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  1. Dear forum I have not been able to find the right place to post this topic. I have a question about cheese. I love cheese, the stinkier the better. But many places have started selling cheese without rennet to cater for vegetarian requirements. Thats all fine and great. But..... the cheese without rennet does not taste at all like cheese to me. I have had paneer when in India. That was ok because it was made with lemon juice and marinated with Indian spices before we ate it. But I cannot stand the commercially available cheese there. It tastes like cardboard. The cheese that is made using vegetable rennet tastes just as bad. Sorry that is my opinion, not a judgemnent. Do others feel the same way? Then why are the cheeses made with vegetarian rennet not named differently? I recently bought a cheddar and a cheshire cheese from a US grocery store. My mouth was tingling with the memories of both english cheeses. But!!! I did not look piercingly at the ingredient list and missed the vegetarian rennet there! Suffice to say the packets met the bin very fast. And my pockets were that much emptier for not looking properly. Why can’t a known-named cheese that is made differently, be called so, so we know what to pick?? Bhukhhad.
  2. Blue_Dolphin thank you for posting that comment about Suvir Saran’s recipe. It took me to a whole new thread that I am enjoying a lot! Did anyone who made the recipe ever post pictures? I want to see those please
  3. Hello again Sartoric, I wanted to share a version of this that contains onions and garlic. My friend makes the chutney with a tadka of mustard, chana daal, onions, garlic and fenugreek. To that she adds chopped tomatoes that have been doused with vinegar for a few hours. Turmeric coriander powder with amazing amounts of red chili powder, and then she pressure cooks the whole thing. Then purees it and cooks till its very thick. There is so much red chili powder in her recipe that it would bring flames out of my ears! Thats because she is from Andhra Pradesh where they enjoy a level of heat that is super high. But it grows on you somehow. The first time you take this chutney you pretty much stop at a tiny fingertip lick. But then you crave it. It takes me forever to finish the sample she gives me but I hopefully wait with amazing taste memories for the next installment. I have never been able to reproduce her mother-in-law’s version. It was THAT good! Bhukhhad
  4. Tarla Dalal is among our original well knows chefs Chimayo Joe. The dish made here is very much a dish from gujarat. And yes that is a vaghaar or tempering. But it is done as the first step here. Your answer is probably that both are called ‘vaghaar or phodni or tadka’. And it is specified if this vaghaar is at the start or end. Sometimes the dish benefits from a top spice layer, like in ‘khaman dhokla’ or ‘patra’ where the tempering spices are similar to the starting vaghaar. (Though khaman dhokla has only top spice vaghaar). Sometimes there are two: a tadka of cumin, chilies, onion and tomato to start the dish and a tadka of freshly fried onions on top of a daal. The difference could be that the start may be in oil and the top in ghee. As many versions as there are cooks! Excellent question. I am so happy that I can write about food and real cooks read it. There is no other place like this forum. Bhukhhad
  5. MelissaH I can relate so well with what you say. My husband and I are both from different regions in India and we like both styles of cooking. Yet once in a while ‘its delicious but not quite what my Mom made’ is the verdict of a hard effort. And I can remember the same statements from my parents who were actually from the same small town!!! hahahahahahahhaha
  6. Folks, I grew up in India and have learned cooking in india and read and experimented voraciously from both north and south, east and west Indian influences. Here is my answer: 1. Tadka/ Chaunka/ Vaghaar/ Phodni/ Tempering are all names of the same method. The method is the TOP LAYER OF SEASONING In Gujarat, the top layer of seasoning may have green curry leaves, asafoetida, sesame seeds and mustard or cumin seeds heated in a spoonful of oil and then placed on top of the cooked dish as a top layer of seasoning. The garnish may be some chopped cilantro. In Maharashtra the top layer may be red chili powder, asafoetida, turmeric, mustard seeds and peppercorns heated in oil. The garnish may be fresh grated coconut and green chilies In south India the top layer seasoning may be ‘urad daal and channa dal’, green chilies and red chilies whole, green curry leaves, mustard seeds and coriander seeds whole all heated in oil. There may quite well be some roasted urad and channa dals that start off the cooking of the dish as well. In Bengal there may be a top layer of seasoning of ‘garlic / mustard’ heated in oil. The garnish may be cilantro. But the dish may start off with onions garlic ginger poppy seeds and coconut. The oil will be mustard oil. In Bengal Kolkatta a top layer of ‘panch phoran’ is also common: panch Phoron/Phoran is 5 seeds: Cumin, Mustard, Fenugreek, Fennel and Dry coriander. Fried in a littler mustard oil. In Punjab the top layer of seasoning would likely be ‘cumin, fenugreek seeds or leaves, asafoetida heated in mustard oil. Or it could be onions garlic and tomato pieces heated in mustard oil. Or it could be deep fried onion slices. In Kashmir the top layer may be fennel seeds, raisins, cashew nuts, pine nuts all fried in a little mustard oil. The cooking may also involve poppy seed paste. Bhukhhad
  7. Are there any responses to this topic from persons of Indian origin? I am one and here is my answer: Garam Masala: literally translated as Warming spice 1. Cloves, Cinnamon Bark, Mace, Bay leaf, Star anise, large black Cardamom, and black pepper. Together this forms the basic spice mix which when roasted lightly and ground coarsely is what is called Garam masala. To this mix, every region and every family will have its own additions. Some families may add chilies, somemay add dry coconut. But those are just a few additions that do not change the original mix in a big way. ‘Curry Powder’ as many have pointed out was the homemade mix of spices that went into making a curry. And in that respect the recipe of Curry powder does contain some of the spices needed. But it has become ambiguous in its definition. I prefer to call it Sabji Masala would differ from region to region and family to family. Basic Sabji Masala: 2. Dry Coriander seeds, Cumin Seeds, (3:1 proportion for Coriander and Cumin), turmeric, asafoetida, whole red chillies. Roast and ground coriander cumin. Add a small portion of turmeric and asafoetida powders. Keep chilli whole. To this mixture depending on the sabji or daal or sambhar or bhaji being cooked, some additions can be made: DRY: Black salt/Fennel/Fenugreek/coconut/sesame/peanut/ajwain or Carom/Dill/urad dal/ chana dal/mustard seeds WET: Green Chilies, Ginger, Garlic, Onions, curry leaves, tamarind paste, lemon juice, tomato puree. All these are used in savory foods. Hardly in sweet. In some exceptional cases non savory ingredients are used in sweets, as in Panjiri. In some exceptional cases sweet spices are used i savory dishes like green cardamom, saffron, rose petals among others. These are dishes like Dum Biryani, Kashmiri Pulao. Thank you for reading. Bhukhhad
  8. Sartoric, I like your version. I have a couple of different south indian recipes, either from hyderabad or chennai more elaborate in terms of effort when one is hungry... I would enjoy this. Just wanted to point one or two things. I have tasted one version of this curry with coconut in the gravy and another with peanut paste. Both taste exceptionally well and I cannot reproduce them properly yet. But they are yummy indeed. Eggplant soaks up oil like crazy. I grew up eating massive amounts of oil in my curries. But now I roast my eggplant in the oven with no oil. It works to keep the shape and cook. Then I add the gravy on top. Only way I can avoid a greasy wggplant
  9. Tftc, Yes yes! Is the short answer. Almost everyone I know around me, buys the fresh frozen and already shredded coconut from either Indian stores or a mixed asian store. I have not come across the 'frozen whole coconut core with water' anywhere yet. But the 'frozen fresh shredded' works really well. You just have to open the packet while the contents are still frozen, and divide them into batches you can use, and refreeze. That is the only way it works for me. The fresh coconut luxury does not! And I will tell you why. I have no surface on which I can break a coconut the traditional way, I have no sharp instrument with which I can break either the outer hull nor cut the inner white flesh. But if I did, there is nothing as sweet and delicious! Dessicated coconut or dry whole core slices work fine in a pinch. Next, we get fresh bunches of the following leafy greens here: methi, amaranth (bathuwa or rajgira or lal bhaji), gongura, moringa, spinach, malabar spinach, kadhi patta, colocasia leaves and cilantro (coriander)..... all yummy! The asian stores have many more greens that I dont have indian uses for but always eye them with the desire to use them. These are: dandelion greens, bok choi varieties, pak choi, pea sprouts, mustard greens ( I grow these in winter), and other greens whose names I cannot read. Has anyone used these in Indian cooking? If so, do share. Thanks for asking Tftc.
  10. Hello again everyone! There are a number of regular cooks who hail from india, on this forum. At least I gathered so. I have simple home cooking recipes to share, so you will have to tolerate me somewhat. But I love eating cooking and sharing so here goes: since the topic is about vegetarian recipes but no particular recipe has been sought, I will post here the recipe for Aloo Methi Sabji with some explanations. First about methi or fenugreek. You can get methi in seed form or fresh/ dry leaf form. You can grow your own methi if you like, by soaking methi seeds overnight and planting in a seed starter pot the next morning. Within a week you get methi leaves. You snip them to harvest, and more regrow from the stalks. Now for Aloo or potato. For aloo methi , you need a waxy potato, not a powdery one. Aloo Methi 2 or 3 medium waxy potatoes cumin seeds optional 1 small onion turmeric optional 2T methi leaved chopped salt green chilies optional 1/2 cup fresh coconut (grated) lemon juice oil method Wash, peel and cut potatoes. Heat two T oil in a deep pan and add cumin if using and toast till golden. Then onions and cook till tender. Then add the potatoes. Add salt for the potatoes and cover and cook till tender. Add the washed methi leaves and let them wilt. Add turmeric pwd. After a few minutes open the lid and stir. The potatoes should be covered with gently wilted methi. Turn the heat off. Add the coconut and stir taking carenot to break the potatoes. Adda dash of lemon juice and serve. You may optionally add green or red chilli to taste. Do this after the methi has melted Enjoy. Try the recipe.
  11. That would be me too! I primarily cook and eat Indian. So ask away and share away
  12. Plado, Thank you for your comments. Its been a while since I posted on this topic and a discussion on Indian food is always welcome. However I dont think the topic was ever a discussion of 'toxicity' of color, or as we would spell it in India 'colour'. At least my memory seems to indicate just a discussion of colors and spices in Indian foods, like turmeric. So you are right, we do use plenty of color-imparting foodstuffs since ancient times and none of them are toxic. But the reference to the festival of colors 'Holi', is a cultural celebration of the spring harvest and has nothing to do with food coloring as such. I just wanted to highlight that. Holi is celebrated with a lot of colored powders being thrown about and smudged on each others hands and cheeks all in the delight of a great spring harvest. My two cents, or should I say my two paise Bhukhhad
  13. Ok will remember next year. I think I mistook Lemon Thyme for Lemon verbena when I planted it. So i will use it when I have dried and stored it. But next time I will plant the lemon verbena. Oregano has been great. I dont like the taste of basil (go figure) -and I love the taste of cilantro (yes I do). So growing fresh oregano has given all my italian dishes a boost this summer. I do love it with yard long beans
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