way. instructions like: "add a little chilli", "cook till done" etc. but i've come to realize the beauty of this approach. as i've said in a different discussion on the india forum, what this kind of cooking allows you to do is to make a recipe entirely your own--by the time you "learn" it you've both re-constructed it and made it different from the model you were given. mongo
  14. squeat, as a man who has dedicated his entire life to the pursuit of sloth (it is a very languid kind of pursuit) i am always very glad to hear that i am encouraging unproductivity. about breads: the only breads i make at home are chapatis and parathas, and i'm not the best at either--but let me say that my mother still can't make chapatis. to make indian breads well you need a lot of patience at the dough stage and unfortunately those of us who are slothful are not automatically patient. let me do a quick breakdown of how the major north-indian breads fall along the home/restaurant divide. open of course to modification and correction by others. first the breads you should never eat in a restaurant. why? because they need to be eaten as they're made: in this category fall the punjabi chapati/phulka and the bengali luuchhi (made with maida) the breads you'll rarely see in homes (except those of the very rich with armies in their kitchens). because they require special equipment and tedious prep work: naans, tandoori rotis, rumali rotis etc. many indian restaurants in the u.s make credible to excellent versions of these. breads that can be good in both places: all kinds of parathas, pooris, bhaturas--these are more robust breads and adapt well to the restaurant kitchen. yet, i have yet to eat a decent one of any of these outside of certain hole-in-the-wall indian/bangladeshi places in los angeles (caveat: have not explored new jersey thoroughly). alu parathas in most indian restaurants are particularly self-parodic in form. there are of course other breads i have not mentioned. i'm sorry to say this but as of now there are certain breads that you can only eat decent versions of in the homes of indians, and then probably only if there's a woman over 40 present. i certainly can't make a luuchhi worth a damn and i miss them every sunday (growing up we always ate luuchis with alur-tarkari and achar every sunday for breakfast).
  15. so i haven't been to england since i was 10 so i'm not going to say too much about this. i do have cousins who were born and raised there and lots of friends who've lived there and in india and in the u.s. i'll leave it to people who've sampled the food in both the u.k and the u.s to chime in on how it is better/different there but one basic difference would seem to be the much higher concentration of indians in the u.k. the best indian food i've had in the u.s has been in new jersey--imagine a bigger new jersey with far more south asians, and with a majority population that has embraced their food. i've heard so much about caribbean indian food--especially guyanese indian (i guess there might be more indians in guyana than anywhere else in the west indies?)--but i haven't ever been to the caribbean. i'm guessing it is different there because the indians who went there were originally taken there by force. they probably didn't have access to ingredients from "home" the way the indians in the u.k, and now the u.s., did. as a result i'd speculate that indian food in guyana has evolved into a unique sub-cuisine and that to call it "indian" food may in some ways be limiting or inaccurate. but i'm sure others will have more insight/actual experience edit to add: my english cousins do claim, for what it is worth, that the new fashionable indian restaurants in london are just cashing in on the new currency of "indianness"--something they say they're happily cashing in on too!--and that the food in places like chutney mary is highly over-rated. then again both their parents are fabulous cooks so their frame of reference is very different and not valid for all consumers.
  16. step-by-step chicken-liver curry ingredients: 1 medium onion sliced, crushed ginger-garlic (1/2 in piece ginger, 2 large garlic cloves), i medium chopped tomato; spice mix: red chilli pwdr, turmeric--1 tspn each, coriander and cumin powders 1/2 tspn each the liver itself--separated a few pieces to give a sense of the size i cut them down to--about 1.1 lbs prep: 1. heat oil, saute onions till they get close to this point 2. add the ginger-garlic and saute till this point--well, maybe you shouldn't burn them as much as i did... 3. reduce heat to medium, add the spices and saute till around here 4. add tomatoes and cook down till here 5. add 2-3 tspns white vinegar, a big pinch of sugar and diced potatoes (or at least this is where i added the potatoes you could add them earlier if you like)--i diced up 2 small red potatoes 6. liver goes in--mix gently, saute for some time till the raw color begins to leave and add 1 cup water (or less), simmer covered for some time (sorry i never time my cooking) 7. cook down till it begins to approach this consistency (or much drier to taste), add a pinch of garam masala, raise heat to high and cook for another minute--remove to dish 8. garnish with slivers of soap and here's last night's dal with cilantro added in--now, it looks like a real bengali mushoor dal.
  17. mmmmm liver curry.....photos in just a bit (and replies to recent questions/posts right after that)
  18. i could have sworn i'd posted the recipe to the india forum--but even i can't find it now. here's the dal recipe by the way: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=32300 quick steps for the alu-palak (have to go start the liver-curry): 1. boil the potatoes till almost done, cool and dice 2. wash the spinach thoroughly and coarsely chop (don't drain all the water) 3. heat oil, break up a couple of dried red chillies and drop 'em in. 4. when the chillies darken add 3/4 tspn turmeric, 1/2 tspn fenugreek seeds, 1/2 tspn red chilli powder and stir 5. when your sneezing fit subsides drop in the potatoes, mix and saute till potato surfaces crisp a little--reduce heat to medium 6. add the spinach and salt to taste. stir till spinach begins to wilt, add 1 tablespn kasoori methi (optional) and cover 7. how long you leave it covered depends on how done the potatoes are--the water adhering to the spinach will steam it all 8. uncover, raise heat to high, evaporate most of the water and serve. happy?
  19. excellent. was it a dry curry? most traditional liver curries in india tend to be dry, and they mostly tend to be made with goat liver. i'm guessing the chicken liver recipe is a concession to american tastes/availabilities--that's the only reason i make mine with chicken liver too. and my version has quite a bit more gravy/sauce. whole foods may well sell organic livers--mine are some doubtless toxic versions from king soopers'. now you've got me worried... pan, i'd love to eat indian food in south-east asia. i'm guessing the liver there too was goat? do you have a sense-memory of it? and did they do the punjabi brain curry as well?
  20. oh, okay, okay. do you want photos, or will just the description of the steps do? i ask only because liver cooks very fast and i don't want to overcook it while trying to take a decent photograph--if you insist i can try to rope the evil mrs. j into taking the pictures, but she is, as i say, evil and may not cooperate.
  21. okay, so let me pick up on the second sense in which i asked the question: "what do you think of when you think of indian food?" probably the biggest reason (other than taste) that anyone anywhere likes food from anywhere else is because it is from somewhere else. the foreign is always exciting (the word "exotic" carries a certain baggage with it so i won't use it). the question then is why does food from some places become more popular globally than food from other places? why, for example, is indian food so much more popular the world over than, for example, chilean food? (this is a separate question from whether it is any good the world over.) of course, this matter is somewhat overdetermined. which is merely a fancy-pants way of saying that it is a phenomenon with multiple causative factors, none of which can be identified as the originary one. for indian food at least the following factors come into play (and none of these are unique to the indian example): 1. india's long history of functioning as a locus of desire not just in western europe but in other parts of the world as well. "india" as commodity is something a lot of cultures have desired, coveted for a long time--and after a point food becomes both synecdoche and symbol. kipling, rushdie and a.r rahman are only the most recent benefitters of this interest (which is not to say that that is all they are). 2. indian food tastes good. 3. indian food is globally available: indians have travelled all over the world and taken their food with them--from ancient and medieval trade to the colonial forced emigration of indentured labor and babus to other colonial possessions (in the caribbean, africa, south east asia and fiji) to the current diaspora. 4. some kinds of indian food have blended well with the high traditions of european food (indo-french fusion, for example). thus it has become possible for some people to assimilate indian food/ingredients/approaches to cooking into the narratives of high cuisine in a manner that it hasn't yet for, say, korean food. 5. there's a lot of vegetarian indian food which is attractive to vegetarians adrift in cultures that have animal fat in everything. etc. etc. i think it is always interesting to ponder how the things we like come to us and how we come to them. none of this changes how something tastes but it may have a little to do with what we are willing to taste. in the end you only eat the food you like a second time. but not every cuisine gets a first taste, and not every cuisine is able to travel the world in the same way (or some slip over the border while others travel with a green-card). anyway--these are the kinds of things i think about (and yet i don't constantly suffer from indigestion). i'll be very interested in other people's takes on these ideas or their application/relevance to other cuisines with which they're more familiar or which they prefer. sorry for going on rather a lot yet again. mongo
  22. What?! As a great fan (but an erstwhile drinker) of Horlicks, I am deeply offended. What could be better tasting and more nutritious than a steaming mug of rich malty goodness that is Horlicks? Drink it before bed to guarantee yourself a night of blissfull slumber and dreams of warm blankets and puppy dogs. In fact, I'm going to have one right now... Mmmmm... delici...zzzZZZZZZ hey grandma! don't get upset at me--i was just talking about india. mongo
  23. nightmare creature shurely--come on, it is important to my self-image. i think all the indian cooks reading this blog (of indian or other origin) should strategize recipes for ggmora based on her list of available spices. i mean, why should i do all the work in my blog? goddamned freeloaders!
  24. this is a chutney/chatni with a thin syrupy consistency--with slices of cooked unripe mango floating in it. saying cooked raw mango sounds funny, but i'm also hesitant to use green mango as synonym for raw mango since many of the greatest indian mangos (for instance the queen of bengal, the langda) remain a lustrous green on the outside even when fully ripened. unripe is probably the correct usage here anyway, right? i hope they have the unripe mangos--they didn't last week. this chatni is one of the most refreshing things imaginable in the summer and is incredibly easy to make. if they do have it and whenever i make it this week i will document all the steps.
  25. russ, it was with a lot of trepidation that i re-opened this thread seeing you'd responded to it: i have a lot of respect for your writing and it means a lot to me that you don't think i'm full of it here. one of the things i've always liked about the l.a times food section is that it allows people room to come in and write about things that the regular writers don't know as much about (i remember a long article on indian pickles that egullet's own suvir saran co-wrote some years ago). quite apart from all the things you noted in your response another aspect of the larger "ethnic" cuisine reporting scene as currently set up is that it doesn't always give much space to actual "ethnic" writers themselves. mongo
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