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merrybaker

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  1. merrybaker

    Salt containers

    I use a crock from Pommery mustard. It's heavy, dishwasher proof, holds a lot, and has a wide opening. I keep a plastic spoon inside to keep it clean.
  2. If I'm buying fish in hot weather, I'll take a plastic produce bag and fill it with ice from the soft drink dispenser and make a little ice-pack to keep the fish cold. But that's not stealing, it's protecting my investment.
  3. merrybaker

    The Indian Restaurant Taste

    Yes, now that you mention it, there don’t seem to be separate menus. I’ve seen such in Chinese restaurants, and have even pointed to another diner’s food (not on English menu) and ordered “that.” Yet when I go to Indian restaurants with Indian friends, everyone orders off the “standard” menu.
  4. merrybaker

    The Indian Restaurant Taste

    What do you think accounts for the large number diners from the Indian subcontinent (seemingly enjoying themselves) in curry houses? Is it a guilty pleasure, the way I'd eat a junky donut even though I could bake or buy a fancy pastry instead? Is it because the spices are familiar from home, even though the dishes aren't? Is it the camaraderie thing again -- casual, omnipresent, late license places to hang out, the food may be secondary? Are BIRs thought of as a completely different cuisine, such as Chinese or Greek?
  5. merrybaker

    The Indian Restaurant Taste

    Good company and good Indian food -- what's not to like there! Meanwhile, you might make some converts by posting recipes in the “Authentic Indian Recipes” section of that forum. There was a recent discussion on that exact topic, and members showed a genuine interest in learning more. Where do you think it will end? I wish I had said that!
  6. merrybaker

    The Indian Restaurant Taste

    Waaza, I have eaten many authentic Indian dishes, both in homes and in restaurants, and they were, as you said, distinctive and delicious. But I have also had many, many curries in British-Indian restaurants, and those meals hold a special place in my heart. They’re associated with good friends, much beer, and great camaraderie. It’s that experience that I long to duplicate in my own home. And that's why I was so happy to find the Real Curry Recipes site. It’s rather like pizza. Sometimes I want a pure, Naples-style pizza to eat with knife-and-fork, along with a bottle of good red wine. Sometimes I want nothing more than to fold “a slice” and scarf it down with a Coke. Life is good. V. Gautam, interesting post! Yes, the BIR menu is getting complicated. I think that’s profit-driven: to be the first restaurant to offer a new dish, or to play catch-up with the others. But if customers like it, well, isn’t that what restaurant business is all about?
  7. merrybaker

    The Indian Restaurant Taste

    No responses? I take that as a sign you were all waiting for the weekend to make your sauces and curries. I expect to smell the spices very soon, lol. BTW, I forgot to mention a couple things. When you try the recipes: Measure accurately, using leveled measuring spoons. The ratio of spices is very critical, and the recipes were written with level measurements in mind. I've had my best results with accurate measuring. Don’t skimp on the oil, as much as you may want to. A certain critical mass is needed to “fuse” the spices. Excess oil can be spooned off the top just before serving. Start by making a base sauce, and use it as a base for the curries. Surprisingly, all the dishes have distinct tastes. (Same method as The Curry Secret, but, unlike those recipes, these are good!) Be sure to read the section on fusing the spices and oil. Very important! That’s all for now.
  8. merrybaker

    The Indian Restaurant Taste

    Anyone looking to duplicate the taste of Indian food as its served in British Indian restaurants, this site’s for you: http://www.realcurryrecipes.co.uk/ Real chefs are sharing their recipes for every Indian restaurant dish you ever heard of, and then some. The site’s not very old, but already it’s causing somewhat of a sensation in England. This is not some gimmicky thing. They’re not trying to sell anything. If a brand is mentioned (and that’s only rarely), it’s to help members duplicate a dish exactly. The site has an eGullet mentality -- members cook, post photos, ask questions, experiment, and debate. They're very dedicated curry makers, LOL. And the food? OMG! Start with the Chicken Ceylon and Saag Gosht. I bet you won’t be sorry.
  9. I fail to see what's so great about saffron. $68 for 1/4-ounce at Penzeys? Why, think of all the chocolate I could buy!
  10. Hi, Alexis, I just found this topic. I hope you went to the lecture and got her autograph. I was there and even got one of the free cannolis (no longer crisp ). I thought the lecture was interesting and surprisingly scholarly. All in all, I thought she was just adorable, and with the dramatic appearance I'd expect of an Art History major!
  11. merrybaker

    ifood.tv

    Fun site! I love to watch other people cook.
  12. merrybaker

    Macrina's Baking Book

    I made the Rustic Potato Loaf, and it was out-of-this-world. Considering it had 1+1/4 lbs. potato for 3 cups flour, I thought it would be a dense lump. But it was light and delicious. It was also a good keeper. I found some that had been in the fridge for maybe a month , and should have been hard and stale, but a little warming in the microwave or toaster, and it was still good. BTW, when I first got the book, I emailed the bakery to find out how to measure flour and which Kosher salt they use. They answered almost immediately (and that impressed me): All of our cook book recipes measure flour with the dip and sweep method. We don't have a standard weight measurement. And we use Diamond Kosher salt in out cafe. Hope that helps. -Mary
  13. merrybaker

    Forgotten and underappreciated ingredients

    I've always thought that parsley is an underappreciated ingredient. It also makes a nice sprinkle on top of turkey soup with Penn. Dutch egg noodles.
  14. merrybaker

    Creamed Coconut

    When I visited my son in London last year, I dragged everyone around looking for creamed coconut that I needed for British/Indian recipes. I finally found it in a Thai store, and brought home several packages. It's neat stuff. The taste is like that of good quality coconut milk, but the texture is like pure fat! You can use a little without opening a whole can of coconut milk. The funny part is that I've since found it in my local Indian grocery store. So if your mom has an Indian or Thai grocer nearby, she should check there if she hasn't already. Otherwise, I'm sure Nakji's idea would work fine.
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