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    Dublin, Ireland

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  1. Hi Corinna, Congratulations on receiving such rave reviews about your Eat Out guide and for creating such media interest with it - I saw you on Ireland AM and heard you were also on the radio a couple of times. Well done! Edited to add this link for the benefit of the others.
  2. My favourite Indian cookbooks (other than those by Madhur Jaffrey) are: - 50 Great Curries by Camellia Panjabi : Everything I've made out of this book so far has been wonderful. Her Mangalorean chicken curry tastes exactly like it does in homes in Mangalore. - Some one who I think deserves a lot more recognition than she gets is Premila Lal. Her book 'Indian Recipes' has some lovely recipes (covering many regions in India), even though they could sometimes do with a bit more explanation. - Yamuna Devi's 'The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking' never fails to excite and fascinate me even though I've had it for over 13 years. Her explanations at the beginning of each chapter re. ingredients and techniques are the best I've ever seen in any Indian cookbook, plus the recipes are well-explained and taste good too (without the use of garlic or onions!). - Jiggs Kalra's Prashad is good if you're looking for rich, restaurant-style food, but it is not the most the friendly cookbook I've come across. - As mentioned above, Sanjeev Kapoor and Tarla Dalal are the celebrity chefs of India and have some good cookbooks out. I'm sure Suvir's book is wonderful, but I'm not convinced his Manglorean Prawn recipe is really from Mangalore. This very topic has been addressed before in the Indian forums if you want to have a look.
  3. This reminds me of the article that Dublin eGulleteer Corinna Dunne (aka Corinna Hardgrave) wrote for the Irish Times where she mentioned this blog by Louisa Chu, another eGulleteer. If you're reading this Corinna, I have to say I've enjoyed reading all your pieces in the Irish times, but it was the one on El Bulli that made me feel very, very envious.
  4. Hi Franci, As a lover of all things coconut, could I please have the recipe too? Thanks! Suman
  5. As someone who has been trying to replicate the restaurant-style Gulab Jamuns for ages, I have to agree with Scott, er, 123. I have tried several recipes, most of them involving powdered milk, but the best tasting GJs come from a mixture of khoya and paneer. Not that I would ever discriminate against one made with milk powder - a gulab jamun is a gulab jamun after all. I used a Sanjeev Kapoor recipe which seems to have disappeared fom the web. I'll see if I have it somewhere on my computer. His website has a few complimentary recipes, but the rest are only viewable by subscribers.
  6. I have the hoarding bug too. I just hate it when I'm in the mood to cook something and don't have the ingredients to hand. Hence my obsession with filling my fridge, freezer and pantry to the brim. All I can say in my defence is, that at least I know exactly what I have, so I don't end up buying two or three packets of the same thing because I can't find the older packet. As a result of a recent spring-clean of my kitchen, I have two boxes of things(quinoa, glucose syrup, zaatar....) I need to use up soon. I have a lot more storage space in my kitchen than most people I know and yet I end up storing stuff in the spare room - I have six boxes there full of tins, noodles, pasta, nuts etc. that I picked up when there were special offers. It's such a coincidence that two weeks ago I vowed to shop as little as possible until I've downsized my stash considerably. I suppose I could easily cook for a month that way. Listing a small fraction of what I have: - 18 types of lentils, beans, peas and split peas - 6 types of rice - 8 kinds of flour - noodles & pastas - tins and tins of tomatoes, corn, baby corn, lychees, mango, coconut milk, soups, fish - salmon(2 whole), prawns, lamb, chicken, lamb and pork mince - baking supplies (I recently got a suitcase-full of these from the US to add to my already large stash) - spices, nuts and dried fruit
  7. There is a samosawallah in Dubai who makes the best samosas ever. I use his samosas as a yardstick to measure all the others I've eaten and made since. My favourite filling is just as he makes it - it's only potatoes and spices, nothing else. Liberal use of amchur in the filling is very desirable. I'm not a fan of the patti samosa. My ideal samosa has a crust that's neither too thin nor thick - it should be crisp but not too flaky. I once even managed to get to this level of perfection and even got much praise from my guests, but alas (and I'm still kicking myself for it), I never did write down how I made them. I've never been able to recreate them .
  8. Thanks! I have to try the water test yet, but it feels like a low-protein flour. It is definitely wheat flour rather than wheat starch, because I have a separate bag of wheat starch that I know the feel of. I have to check for additives, then just dive right in, bake a cake and find out for myself. I'll be really happy if this works because I've never found cake flour here. Will post results. In the meantime, more advice wecome. Renee, I mourn the demise of your beautiful site. What happened? Thanks again for the tips both of you!
  9. Hi, Back when I had a bee in my bonnet about making my own dim sums from scratch, I bought some special dumpling flour from the local Chinese shop. I don't know when I'll get around to making the dimsums, but I thought I might use this flour for baking cakes, perhaps? Is that a bad idea? Could someone tell me what the protein content of dumpling flour is? As far as I know from Googling, it is a low-protein flour, so I don't see why it shouldn't work as a substitute, either in whole or in part. Thanks!
  10. For those like me who don't have the Pie and Pastry Bible, here's Martha's puff pastry version as adapted by Nupur. This has been on my to-do list for so long.
  11. Hi, It would be safe to assume that when a recipe calls for coconut, it means brown. Green coconut, if used at all, might be called tender coconut. Generally green coconuts are used as a beverage - their tops are lopped off and the water inside them drunk through a straw. After you're done, the seller will split open the coconut to enable you to eat the very tender meat inside. If there is no mould on the outside, the coconut feels heavy for its size and you can hear plenty of liquid inside, you have a good chance of finding an unspoiled one. I also prefer those that have their 'eyes' hidden under a tuft of husk - it is said that these ones tend to be fresher than those without - I haven't questioned the reasoning behind it, though. I guess I just follow ancient wisdom. I just break open the coconut with a cleaver, but you do need to be very careful while doing this - keep your face averted. Hope this helps
  12. Cake, most definitely cake! Cookies and pies just don't do it for me.
  13. What was your family food culture when you were growing up? South Indian. Being from the coastal region of Mangalore, our diet mainly consists of rice, fish, coconut, beans and plenty of vegetables. Was meal time important? It was more than important - it was the highlight of the day. I have many fond memories of our mealtimes, particularly those at weekends. Was cooking important? Very important. My Dad loves bringing home the freshest of ingredients and my Mom loves to cook with them. When we were kids, weekends at home were generally a whirlwind of activity in the kitchen with all of us helping out - then came reward time - the lunch we looked forward to all week. What were the penalties for putting elbows on the table? None - elbows on the tables aren't considered rude in our culture. Who cooked in the family? My Mom, with all of helping out. Were restaurant meals common, or for special occassions? For special occasions. Did children have a "kiddy table" when guests were over? No. If there was a large number of guests, the children were served first. The table would then be cleared and cleaned for the adults. When did you get that first sip of wine? Since we don't have a tradition of drinking wine, I think I was 25 when I had my first taste. Was there a pre-meal prayer? Again, this is not a tradition, so no, but that doesn't mean we didn't give thanks for all the food before us. Was there a rotating menu (e.g., meatloaf every Thursday)? No, not really - the menu varied with whatever was in season and available fresh. However, it was a given that for lunch every weekend we had chicken or fish curry and the best basmati rice my Dad could lay his hands on. How much of your family culture is being replicated in your present-day family life? About 60%. My husband works late and/or keeps irregular hours. The children and I have our dinner by 7:30 pm - if DH is home by then, he'll eat with us, otherwise he eats much later. We always have breakfasts together at weekends though. I hope we can eat more meals together as the children grow older.
  14. JH, I'm curious about the use of camphor in Chinese recipes. Could you please elaborate? Thanks! Edited to add: Just found your recipe in the Chinese forum!
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