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Suvir Saran

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  1. Welcome to eGullet. Would it be possible for you to share a photograph?
  2. Suvir Saran

    Club food

    Very nice article, Vikram. Howler, funny you should say this, everytime I stand at the stove for a couple of hours frying potato chips for friends and family (much to their reluctant and polite complaining), I fry them thinking of Delhi Gymkhana and the Breach Candy Club. The other thing that brings back similar memories are cheese sandwiches that also were superb in Delhi Gymkhana and were a daily staple after our 2 hours of swimming in the summer. The potato chips, cheese sandwiches, vinegar and ketchup were always there. If my mother or the driver were late to pick us up, we would get a treat of cheese balls or french fries. The Golf Club in Delhi and the Delhi Gymkhana have each renovated their menus. They have also lost a lot of what was their unique and really nostalgic charm for me. We ate plenty of the Indian Chinese at Delhi Gymkhana as young kids, but also were able to sample cuisines of other countries on Monday nights and special dinners organized around that country. Mondays in the summer would be an evening of games and rides for kids in the grand lawn and then an outdoor movie screening for the families and dinner.
  3. Vikram, thanks for sharing this piece on Ananda Solomon. It is funny to read the beginning. Just last week, the director of a film that is being made about a chef of Indian ethnicity was interviewing a chef in my presence. His mouth fell wide open in shock when the chef both of us thought would give us some great inspiration for the script through his memories and childhood experiences, told us he got into cooking only because he got bad grades in 12th Grade and could not become a doctor or engineer. We both questioned and questioned until we were tired to search for some early childhood memories associated around food, and could find none in his mind. Food was something he came to by accident. But certainly this chef, is no new player in the Indian food world. And could qualify as one of the premier Indian culinary celebrities. The director of the film and I wondered if his passion and talent with food were so brilliant for they were without any burden of old memories? This chef had us totally charmed even after we failed in our mission to learn about how culinary enriched a young chefs life can be. His current life is revolved entirely around food. His creations come from his life after leaving home ashamed for not having become what he really wanted to be. And he never draws back into his own childhood or even the culinary riches of his family. He further went on and told us how he would tell his parent he was studying the technical arts whilst he went to catering college. And even whilst he trained at the Maurya Sheraton and Taj groups, he would tell them he was in the business side. It was not until he had received acclaim in the US that he shared with his parents his real profession. And now, he says they are very proud of his achievements and have no reluctance about sharing his success with friends and family. The director of this film who was looking to draw on the childhood experiences of famous chefs, thanked me later for this introduction. He said he could use very little from this interview in his current project based on the childhood of a chef, but had learned afresh not to have any set assumptions about how people fall into what they become as they evolve. Your words about Ananda Solomon seemed to bring back that interview that I was a part of last week. (Though Ananda Solomon, unlike the chef I speak of, clearly draws back from his growing up experiences as you bring out through images of him sitting at his mothers stove) When this film is released in the US, it shall certainly change the image of chefs in the Indian households. Not a bad thing I guess. But learning from this particular chefs story and what I read from your piece, not all chefs need to find brilliance in what they do because of their collected experiences of growing up. Talent can be found and evolved at any time of ones life.
  4. Amul also makes very good gulab jamuns for tin varieties. My best thus far have been the ones from Barakhamba road in New Delhi. But Amul and Haldiram suffice if I am too lazy to make them at home. My own recipe is almost identical to BBhasin. My grandmother who lived in SF till her dying day, had shared the recipe BBhasin shared above. It worked well for me. The amount of liquid used in the recipe is tricky. It changes depending on the humidity and environs of the locale. Too much liquid and the gulab jamun balls will break as you deep fry them. Too little and they will be dry and not very soft. Gulab Jamuns with vanilla ice cream has become a staple dessert in many of my caucasian friends homes. Amul and Haldiram are what they use.
  5. I found the liberal and frequent use of orange blossom in Morocco wonderful. I especially loved how it changes freshly squeezed orange juice. What are some of your favorite uses for these blossoms?
  6. Thanks for this education. Like in your books, you bring such simple clarity to what many could find tedious to share and understand.
  7. I have made many of the peach, blueberry and red raspberry cobblers, people love them. The color too is sensational. I was looking very hard for blond raspberries and have had no luck this summer. I thought it would keep the color of the peaches pure and I would have omitted the blueberries. Also what works very well with peaches are blackberries. I add a little home ground almond flour into the fruit. I toast the almonds, cool them to room temperature and then toss the flour I am using for the cobbler into that bowl and then grind the nuts. Gives a great flavor and texture to the cobbler.
  8. Thirsty as well. I wish Paula Wolfert would post here and share more with us. Now we are at least two that have voiced our appreciation for that in advance.
  9. And what is your favorite recipe Browniebaker? How'd you know I bake brownies? Here's my and my family's favorite. How this differs from many brownie recipes: large amount of chocolate (for flavor, body, chewiness); bread flour (for substance and chewiness); light-brown sugar (for fudginess and chewiness); and baking soda (for a little lift, resulting in something between fudgy and cakey). This is a thick, chewy, very chocolatey brownie. 6 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate 3/4 cup unsalted butter 1-3/4 cups packed light brown sugar 3 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1-1/4 cups bread flour (using dip-and-sweep method of measuring) 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts (optional) Position oven-rack at center of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Microwave chocolate and butter until melted, stirring periodically to distribute heat. Stir in sugar until no lumps remain. Stir in eggs and vanilla, just until blended. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Fold flour mixture into wet mixture, just until blended. Fold in walnuts (if using). Spread evenly into light-colored aluminum 8” square cheesecake pan. Wrap soaking-wet Magi-Cake strips around walls of pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes (30 to 35 minutes if not using wet strips), just until center has risen and fallen and is firm to the touch and wooden tester inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven. If center of cake subsides and is lower than edges, gently press edges down with spatula so that cake is level. Lightly score surface into 16 squares with plastic knife. Cool in pan to room temperature. Remove from pan. Cut into 16 squares with plastic knife. For chewier texture, let sit overnight before serving. Serve at room temperature. Makes 16 brownies. Thanks for the recipe. Do you grease the pan? Not all brownie recipes require this.. so please let me know. What do I do if I do not have those magi-strips???
  10. As I had suspected, I have this pan RIchard. I use it more for roasting stuff. Shall try and use it for baking.. I love the fluted edge of the 12" clafoutis... it is so very beautiful. Thanks for the link. What cobbler are you making?
  11. Tommy, it could very well be cassia. can you find out what the dish you ate was called?
  12. And what is your favorite recipe Browniebaker?
  13. Richard, I have hardly moved on. I made a delicious Plum and Strawberry Cobbler. It was superb. I used several ripe plums. All from the farmers market. Thanks about sharing information on this EH pan... do you know if there is a link to it on the web? Maybe I can see it visually and I may realize I have it. I love the 12 inch pan for it ensures that I make the biscuit topping thinner and friends and family that have enjoyed the cobbler, have commented on the fact that the biscuits are really refined and just enough. I freeze Varmints biscuit dough for at least 20 minutes and only then roll it out to fit the 12 inch pan. It works really well. I shall look for this pan you mention.. and see how the cobbler comes out with it. What cobbler are you making next?
  14. Cinnamon as Simon points out... but could also be Drumsticks.. What did your friend order? Depending on that, our search for that bark could be easier. Drumsticks are less hard and fleshy and do have some flavor, especially when eaten in India. We have to use not so great fresh ones, or not too fresh canned ones in NYC.
  15. Thanks for your comments jglazer. What do you know about an area called Fairlawn?
  16. What type of pictures would you like? I was thinking of the jars--the volume difference between the yogurt & sour cream shows well this way. (We used some of the buttermilk version with berries after we finished the gratin & realized our faux paux. So volume with the buttermilk won't contrast with the others.) And perhaps in a dish? Let me know & I'll take some pictures today & post them tomorrow. Any and all you take and want to share. You are too kind.
  17. Thanks Matthew for giving the rest of us so much to fall back on when making creme fraiche next. Any pictures???
  18. And yes it bothers me a Great deal. I am always sad. I love desserts and no restaurant, no matter how many stars or great rave reviews they may have gotten, can impress me enough if the desserts are not of the same level. And often, a great pastry chef, that is having to work with an ego maniac in the savory side, will ultimately loose their passion and creativity when they realize nothing they create will bring them even a momentary gratification, for even if it does leave others smiling and happy, the pastry chef will never hear about it. Forget the reviews, often the pastry chef does not even know how the diner has been impressed by their creations. Far too many chefs and restaurant managers give very little time to this most critical element of fine dining. But I do think that trend is changing. And maybe eGullet, and this new media outlet, can change the way people in the profession treat pastry chefs.
  19. Hello Alana! Thanks for a wonderful thread. As always, eGullet prompts discussions that are so varied and rich. I was looking at Food Arts magazine the other day and was somewhat confused to not find Steve Klc's name on the mast head. Then, as I browsed another magazine, I saw him featured. And I said, for a pastry chef that is working, it would be far better to be featured than be writing about what they love. I share this for I realize that Steve Klc is a very savvy man. Read his words with care. He is not a newbie to most fields where he shares his strengths. And all that are able to learn from him, watch him, and emulate him, will find themselves in a happy situation. His words on this thread made me find respect for him anew. It is always nice to have people who continue to impress you. In this new media outlet (since Steve calls the other "Old Media Outlet") one often has to skim far too much scum before reaching real substance. Steve is the real thing... old or new. What is great is, we in this new media outlet, are fanning the ego of the old media by giving kudos to those that find themselves in the old outlets. My point is, there is space for both outlets, and a clever person gives and takes from both. And can find time and respect for both. Steve is a classic example of one that has mastered the art of using his talents, passions and convictions and translating them to success in both old and new media outlets as well as in his profession. For those that are self-employed, I am too, we need to be less bashful, less circumspect at times, and more self serving. It is a very hard way to be, but I have seen newbies that were less bashful and generous to others than me, and far less talented, climb high ropes and find great success, only for they were bold enough to shatter the first challenge, one of getting into a door. "i didn't want to start a whiny thread, and i have to admit that i'm very lucky. i moved up quickly in this business and definitely got recognition that i probably didn't deserve at the time...but i save those 2 seconds of fame (in a scrapbook for my parents...all the money wasn't wasted ), because i know i'm due a few more at least! i know that i can only improve...if i push myself like you say. i just have to decide in what capacity and at what level! we'll all get there...we'll find our niche and make a comfy little nest there!" Alana, you said the above so beautifully. I wish more people would remember this reality. We could then have many that find opportunities, share with others what comes their way. Far too many chefs (savory or pastry), find it difficult to share with their Hands, that which comes to them after the magical effect their Hands leave on the diners. Too many of us are afraid our creations today are our last ones. I always feel there is a very deep well of inspired dishes that shall continue to come out of the well, if we reflect, understand, respect and pasisonately seek. And when we can look at life somewhat more deeply, we can easily find ourselves in a more comfortable and enviable position. And we can finally leave lasting legacies that live beyond our own lives and generations. Thanks for this great thread Alana.
  20. Rest assured, I understood exactly what you meant. And I too call it our Indian mafia. A harmless and good one, or at least it is meant to be... can be tedious at times.
  21. Thanks Kristin! What do you know about the area called Fairlawn?
  22. There are dishes made for several centuries at the very least, and these are called Dum Pukht dishes. They are slow cooked stews of meats with vegeatbles. Cooked in covered clay pots, they were sealed with bread to ensure none of the steam could escape. Not sure if these dishes are related, but that is the closest connection I could think of.
  23. trillium, not connected at all, simply curious and also someone that loves to travel and enjoys people. I think I can live without food, but cannot live without good friends and conversations. Devagi was the first person I was introduced to in Singapore. We met only once. But she left a lasting impression. We have traded emails and spoken on the phone. I would hardly call her a friend or a connection. But she did give me a very strong sense of pride in Indian food and Singapore. I can imagine her sharing with similar passion with one and all the secrets of Singapore only a veteran with great curiosity could share. Having her as our first guide to Singapore, changed our experience in Singapore totally. What are some of the recipes you have tried and enjoyed? Could you name some....
  24. I find myself in a situation where I may have to help a friend in the opening of an Indian restaurant in Cleveland. They are thinking of getting a place in a rich suburb and want to open a fine dining establishment. Any tips I should have in my efforts of helping my friend? What should I know in terms of Cleveland food lore? Any critical pointers? Any and all help is most welcome.
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