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  1. Yellow pepper stuffed with crab salad and baked. Mmm.
  2. For my first Thanksgiving in the US, my friends and I had a potluck dinner about a week ago. We decided to go completely traditional. I brought a butternut squash gratin which everyone seemed to love. The rest of the food sounded a lot better than it actually tasted. Dry turkey that had been cooked for 6 hours (I asked), jelloed cranberry sauce from a can, starchy gravy, sweet-sweet-sweet potatoes that had a lot of nutmeg and cinnamon and cloves and yet tasted insipid, crunchy green bean casserole, gluey mashed potatoes with not enough butter. The desserts were good though. I felt like everything was almost good and would have been with just a little more salt, a little lemon, some more butter, a little something. I was quite looking forward to cooking a small Thanksgiving dinner for two today for just my boyfriend and me, but he's down with the flu.
  3. This is a really timely blog for me as I've just started low carbing again. Great job so far! I'm really interested in hearing more about those Revolution Rolls. I've seen the recipe before but never quite believed they could work. Since you seem to make them regularly, do you have any tips for making them?
  4. After a 3 month long period in which I ate pretty much anything I wanted, I'm back doing low carb again. Looking forward to sharing ideas and recipes with you all. Have bought "Good Calories, Bad Calories" but only finished a couple of chapters so far. It's a really fascinating read!
  5. I have a Preethi Chef Pro Plus as well. I've only had it for a month or so though and not yet experimented with its capabilities. Have not ground any dry spices in it yet. From what I remember of using Indian style grinders, maybe adding a little water would help to grind dry spices? For everything I've used it so far the machine has been a marvel. Have never used the juice extractor yet. What do you use it for?
  6. Cone pizza is carried by an Indian chain called Pizza Corner. They've been facing stiff competition from Domino's and Pizza Hut and have been resorting to gimmicks like this. The name of the coffee chain is Cafe Coffee Day. They're actually a spin-off from a company that sold loose powdered coffee. The coffee is actually very decent and the prices are reasonable so it's become extremely popular.
  7. How strange to see this topic here because just this morning I ground up lichen samples in lab using liquid nitrogen and a mortar and pestle. The technique is extremely simple once you've got hold of some liquid nitrogen. During the course of the grinding procedure the liquid nitrogen is stored in a columnar hot case (or cold case) though I imagine there would be more efficient ways of storing it. The sample (as little as 100 mg) is placed in the mortar and liquid nitrogen ladled into the mortar. Some of the liquid nitrogen is allowed to boil away so that it doesn't splash out when you try grinding it taking the sample with it. Then you use the pestle to pulverise the sample first with a pounding motion to break the sample into small bits and then with a vigorous grinding motion. The sample becomes brittle like glass and breaks easily. What you're left with is the consistency of fine talc which is completely dry. After that we add liquid to it (in this case alcohol) and it's heated in a water bath. The whole thing takes all of ten minutes and is really rather fun. Do try it if you get a chance. I love playing with liquid nitrogen.
  8. Not sure if anyone has answered this yet but the green stems are very common in India -- they're commonly called drumsticks and the scientific name is Moringa oleifera. More here.
  9. There's a pretty good Japanese restaurant in Chennai (Madras) that serves sushi. It is mostly frequented by Japanese businessmen and expats and is tough to find if you're not looking for it. It's behind Jayanthy theatre on L B Road (a main road in the city). You'll have to take a small lane that leads literally behind the theatre. Almost couldn't believe it when we first went there.
  10. To add to my earlier post about Garlic Payasam: I attended this year's Landmark Quiz Contest here in Chennai (it's a very popular event, held on India's Independence Day each year). Anyway, in one of the rounds, the contestants were asked to name the secret ingredient in the payasam they were served. This can't have been very difficult as one of the teams answered "onion" almost immediately. I can't be sure but I think the chef said that there were some old recipes for onion and garlic payasam that had recently been unearthed.
  11. I had a garlic payasam yesterday. It was very interesting. There were whole pieces of garlic in it and though the garlic flavour definitely came through it was not at all unpleasant. The funniest thing was that we had a dining companion who hates garlic and he'd been complaining about too much garlic in the main dishes. You should have seen his face when the waiter announced that the special sweet was garlic payasam!
  12. Thanks Jackal for a wonderful lesson and beautiful photos. I will be making the apple jelly as soon as I have the time. The chilli version sounds really interesting but I'm not sure about how it'll taste. Can you give me an idea?
  13. Hey, I've got an exception: In Tamilnadu, in South India, where I live tea is called theneer. Though really nowadays I dont hear it being called that at all -- everyone calls it tea.
  14. Really mouthwatering class, Monica! I'm half Tamil and half Keralite so I've had most of these before. When you said ada though I expected the Tamilian adai made with lots of different legumes(which btw comes close to heaven on earth served with jaggery, molaga podi(idli podi) and unsalted butter ) . However brief consultation with my dad has cleared up the point -- totally different beast. I'm not sure if puttu can be called a bread either but then somehow I've never thought of dosais and adais as breads either! Oh well you've got to call them something I suppose. I'm having some trouble getting all the photos to load but this could just be due to an incredibly flaky connection. Do keep up the good work!
  15. Wonderful article, Monica! I'm from Madras and this is my second post on egullet. We make a fish curry at home with something called kodumpulli from Kerala which sounds very similar to kokum. I asked my father and he claims that they're both the same genera. I love pomfret too though my favourite recipe would have to be my grandmother's fish moilee with coconut milk. Mmmmm!!!
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