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Everything posted by Jenni

  1. I believe that shoplifters often have psychological issues and it's not just a case of wanting stuff but not being able to afford it. It's all a bit sad and as wrong as it was for him to do this, I can't help but feel sorry for him that his story gets splashed all over the papers. On the other hand, good to know that Tescos and the like do actually have some kind of security system on the self-scan checkouts. The ones in the Sainsbury's by my old work place constantly flashed up with "Unexpected item in bagging area" to the point that staff soon knew to just ignore this warning and override it with their staff card. I wonder how many customers took advantage of this fact to nick stuff?
  2. Garlic rasam. Nothing beats it.
  3. Black cardamom does have a sort of smokey flavour. Never had it in chai before though, but that doesn't mean much as I haven't drunk all the chai in the world! ETA: Forgot to say that in some North Eastern areas, fermented soybeans are used. Perhaps that was what was in your salad - fermented, spiced soy beans.
  4. Chillies. Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using Tapatalk
  5. Maybe your appetite needs to be rekindled - try something spicy with ginger, black pepper, chillies, etc. I'd go for a rasam of some kind (rasam is a thin "soupy" dish from South India that is pungent, sour and full of warming spices) with a bit of rice drizzled with ghee (ghee is supposed to help the appetite). The flavours in the rasam will wake up your digestive system, and because it is very light it will not weigh you down but instead will increase your hunger. I recommend a rasam with tomato, tamarin, lemon or a combination. Another trick is to shred some ginger very finely and mix it with lime juice and salt. Eat a little bit before a meal to wake up your stomach. Or for another light cleansing meal that may help to get you interested in food again, try sprouted moong chaat. Sprouted moong beans (not the chinese ones but the ones that are sprouted shorter and are more bean-y - you could also use chickpeas, moth beans or any other sprout you like) tossed with chopped raw onion, tomato, green chilli, fresh mint, fresh coriander, salt, the masala of your choice and plenty of lemon juice. After a light lunch of this, I am sure you will be hungry again in the evening!
  6. Make yoghurt and then make butter and ghee from that. Nothing finer. Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using Tapatalk
  7. Sounds like you have a fairly thought out plan. What part of India is your wife from? I ask because I see you have some Southern elements and some Northern. I suppose my family's Christmas comes with a different situation. I want to keep Indian factor high for my own preference and for my immediate family (Mum, Dad, brother) but we also need to keep some traditional things for my two fully English grans. For our Christmas, the men-folk deal with the non-veg so I don't know what happens to the turkey. Think it's pretty traditional. We also have roast potatoes and gravy made in the normal way, some plain veg and some spicy (but not particularly Indian) vegetarian stuffing. Then we have some kind of dal, some beautiful looking pulao and a sprouts dish cooked in South Indian style. I usually do a small amount of raita too. There is also chutney to go alongside the traditional cranberry sauce, and for dessert usually kheer. I am telling you know that roast potatoes dunked in dal is heavenly and should be on all festive menus! If I had free reign, I would do things totally differently. The main feature would be either biriyani (if most of the company was non-veg) or a fantastic looking pulao. Then I'd make dal, a dry vegetable, one wet vegetable dish and a wet paneer-vegetable dish. Raita, chutney, pickles on the side, plus probably some kind of roti. I would keep the dessert as kheer. High use of nuts, ghee, dried fruits and saffron to signify the occassion.
  8. The kitchen in my family's home back in the UK is huge and has ample storage, a 7 burner stove and tonnes of room for food prep plus a double sink. My current kitchen here in Allahabad is miniscule. There is almost no space for preparing ingredients, so I mostly do it outside or in my living area. There is no oven, but that is default here - ovens and baking at home are a new fancy thing. I like my stove. I replaced the crappy miniscule two burner one that the last occupant left with a nice four burner. It runs off a gas cylinder though, as most peoples' around here do, and I'm crap at telling how full the cylinder is, so sometimes I run out of gas mid-meal. There is almost no storage space and the sink is slanted badly so it doesn't drain properly. My kitchen is home to one of the only plugs in my house, but most of the time my water filter is plugged in. If I unplug it to use my washing machine (which is sat outside the house by the door that goes to the kitchen) I cannot filter water so I have to make sure I keep loads in various vessels. My small fridge is in the lounge area. Due to poor electricity supply, it is not that useful. Honestly though, I don't mind. The reality is that you need very little to cook a good meal. I make breakfast (one starch and a side dish), lunch (rice, dal, vegetable, salad, yoghurt) and dinner (bread, two side dishes) very easily. Everyone else in my building has a kitchen basically just like mine, and they are cooking at least 3 full meals (as in my example, we are talking traditional Indian, so multi dish) for at least 4 people every day. More people are starting to take short cuts when it comes to cooking, but in my neighbourhood people are very traditional so they tend to make everything from scratch. Also, religious festivals are common and often involve producing a vast amount of food. To the left of my building there are a couple of rough huts where a tailor and a press-wala live, and they only have one room "houses" so they cook outside on small stoves they have fashioned themselves. And then there are people further into town who don't have a house at all. Some have a tent, others sleep outside with no cover. They all cook on fires and small stoves outside. And of course there are also basic food outlets here that are churning out tonnes of amazing food with very basic equipment. People crouch on the floor outside to do prep and cook. Litti-chokha stalls basically consist of a huge "bowl" full of burning cow dung in which litti and vegetables for chokha are all roasted. Some stalls are mobile and have very basic stove facilities. The food is often outstanding.
  9. I wouldn't necessarily describe myself as a purist...Partly I feel that decent basmati is an expensive waste in idli. But mostly, it's because I have achieved better results with rices other than basmati. It's the length of the grain that is a visual clue for amylose/amylopectin ratios and short and medium grain rices have the correct ratio.
  10. Well you seem to have wonderful scientific knowledge of the subject and it's great to see housewives' tips (use whole skinned urad instead of split, wash it little or not at all, etc.) being verified. Another tip is that when you combine the two battered (i know you grind them both together but many people say you shouldn't) you should use (clean) hands instead of a spoon or whatever as the warmth from your hand is supposed to help. I always do this. I mentioned my ratio but forgot to say I do measure that by volume, weight may be very subtly different. The poha is such a small amount that it doesn't really change the ratio, but it is supposed to make the idli soft and fluffy. As for methi making them less white, it is a long time since I made idli with 100% white rice so I cannot say. I use some parboiled red as well as white so my idli are very subtly not pure white. I heard that methi seeds have similar properties to the urad in that they are supposed to be a good source for the...would you call it wild yeasts? All I can recommend is that you try changing one thing at a time to try to figure out what may be causing the issue. I did this when I started to get rust coloured patches after the idli were steamed. I made idli again and again and just did one thing differently each time, even down to changing the steaming pan and mixing bowl. In the end it turned out that the paticular brand/type of rice I was using seemed to be the cause. I switched brands and have had no probs since. Btw when I posted about my problem on a different forum one person very politely suggested that perhaps some other unwanted bacteria may have affected the batter...maybe due to not keeping things clean and so on. This is something you may want to consider as it seems some other bacteria is growing in your batter. Also, you might look for others with the same problem on the net. If it is a problem with the urad as you suspect then I would have thought many others would also have the same problem as you. Try indus ladies website, they surely would be talking about it. Btw I am nervous about your last comment. I have a big mouth but deserve no admiration. My knowledge is very very small, it's just that those with more knowledge do not post on this particular forum. Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using Tapatalk
  11. What you are doing sounds right...the only thing I can think of is the guar gum is affecting it somehow. I don't really understand why you are using it....why not use methi? All the times I have made idli (which is many many), I have never had batter not ferment at all. Sometimes it takes longer, especially in Winter in the UK, but it does get there. My only difference in your method is I add a handful of poha to the rice when it is being ground, I grind the rice and urad separately and then combine them, and also I use methi seeds. My rice:urad proportion is 3:1 I hope someone else will come here and let us know about why your idlis are going funky!
  12. I don't know what kind of gelato you are eating but good versions definitely don't coat the tongue with fat as gelato has normally less fat than ice cream (10+% vs 7-8%). Another big difference is the overrun of both versions which is much higher with ice cream I think you misread what Rodi said, which is basically exactly what you have said.
  13. ^^^ Maybe you are right, all I know is that the vanilla ice cream I made was divine and 4 of us finished it very quickly! I think the simplicity and high quality ingredients made a difference. I do not think I have had enough gelato to speak with any authority on it. But I can say that my favourite frozen milk product is kulfi. This is made from whole milk which is cooked down so it is reduced in volume. I personally do not feel that low fat milk should be allowed anywhere near this dish! I feel the same way about other Indian milk sweets such as rabdi, peda, etc. My daily food is not swimming in fat but there are some things that I feel should be always be full fat and enjoyed in modest quantities. But this is just my opinion and if you can make a lower fat product that you enjoy eating more than the full fat version, then more power to you. And definitely do not call it Jenni! On this thread if we are going by who has been more helpful, you should call it Teo or Robert!
  14. Fair enough I suppose. I come from a land where clotted cream ice cream is held in high regard so I can't really imagine fussing about fat content! I have never found that the fat in the cream "got in the way" of the flavour but maybe that's just me. Do let us know when you come up with your most successful recipe...and let us know where it will be sold too!
  15. Your problem is utterly foreign to me...leftover condensed milk? What is this thing? You mean you don't go at it with a spoon and finish it quickly?!
  16. ^^^ Right well this is definitely one that is pronounced differently in UK vs USA! In the UK it is pronounced as in your first example, for the name too. (See Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers for proof of that!) Oregano is another herb that is said differently in UK vs USA. ETA: I love that Hassouni and I thought the same!
  17. Actually there are two "th"s (and two "t"s as well). One is a hard retroflex (that's the tongue on the roof of the mouth thing) and the other is a soft dental where the tongue touches the front teeth. But yes, in paratha it is the hard th. To a hindi speaker, all the English ts and ds seem like they are hard, so English words that are hindi-fied have hard ts and ds. For instance "doctor" in Hindi has a hard d and a hard t. Also the first a in paratha is a "short" a that sounds a bit like uh (but not with loads of air as the h might suggest, it's just that's the clearest way to write it in English). So it's puh-raa-tha. Another common food word that is important to get right is dal. It is a soft dental d and a long a (like the a in the word father). The dental d is probably why so many very silly people write it as dhal. There is no aspiration, so dh is completely wrong and for a Hindi speaker this spelling is confusing as it mixes it up with the aspirated d. The best english spelling is daal. You must keep the d as a dental d because a hard d would make the word that means branch! I mean, you may be ordering dal because you are vegetarian but I am sure you are not tree-eating vegetarian!
  18. I have made vanilla ice cream extremely succesfully in the past. I used only fresh, high quality double cream, sugar and high quality vanilla pods that my Gran bought back from Madagascar. I am not quite sure why you are adding milk?
  19. ^^^ I must be guilty of mispronounciation with that one then! I always say ka-ra-mel. Surely we should add paratha here. Though there are many other Indian dishes (from various languages) that get mispronounced, this one is commonly heard because it is a common bread on menus in the West. The "Th" is a hard, aspirated T (tongue touches roof of mouth). Say "T" but then put air behind it. It is not like the th in the English word through. It's not a lispy-sounding th. That sound does not exist in Hindi.
  20. Jenni

    Lunch boxes

    I have quite a few metal tiffin boxes. 1 three tier pyramid shape, 3 three tier and 2 two tier normal shape, 2 one tier boxes with a little box inside for chutney. Then I have two insulated tiffins (normal metal tiffin boxes in a cage that go inside a plastic insulated box) that keep food warm from 6.30am until 12.30pm. Actually tiffin boxes are something of an obsession with me. I like to buy new ones whenever I am in India as they are so cheap and also make great gifts.
  21. Meh, life gives you cancer. Barring certain extreme and very avoidable things, you may as well just relax and enjoy. Might get hit by a bus tomorrow anyway...
  22. The green one is used in a totally different way, as a vegetable and not a fruit. Same as green papaya and green mango. It has a firm "meaty" texture. The ripe jackfruit on the other hand...oh my. I remember being in Kerala in jackfruit season once, in a hilly rural area. Walking up the hill back to the house after going into the village you could smell the hypnotising fragrance of ripe jackfruit...and then of course the slightly "riper" smell of over ripe specimens that had plopped heavily to the ground, which by the way I would have thought is quite perilous considering the size some of them get to! Anyway, the ripe fruit was a delicious after dinner or snack time treat. There is something about fruits with a certain fragrance that I adore. It's something heady and intoxicating. Durian takes fragrance to an extreme, that's for sure, but it still gets a hold of you. Now I'm feeling fruity and I have no jackfruit or durian! For breakfast tomorrow I do have some heavenly smelling guava though...that'll do nicely for now!
  23. Hang on a minute, never say settle for jackfruit! One of my favourite fruits...actually green (unripe/raw) jackfruit is currently very bountiful in the market. Lovely vegetable dishes to be made from that...
  24. This will happen if the retailer and/or wholesaler they use has poor turnover. Find a supplier with a shorter and faster pipe from the farm to you, learn basic best-practice home storage methods, and you will have few infestation problems with whole grains. If and when critters appear, Jenni's comments are apt. I am not sure it has much to do with turnover, because trust me turnover of rice and dal is not a problem here! Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using Tapatalk
  25. I have it. In my opinion, it does not cover regional Indian cuisine as widely or as accurately as it seems to want to, but it is still a good book. I remember (I don't have the book with me right now) disagreeing strongly with some of the recipes and also being rather miffed about the absence of some rather well known dishes. Still, it is ludicrous to think of a book even coming close to "covering" all India's cuisines adequately, so if you look at it that way it's not a bad book. I don't use it as much as some of my more regionally specific books (or as much as the internet or friends) but since it contains a lot of recipes it would be a good book for someone who wants to get hold of a lot of recipes at once. I'll note that practically it has several drawbacks. It may look gorgeous but to cook from it you have to pin back the pages with some kind of heavy object (another book perhaps). There are also numerous mistakes in the recipes where ingredients don't get added or don't appear in the list, or are used in a different quantity etc. This is something I have noticed with several other of Pushpesh Pant's books. I guess his editor is not very good. Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using Tapatalk
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