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v. gautam

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  1. "When your talking about "Indian Food" your going into a totally different type of heat. Again much of this has to do with the influence of the Spice Traders that may have some relationship for the assumption that the hottest food on the Indian Continent comes from Goa. Again in India the cheapest food also is often the hottest as hot covers other shortcomings especially in hawker type street foods of questionable origins. " Irwin, Respectfully beg to disagree on both points. First, how "typical" American tastes encounter spiciness/richness in Indian food has something to do with how much of the starch and other accompaniments are consumed with the food. An Indian will typically use an larger quantity of rice/bread etc. as vehicle, plus combine it continuously with an array of accompaniments such as dal/pulse dishes, yogurt, salads, lime juice/pickles in ways most Americans do not, and the palette of flavors brought out by Indian meals differ, in many instances, for the two groups. Goan food is not all that hot; the vindaloo propelled into 'heat' fame/notoriety by British curry houses has little to do with Goan vindaloo, save the name. If you go slightly south of Goa, and try the Udupi cooking of the Shetty community, that is talking about absolute hotness. Again, in kerala, heat levels vary by community/caste, ditto Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Street hawker food that I have experienced rarely touches heat levels; its quality may or may not be acceptable, but most street food catered originally to particular communities/castes, and it is very difficult to agree with your conclusions. I do not dispute solely for disputation's sake, but I am very concerned with the alrady large burden of mythmaking that is India's lot in too many walks of life, and i view with particular dismay, for example, Raymond Sokolov's or Copeland marks's self-styled expertise. The former has sid some ridiculous things aabout Indian fried breads for instance, based on ignorance. Anyway, i hope to continue learning from you, and so that your columns can serve as a source of authentic information, venture this post. regards, gautam
  2. Mongo, are you pan roasting or frying the mung dal as per traditional bengali practice? have you tried a slow cooker? gautam
  3. Jhinge : Luffa acutangula; aka Ridged Gourd, Chinese Okra.
  4. Mongo, bad boy, Thanks very much for keeping us salivating and envious. Are you familiar with the concept of zakat? What do you say to the suggestion that food zakat should be levied [once back in the US] on all those enjoying yummies in India ensconced in the arms of beloved family and who relish posting descriptions of such on egullet? Hmmm? Paapdi chaat finally tested the bou’s limits, huh? I do not know the binomial nomenclature of surmai, a fish popular in Mumbai (?), but Catla [Catla catla] is a north Indian carp subgrouped among the great or large carps: rohu [Labeo rohita], mrigal, and kaveri carp; there is also an excellent Mekong carp in the same genus as Catla. Catla is deemed coarser than rohu in Bengal; it grows quicker and larger than the latter in ponds. The head is cooked with mung dal or puffed/flaked rice [muri, murmura; but also chira/poha] for festive occasions like weddings, bridal showers and baby showers, or cabbage for special occasions in winter [murir ghonto]. Steaks cut from its ventral/belly portion are the second choice, after simila cuts from a Ganga river rohu >3kg<8kg [paka rui], for fish kaliya or doi mach [yogurt sauce]. By the way, west Bengalis have been known to relish plain deep fried carp [hot] with lal doi [sweet yogurt]; this brands you as a true-blue old family Kolkata ghoti!!! Also, a preparation of mixed vegetables with the liver and swim bladder, plus the boniest offcuts. The best substitutes in the US appear to be Winter Carp at Chinese fishmongers, or fresh Buffalo fish [ Mongo, if you have Albertsons in Boulder, they often can get you buffalofish] I have forgotten the binomial for tangra, a group of small catfishes. Mongo, while in Delhi, please ask your mother if the small, silvery tangra [choto rupoli tangra] is available [iNA market?]. To my taste this is better than the darker tangra eaten in Kolkata. Please ask her to prepare it as shorsher jhal [mustard paste] and with piyaj koli [shallot flower stalks ], if the last is available in Delhi [this is not the same as onion greens commonly sold there]. Ditto for banshpata mach [ do not know the binomial]. Sadly, you may be out of range in Delhi for mourala [Amblypharyngodon mola]. This miniscule, whitebait-like carp is fried whole nearly crisp and eaten with hot rice and ghee, accompanied by a fragrant green chili, as a first course for lunch. Deep fried, it is cooked in a jhal and also in a tok, a wonderful sweet-sour concoction (eaten at the conclusion of a meal with rice), sometimes with that curious fruit, chalta [Dillenia spp.] I wonder if Delhi has any purveyors of moghlai paratha? I would assume that this is where the kolkata version originated, possibly taken there, as with much Muslim cookery, by the Nawabs and then the entourage exiled there after 1857. Will you be sampling some of the old Delhi paratha and biryani vendors? I remember reading somewhere about an old mosque that has a traditional mohalla around it scheduled for ‘development’; this mohalla has some traditional cooks and food establishments found nowhere else in Delhi and with the help of a Western lady and Indian sympathizers, the women of this locality have brought out a cookbook showcasing their talents; I am sorry not to have the exact bibliography or details; will keep looking. Happy eating and safe paths, and a Happy New Year. PS have excellent littie recipe, but first you need to secure a supply of adequate buffalo chips; more on that later. Gautam.
  5. Thank you so very much for the detailed post; might I presume and append some translations [and commentary] so that our egullet friends can salivate [and envy] at your descriptions? “(dal puris, lucchis, alur dom, kosha mangsho, bhetki fry, paanch mishali torkari, shutki macher jhal, ghugni etc.)” Dal puris: stuffed white-flour breads filled with a dal=pulse [ usually chickpeas, kachories have urad dal] and either deep fried or panfried Lucchi- white flour breads, deep fried; delicate, inimitable Bengali redaction of puri Alur dom: potatoes whole or halved, boiled, fried lightly, braised in a fragrant spice base that in Bengal will include nigella/cumin in hot oil, asafetida, ginger/green chili paste, cumin/coriander/black pepper paste, chili/turmeric, garam masala, jaggery, and a bit of souring agent; dry-cooked Kosha mangso ; braised goat meat, a variation of ‘bhunao’; typically tender kid with little fat [but lots of bones, knuckles, cartilage] breast, shoulder etc. is cut into small pieces & briefly marinaded with scant amount chopped onion and tomato, turmeric, ginger paste, jaggery, chili, mustard oil; small quantity of onions [ too much creates too rich a dish and too a thick gravy] browned slowly, whole garam masala/cassia leaf and sliced garlic briefly fried in the same oil [mustard], meat added, covered until tender, uncovered and carefully reduced to a ‘dry’ base; a little good ghee added before the end. Bhetki fry—barramundi [Lates calcarifer] fillets marinaded in paste of onion, ginger, cilantro, green chil, black pepper, breaded and fried Panch mishali torkari – literally ‘mixture of 5 [several] vegetables’—in winter potato, eggplant, radish, calabaza pumpkin, hyacinth bean pods [Lablab purpureus], cauliflower including stem and leaf stalk, cabbage leaves, sweet potato, dal vadis [fried and soaked in water]; veggies are briefly sautéed in mustard oil flavored with Bengali 5 spice, cassia leaf, jaggery salt and usually nothing else is added; covered until tender; this light roasting and cooking veg in their own juices is the essence of the dish; each veg melts or breaks down in a particular way, adding to the texture and flavor. Much depends on veg. quality, the precise cutting of different veg. in different shapes, and the Bengali cooks innate skill to bring out the flavor of a delicate dish; cilantro, green chilies and a bit of mustard oil or ghee is added right before removing dish from stove. Shutki machher jhal- spicy dish from dried fish. Mongo, does this betray the East Bengal origins of your family? Generally a no-no for West “bengalis’!! Ghugni – boiled whole fieldpeas and chickpeas cooked in a spicy base, often with potatoes and chunks of fresh coconut, occasionally with meat; eaten as a snack, sometimes with deep fried poha or chira [rice flakes] Mongo, when you return, don’t forget to stock up on the excellent Bengal gawa ghee now sold in plastic pouches- different in taste/texture from Punjabi/ North Indian desi ghee, heavenly on hot rice. Safe paths. gautam
  6. To Phaelon 56 and GordonCooks, Could you please supply the names of the Puerto Rican and some of the other restaurants in Syracuse and Rochester? Re: Vietnamese in Syracuse, I know of Mai Lan: how good is it and what are the other two? Thanks and happy holidays gautam
  7. "Gourmet" magazine many years ago [>10?] had an article on the many versions of the casserole type Macau chicken; hope it helps you a bit; maybe the folks there can help you trace the issue. gautam
  8. Dear Mongo, Four days AND a bou bhaat? Will the bou not be traumatized for decades to come? Smile. When I imagine the cool controlled serenity that I fondly associate with Korea with the unmitigated tumult and chaos that passes for normal in Bengali ‘big occasions’ [ to say nothing of Kolkata in general], the mind truly boggles! The place itself will be quite unnerving to her--- hope you are adequately inoculated against both typhoid and hepatitis? As you enter a different environment, the rotaviral flora in the alimentary canal will undergo change, possibly causing stomach upset; Imodium and kaopectate are fine, and stewed apple can offer a bland palatable meal that is also rich in pectin, useful for stomach upsets of this kind; pray pardon this presumption, but I worry about the bou, and like many Bengalis, assume an unfortunate officious and proprietary role; this passes for heartfelt concern in Bengal but irks people no end here; so, my apologies. Feel anxious that she have a very wonderful time. Anyway, as regards street food, if you have the inoculations, you may want to try both phuchka and churmuri; the latter is aloo-kabuli with a copious handful of phuchkas crushed in; as far as I know, this is unique to Kolkata; the closest relative I have been able to trace is the ‘masala puri’ of Hyderabad (?). Anyway, Arbela Singh, next to Loreto’s in Middleton Row, used to be unexcelled; he is now dead, but perhaps his successor maintains the standards. If you are there, drop into Flury’s; the standards are abysmal now, but should they have Rum Balls, dense rum cake covered in chocolate, certainly worth a try; also their chicken sandwiches; not the same flury’s as in the 60s. though. Could add more, but that should be enough for 4 days! [ On the road orthogonal to Park Circus, 3 interesting establishment: 1) right at the corner of park circus, facing east towards the direction of Society Cinema and Haji Saheb’s Meat shop, there is a Muslim restaurant, the biggest and cleanest of several in that block, and distinguished by a ‘no beef’ sign: it has great tandoori roti and keema kababs, also pasandes; next, moving towards Theater road , there is Jimmy’s Kitchen: Chinese, excellent fried spring chicken; Then, past Theater road used to be Teenmurti: excellent chicken kabab etc.] and don’t forget, daber jol to sooth the stomach. Best wishes, gautam.
  9. Dear Mongo, My last trip was in 1988; however here are some fond memories from a distant past: Waldorf [Park St.] prawn rolls a must, prawn noodle soup, mandarin fish Peping [Park St.] ask for a private booth or send driver for takeout—fried chili chicken [my favorite, contrast with Waldorf style], fish balls in tomato sauce, fried pork chop, fried spring chicken, chicken chow mein [unique style-again contrast to Waldorf and other Chinese restaurants Garlic prawns at a Chinese restaurant in Esplanade-Chitpur Rd. area? have forgotten name, strictly takeout Shehnaz [Middleton Row , between Park and Camac Streets] Mr. Kohli was proprietor—chicken butter masala, chicken a la kiev [excellent-try this Calcutta style rendering], masala dosa Nizam [New Market] kathi rolls double anda double mutton—don’t go in, park outside, young men will come to car and deliver order Anadi Cabin [ SN Banerjee Rd. & Chowringhee] near Nizam-- moghlai paratha-try both double and single, savour the chewy dough of the single; also kasha mangsho, fish fry Dilkhusha [near Shyama Charan De St. / Sanskrit College] must –dimer devil [must], chop-cutlet etc. Chachar Chop [College Street area] mutton ‘chop’, kobiraji cutlet Basanta Cabin [Hedor More, crossing Beadon & Cornwallis Sts] kobiraji cutlet Bhim Nag- lal doi, phul kopir singhara [cauliflower samosa], babu sandesh, pantua Kalika- nolen gurer sandesh Putiram- Khirer chop Fresh green coconut-lal dab, daber shansh Kanthali kola Check this site also : Kolkata Beckons: Quintessence - Unique Things of Kolkata ( ... ... Aloo Posto: difficult to find any other vegetarian dish that tastes this good. Moghlai Parota: nobody can better the ones at Anadi Cabin. ... in.geocities.com/kolkatabeckons/unique.html - 17k PM me if I can be of any further assistance. Have a safe trip and return safely. Best Wishes, gautam
  10. v. gautam

    Thompson's Turkey

    Dear Seth, Could this be an alternative: make the Thompson stuffing, place in a baking pan, top with turkey thighs, skin up, to completely cover the stuffing. Then paint the skin with the paste, and bake for the requisite amount of time. In another pan, bake a whole brined breast over another layer of thompson stuffing; do not cover the skin with paste; bake for appropriate internal temp and skin crispness? Saves a lot of hassle with manipulating a whole large bird; also makes brining more convenient if the bird is jointed, as it would be here? Also, total cooking time may drop? Please do carry on your experiment, especially now that you have surmounted the learning curve and gained valuable practice. Best wishes, Gautam.
  11. Dear Suman, Thank you for your kind reply. Here are the ISBN nos. I have been able to find. Do you have access to interlibrary loan in Ireland? If so, the author and title, or journal citation, should be sufficient for the librarian to locate the material. Please note the typo in my last post, which is corrected here. Jalal Qarooni 1996 Flat Bread Technology . Kluwer Academic; ISBN# 0412081113 Hamed A. Faridi & Jon Faubion, eds. Wheat End Uses Around The World. ISBN# 0913250872 [other titles by Faridi, esp. Rheology of Dough well worth looking into] A few sites that may be of interest: http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$departme...sf/all/crop1274 http://www.sardi.sa.gov.au/pages/field_cro...D=646&tempID=44 http://www.nass.usda.gov/nd/whtvar03.htm http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/plantsci/...ains/a1067w.htm Knowing of your interest in South Indian foods, here’s one more book: NR Reddy et al. eds, Legume-based fermented Foods. I am a plant physiologist, with a passionate interest in fruits and vegetables. Since you are so fortunate to be in Ireland, and this is the apple season, please do try to taste the following cultivars: Sam Young, Kerry Pippin, Ashmead’s Kernel, Pitmaston Pineapple, Egremont Russet. The UK is treasure trove of exceptional fruit varieties, Ireland 100x so. Please also do try to taste the Hautbois strawberry, Fragaria moschata, still available in Ireland but rare in England. Should you have a little space, there a number of exceptional strawberries and raspberries you could grow; I would be happy to suggest a few, if you should so wish. Best wishes, Gautam.
  12. Dear Suman, You may find the following useful: Hanslas, VK [1986] Chapati and bread making properties of wheat. Pages 233-236 in DK Salunkhe et al. [eds.] Quality of Wheat and Wheat Products. Qaroomi, G [1996] Flat Bread Technology. Also, Haridas Rao, Leelavathi and JS Sidhu, in various combinations: Cereal Chemistry 53:457-469; 63:297-303; 66:329-333. J. Food Sci. technol. 23:10; 27:311-313; 29:153-158. J. Food Science 53:1563-1565. The durum wheat we use for chapati flour is a teraploid, 4 sets of chromosomes, and different from the General Mills whole wheat flour mentioned by Sudhir, which comes from bread wheat, which has 6 sets; two different flours. In India, chapati flour comes mainly from bread wheat; the interesting thing about north indian wheat is that grain filling occurs when temperatures are on the rise; these relatively high temperatures cause damage to the starch grains in the kernel; this damage alters the hydration properties of the flour and contributes to the softness of the chapati ; the optimum level for chapati appears to be 6.5-7% of damaged starch. Regarding protein content, sort of equivalent to 'gluten', the best chapati flours in India contain 9-10.7% protein, in addition to 6.5-7% damaged starch. Also, the particle size of Indian chapati flours differs from that of US Flours. Finally, the type of milling in local grinding machines in Indians neighborhoods differs dramatically from the roller mills of the US in terms of temperature and extraction. Oxidation of flour re: the time it takes to rach the consumer differs; for whole wheat, the fresher flour consumed in India makes a huge difference in organoleptic properties; for white bread, the aged white flour gives better results! Cake/pastry flour in the US has roughly 9-10% protein All purpose flour ~10.5% most white Bread Flour for yeasted breads average 11.5-12.5% protein Hard red winter wheat ~13% whole wheat flour from dark Northern spring wheat is up to 16% Some of your queries re: shortening and gluten development may also be found in Qaroomi's ' Flat Bread Technology". Hope this is of some use. Best Wishes, gautam
  13. Dear Monica, Vinod, and Mataji (foremost), thank you for your wonderful lessons. some questions and an observation: 1) While making chennai iddlis, is ponni rice the most suitable? In upstate NY, this is now available. I attempted iddlis with thai jasmine, and they did not turn out fluffy. Some advise converted rice, one cookbook even suggests including a portion of instant rice, another [Monsoon Diary] suggests rice powder. Please enlighten? 2) Your opinion on electrically powered stone grinders, e.g. Shanthi brand from India: do they really make a difference, versus Sumeet and ordinary kitchen blenders? Any personal exprience with these? Are there folk who have retired their motar and pestle [granite/basalt?] in the US and who might consider selling them? 3) Re: Dosais--- as a child, i would watch someone who cooked professionally prepare these divine 'paper' dosas on a pump-action kerosene stove. He would let the griddle cool appreciably at the start, when rubbbing on oil with an onion and then ladling out the batter and then spreading it; now would come the exciting part with the stove being pumped harder and higher, simultaneously dipping spatula in a pool of oil and using this this to pull the dosai to thinness; this was done repeatedly, with great speed and expertise, pulling it to a thinness; much oil disappeared, as you can imagine! this was when the griddle was at its hottest; after rolling up the finished dosa, the flame was let to die down, and the cycle began again. Apparently, the cooling part of the cycle was crucial in not allowing the batter to stick, and refuse to spread out---your comments please? This gentleman also would make a chutney where onion, ginger, green chilies and chickpea dal would be fried and ground with fresh coconut and tamarind extract, tempered with mustard seed and curry leaf; this chutney had a large proportion of split chickpea and onion, relatively small amount of coconut; is this style familiar to anyone? Also, a few words on Kerala cooked chutneys, garam chutneys I have had with dosas in Syrian Christian homes: what is the modus operandi here? Thank you so much.
  14. mongo: would you share the recipe, please ? [at your convenience] BTW, have you tried the krean mustard oil? it is the most pungent, and has many of the correct 'high' notes not found in most US types, though it lacks the 'bass' tons and a textural unctuousness, if there is such a word-combined with the latter type, the korean oil would seem to come closest to the Bengali: pungency cum texture. Any insights?
  15. v. gautam


    As one who is extremely finicky about Bengali sweets [e.g. only the red yoghurt and babu sandesh from Bhim Nag, kacha golla from Naba Kesto Guin next door, yet other sandesh only from Kalika, khirer chop from Putiram, etc.] and especially so about various styles of rosogollas, I had done a great deal of research into milk fat contents, solids-not-fat percentage, coagulating agents, temperature of coagulation, types of jal-chhana etc. --you get the picture. [strangely enough, only north Kolkata can produce superlative ‘traditional’ Kolkata types, the expertise apparently not transferable even so short a distance as south kolkata! Just being risible!!] Anyway, outside of a few (3) Kolkata specialists, the very best sponge rosogollas I have tasted are made by a Sikh gentleman from Syracuse. He spent his childhood in Kolkata, but his talent is exceptional; have eaten rosogollas prepared by many competent Bengalis, all good to very good but none superlative, except this magician. He should certainly be persuaded to teach his craft, because the quality of Bengali sweets in the US is abysmal. With all the good milk here!
  16. I have heard that methi [Trigonella foenum-graecum] and kasuri methi [Trigonella corniculata] are two related but separate species. We ate the ordinary methi greens in Bengal, in a dry preparation that included potato, eggplant and pumpkins. The kasuri methi plant looks exactly the same, but it is so strongly fragrant that one can immediately notice the difference between a kasuri methi patch and the ordinary methi. I may be quite wrong, and wonder if someone’s relative could send a few seeds over of the kasuri kind; IARI, Pusa, New Delhi, can supply several different landraces and cultivars of kasuri methi. We could grow them out here for comparison. In this vein, the parsley sold in Kolkata markets [New Market, Jagu Babu Bazaar etc.] is quite unlike any “true” parsley [Petroselinum crispum] in flavor. Besides Europeans, I noted with interest that this herb also is used by Kolkata Parsis when boiling meat for dhansak. Would be very grateful for a botanically accurate insight from Kolkata botanists [about this latter herb, the Kolkata ‘parsley’] or anyone with reliable information. thanks.
  17. Dear Suvir (and all the kind egullet friends), After your warm welcome it was churlish of me to not reply in timely fashion; ill health; my sincere apologies. Although claiming familiarity with Bengali cooking, I have never come across stuffed okra; can it be a North Indian dish adopted by your friends? Bengalis, unlike Turks or Armenians, have only a limited and borrowed repertoire of stuffed vegetables, often with ground meat or chana dal; they commonly stuff parwal, eggplant, snake gourd. Re: the tart okra preparation with ajwain and mustard; you are right, it probably does not contain yogurt; should you ever have a free moment, I would be grateful for the recipe. Re the Marwari dahivadas of moth dal: unlike the fluffy South Indian urad dal dahivadas, these are fairly dense, with a characteristic toothsome texture distinctly not fluffy, disc-shaped and quite large, a little smaller than a saucer, redolent of cumin, asafetida and possibly ajwain in a wonderful yogurt base. Best wishes for your new restaurant. p.s. Re a spirited exchange some while back about including cheese, e.g. cheese naans, in the diasporic restaurant repertoire, came across an interesting comment in roadfood.com [international food] that I append: “What is American food anyway? The reason roadfood exists is because of regional variations. Houston is where us Beaumont people try other cuisines. We live in the best part of this country. We have good southern food, TexMex, and Cajun. Our Italian place are good, not a numerous as I like. When in Houston I try the Cuban cuisine, Lebanese/Syrian, and the Persian. I think Indian/Pakistani could become popular with a little less seasoning, more cheese, and more importantly combo platters. Maybe a new sandwich or pizza made with that wonderful naan bread. Some chicken tikka masala on the bread with a cucumber cilantro raita and tomatoes and onion. Maybe boti kebab or seekh kebab (chicken or beef) over rice with spicy chickpeas and salad combo platter. Ease up on the cardamon, nutmeg, cloves, and coriander, but plenty of cumin and chilies, Texas loves that stuff. Something cheep to start the meal like the Texas invention of the "Mexican" chips and hot sauce or the bread dip at Italian places, both are not authentic.”
  18. ketchup sandwiches of course, with or without finger chips, [our french fries]!!! and on fried eggs!! with Cheese pakoras, a sort of Goujere [spelling pls] I haven't tasted in US ketchup fried rice; the Japanese do it too, one hears: omo raisu, chikin raisu? mongo: your ketchup chicken curry, does it go something like this: skinned chicken drums cut up; in hot oil garam masala of whole cinnamon, clove, green cardamom, sliced onions, gently brown, add meat and stir till slightly golden color; a little fresh ginger/garlic or not; mix 1 package dry onion soup, yogurt, ketchup, add to chicken; stir, add water/stock, potatoes, cook till done? Had it at a friend's house; was tasty
  19. mongo sorry, wanted to clarify: minced fresh green thai chillies, to taste; for their aroma plus a zing; you may deseed some if you prefer, to retain aroma but reduce piquancy
  20. Dear Mongo, Re shami kebab: much as Episure advises, but with some differences, including a herbal center: Lean poultry/mutton Soaked chana dal [vary dal and meat proportions in later expts to com up with your own preference] Chopped onions Ditto small amount fresh ginger Bare Hint of garlic, a small clove? Whole peppercorn ~5-6, a small piece cinnamon, cloves 1-3, green cardamom 1-3, cassia leaf; a little salt Boil with scant water until dal just cooked through but still very firm, not a hint of mushiness, and just enough liquid left to facilitate processing to fine, silky texture but not tacky dough (=overprocessing) [remove cassia leaf but include whole spices] Bind with beaten egg or fold in whipped egg whites ; mixture must be fairly soft but not too sticky Prepare filling: a few tablespoons of finely minced red onion, thai chillies to taste, minced mint, pinch salt, moisten with lime juice Make balls size of large lime; indent deeply with thumb and insert ¼-1/2 teaspoon of onion filling [depending on size of ball and your preference], pinch shut, roll in palm to seal seam, carefully flatten Roll in flour, coating lightly, chill if you want, pan- fry if you prefer in scant film of oil in cast iron pan, making sure center is heated through Serve with non-greasy parathas or oven-warmed pita, finely sliced red/white onions soaked in cold water and drained, torn lettuce tossed with lime juice, creamy whipped yoghurt By varying filling [combinations of a-f, and beyond: kimchee???!!; be judicious, esp. about quantities] you could devise various navratan-type kebabs: a) Cream cheese + sour cream/crème fraiche, whipped light b) Minced scallions + mint c) Fresh pomegranate d) Fresh orange + grapefruit/pumelo segments carefully separated into small clumps of juice vesicles; fresh pineapple??? e) Lemon zest [grated rind] f) Currants [dried Corinth grapes], chopped nuts, chopped dry fruit: apricot, apple, pear, soaked in orange+ lemon [or sour orange] juice. Happy Thanksgiving to all friends at egullet.
  21. I would be most grateful for any advice on finding less-expensive, quality vendors of dried boletus (whole, provenance:south american, russian , chinese etc.) and whole, dry boletus edulis (porcini, european and other). Also, what might be the best place to order an Atlas pasta machine? Thanks in advance, v.gautam.
  22. Dear Friends, Thank you for a most amazing site, especially comforting to one sundered from a home and homeland. This is a first post, and should you so permit, once in a while one would like to weigh in with a few words on the evolving cuisines of Kolkata, some threads of which are in danger of being lost amidst the rapid modernization of the last three decades or so. Things do evolve and chang, food and language foremost among them; still, it is sometimes interesting to record a few things so that delicious ideas do not get lost for all time. All too aware of one's pedantic, pompous, long-winded style, one hesitates, not wishing to offend. At any rate, thanks so much to suvirji, and prasadji, as well as so many others for their warm and generous posts. With respect to souring agents, in rural Bengal, fresh young tamarind leaves were much used. Also, the tips of chickpea plants have a dlicious sour tang, and as with tips of peas (not sour), have been used in rural bengal. Several types of slightly fermented tamarind paste (shora tetool), bright orange to brown in color, are an important agent found even in city markets. If one might be forgiven a request, would anyone be able to providea recipe for two Marwari dishes: one is an okra prepared with ajwain and mustard paste, very tangy with a yogurt (?) base; the other is a Marwari dahi vada made with moth dal, dense flat disks redolent of cumin and hing . Thank you so very much.
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