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    Washington, D.C.

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  1. Just double-checked the carryout menu from my (sometimes) favorite Indian restaurant (Heritage India in Washington, DC) and can confirm that at least in that restaurant the dish is known as Aloo Tak. ← You're right, I just googled for it and Aloo Tak seems to be specific to Washington restaurants. It seems to be a creation of Chef Sudhir Seth His new restaurant's Menu His user name here is SDSeth, I've emailed him and hope he will respond to your query. ← Could this be a Bengali influenced dish (pronounced like Toke). Tak implies sourness as in Toker Dal (Dal with Tamarind)...we will see(:
  2. Thinking about it now....it might not be as thick as a bottled concentrate. After soaking a 2 inch piece in 3/4 cup of water, as you wrote the instructions told you to, I would think you might end up with something rather thin.....though it is hard to really know what a 2 inch piece of tamarind is 2 inches round...2 inches square.....2 inches long.....a weight measurement would probably be more helpful for you....
  3. Oh, you have the Thai variety of concentrate. This is also almost the same as homemade strained tamarind. You might want to try about 6 tablespoons with added liquid to make 1/2 cup....adjust to taste... What are you cooking?
  4. How much fresh tamarind does the recipe call for and what is the recipe? Also, there are 2 types of tamarind concentrate on the market these days. There is the very thick and dark (almost gel like) variety that comes in plastic containers and has been around forever ,then there is the variety in a glass jar (sold only under the brand name Laxmi) that is much more similar to homemade tamarind paste. Which do you have on hand? Usually a teaspoon of thick concentrate dissolved in water is good for a dish that serves 4, but it could be more or less depending on the dish. The other type can usually be substitute measure for measure.
  5. Hope you have a great time! I also meant to mention the "ghevar". There is a specific local one made with paneer. You can't miss it- it looks like a giant carmelized honeycomb bowl. It made me cry...really Here is a photo I took of the Paneer Ghewar from the very sweet shop that is mentioned by Milagai in the above post. If you have the chance, ask around to have a meal called "Dal-Baati, Churma" It is sort of the quintessential Rajasthani vegetarian meal. It is a vibrantly seasoned dal stew served with dense, clarified butter laden bread balls. Some of these bread ball are crushed and mixed with more butter and sugar to make what is called "churma". So, where else are you going?
  6. You will have no problem at all. Most of the food you encounter will be lacto-vegetarian. There will be plenty of variety, too. Be sure and try some of the delicious sweets.
  7. It may sound horrid and touristy, but it is actually quite cute and you will get a real taste of Rajasthani flavors in a very pleasant setting. Its not nearly as cheesy as you would imagine. The place is called "Chokhi Dhani". In the old city near the New Gate at the end of what is called Nehru Bazaar there is a place called Ganesh Restaurant. It is literally in the wall of the old city( a true hole in the wall!). You may have to ask someone if you don't see the sign posted. You have to walk up a little flight stairs. There is no menu- I reccomend trying their Gatte Masala, chickpea flour "dumplings" in a delicious spicy gravy. Thet also make a very nice Missi ki Roti, a spiced chickpea flour flatbread. Be sure to eat some yogurt to help digest all that chickpea flour!! A great place to stay is the Umaid Bhavan Guesthouse. They have nice restaurant where you can try some Rajasthani meat dishes like Saafed Maas (meat in a slightly tart white sauce) or Laal Maas (meat in a red sauce). Have a blast!
  8. For a good, well-rounded understanding I would reccommend above all else Julie Sahni's "Classic Indian Cooking" and "Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking". These two combined with Madhur Jaffrey's books cover quite a lot of ground. For fun reading about regional cuisines with a lot of cultural information, the Penguin Essentials series(Essential Delhi Cookbook, Essential Goa, etc.) from India are a blast. Be warned though, the recipes require serious adaptation to come out well in American and European kitchens. Sanjeev Kapoor is also good. So is Tarla Dalal. She is India's top selling author in any topic. Sort of like a Betty Crocker approach. Her recipes are simple and straightforward. My favorite of hers is "The Complete Gujarati Cookbook" Best of all....go to bookshops in India in any large city and you will lose your mind trying to decide which titles to buy. Most likely, you would end up buying a separate suitcase just to bring books home! Edward
  9. I like a crust that is very crispy and thin and with tiny little bubbles! I am die-hard fan of keema-filled samosas. As far as vegetable samosas go I prefer cauliflower over potato..
  10. Hello, Ingredients can be quite varied. Cooked shredded pork. Sliced ham. Grilled chicken. Fresh cheese (panela). Guacamole is pretty common. The only essential (for me anyway) is that the bread roll be smeared with refried beans. In fact, I like them with nothing more than refried beans and cheese. A great variation is called "ahogada". This is a torta smothered in a rich and spicy chile de arbol sauce and then sprinkled with one of the drier cheeses. Anyone else?
  11. Re. raw cashews -- the book really does call for raw cashews. The recipe has you cook the mixture afterwards of course, but it specifically says raw cashew pieces. They are called "raw" because they are untoasted, but cashews must go through a type of cooking process to remove some sort of irrititant before they are sold.
  12. Does anyone know why this sweet has the same name as a city in Afghanistan?
  13. Actually, I prefer east or west over north and south! Though it really is too hard to choose...I would take a fresh paratha with achaar and dahi at breakfast over idli/sambhar anyday. But if you offered me a choice between a nice biryani or a mangalorean fish gassi for lunch, I would take the fish. Depends on my mood I guess...
  14. My mom always added a dried turmeric leaf when making the ghee. I always add a fresh bay leaf. Bague ← Western bay leaf or tejpatta?
  15. Sometimes I use oil for the cooking and then just add a teaspoon or so of asli ghee to the dish at serving time. A little bit of good ghee goes a long way. If you infuse the ghee with flavorings during its cooking process it packs even more of a flavor punch when added to dishes just before serving. I like to make flavored ghee with things like curry leaves, ginger, cloves, black pepper or chilies etc. Try making halva with ginger infused ghee sometime...its really nice Does anyone else do this?
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