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Milagai

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  1. My then 3 yo daughter in a Chinese restaurant wanted to use "chompsticks". We still call them that ...
  2. Milagai

    Moringa, aka Drumstick

    I have eaten them cut very short, and you still have to scoop and eat. The outer pod is a distinct structure and its very 'protective' of the delicate interior. It's not at all like celery where there is no exterior vs interior. If you overcook moringa to try and make the outside soft, the insides will totally disintegrate and the whole thing will be inedible.
  3. I reintroduced myself on the Moringa thread so won't repeat here. I wander through eg at lengthy intervals when life permits. It's always interesting. In the US so many vegetables seem criminally under appreciated, and in fact, criminally libeled / slandered: 1. Root vegetables other than potatoes (OK I know I am mixing up tubers and roots): beets, parsnips, turnips etc. These are superlatively excellent when roasted, I know I am preaching to the choir here. 2. Cruciferous veggies: cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and so on. One can write entire cookbooks around their deliciousness. 3. Okra, as many upthread have mentioned. Those who (in this day and age, and on this of all groups) who remain 'in the dark': find an Indian/South Asian friend who's a decent home cook, or go to a good Indian restaurant, or get a cookbook and try just about any recipe from this region for okra. The word 'slime' is unknown to these cuisines for this vegetable. Luckily, other parts of the world don't have this negative baggage about any of these veggies.....
  4. Milagai

    Moringa, aka Drumstick

    Greetings: I've been an eg member for some years, but post very very rarely: life gets in the way But from time to time I wander in. In real life I wander among the US, India, East Africa, and wherever else life floats my balloon. Moringa in India: a very common vegetable in Southern India, almost unknown in the North. The pods and leaves are used. It's very very tasty and very nutritious. It's promoted by nutrition activists, especially for pregnant women at risk of anemia. They try to grow the tree more widely, also in East Africa. Moringa in the US: you can get the pods fresh or frozen (former is less common). The frozen ones are not bad at all. Recall that these vegetables are cooked, they're not really edible raw. I've not seen the leaves available in groceries in my area of the US; maybe in bigger cities? The leaves are not bitter (bitter ones are neem / agathi) but very neutral tasting. To cook: pods and leaves most common in typical Southern home cooking like in sambar, godju, moar-kozhambu, etc. (These are Tamil names, other regional languages have other names for comparable dishes). You cut the pod into one inch long (approx) pieces and cook till done. To eat: while eating, you scrape out the inside and discard the stringy and tough outer coating (the comparison to artichokes is very apt). This vegetable shows you why you eat Indian food with your fingers - no eating tool invented could handle this item Milagai
  5. That was funny! My family is another that likes roasted veggies. No matter how big a pan I fill with any or all of: beetroots, brussels sprouts, onions, potatoes, cauliflower (olive oil, salt, red pepper, sprinkle of lemon juice when done), it gets wiped clean, kids and adults trying to get the last few bits. This is easy. The other thing that gets unanimous positive votes is poori aloo for brunch. It's rather labour intensive, so I don't make it very often. The kids are still young and skinny enough to hoover up as many as I can turn out and carry on, but we adults have to watch it. Even if I improve the nutrition profile by adding mashed dal to the poori dough and adding other veggies to the aloo (potato), it's still deep fried.
  6. Milagai

    Coconuts

    Not sure why I feel compelled to defend the honour of coconuts, but here goes. 1. Why throw out coconuts after the kids eat three pieces? Freeze the rest until your next recipe. 2. As you say, the pre-shredded sweetened kind in 'regular' supermarkets has way too much sugar etc. So thaw out your frozen coconut, dry it gently in the oven (makes hacking out pieces much easier) then grate the pieces (in food processor) and there you go. 3. Re your crack about tender coconuts vs imaginary slugs: have you eaten snails or oysters? People seem willing to pay lots of money to eat snails and oysters, so why take issue with tender coconuts, which seemingly have similar texture / appearance? 5. Related question: why do people not eat slugs? How are they (culinarily) different from snails?
  7. Milagai

    Coconuts

    Young coconuts and mature coconuts are kinda like different animals. In Thailand we drank the juice from young coconuts, but pretty much ignored the soft, bland, gelatinous flesh. Street vendors punch a hole in the young coconut, stuff in a straw, and one sips the liquid for a snack. Another EGulleter started this thread about young coconuts, and got some ideas about what to cook with them. I suggested adding the young coconut flesh to a coconut sorbet, something I've tried and liked. Rhonda: your coconut looks lovely. What was wrong with it? Was it spoiled or was it merely not what you are familiar with? Your picture of what you were expecting was a more mature coconut. What you got was a young coconut. Depending on how young the coconut is, the 'jelly' is more or less watery; more or less firm. The mature coconut has hard and firm 'meat'. The taste and treatment of both are different. The tender coconut jelly is always delicious, mild, sweetish. Eaten plain usually. Expect the texture of 'jello' or oysters. Mature coconut: well, you know. Too many uses to list. Djyee: in tender-coconut-selling/eating cultures, street vendors will hack open the coconut after you have drunk the coconut water and you scrape out the 'jelly' from the inside and eat it. Do they not do this in Thailand: do you mean the tender insides are just thrown away?
  8. Milagai

    Most Underrated Food

    I make pancakes with it, steamed snacks, fried snacks, noodles, soups and stews (it's traditionally used to stablise yoghurt in the Indian dish karhi which is a hot yoghurt "soup") and much more. I find that is makes a good "non-omelette" for those of us who don't eat eggs, and since it is high in protein I think this is a pretty good use for it. The Burmese cook it into a thick paste and allow it to set, and then cut it into cubes to make Burmese tofu. Now, I assumed we were talking about ingredients, but if we're talking about foods...well, I would agree with idlis! Jenni: Combine the two (ingredient and dish: i.e. besan and idli-like dish) and you have: dhoklas! Do you really think besan and idlis are underrated? By whom? They seem very widely appreciated by > 1 b people My suggestion of a very underrated ingredient: the 'humble' cabbage. It should be a star! It's extremely cheap, super-nutritious, and so tasty and versatile. Every culture has several cabbage recipes; treatments ranging from shredded and raw, to cooked for hours. All good. Cabbage-based koftas unite cabbage with besan!
  9. I grew up on spicy food, but this happens to me: if I suddenly and unexpectedly bite into something very spicy (not just average spicy): then violent, LOUD, and very painful hiccups. A sure cure for me: a pinch of sugar way in the back of my tongue, as near to the uvula as I can get, or a spoonful of ice cream trickling down the back of my throat. Water doesn't cure me.
  10. Milagai

    Eggless Brownie

    Hi Jenni: I've had to make egg-less cakes for my child's birthday party (one of the guests was egg-allergic) and I had good success using bananas: to sub for each egg, use 1 small banana (or 2/3 large one) mashed with 1 tbsp oil (any neutral flavored one). And I used 1/4 tsp more baking soda or baking powder that the recipe called for overall. Maybe this substitute would work for brownies too?
  11. Greetings: I've been a member of eg for a while, and went off for a loooong time, traveling. Back now, and thought I would drop by and see how this site is doing. Saw this thread and had to smile. Neither of *my* grandmothers wouldn't have had any such thing as the OP mentioned in her kitchen. They all drank their South Indian Filter Coffee from tumbler-dabara, like so: http://blogpourri.blogspot.com/2007/02/magic-of-dabara-coffee.html. You never touched the tumbler or dabara to your lips, drank "from up", pouring the coffee into a stream straight down your gullet, from about 3 inches above your mouth, glug, glug glug goes your throat. Still common up to my parents' generation, but a lost art in my Fourbucks swilling, early-morning hurrying, generation.
  12. Well, it is surprising to see a group such as this endorse this array of nothing-but-flat-out junk as comfort food, special treat, etc. There are plenty of better (in taste and health and ease) options that could have been equally comforting, easy, "treat", and tasty, and at least one such should have been included. How hard would it have been to have included a fresh fruit platter? Most children (assuming no safety issues with under-threes, who would not have been alone here anyway) love grapes, strawberries, similar fruit that's easy to pick up and eat with fingers and make almost no mess. The caterers must have been paid large sums of money for the privilege of serving this event. They must have known their menus would be looked at by lots of people. What they served up to these children did them absolutely no credit.
  13. Here is an account of the inauguration menu. What the children (Obama children and Biden grandchildren) got is described: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01...in-the-capitol/ "Taking into account Mr. Obama’s young children, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, and the many Biden grandchildren who were in attendance, there was a children’s menu, served in the nearby Rayburn Room. Hot dogs Cheeseburgers Macaroni and cheese French fries Grilled cheese sandwiches Cheese pizza Chocolate chip cookies Apple and orange juices and soft drinks" Can you imagine anything more generic or dreadful (in terms of taste and health)? Not one single fruit or vegetable in there. In this day and age? With this crowd? The catering company is called "Design Cuisine". They seem to have taken all the trouble with the adults' menu, and ignored the kids (and insulted their tastebuds).
  14. Hi: a quick answer, though not from Australia. There have been small Chinese communities in many parts of India for several generations, who have developed a unique fusion: Indian-Chinese. It is Chinese food adapted to local tastes and using local ingredients, and served through Chinese restaurants (I don't know what the Chinese in India eat at home and would love to see an article or cookbook about that). Many Chinese restaurants in East Africa are run by Asians (of Indian origin) and serve Indian-Chinese food (Okra Manchurian!!) It's too large a topic to cover fully here plus I don't have that much knowledge of details. The food is much beloved in India, and includes things like Gobhi Manchurian (cauliflower made into balls with a red sauce, pun on Gobi desert), and too many others to list. The menus cater to vegetarians much more than in China or elsewhere, and include ingredients like paneer (though recently this is changing over to tofu). I don't know what any Chinese person from China or elsewhere would say about this style. ETA: Google has tons of hits on Indian Chinese food, and Wikipedia has a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Chinese_cuisine
  15. Milagai

    2009: Eating Really Really Cheap

    I don't know if you are reading the other thread on 'one ingredient, two dollars ...' but I just posted there on cabbage. It's a miracle ingredient for being very cheap, tasty, nutritious, and versatile. I won't repeat myself here but I just posted some suggestions there on cabbage dishes, and would love to hear more from others.
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