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bhelpuri

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Everything posted by bhelpuri

  1. I love the adorable little kiddie hands reaching for the shelf of important books.
  2. there does seem to be enough of a hispanic population in colorado/denver to support good hispanic cuisine Not that i'm any kind of expert on Colorado, but I'm pretty sure that my experience of hunting down Mexican food in other places will be valid. It's out there, Mongo, and it's likely to be hard-core, earthy and delicious. But it may not be in a place you'd call a restaurant, or want to take your wife. It may be being sold right now out of a plastic bucket near a construction site, or from a makeshift counter in a store selling phone cards, or from the front porch of a tiny house in a rotte
  3. The essential pickle in my household, one which I get very agitated about if it is not lurking in my fridge at all times, is misqut, from Goa. It's a spicy, vinegary, piquant preparation, made mostly of small and tender good quality green mangoes. These are first slit and salted and pressed for days under a very heavy weight, then stuffed with a combination of spices including hing and turmeric and chilis and mustard seeds, then submerged in hot oil made fragrant with further spices. Give it a year or so in the jar (my current stash is from 2000) and the pickle that you end up with is unbeata
  4. This blog is so long (a good thing, of course) that one has difficulty finding quotes to refer to when making a response. Thus, I have no idea where the appropriate posts are about West Indian 'Indian' cooking, though this isn't going to stop me from making several points. 1) There were some comparitive comments made about the relative size of the (East) Indian populations in Guyana. The two biggest (east) Indian communities in the West Indies do belong to that country and Trinidad, with liberal sprinklings all over the rest of the Caribbean from Suriname to Jamaica to Belize and on. The exact
  5. Guvar is the Hindi name for a kind of thin green bean, particularly popular (with different names) in the South. I think they might be a variety of cluster bean. Tindora is the Gujerati name for a finger-like gherkin-looking vegetable. It's a Bombay favorite (known as Tendli or Tondli), I've never figured out why the Gujju name is used exclusively here in the USA. You have a box of Tindora in one of your photos, Mongo, I think next to the okra (too lazy to go all the way back there and check). Turai/Toorai is the Hindi name for a fore-arm-sized green gourd (maybe a marrow?). It looks vaguely l
  6. Very cool. Very interesting. Very fusion. Not the way to eat mangoes. You should be ashamed of yourself. (a joke, just a joke)
  7. Akiko, It is the middle-end of the season for export Alphonse mangoes, and you can easily find them in London. I've found them even in certain high street markets in North London, but in virtually any small Indian area (Wembley, for instance) they're prominently displayed. Vineet Bhatia (of Zaika) agrees.
  8. We occasionally make sort-of-fusion instant baida rotis using kimchi. So, ready-made 'puff parathas', made in Singapore and easily available at Indian stores around here. These take two minutes to heat up on a tava, then an egg (beaten with salt and pepper and finely diced scallion) sis poured on and the heated paratha placed on it so that the egg sticks properly in the manner of a standard baida roti. Then, a lot of fresh leafy lettuce and some good spicy kimchi gets wrapped up in the roti. The whole process shouldn't take more than 5-6 minutes, and the results are highly satisfactory.
  9. One final comment: That's far too facile and hasty a conclusion, besides the UK is really not that culturally similar to the US. The main factors that have led to the proliferation and popularity of Indian restaurants in the UK are not at all identical in the US. Prominent among these is "pub culture". Indian restaurants became the "pub night" meal providers of choice because (a) they were cheap, (b) they stayed open after last call, © they located themselves on British high streets where other eating options are not terribly plentiful or varied and (d) the "pub night" itself is a central par
  10. Okay, now I've read the paper. Some comments, hopefully constructive. 1) The small sample size, and very specific locale of the survey, conspire together to make the report not very translateable or representative of either the general American audience for Indian food or the 'issues' which confront the vast majority of Indian restaurants as they seek to broaden their appeal and base. Specifically, I don't think the issue of hygiene (which assumes paramount importance in this report) is a universal problem or singular issue for Indian restaurants stretching across the major metropolitan areas
  11. I don't know what "percentage" means, exactly, in this context. However, in the past decade, Indian migrantion to the USA has reached the point where it is the single largest concentration of Indians in any country outside the subcontinent. The number doubled in the the 90's (to, officially, 1.7 million) and there is little doubt that the total (including illegals) is currently somewhere in excess of 2 million. This puts the Indian population in the US ahead of the number in the UK and Malaysia (both somewhat less than 2 million). Anyway, I have to admit that I have not yet read Dr. Josiam's p
  12. Since posting about hypothetical chestnut kulfi, I have been musing a little bit about the older cultural ties between India and Italy. The contact between the two peoples is ancient, long before any real concept of "India" and "Italy" took shape. At the risk of flying totally off-topic, I'll review a bit of what I know here because (a) it is very tangentially food-related and (b) this post is not likely to draw political-hack-chatter on this site. Even by the time the Romans came to dominate their part of the Meditteranean, we know that there was considerable trade done with the subcontinent.
  13. Fine question. There are a lot of people eating crow right now, many have the taste of ashes in their mouth as well. And then there are a whole bunch who have visions of milk and honey (and free electricity). Sonia Gandhi is from the Piedmont, a mountanous region way up in the North of Italy famous for great wines (like Barolo) and also for truffles. But she is the head of a party that was elected on the back of a populist disenchantment with high-flying rhetoric, so luxury ingredients are out. On the plus side, the Piedmont is also a committed rice-eating region so perhaps an Indian-ized riso
  14. Wow. That looks like an awesome recipe, easyguru. I intend on trying it, perhaps as soon as this weekend. Thanks for sharing it. How do you buy your goat meat for this recipe? Boneless? I have trouble getting good boneless goat meat at the local halal butcher. Also, is that 1tbsp of each of those dals? Or one of any one of them?
  15. Khuda Hafiz. You've done something special, and quite vital in our times of dispersal. I'm a firm believer in the open source model. That is, everyone should get all elements of the heritage to make of what they wish and what is natural. Your experiment, in the family, is exactly the kind of knowledge maintenance that will provide some of the essential aspects of moving forward - within the culture - in these times. -- So, um, how about letting us into the Rushina family secrets as well?
  16. No, I have not been to Alfama. Of course, if you wanted to ask me, the very name of the restaurant reeks of touristy-ness. But I wouldn't be so cavalier to pass judgement before I tried it out, and I have eaten memorable - totally "authentic" - Portuguese meals in Manhattan before, most memorably at the outpost 'Pao'.
  17. I suggest, not that humbly, that you go to Seabra's by yourself, revel in the all-Portuguese/only-Portuguese counter scene, and then return to pass judgement about the restaurant's Luso-chops.
  18. Don't be silly. There's no reason to produce credentials on this food forum, first of all. But, most important, the allegation that some (not all) of the restaurants in Newarks' Ironbound are "not authentic" is nonsense. The place recommended twice now, Seabra's Marisqueria, has 90% of its clientele from Portugal, at least. It can actually be hard to get a server who speaks English. Roughly the same is true for a couple of other places, as well as most of the grocery stores. I'm all for seeking as close to the original as possible, but it's patently ridiculous to strike off the Ironbound as t
  19. Having said all of that, there is no doubt that the specifically Indian fish that I regularly buy in the US is of more variable quality than can be bought easily in, say, Bombay. This is partly understandable, and partly due to indifferent preservation technology.
  20. Recently, there was a mini-flap over frozen fish served in sushi restaurants in the USA (and some discussion on this site). Here's the abstract of the NYTimes article that triggered the discussion-
  21. In general, you do not get fresh salt-water fish in the USA except in some coastal areas and in specific markets catering mostly to locals or to fish-crazy immigrants like (variously) the Chinese and Portuguese. Fresh, of course, meaning never frozen. But then, a lot of the fish you get in India which is not directly from the day's catch is also frozen for a while, including (especially) deep-water fish like surmai (king mackerel). Shrimp are also most often frozen. In any case, there is nothing at all wrong with frozen fish and in most cases (both in the tropics and when shipping is involved)
  22. Even for l'il ol' PC me, that's a new one.
  23. You're being overly romantic, Doctor Jones. In my experience, fisherfolk not only want their fish cooked, they want a specific fish cooked in one specific way or it is deemed unsatisfactory. That's worldwide, by the way.
  24. That's true, richw, millions of people have gone to Hyderabad to indulge in that swallow-a-live-fish therapy to alleviate asthma. Here's an article about it. Of course, that's not for nutritional purposes, but rather a form of naturopathy. I bet there are other such naturopathic "cures" which require that the ingredient be raw (or alive). Somewhere in my albums, I have a photo of a Nepali forest guard carefully collecting the (super fresh! raw!!) urine from a grunting baby male rhinocerous for use in such a "cure". I urged him to lift the mug and drink it for my camera, but - believe it or no
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