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Everything posted by Jenni

  1. You know, I read this post last night and I thought it was a slightly strangely worded post about trying one of those lovely loaves of bread that is studded with olives! Then I came back this morning and I read the replies, and I realised that something strange was going on as the answers didn't quite fit what I was thinking of. And then I re-read the OP. Finally I googled and I know realise that you guys are not talking about bread at all! Carry on!
  2. I'm trying to understand the OP's question. Is it: "Is there any difference between types of milk such as organic, homogenised, pasteurised, UHT, different breeds, etc. or are they all pretty much the same?" or is it "Is it true that sometimes store brands are actually the same product as fancy expensive brands?" If it's the former, I say hell yes there's a difference and all milk is not made equal. If it's the latter, I'll say that certainly it's true for products other than milk so I suspect it is sometimes true for milk too.
  3. Weevils in rice is very common, honestly I would not worry about it too much. Here, it is very common to find weevils in rice, dal and other grains. Even posh high quality products can have them. You can even buy a packet, inspect it and be happy and then a few days or weeks later have the little rascals hatch from the eggs that were hiding amongst the grains! Let's be practical about this and not toss perfectly good food away. What I do is shove the packet in the freezer for a few hours. This kills the bugs. Then when you wash the grains they dead bodies float to the surface and you can easily tip them away. Sounds gross, but it's just a fact of life.
  4. Interesting...so there are no other traditions associated with Thanksgiving other than eating a huge meal? Must admit, I had presumed people were exchanging gifts, decorating, setting off crackers, or something in their own homes along with the making and eating a meal. Well I'm going to go on Wikipedia now and find out more! As for the tikkiya, they are a very common street snack in North India so you could argue that they are nothing to be excited about. But this time they were free! And I was practically forced to eat them because stuff needed to be used up! And they came with the deliciously delicious garlic-coriander chutney that I could literally drink! *Ahem* Basically, I was definitely thankful.
  5. Well I totally failed to find out how Thanksgiving was prepare for and carried out by the few Americans I know here in Allahabad, beyone some basic things. They all used chicken, as this is a small town with not enough expats for there to be turkey! I think one person said they pot roasted their chickens (large extended American-Indian family so they had like 4 chickens) because they are either ovenless or have a really tiny oven. My favourite thing about Thanksgiving was that even though I did not celebrate it and frankly did not really know much about it at all (but now I am slightly jealous as it seems Americans get two Christmases!), I still got to partake in some of the food, in a roundabout way. You see, one family made WAY too much mashed potato and thus it got given to the cook at the school who used it to make aloo tikkiya (er, I guess you would call them pan fried patties made from seasoned mashed potato) which she served with coriander-garlic chutney for mid-class break! Can Thanksgiving be a weekly thing please? (Note: I'll also admit that Allahabad would not be classed as hot climate right now. In the day it is like a warm and sunny Summer day in the UK but it is chilly at night)
  6. What andienji linked to was for a sweet, burfi. Jowar ki roti is a simple flat bread. There are various different ones, some with seasonings, some very plain. You need very fresh flour. Old flour does not taste good and is very hard to roll. Actually jowar ki roti has a knack to it anyway. Here's how I make a type of roti called bhakri: Make one bread at a time, as the dough should not sit. Put all the flour in a bowl and mix with the salt. Then get a metal plate and take a heaped 1/3 cup (50g) – ½ cup (70g) of the flour you have seasoned, depending on how good you are at rolling out and how big you like your breads. Add hot water slowly, mixing to make a dough. Gather up all the flour as you do this so that the plate is clear. It should be soft but not at all sticky – think of very soft play dough. Knead well for at least 5 minutes. The dough should be soft and pliable. Roll between your hands to make a ball, then flatten between palms slightly to make a disk. If the dough is cracking around the edges at this stage it may be too dry or not well kneaded enough. Put a tawa on the heat ready. Spread out plenty of flour on the plate and flour the palm of your dominant hand. Put the disk of dough on the plate and, with a rotating motion, press down rhythmically on it with your palm so that the disk rotates and slowly widens into a larger circle. Use brisk, even motions and check for tearing, cracking and sticking. Tearing and cracking early on indicates that your dough wasn’t soft or kneaded enough, but inevitably the edges will be get slightly raggedy when the bread is much bigger. Aim to make a bread 6-7 inches in diameter to start with. Experts can make very thin big ones, but beginners should not feel embarrassed to start smaller. Pick up the bread and put on the hot tawa. You may find it easier to tip up the plate slightly to get rid of excess flour and then tip it up fully so that the bread goes on to your palm. When the bread is on the tawa, take a palmful of water and spread it on the top surface so that it is all well moistened. Cook the bread on that side until you can see that the water has evaporated off. Flip the bread over. Cook until both sides have a few light brown spots. Your bread may puff up on the pan. If this happens, you can cook it completely on the tawa until there are darker brown spots. Otherwise, take the bread off the tawa and hold it over a naked flame. It will puff up and get brown spots. The puffing up separates the layers and is important for fully cooking the bread. Serve hot, straight away. It will not be nice if left! Serve with a big blob of homemade white butter or some ghee. Pithle (a kind of custard-y textured dish of gram flour) with bhakri and chilli-garlic chutney is heaven.
  7. Jowar ki roti is one of the best things ever, with a big dollop of home made white butter. It is far from bland, in fact some people don't like the strong taste. Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using Tapatalk
  8. Very interesting. Ratio of yoghurt to potato please? Any added fat? I would like to try this, though I cannot get the same potatoes as you (in fact I basically have very little choice).
  9. I'll note that these are the kind that are pale inside. There is also a kind that is very very orange inside.
  10. By the way in the Caribbean (well in Trinidad at least, and I think I've seen it mentioned that people in Grenada sometimes do too) and also in Sri Lanka many people say saffron when they mean turmeric. It is very common and I've seen so many dal recipes that ask for 1/2 tsp saffron and it is very very clear that they are talking about turmeric. Sometimes they even say "Indian saffron". ETA: See an example here where the author at least realises what she/he means. Here they say saffron and then in brackets say "hardi". They mean haldi, which is hindi for turmeric.
  11. A little research leads me to believe they are gulab jamun - which supposedly is a dessert! Most definitely not gulab jamun! Looks like dahi vada to me. No vinegar but most definitely not a dessert! They are made from a batter of dal which is fried into dumplings which are soaked in water to get some oil out and soften them and then soaked in seasoned yoghurt. Delicious when made properly, sorry these weren't to your taste!
  12. I know some Americans living here. I will ask them what they are going to do. I suspect it will be a fairly stressful day for them as the husband works and I know that he is unable to take a holiday on that day.
  13. Thanks for a great week Nikki! Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using Tapatalk
  14. Well I am British, so that theory goes out the window. Mind you, don't read Jay Rayner usually so perhaps I am not familiar with his style. On first read it seemed like he was being a snotty git. If he was being tongue in cheek then fair play to him I suppose.
  15. What a ridiculously judgemental article. Slow eating is "a mark of a bad character"? "They simply don't like food"? Seriously? What is it about other peoples' eating habits that makes people so upset?! For the record, I eat a little on the speedy side and it's something I'm constantly trying to work on. I actually like eating with slower eaters because then I'm a little embarassed to eat too quickly and finish a long time before them, so it forces me to pace myself. It makes me pause and think about the taste more, plus I chew properly instead of wolfing things down semi-whole! I don't think I've never eaten with someone as slow as Jay is talking about (presuming he's not exaggerating wildly) but if I did I wouldn't be so rude about it. Who cares if someone wants to take their time? Maybe that's just how they enjoy their food. ETA: Also, the morally superior thing is BS. A lot of the people I know who are slow eaters are just generally slow at doing things. They walk more slowly, they converse in a more slow leisurely way and they do things at a slower pace too. I on the other had do things stupidly fast, and I'm usually doing several things at once too. So I think a lot of it is just personality differences.
  16. Ah, didn't stop to think about when the fresh ones were available. Just have memories of my Dad gathering loads and making various home brews with them. And my Mum making cordial...
  17. Hi, do they have to be dried? I don't know about in London but in the area of the UK my family lives (South West, near Bristol) you can harvest the flowers for free straight from the tree!
  18. Oh, I wasn't even thinking of the leaf but the tuber-y thing (i am not sure which dish it was in so I cannot use visual clues)! Leaf is used too though so either way it is the same thing. Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using Tapatalk
  19. The hindi name for colocasia is arbi. I've tried to look this up before to work out exactly which colocasia arbi is as there are many, but it gets confusing as I have seen at least two very subtly different things called arbi in markets. I think they are sometimes called taro in English. Here is a wiki page on it. And btw naughty naughty for not eating your rice! In a South Indian meal that is the main point! Still, if you have not mastered sloppy dishes with hands you will get less enjoyment. Next time though, try eating sambar mixed up with rice accompanied by some veggie dishes. Then eat rasam and rice. And finish with curd mashed up into the rice, with a bit of pickle and pappad mixed in as you like. I often leave my chapati, no please for it in a Southie meal if you ask me!
  20. Jenni

    Romance Tea

    I've drank herbal teas from teabag with a similar blend of flowers. Here is one example from Pukka, a British company. Personally I find it rather floral for my taste, but I know some people who like it a lot.
  21. Rewarding adults for bad behavior has the same or worse results as doing the same for an obnoxious child. The behavior will be repeated in hopes of getting the same reward. Even if, in this case, the net financial gain is a wash, some naughty children and dogs can't tell the difference between getting their noses rubbed in their own excrement and getting smacked with a rolled up newspaper and getting patted and praised. It's not rewarding them is it though - it's actually quite a good way of making the customer come to the restaurant again as they have sort of already spent the money. The restaurant still gets paid for definite but the customer doesn't actually go away with nothing. Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using Tapatalk
  22. I support a restaurant's right to have a cancellation policy that protects them against flippant no shows. Something like "Cancellations must be made 48 hours or more before the reservation otherwise a charge will be incurred." My dentist does the same! However, I do also believe that a good restaurant will make a judgement call on cases that appear to be genuine. People do get ill sometimes and they are likely to want to return to the restaurant when they feel better again. Perhaps one way forward in this case would be for the restaurant to say "We'll waive the cancellation fee this time as you are making another reservation. Hope you and your dining partner feel well soon." Basically, restaurants should be able to protect themselves....but since it's their own policy they can also show discretion.
  23. I have to ask about the strange sheets of stuff you get instead of a plate! In India it is common to get some kind of leaf (banana or sal most often I think) instead of a plate (sometimes the leaves are woven into a bowl or a plate shape - these are brilliant) but what you have there is new to me!
  24. Nikki, if you want the Maharasthrian vada then look for aloo bonda or batata vada. Oh and thank you for giving me a kick up the bum. I made sambar today and since I was still umming and ahhing over small batch idli creation, I bought some from a restaurant. The idli were so-so but with home made sambar they were divine. I think I will now get back to my plan to make small batches and see how it goes. You have given me inspiration again!
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