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sonya

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  1. i have made several things out of atul kochar's book and also cyrus todiwala's "cafe namaste spice" and had the same experience a couple of times. imo, there may be there several issues here: * food styling * difference in quality or quantity of ingredients in britain and the us (or where ever else you are cooking outside london i feel). when they say a large onion, i'm not quite sure how large as there are onions in the us that could weigh 1 lbs and they could mean a few ozs or half a pound!! or, 3 bunches of methi leaves...well that depends on the indian store's source if you know what i mean. i find that the taste is excellent first time i try a recipe but the appearance doesn't always please me as it doesn't look like the pic. so then i pore over the pic several times and typically, i find the liquid amount or the oil etc. that needs to be adjusted. 2nd or 3rd time around, the recipe is perfect and looks like the pic in the book. that is why i find madhur jaffrey's "ultimate curry bible" much more exact as she states every thing by weight. i find her recipes look like the pics the first time around. given the variance of in the size of shallots (organic), let alone other stuff, i find weighing much easier the first time around. another problem that i face it that i use my pressure cooker for the daal and lamb recipes and find that i have to make things at least twice to adjust the proper amts of water so that i'm not left with a gallon of water and then a mush while i dry up the water at the end. my husband enjoys every try of the recipe :-) sp
  2. just joined the forum and have a question on indian cookbooks and non-indian cooks that i have been mulling over for years.... has anyone else had the following experiences? i have had several white friends over the years who are home cooks, i.e. have not taken professional cooking courses and don't seem to any idea of the techniques of indian cooking.... they seem to like indian cookbooks that i find totally bad...once i went to an american friend's house for an indian dinner he cooked and i could not recognize the dishes at all, which were channa daal, rotis, and some vegetable....it was very embarrassing for me... i have noticed this trend on amazon reviews too. it has gotten to the point where i now try to figure out if the poster is s. asian or not and if not, then i disregard the review and in fact not buy the book at all if recommended by a non-s. asian. and, sometimes it doesn't seem to matter even if the non-indian poster claims that he/she has been cooking indian food for years, i''m quite amazed at the cookbooks he/she seems to find good because typically i will own the cookbook and know that the recipes were not tested enough etc. sp
  3. sonya

    Indian Restaurants

    some bay area suggestions: best south indian Dasaprakash in santa clara (http://www.dasaprakash.com/) (i did find the idli and vada a bit too dense for my liking other than that everything is excellent and great decor too...no bare-bosomed four-feet high brass statues holding saunf) someone recommended uddippi palace....i find too much baking soda in their food. best chaat (even better than Viks of berkeley) Chaat Paradise in mountain view (http://www.chaatparadise.com/) everything is superb but get this...my gujju and mumbai friends say that the pau bhaji is as good as the best they have had in india or at home!!! warning though: place is swimming in the aforementioned brass statues. best kebab run Shalimar in san francisco or fremont (i know some people feel that pakwan is better but i don't belong to that category as yet) best punjabi fish pakoras chaat cafe in berkeley or santa clara (they do have other stuff too which i love but i have to say that their pujabi fish pakoras are the best i have eaten in the west so far...there was another restaurant here that did an amazing fish amritsari and karela chatpatta but the chef quit and the mess they now serve in the name of these dishes is quite appalling...) with strong opinions and totally spoilt on indian food options living in the bay area... sp
  4. simple punjabi home cooking from a second-gen uk gal..."cooking like mummyji" by vicky bhogal. i'm a punju raised in india and living in the us now and feel that her book comes closest to punju home cooking outside india. warning though...does not include chicken tikka masala recipe sonya
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