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Posts posted by Episure

  1. India's Vegetarian Cooking, by Monisha Bharadwaj

    Today, her love of Indian food is illustrated in her new book, India's Vegetarian Cooking, which contains more than 130 mouthwatering regional specialities. She has included notes on choosing chillies for heat and flavour, different varieties of rice and lentils and the spices used in quintessential Indian vegetarian cookery.
    Cabbage with five spices

    This recipe can also be made with cauliflower or red cabbage.

    Spinach with cottage cheese

    Indian cottage cheese is known as paneer. It is made at home by curdling full-fat milk and hanging up the milk solids in a piece of muslin to drain off all the whey.

  2. Masti Grill in New Jersey

    Appetizers are a tasty mix of vegetarian and meaty, and pretty to see on the plate. Table favorites included the cauliflower, potato and eggplant dipped in a smooth chickpea batter and deep-fried; the samosas, with a filling of potatoes, green peas, raisins and cashews spiced with ginger, garlic and house-made garam masala, then wrapped in a pastry and fried; and the chicken wings that pack heat from ginger, garlic, red chilies and cayenne and are much more interesting than our own Buffalo version that needs blue cheese dressing to complete the experience.

    Goan shrimp curry, typically flavored with cumin, coriander, ginger, garlic, chili powder and coconut milk, was more interesting than the fish version that was mistakenly brought (and noticed, mentioned and replaced by the server). The tilapia (shall we call it the new tofu?) did its duty and sopped up the agreeable blend of cilantro, coconut and curry leaves in Mr. Desai's Goan-style fish moilee, and worked well with rice that was served alongside. Other table favorites included a Parsi-style dish of tender lamb cubes in a plum-flavored gravy and a rich blend of goat in a deep green spinach sauce.

  3. Few people like Karela(Momordica Charantia) as the bitterness is an acquired taste. This is a home style recipe using a small variety.

    Peel and marinate the Karelas with salt and rinse off after an hour. This helps to reduce the bitterness. Saute them in oil with chopped onions till browned and add the spice powders-1 tsp each of coriander, cumin and turmeric powders. Stir fry for a few minutes more.


    Puree some deseeded tomatoes with ginger, garlic and deseeded whole red chillies, add to the Karelas + Onions and cook till done. Taste and adjust salt levels.


  4. Foreign food chains in India

    Bennigan’s Grill and Tavern, an Irish-American fast food chain that opened its first Indian outlet in Delhi last year, plans to open 12 more outlets in the next five-six years. 


    And then you have the newcomers. Utah-based Tacomaker, for example, is out to put global flavours on your dining platter. 

    While connoisseurs may scoff at shahi paneer pizzas and aloo-tikki burgers, observers assert that going Indian is a must. “Absolutely”, agrees Vikas Athri, director development, Om Pizza & Eats, master franchisee for California-based Papa John’s Pizza chain. 


    “You have to Indianise your product. Except our dough and fresh tomato sauce that comes from California, everything we use, the cheeses, vegetables... is Indian,” Athri adds. 

  5. Mawani Boi does make festive appearances but it really is a large peda which is ever popular in it's bite sized form.

    Here's one more of my favourites(with a twist :biggrin: ) which I made yesterday on the occasion of Holi.

    Chocolate stuffed Gulab Jamuns


  6. Sorry Pan, I should have elaborated.

    Khoya is a semi solid form of milk, the effect of prolonged heating and stirring till about 20% of original weight.

    This preparation gives a whole new twist to the word Milk Fish doesnt it. :laugh:

  7. Aria,


    Serves 6


    4 cups sweetened khoya

    2 tbsps mixed pistachios and almonds

    2 leaves of silver varkh (Silver leaf)

    1 fish shaped mould

    1 cherry


    Fish is an auspicious motif for Parsis. This dish is a symbol of luck and good fortune. Knead khoya with half the nuts. Grease the mould lightly and line with the varkh. Press khoya tightly in the mould and turn over on a dish. Garnish with remaining nuts and add the cherry for the eye.

    Sometime back I had made one using roasted almond flakes as scales.

  8. Ethnic trends, health benefits drive boom in spices

    First came a run on garam masala. Then tandoori blends. Then, after a tout by a TV chef, annatto seeds started flying off the shelf.

    It wasn’t a fluke. Triggered by new appetites for ethnic flavors, TV food shows’ taste for the exotic, and the perceived health benefits of spices such as turmeric, the once-stagnant spice trade is booming.

    In the last 20 years or so, Americans have doubled their spice consumption from 2 to 4 pounds a person — and the trend appears nowhere near slowing.

    Curry is hot. Cardamom, once a wallflower, is suddenly a rock star. Your mother’s cinnamon is getting a makeover.

    Last year, the Smithsonian Institution added a spice component to its 39th annual Folklife Festival on the National Mall.

    “The hottest restaurants in New York are Indian,” said Wilder, who conducted a spice seminar for the Albertson Cooking School at Yangming restaurant in Bryn Mawr, Pa., recently. “They are even opening an Indian restaurant in Georgetown, S.C.”

    Indeed, it was an Indian seasoning blend that drew Wilder into the spice business 25 years ago. She discovered Indian cooking through a friend who grew up there and who pined for foods cooked in the high heat of India’s cylindrical brick and clay tandoor ovens.

    Finding a bottled blend of “tandoori” spices, he shared the find and the recipe. When the shop closed, leaving no source for the seasoning, Wilder set about copying it. Soon she was selling her Tandoori Spice Rub at local bazaars, then marketing it to a few food stores.

    Her fledgling business and spice repertoire grew until, in 1981, she left her teaching job for a career in the spice trade.

    “Then Macy’s found me,” Wilder recalled. Soon Dean & Deluca began stocking her spices.

    “That recipe for tandoori seasoning, copying that blend, taught me so much about spices,” said Wilder, who now runs a $3 million business supplying more than 300 private-label and custom-blended spices to chefs and stores such as DiBruno Bros., Clemens and Wegmans markets, and other gourmet stores in the mid-Atlantic region.

  9. Not India but there may be a possiblity of finding some crossover inMantra Restaurant & Bar - Pattaya, Thailand.

    Exotic combinations from the menu, offer diners a host of sublime taste sensations.  In each of the open kitchens, the chefs take centre stage, expertly preparing the cuisine in a well-orchestrated display of their craft.  Highlights include tandoori, fresh from the oven and sushi that is prepared as you watch at the sushi bar.

    I havent come across any Indian take on Sushi but maybe... :rolleyes:

  10. Over here the pear shaped purple ones have more flavour. I soak the slices in salted water weighed down(it prevents discoloration) before deep frying at medium-hot graduating to high temperature.



  11. Cinnamon (Left)                  and                   Cassia (Right)


    Have you got three types of cinnamon here? The shards of the far right look like Vietnamese cinnamon (Cinnamomum loureirii), were as the middle stick looks like cassia (Cinnamomum cassia) and the left sticks look like true/Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum).

    Adam, I'm reasonably certain that the one on the right is an Indian subspecies - Cinnamomum Tamala. I have seen the bark being harvested from this tree which also yields the Indian Bay leaf aka Tamal Patta.

    The left one is unmistakably Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Concentric Quills). Extreme left are the inner quills of the same.

    There is a lot of confusion about Indian spice names, the sub species and the regional languages dont help either.

    Hope this helps.

  12. The Bombay Deluxe restaurant brings warmth to Anchorage- Alaska

    Everything on the buffet is labeled, but the labels don't hint at what's in store. Indian food is about spices - cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, curries, chilies, ginger, and others foreign to my kitchen. I loaded a plate with vegetable korma, tandoori murg (chicken marinated in yogurt and cooked in the tandoor) and sagg (basically creamed spinach), while my coworker dabbled in naan with raita (a cucumber-yogurt sauce) and chicken with cauliflower.

    The saag was a standout. Thick and mellow with hints of garlic and ginger, it was substantial. I blended it with rice and chicken. I dragged my naan through it. I wanted to take a bowl of it home. The tandoori murg was subtly spiced and juicy, a feat for a meat under a warming lamp. Chicken with cauliflower tasted like a rich tomato-based stew; shreds of chicken and large pieces of cauliflower danced in a mildly spicy sauce.

    Just the smell of Indian food makes me think warm thoughts. I don't know if it's the rich oranges and reds, the heat of curry, or the heaviness of cream sauces. I do know that I've found a new favorite way to end a winter day: Log on to bombaydeluxe.com and choose an á la carte adventure.

    Baba serves fresh and fast Indian food in Oakley - Cincinatti

    The exterior of Baba India in Oakley may not look impressive, but inside you'll find the same delicious food you've come to expect from Ambar in Clifton and Akash, downtown. Jessi Singh owns all three, but Baba is his newest endeavor: It opened in December 2003.

    "People came (to Ambar) and liked the food and kept saying we had to open a restaurant in the Oakley area," says Singh. "We just listened to what our customers had to say."

  13. Jewel in the Crown, a soothing Indian restaurant in Newburyport, MA

    It looked like a fresh baguette on a plate, but it was actually the Masala Dosa I ordered for an appetizer, a large, slightly crunchy crepe, made with rice and lentils, and curled around a filling of potato and onion ($8.95). Served with a small bowl of vegetable soup, called sahmnhar, and a bit of light green coconut and yogurt chutney, it was intimidating. I looked at it, puzzled, as my waiter began to walk away. "Oh, wait!" I called. "How do I eat this?"

    Palace of Asia - NY, has moved

    The restaurant is in a remote new strip mall. Sukhdev Kabow, chef and owner, transformed the tired menu into a spiffy new one and, better yet, the food went from hunger-driven default choice to really good cooking, food to anticipate and worthy of a detour. He was aided by his wife and partner, Meena Kabow, and a business partner, Nick Manekshaw, who also helps to shape the menu. The three have opened another Palace of Asia in Wilmington, Del., and plan to open another Palace restaurant early next year in Philadelphia.

    The main dishes, though, are the ones that will pull you back to Palace of Asia. Mr. Kabow's palak panir, one of the best I've had in recent memory, features tender house-made cheese and a two-to-one ratio of broccoli to spinach. A runner-up is the tandoori Cornish hen, a plump morsel marinated in ginger, garlic, cayenne, cumin, coriander, paprika and yogurt before it is further tenderized by the fire.

  14. like episure, i'll have to wait until the

    rest of the world catches on to this before

    suggesting it widely....



    Suresh, how do you add your star anise to your desserts? do you extract it? :smile:


    Star Anise is a hardy spice and doesnt lend it's flavour notes easily but a little goes a long way so I just add a piece into preparations like :




    Caramel custard

    and some more stuff that I wont bore you all with.

    In my opinion Star Anise adds a sweet spicy profile just like Cinnamon does.

  15. I dont know why I do this but I have to use kabab chini in shikampuri and shami kababs. A long time ago I had eaten these kababs in the back lanes of Jama Masjid Delhi and whenever I try to re-engineer those kababs, the recipe shouts out for this spice.

    Star Anise is also called Badian and less frequently Anasphool. I find that it makes a great addition to Pulaos, Biryanis and Indo chinese recipes. It goes very well in some Indian sweet preparations but I must be the the only person on this planet to do this, so will have to wait for more people to follow this usage before it becomes acceptable.

  16. Watermelon is often had with salt and pepper in India. Nothing to do with the sour/sweet variable, some people just prefer it that way. Fruit Chaat available on the streets consists of bite sized pieces of various fruits sprinkled with black pepper, cumin powder, amchoor(raw mango powder) and rock salt.

    Personally, I prefer to inject Vodka and let it steep for a few hours before serving slices at a barbeque. :smile:

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