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indiagirl

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Everything posted by indiagirl

  1. In India - right hand only. Usage of left hand is punished by death. Rice and bread are used as vehicles for foodstuffs too liquid to hold it together on their own! Guided by the right hand, contained by a carbohydrate/starch we deliver little pieces of vegetable and lentil to our mouths. I was raised a Hindu Brahmin and instructed to not allow anything except the first two divisions on my fingers be spoiled. Certainly never the palm. My husband, who was also raised a Hindu Brahmin, but in the South of India learned quite the opposite. They make little lemon sized balls of rice and lentils and such and then toss them in their palms like you would see a cricketer do - so as to make them rounder - and then sort of throw them in their mouths. I don't think he ever mastered the skill ...... but when I first saw it as a kid, I found it quite amusing!
  2. /aut/ bar in ann arbor is a gay bar and restaurant. it used to be a mexican place with fantastic food. the owners, a gay couple, decided that ann arbor needed a gay bar more than good mexican food - so they slashed ther menu and simplified it and became a gay/lesbian bar. the food's okay now, not great, the atmosphere is quite welcoming, whether you're gay or straight and they have a lovely sit out area, so a drink or two there in summer is always nice ...
  3. ScottishChef, Just sneaking some eGulleting in while I am in London on vacation. The visit of the Indian chefs sonds both exciting and nerve racking ... so first, good luck. I hope they do wondrous things for your menu. I think you should make them Indian food - you're obviously good at it and it will give them an idea of the kind of stuff you cook. Which will make their menu suggestions more tailored for you. Seriously, make them the things you love to make and eat, and it'll show. I know that sounds super-smarmy, but I'm serious. You don't wont to try to impress them, you just want to share with them a wonderful meal that you have cooked for them, right? How about the Hansi ki Achari Murgh? You know? If it made you laugh out loud ..... So, there you are. My two cents.
  4. that egg curry you mentioned in your opening post, torakris, is that japanese style or indian style?
  5. shall i invite one of my nutritionist friends to enlighten us? tommy, was i one of the experts that PM'ed you?
  6. torakris, that's awesome. do you remember the first time you ever tasted it? was it awesome the first time or more of an acquired taste? do you think that if you ate teh exact same food now you would still like it? or has your taste refined/changed so much that your standards for judging indian food have changed? tawbrig, you must post a full report. here. please.
  7. What was the aim of adding blotting paper to the kulfi? How did it help the restaurant?
  8. Shouldn't it just be a function of how many calories you take in versus how many you burn? Does not matter *when* you take them? For example if I take a packed lunch to work, what I eat for lunch typically does not change whether I eat breakfast or not - on some days I'm just hungrier for it and my stomach rumbles in meetings ... but that is a different issue. I understand what WW is saying - they're talking about creating most-likely-to-succeed eating habits, but medically it makes no difference, right?
  9. indiagirl

    Dinner! 2003

    Yeah, me too. I usually open up the fridge and throw a meal together. Usually takes an hour and some. I do groceries about once every two weeks from the local produce market and buy about 3-4 brown bags of mostly fresh produce. And then I make dinner for us based on what wilts the fastest and what stays fresh the longest. Staples like eggs, yoghurt, cream, bread, butter, cheese, cilantro are acquired on an as needed basis. Of late, I have been trying to expand my horizons and so I've been cooking more from recipe books. This entails trips to the store that our tailored to one meal - this used to be a rare event in my life, now I perhaps do it once a week. Also, each time we go to the produce market, I make my husband pick out some fresh vegetable that we have never tasted before. Then I experiment with it. It's fun!
  10. indiagirl

    young coconut

    Like nightsctosman said - lop of the top. Stick a straw in it and drink the lovely, lovely milk. I would keep it in the refrigerator for a bit since I like the milk cold. Using the lopped of top, scoop out the oh-so-tender, quivering, white meat inside. Enjoy. Pretend you are on a tropical beach. Seriously, I have never heard of a recipe using the meat of tender coconut but I imagine it would make a lovely amuse guele with a little sweet miso based sauce and basil. Or in a fresh (not fried) spring roll. The flavor of the meat is pretty delicate and fragile so I think they won't be able to stand up to much. What a treat.
  11. Craig, Suvir said some goood stuff in his post there. Here are my two cents. Most Indian restaurants in the USA are North Indian. This is probably not descriptive of a regional cuisine and is mostly used as short hand for Punjabi - i.e. coming from a state in North Western India. The food is influenced by Mughlai food and is richer/heavier than, say, Southern Indian food. Many believe this is due to the weather being cooler. There are some South Indian restaurants in the US too, a much smaller proportion. These again, are not representative of all of South India, but of Udipi food, which is predominantly the food of the state of Tamil Nadu. This food is typically vegetarian, less rich, rather dominated by rice as a staple and wuite unique in it's flavoring. I don't know of any way to avoid the "tourist" dishes - and if well executed, I do not see any reason to. When done well, most of them do represent an authentic corner of their respective cuisines - it's just rare to find them being executed well. My test is to order a couple of dishes with a similar gravy and if the gravy tastes exactly the same with chicken added to one and paneer to the other, well, you're in a sub-par restaurant. Again, getting to know the dishes is a good way to start - if you're in a mediocre restaurant and you like the food - hey. Your taste will tune in to the key stuff with time and then you'll be as dissatisfied as the rest of us here And then there is all the other cuisines that are not represented here at all - Maharashtrian, Andhra, Hyderabadi, Kutchi ..... when you're ready, that'll be it's own journey. In the meanwhile, welcome to the world of Indian food, we're glad you're here.
  12. sure is a myth in my life. no breakfast on weekdays here. unless a strong cuppa joe counts. weekends, eat breaksfast like foods at lunch like times.
  13. The other thing - if I was *so* careful with the whole bacteria thing, I would never be able to travel home to India again. As it is they call bottled water - Tourist Water (no, really) - they even have a brand called Tourist Water. I was teased mercilessly the first time I went back and my parents insisted I drink nothing else. That stopped immediately.
  14. Maggie, The Dark Thing salutes you. It bows in admiration. You have emancipated it. ps- I sobbed during Harry Potter.
  15. if no one contests my summary here this is, after all, eGullet
  16. HATE MILK. lissome, we had the same mom. mine used to make me drink a glass of milk every morning (no varieties of fat levels in india, one buffalo, one kinda milk, i think that's changing now) - as soon as she turned around to go back to the kitchen - i would pour it down the sink. she caught me once, i was maybe eight or something, and i got the talk about other starving kids and i offered to sacrifice on their behalf following which i got the talk about being a snotty brat. and then she sat at the table and insisted i drink it all and she would watch to see what this incredibly bad thing that happened to me would be. i yakked all over the dining table. never had to drink it again.
  17. Stone, I just read the whole thread. Synopsis as follows (I'll take a check in the mail ) - Clear opinions (not a majority of posters, but a majority of opinions voiced in this regard) that when dissolved in food, ytpe of salt does NOT make a difference - Most people have some type of fine salt and some kosher salt at home. Some people have "fancy" salts. - On top of some dishes, the "fancy" salts make a difference but is rather expensive. - The texture of coarse salt makes it easier to measure. - Iodized store bought salt has a metallic taste. - "Fancy" salts are a scam! Now to my post. I use fine salt from my neighborhood food co-op and also keep kosher salt. I use them interchangeably. I almost always add salt during the cooking. They're in a jar and I use my fingers to measure them out. Regular old shaker on the dinner table. Growing up in India, where salt is a critical ingredient and considered to be essential to bringing out the flavor in a dish, adding salt at the table is sometimes considered an embarassment to the cook. On the flip side, traditionally, when plates are set out for a meal, the basic "condiments" are always served in the plate before the food is, these being, salt, a wedge of lemon, pickle, raita, pappadums. Anyone remember the story of the princess who was banished because she said she loved her father more than salt? Here is a Russian version.
  18. The scourge of the 21st century - The ability to count bacteria. My problem with Cook's Illustrated - the dry, science experiment attitude to food makes me not trust their palates. Entirely unreasonable, I know, but I'm stuck with the feeling.
  19. Excellent post. Explains it all. Case closed - let's all go home. I remember being in college and being taught a recipe for something called rasam - watery soup with tomatoes, lentils and so on - by a South Indian friend of mine. I started quartering the tomatoes and she insisted that I just squeeze them with my hands ...... it's the only way to do it, she said. You have to squeeze the tomato and get the juice all over your palms ...
  20. Suvir, I think the proportions are pretty flexible. However, it is the urad that makes the batter sticky and the dosas become a little tougher to pour. Hence the 4 to 1 ratio for a greater chance of success. Also, I typically use canola oil for dosas - I cut an onion in half and stick a fork in it and then use the onion dipped in oil to coat the frying pan. Simon, I also like dosas with a green bean poriyal - green beans with sesame seeds, ginger and shredded coconut in a tarka with urad and chana dal. Steve, I've make savory waffles sometimes. Grate a little cheese, black pepper etc. Never tried it with dosa batter though - that would be an interesting experiement. Also, you may enjoy this - the super large dosas served in restaurants are sometimes called 70mm dosas - like the movie film. Dosas at home are typically smaller (!) and less crisp. I like them less crisp, soft and pale, like Victorian women If you added onions and things to the batter and make them pancake thick, that would be uttapam, which you seem to be familiar with already. You should try making your own batter - if you use rice flour instead of rice, it's not that laborious.
  21. indiagirl

    Dinner! 2003

    Dinner for 9, last night, I co-hosted with a friend who is visiting ... Salad of Octopus marinated in lemon juice with cilantro and scallions Grilled Tofu with a sause of miso, sake, sugar and lemon. Sablefish En papillote with a miso-mirin-sake sauce. Rice with scallions, sesame seeds, cilantro and red chillies Hot chocolate souffles So last night was sablefish night. Xanthippe, Jin, thanks so much for that suggestion. The texture is indeed beautiful and it is not too fishy. It is rather expensive but entirely worth it. I've never had to store fish before, can I just put it in the refrigerator or should it go in the freezer? Can't wait to have the left overs for dinner tonight - I think this time I just want to bake it, unless someone has a better suggestion. I want to taste the texture with a slightly drier cooking style. I'd never tasted octopus before, I liked the first bite but I don't think I tasted anything from the octopus, just the texture, which was not unpleasant. The second bite, which was a larger chunk, was a little chewier and not as pleasant to eat. I gave myself a little pat on the bank for having taken a step forward on the road to carnivorism and moved on. The Hot Chocolate Souffles were from James Peterson's Fabulous French Food. The more I use that book, the more I like it. Xanthippe - I think the other cheeses are Provolone, Swiss, Mozzarella and Muenster. Not sure of that last one. The Fire-In-Your-brain mustard - I'm going to have to find out what that brand of mustard is - it has that wasabi brain clearing capacity but ofcourse, it just come sout of a standard burger joint squeeze bottle, so I have no idea where they get it. Believe it or not, Guajolote turned me on to this Blimpy Burger place. And I've been living in Ann Arbor for 9 years! I'd heard wonderful stuff about the place but never ventured in because I'm vegetarian. To think I've been missing all those calories!
  22. Simon, I still find dosas a challenge, too. Although from repeated attempts I have found that the "stickiness" of the batter is a key element. The times I am most successful, and these have now been numerous enough to be statistically significant , I have used rice flour instead of rice. Rava dosas, I think, are even easier to make. The golden ratio, per my revered ma-in-law, is four is to one. Four cups of rice flour, made into a smooth paste, with say, 6-7 cups of water. Soak a cup of urad dal for a couple of hours (minimum) and grind to a paste using 1-2 cups of water. Add to rice paste along with 3 teaspoons of salt. Ferment overnight. Voila! I make a chutney of peanuts, onions, coconut, green chillies and tamarind as company for a dosa. Really dry dal (parupu) also does the trick for me. As does a traditional coconut green chutney. I'm not as much into the potatoes as an accompaniment, although I do enjoy a bite now and then. I prefer sambars, chutneys and gunpowder.
  23. very true, jinmyo. the cycle of life do you think of that as a negative thing or do you think of that as something that is essential to the notion of a "cosmic balance/cycle", for want of a better phrase.
  24. Thass it. I change my vote. I want to be at that dinner with Aurora and her great-aunt Olivia. I won't butt in and ruin Aurora's moment - just be a little gargoyle sitting in the corner watching it all. And nypatrolchef, All Quiet on the Western Front - Kat. The first book ever in my life that made me stop over and over again because of the tears blurring my eyes. I know that sounds trite - but it ain't. I'd never had that experience before. Nothing brought home the power of books and language like that book. Having to set it down because I was sobbing to hard. I mean this was paper, ink. Only "real" people had been able to do that to me before. If you're like Kat, I want to have dinner with you. Lamb, sorry to hear about your dad. Adulthood means many things - the transitioning from blacks and whites to greys. The loss of one's parents. The latter, I suspect will demarcate my personal transition to adulthood like nothing else has - not moving out, not moving continents, not being married. There is almost nothing I fear about adulthood as much as I fear the loss of my parents. I hope you're doing okay. Sigh. I wish there was an emoticon for a big old sigh.
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