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Everything posted by SwatiC

  1. .. oy, this seems oddly familiar ... ← Just thought I'd add that this is not to be generalized for all Hindu weddings. In my Bengali Hindu heritage, a wedding dinner is inconceivable without numerous fish courses.
  2. Spaghetttti, is this because the Padang restaurant model is especially successful on a pan-Indonesian scale? I guess what I want to know is, do people generally prefer the Padang style of serving food to say the nasi sets that are commonly served in Javanese food?
  3. Aren't you describing a Rumah Makan Padang? Which is a type of restaurant that serves Padang food which is from Western Sumatra. The dishes are laid out at the table and you only take what you want and pay for what you eat. As far as I know, what distinguishes Sundanese food from other kinds of Indonesian cuisines is the presence of lots of fresh, raw vegetables. This is exemplified by karedok, which is sort of the Sundanese version of gado-gado, with the vegetables raw (not blanched).
  4. Adam, the name in greek is "soupies me spanaki". ← Athinaeos, I wonder if you've ever had a variation of this dish, which I believe is called "soupies me xorta". I had this dish at a tsipouradiko in Volos, and it was possibly the most sublime Greek dish I've ever had. I can make it with spinach like you did, and your dish looks fantastic, but I do wish I knew what xorta they used, so I could take a stab at recreating it.
  5. Sam, thank you so much! The link is absolutely great. I believe the Pish-pash, Country Captain and Jhal Frezee are definitely Anglo-Indian dishes, created by Indian chefs working for English households. A lot of the terminology is Bengali, the use of the word "danta" for stems of greens for instance, "dharrus" for lady's finger (okra) and "bagda chingree" for large prawns. However, some others are in Hindi like "khuttah curree" and "bhajee" and the entire spice list in the beginning of the curry section. I was very puzzled by some of the recipes calling for "tyre" as an ingredient, till I realized that this might be a transliteration of the Tamil "Thayir" meaning yogurt. This might be wild speculation, but the mish-mash of ingredient names and the use of lemongrass (originated in India, but virtually unknown in Indian cooking) makes me wonder if the recipes do not come from a Mog (Mag) cook. During British India, it was very common for the English in Calcutta to employ Mog cooks in their households. Besides the fact that they proved to be excellent cooks, they also had the advantage, being Buddhist, of having no compunction about cooking beef or pork, something that Hindu and Muslim cooks might have objected to. There is some conflict over the ethnic roots of Mogs, but geographically speaking they came from the Chittagong hills on the border of undivided Bengal (now Bangladesh) and Burma. Here's a Hobson-Jobson discussion on the origins of the Mogs: http://bibliomania.com/2/3/260/1280/20117/1/frameset.html And this quote is particularly interesting: 1866.—“That vegetable curry was excellent. Of course your cook is a Mug ?”— The Dawk Bungalow, 389.
  6. I'd agree with everything that's been said here regarding the lack of a specific Indian take on sushi. However, if you absolutely insist on sushi in India, one of the best places to eat it in Delhi would be The Nikko Metropolitan hotel. The hotel is run by a Japanese company, and a lot of their clientele are Japanese businessmen. Their restaurant Sakura is known as arguably the best sushi restaurant in town. Here's a review: http://www.uppercrustindia.com/6crust/six/restaurant1.htm
  7. Hello from one Bong girl to another . I've found cod a pretty good substitute for making Bengali fish dishes, as well as fresh catfish of course. I don't much care for the flavour of tilapia, so I don't cook with it. Also, there is a fish that is sold as "white fish" at many Iranian markets. Don't know what it is, but they would usually sell the entire fish to you, cut into pieces with the bone intact, which makes it ideal for putting in jhaal, jhol, shorshey etc. Korean markets usually sell cod pieces with the bone as well, so try and locate Iranian and Korean groceries with fish counters. Many Chinese grocery stores sell shad, which is the closest approximation to ilish that you can get here, apart from frozen ilish from Indian and Bangladesh. So try the Chinese stores for shad and also fresh pompfret, which is quite excellent with shorshey or jhaal or rosha. Hope this helps
  8. I was only referring to the name. Minced meat on skewers is not unique to South Asia at all. There is however a difference between Chicken Reshmi Kebabs and Chicken Seekh Kebabs. The Seekh kebabs are only made with minced meat. Chicken Reshmi Kebabs can be made with either mince or chunks of meat. And as Anzu pointed out, Sikh and Seekh are not to be confused! So "Sikh" is not an acceptable transliteration at all since commonly it would be pronounced with the short "i" sound, and not the long "i" which is the correct transliteration from Hindi/Urdu/Farsi.
  9. As far as I know, "Seekh Kebabs" are exclusive to South Asia, mostly India and Pakistan. In Hindi/Urdu "seekh" refers to the skewer on which the kebab is grilled. I think the word is Persian in origin and means the same in that language as well. The word for mince (of any kind) is "qeema". Traditionally, Seekh Kebab in India and Pakistan refers to kebabs made with goat meat or beef mince (a lamb version may exist, but I haven't come across it). A particularly fine variation of the Seekh Kebab is known as the Kakori Kebab, where the kebab is almost melt-in-the-mouth tender. The Chicken Seekh Kebab is a of fairly recent provenance, and is pretty unconventional. Shish is distinct from Seekh and in most Iranian and Lebanese restaurants I've been to refers to skewered chunks of meat, usually interspersed with bell peppers and onions. Similar to Shish Kebab in India and Pakistan is the Tikka or Boti Kebab.
  10. Ecr, thanks for the info. Are the minced meat sate unique to Bali, or are they fairly common on other islands as well? Also is it true that the cubed meat sate are considered more typical of the cuisines of Java and Sumatra, rather than Balinese cuisine? Swati (minus the C is fine )
  11. That's exactly what I would guess. It's called ghee korola in Bengali.
  12. I think what you are referring to is sate lilit, but as far as I know the standard version is made with a mixed mince of fish and prawns, wrapped around a lemongrass skewer and then barbecued on a coconut husk fire. Is there also a pork mince version?
  13. Sorry for jumping in so late in the thread, but that is not how Gyro is pronounced. In Greek, Gyro is written with a Gamma, not a Chi. So the sound is more like something between a "g" and a "y", something like an aspirated "y". Conformed by my native speaker boyfriend :)!
  14. Thank you so much for clarifying Bong. Boiling rice noodles for 30 minutes sounded so strange! I think a lot of places do make falooda with corn starch, but mung beans are used just as often. I think the corn starch noodles as falooda substitute sound great.
  15. Toureg, I'm simply an admirer and know very little about the vast and wonderful world of Persian cuisine. I'm sure there are many on the board who are much more knowledgeable than I am and I hope to be able to pick their brains through the forum!
  16. Tahcheen and tahdig are two different dishes. While tahdig is simply a byproduct (a very delicious one!) of making chelo (plain rice) or polo (pilaf), tahcheen is separately prepared and is stuffed with chicken. It is far richer than the tahdig, in fact probably the heaviest Iranian dish I've ever had. Also tahcheen is usually coloured with saffron, whereas tahdig ordinarily does not have saffron.
  17. Is the mahi (fish) that accompanies the sabzi polo grilled or fried? And can this be made with any kind of white-fleshed fish or only a certain type of fish is preferred, e.g., mahi safeed from the Caspian? I'm really interested in learning about Persian cuisine and would love to read more from you!
  18. The Aush that you describes sounds like Aush-e-Reshteh, the Persian noodle soup with reconstituted whey (kashk), fried onions and fried mint on top. Am I way off the mark here? Aush in Persian means "soup" so there are several kinds of soups in Persian cuisine, including Aush-e-Jo (barley soup) and Aush-e-Aab Leemoo (Lemon soup) etc.
  19. Please, please do not substitute rice noodles for falooda in kulfi-falooda or rabri-falooda. I recently had a kulfi-falooda at an Indian restaurant that had boiled and drained rice noodles topping the kulfi. The texture was not pleasant and they are far more chewy and substantial than regular falooda should be. Iranian falooda (available in some traditional Iranian icecream shops) can be an acceptable substitute, but they are usually very thin, frozen and crunchy, although less odd than rice noodles in a falooda concoction. I think either mung bean or cornstarch would yield the desirable results, and here I'm trying to extrapolate from memory, since I've never made falooda at home, nor seen anyone making it at home. The noodles are very soft and slippery, and only a small bunch is tossed on top of a plate of sliced kulfi for kulfi falooda. Sliced pistachios and rose water are optional, but add a nice touch. Rabdi falooda is usually in a glass and the contents are rabdi, milk and falooda topped with nuts and possibly char magaz (four kinds of dried seeds). My experience though with falooda is limited to Delhi and I've never had the Parsi falooda. A nice touch that the Iranians do with faloodeh ba bastani (falooda with icecream) is to provide a slice of fresh lime to squeeze on top of the falooda bastani. The sweetness of the icecream, falooda and rosewater is balanced out very nicely by the sour lime juice. Michael, I'd be really curious to know what method you'd be using to make your falooda and how you'd be using it in a dessert.
  20. I'm so glad someone mentioned Kaleva, because it is my favourite sweet shop in the whole world. I've never had the Indrani, but they have so many to-die-for mithai. They make a fabulous "ghiye ki burfi" (burfi made with bottle gourd) and they have great seasonal specialities. In the summers, they make kulfi flavoured with fruit juices that are served in fruit rinds. Hence, orange kulfi, in an orange rind shell, and mango kulfi in a mango shell. In the winters they have "moong dal halva", "carrot halva" and gorgeous malpuas. They have a lot of savoury goodies too, and when some of you make it to Delhi, do try their "dahi bada"!
  21. Hate to be a nitpicker, since it's always good to see someone write about Romania. But Vlad's castle is in Bran, which is further south from Sighisoara. It is actually about 26 km south-west of Brasov, which is a wonderful little town with a strong Germanic influence.
  22. Alas no! I haven't seen the stems at any South-east Asian or Indian groceries that I've been to, which is where you would be more likely to find it. Considering the fact that many Indian groceries stock "shajne daata" (murungkai in Tamil and I don't know what it is called in English), which I would assume is harder to source, I wonder why banana stems are missing. Oh the canned banana flowers are so terrible! I once bought one and tried to make it with frozen grated coconut. It was inedible, at least to my pampered taste, used to fresh mocha and fresh grated coconut. But canned raw jackfruit is great, and I make echor (or gaachh paatha, as you prefer, both names for raw jackfruit in Bengali) ever so often. Again, this is thanks to shared tastes with the rest of South-east Asia, since they seem to be so much better at canning and exporting produce than Indians are. Swati
  23. Which is a pity, isn't it? I did some online research on Palombini and their website claims that they lead in the Roman market. I didn't see it served in either Napoli or Florence. The coffee in Napoli was fantastic as well, but I didn't note any of the brands, because I was quite happy with Palombini and naively believed that it would be easily available back in the US. I did locate an Italian market here that sells both Kimbo and Illy, and yes Illy is rather expensive and every coffee forum rants about that. But I wonder if the difference is price (almost double that for a Kimbo pack) is worth it. Vesnuccia, not being quite the coffee conneisseur, I find it difficult to describe what it tastes like except the fact that it really seemed like the best espresso I've ever had. The French espressos that I had tasted a week before seemed incredibly mediocre in comparison. It was dense, with good crema, didn't smell burnt (a problem with espressos in the US, especially Starbucks, yuck!), and didn't leave a bitter aftertaste. In fact it was the aftertaste that got me, it was such a wonderful lingering flavour. Failing buying some good beans and making it, I so wish there was an espresso bar here that even partially recreated that taste. Swati
  24. I feel your loss. My Bengali family would trawl through Delhi's South Indian markets in search of the elusive mocha (the name for banana flower in Bengali, and not to be pronounced like the coffee drink) and thor (banana stem). My mother would cook both with generous amounts of freshly grated coconut. Those were rare treats in our urban existence, of course my rural relatives would be quite amused that I was enthralled by such rustic food. My uncle told me that he's seen banana flower and stem in Chinese groceries in the US (where I live), I've been too lazy to find out. Actually the prospect of breaking a coconut and grating it is daunting, and the frozen or dessicated stuff is vile. But preparing banan flower for cooking is quite tedious, because the bitter pistil has to be removed from each flower and there are so many of them. The fact that I would do it willingly should tell you how much I loved my banana flower. Swati
  25. Hi, I'm new to egullet. I was in Italy this summer and I had the most wonderful espresso wherever I went. The coffee was always consistently good, and after downing several espressos at one particular cafe I had to ask the server about the brand he used. It was something called Palombini, and he was generous enough to give me a packet of the beans from their own supply as a gift. My friends back in LA raved about the coffee, and after the beans finished, we've been rather miserable. I haven't had any luck yet in finding the coffee here, and I was wondering if there was someone on the forum who has information on where to find it, preferably in the vicinity of LA. Failing that, I would be really happy to get recommendations for other good Italian brands. I am only looking for roasted beans and not ground coffee. Many thanks Swati
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