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Everything posted by Edward

  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?
  16. That could also have been picked up from the Middle Eastern market. Remember a major influence on chefs in both India and Pakistan these days is the experience they get while working in Dubai and the rest of the Gulf. Many chefs go there to make some money and then come back to open restaurants back home or take up senior positions in the big hotels. I'm guessing that more Pakistani chefs go to the gulf, while Indian ones tend to go to the cruise liners, but its certainly one way that Middle-Eastern - and you can probably equate that with professional Lebanese restaurant cooking in this context - influences are transferred to the subcontinent, Vikram ← My understanding is that fruit and nuts entered the cuisine of the whole northern region with the coming of the Moghuls. The Persians brought with them their love for almonds and have cooked with fruits since time immemorial. And many of the classic dishes containing nuts and/or fruits have been around since that time.
  17. And the traditional red color they have often comes from cockscomb, no?
  18. Hi Shelora, This is an awesome topic. I have not yet been to Pakistan(next winter hopefully!)so I will hesistate to say too much. Hopefully some of our other egullet friends will have lots to say on this. As for dhodhi, I think I can answer this one. Many of my closest friends in India are from the Sindhi community(an area in what is now Pakistan). Dhodhi or dhodho comes from their food lexicon. Chapati, as far as I know, is always made from wheat flour atta and is usually cooked without oil. Dhodho is made from jowar(sorghum)flour or millet flour, and sometimes rice flour. It has more in common with bhakri. Unlike wheat, these flours have no gluten. Dhodho is made by flattening the dough out into a very thick round with your hands or by pressing it directly on the warm tawa. They are then dry-roasted on the tawa until cooked, drizzled with ghee or oil and then fried for a minute or two. They can be made plain or with masalas like green chilies, cilantro, onion etc. They are VERY filling and very tasty. The same thing made with wheat flour is called "koki". There is also a sweet version made with wheat that is called "lolo" or "loli". E
  19. and it's important to pronounce correctly otherwise you can change the whole meaning..... milagai (pronounced mill-ug-aaye = hot chili pepper. NOT milaa-gaai = met a cow) ←
  20. Yes. It has to do with transliteration from Hindi into English. All Hindi consonants have an inherent "a" sound (like the u in but) unless they are a "half" of a consonant combining with another. Sometimes the inherent "a" is not fully emphasized in the common pronunciation of a word. There are different styles used to transliterate so sometimes things are spelt in more than one way in Roman script. So the second "a" in makhan is the inherent "a" that is part of "kh". There would be another way to write it in Hindi if you were following "kh" with the vowel "aa" (pronounced sort of like the o in pot or cot). Then it would probably be spelled in English like this "makhaan". Here is an example: PAALAK is spinach and PALAAK is eyelash! Aaaanywaaayyyy!!!!! Maybe a true native speaker would be able to give a better explanation
  21. The first one would be accurate...with a slight aspiration at the K part. E
  22. A ground blend like garam masala will be fine for about 3 months if you keep it in an airtight jar. It will fade in its intensity as time passes, but that is not always a bad thing. When I make my garam masala I find that it is too intense the day I make it. The fragrances of each spice are still standng out on their own sort of competing for the palate's attention. I like it best a day or so later after it has had time to "mature"and the fragrances mellow and merge into something new. The sum is more than the parts I guess you could say.... Most whole spices, with the exception of cardamom, will keep up to a year. Some like ajwain for instance, may last even longer. Edward
  23. I have only seen them called papdi. The only places that have them are Indian groceries.
  24. I was just about to mention the baking soda thing....I have a recipe for this in an Aghani cookbook. Let me go take a look at it and I will post again soon.... Edward
  25. Edward

    Indian Food

    Hello All, If you are in the DC area you might be interested in this event at Whole Foods Market. Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8 Indian-food expert and author Julie Sahni (Classic Indian Cooking) leads a tasting of Indian cuisine at Whole Foods (1440 P St., NW) while Indian musicians play live in the cafe. 5 to 8 PM. Free. Call 202-332-4300 for more. I will be there with Julie. Come by, do some tasting and say hello! Edward
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