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Everything posted by waaza

  1. I would say most of the pork (if British, but also imported) is fairly bland, certainly less flavoursome than local lamb, and I would recommend anyone contemplating a true vindaloo to consider a rare breed source of pork. In Oz, you have 'roo or even emu. The meat needs to be a little tough, so that the long slow stewing takes its toll on the meat and renders it tender; leg meat would be prefered for this. If using duck, you will have to watch the stewing times very carefully, try a male bird if you can. cheers Waaza
  2. Well said These rickshaw drivers are always trying to outdo the stunts and skills of Evel Knievel. I dont think you will forget that experience in a hurry. ← Episure, don't you call the autorickshaw drivers 'the immortals'? remember the ride we had in Bangalore? At one time I would swear we overtook a jumbo jet taking off from the airport......... I kissed the ground when I got out, and prayed to at least a hundred thousand Hindu Gods, and I'm not even Hindu!! Waaza
  3. I have a signed copy of the book, and a good read it is too. I don't recall I said that there was one true vindaloo [recipe], my point was that it should be made with pork, or other strong tasting meat (see up thread, I mention others). The point is that there are very strong flavours in this dish, and other meats, such as chicken, and even lamb would be swamped by those spices. Indian dishes are usually very carefully cooked with subtle spicing, so as to enhance the flavours in the dish, certainly not to cover up any enjoyment of the meat or veg. If that was the intention, we would all be eating quorn . I would agree that the cuisine of India (and most other places, today and in history) have been developed, influenced, even erroded by other cultures. Witness the widespread incorporation of tomatoes and potatoes in Indian dishes, and the ubiquitous use of coriander leaf garnish, or the universal sprinkling of garam masala at the end of cooking, as if given a blessing, though this may be appropriate in some cases You may argue that, like a language, cuisines are forever changing, evolving, and that they are dynamic. I would have to agree, but then, I would also state that I believe the past is always worth preserving. Without a firm knowledge base, development can be very cyclical cheers Waaza
  4. I would say quite a few anomalies, IMHO, muichoi. Firstly, the name, it is well accepted that the dish is vindaloo, a corruption of the original recipe for vin d’alhos (various spellings) meaning wine/vinegar and garlic (no potatoes). The indigenous Goans adapted the original Portuguese dish, and the name, to give us what we have today, vindaloo. This is a perfect example of a dish which cannot (IMHO) be used for different meats. It is a pork dish, it is a stew, meaning long slow cooking, under much water based liquid, where the meat is cut into small chunks. To develop the flavours, there must be a bhuno step, because the rich meaty notes are not produced by just simmering the meat. The onions seem just to be boiled, and I think you will find the oil rises to the top almost immediately. And current wisdom suggests that marinating is done with either salt or acid present, but not both. Add salt just before serving, if you have to. As muichoi points out, the timing is too short for pork, and the amount of vinegar needs to be increased. cheers Waaza
  5. what you are describing may be milagai podi (Tamil for chilli powder). It is mix of dal and spices, and used with oil/ghee to flavour idli and similar. Look here for a recipe and use. HTH Waaza
  6. mitha ittr = extract of rose, or rose oil. Very expensive!
  7. As you have probably worked out, this is most likely a made up dish, kozhi meaning chicken and the Nilgiri hills are between Karnataka and Kerala. An 'onion, spice and herb' sauce can probably describe most 'chicken curries', so no secrets given away there. Its probably someones way of recalling a holiday in those 'Blue remembered hills' (with acknowledgement to Dennis Potter). cheers Waaza
  8. waaza


    Gautam's mention of an alkali process reminded me that the yellow colouring in turmeric (curcumin) acts like an indicator of pH (acid/alkali) and changes colour from yellow to red about pH10 (can't remember exact value). It could be that the more orange the powder, the more red content. However, I have seen fresh turmeric rhizome, and it seems quite orange when fresh, so I would suggest it turns more yellow on ageing. Another interesting thing about curcumin is that it is composed of two molecules of vanillin (or very nearly), so that it is possible to derive a vanilla note from cooking turmeric. If one extracts the yellow colour (from a watery paste of turmeric) with cooking oil, after separating the two layers and letting the coloured oil layer stand for a few hours, a faint vanilla note should be detectable. cheers Waaza
  9. That is because restaurants ( 99%) make ' basic' chicken and lamb curries then 'doctor' them to produce diferent dishes on the menu. For Vindaloo they will heat the curry in a pan with some cubed fried potaoes, cayenne powder, garam masalla and some vinegar. Some restaurants will even add a drop of red food color. ← I'm afraid BBhasin is correct, vindaloo it aint. But if you want that 'pro' taste, just chuck anything in, and taste, it is what the 'pros' do. cheers Waaza
  10. jarakush is the root of the popyseed plant. (No special brains, just lucky on a google search). Available, apparently, at ayurvedic stores. Also - and this I'm sure of - khus is NOT the same as kewra. khus=vetivier is a wild grass related to lemongrass, while kewra is a large leafy flowering plant, also known as pandanus. The leaves don't carry much smell, you have to get the flower. Just to confuse things further, poppyseed is also known as khus but is not vetivier. ← I would agree that pandanus (kewra/keora) is not the same as vetiver/vetivert, (Vetiveria zizaniodes). The former has a very floral note, the latter, a very heavy dry grass smell, used in perfumes (I have some). The smell is neither pleasant nor unpleasant (in high concentration), just very heavy, like musk. Presumeably, it will lighten on dilution, as many smells do. cheers Waaza
  11. Namaste Gautam, my friend, are those 'wafers' gol gappas? cheers waaza
  12. I can't see it being turmeric. It has little smell; it is used to mask (or dissipate) off flavours of fish and chicken by rubbing a paste of it on the offending meat before cooking. The yellow colour in turmeric (curcumin) breaks down to vanillin, so no nasties there either. My guess is something sulphural, like onion, garlic and/or asaphoetida (hing) cheers Waaza
  13. maybe you mean aloo took, a Sindhi speciality?
  14. you may find helpful chillies cheers Waaza
  15. I make my own. The comercial stuff is more British or something. There are hundreds of kinds of "curry powders"-masalas. I'm sure most cooks have their own and their are specific ones for specific kinds of dishes. ← I think you may be confusing 'curry powder' with masalas. The 'curry powder' is a distictly British thing, whereas masalas are Indian. Modern masalas have been developed to make make distinct dishes, whereas garam and other masalas can be used in a variety of dishes, although there is a modern thinking that garam masala should be added to every dish towards the end of cooking, which it should not. Discuss. cheers Waaza
  16. a pleasure, Glorified', if I can help somebody............... I worked on salmon calcitonin for a couple of years, but that won't be your problem, unless you have osteoporosis. No doubt you have seen a physician, which I am not. I can only tell you about food and what is in it. I don't see any link between the two, but does it sound like an allergy? If it were just the maple syrup then maybe pre-diabetes, but salmon? I'll have a think. cheers Waaza
  17. I'm sure it would not be a substitute for fenugreek, and anyway, caraway is not an Indian spice, despite many references to it. Obviously, if you cannot have fenugreek, then you have to leave it out, or choose recipes that don't include it, there are hundreds. When fenugreek is heated ('roasted') a group of flavours called pyrazines are formed. These give a roasted/nutty flavour. They are also produced by roasting cumin and coriander seeds. So, if you use recipes that suggest you roast your spices (not many dishes use roasted spices, so not a given) maybe adding a little more of these spices could help. Something you may want to try, if you dare, is to extract fenugreek leaves into oil, by gentle heating. The flavour (sotolon; have a look here) will be extracted into the oil, and may leave what you are allergic to behind, though, if you are also allergic to faux maple syrup (which also contains sotolon) maybe this is not a good idea. HTH cheers Waaza
  18. then that is a shame, not that I'm advocating the use of 'curry powder', though I can understand its use in an emergency, but this 'hot colouring' seems to spell the end of the road for anything curry-like in the US, unless real spices are used. Maybe take it as a warning, and carry a jar of your own stuff (for emergencies!). I'm not sure that the US has really embraced curry as perhaps they may, thinking of it only as a means to add spice rather than to prepare many unique dishes, although it was probably the Brits that had more to do with the acceptance of 'curry powder', and all that that has brought about (for better or for worse). So this may be the opportunity to banish this particular flavouring, now we need to work on the Japanese and Chinese, and those other nations who think 'curry' is a one trick pony. cheers Waaza
  19. looks like you may have misinterpreted the label, does it say 'Spices, chilli, turmeric', this could mean '[many] spices plus chilli plus turmeric'. Maybe they don't want people to know the spices they use, or maybe they vary it for whatever reason. My advice to you is to move on in culinary terms, and start to use the individual spices. That way every different dish (there are hundreds) will taste as it should, not just 'meat and curry sauce' flavour. And these days, with intentional adulteration possible, do you know what you are getting? Best buy whole spices and grind on demand. cheers Waaza
  20. ErinB, here's my effort: Undhiya ...a dish with eggplant, potatoes yam & broadbean. Tuvar Ringan .....toorva dal and eggplant Ringan Bataka......eggplant and potato Tindora Bataka......tondli (small cucumber) and potato Bhinda......bhindi or okra Auro ....don't know Kaju Karela .....cashew and karela (bitter melon) Parvar Na Raviya...pointed gourd and baby eggplant Kankola....don't know hope that might help a bit cheers Waaza
  21. what an excellent result. Maybe you could post the recipe for the rogan josh on eGullet. cheers Waaza
  22. fennel is different from anise seed, the former looks like a larger version of cumin, and has green and yellow stripes. It is picked before it is quite ripe (it is actually a fruit rather than a seed). The anise seed, although of the same family as fennel (and cumin, coriander, ajwain, dill, celery, radhuni and parsley) is not an Indian spice. The confusion arises because fennel is sometimes refered to as 'Indian aniseed' (not to be confused with star anise). As far as I know, aniseed is not grown in India (to use as a spice for cooking at least) and most/all references to it usually mean fennel. The clue in cookery books is that the author usually refers to either fennel or aniseed, but rarely both. However, both fennel seed and anise seed contain similar flavour compounds (anethol being one that gives an 'aniseed flavour') so could be a substitue at a pinch. Another confusion is ajwain (carom) is often called lovage (taste similar to celery) in older cookery books, and black cumin is very often confused with caraway (which is not an Indian spice, but I found it in Bangalore, where it was sold as 'cake seed') HTH cheers Waaza
  23. Hi aneja_r the mention of bay leaves in Indian cookery books/internet recipes is so ubiquitous as to suggest that bay is used. Although of the same botanical family as cassia, bay does not provide the same flavours. Bay is a Mediterranean bush, and produces flavours including cineol and eugenol. These are the main flavours in green cardamoms and cloves, respectively. Cassia leaf, from cassia trees, (although the same genus but not necessarily the same species) provides the same flavour compounds as the bark (cinnamaldehyde and coumarin). This bark is different to cinnamon, and you should be aware of the difference. All the dalchini ('wood from China') I saw in India was cassia bark, but cinnamon (from Sri Lanka) is available. Most, if not nearly all 'cinnamon' sold in the US is cassia, probably. What does all this mean for the cook? Well, if you are using green cardamom and cloves to flavour a dish, there is no point in using bay. If using cassia bark, there is no need to use the leaf, although some may say it adds something more, so don't dismiss it on my say so! As I may have said before here, I find cassia leaf goes well with basmati rice, but bay fights it a little, just my experience. And this has been my experience with most pukka Indian ingredients, many Western substitutes don't work too well, IMHO. For pukka Indian food, I would recommend cassia bark and cassia leaves (tej or tuj patta) and never bay leaves. Cinnamon can be used, but is more appropriate to sweet dishes, it has a lighter flavour and colour. HTH Waaza
  24. Hi Aneja_r, as is usual in Indian SC cooking, there are many variations. Here's one you may like to think about. It's in two parts, one to be added to the frying onions/garlic/ginger, and one when the tomatoes/peppers are added. pavbhaji mix 1:
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