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Suvir Saran

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  1. And I, Suvir Saran get sick from eating Knishes in NYC Streets. And if I even try eating at the street fairs, I am a mess. The street food of NYC and at first even the tap water did not agree with me. My physicians realized that I was not immuned to the life within the water of this great city.. which it is claimed, has t he best water in the US. I drank only bottled water for my first 6 years. The few times I broke the rule, I would be sick and unable to eat for a day or two. Well, that takes me to the relevance of the topic, try and stay away from having stuff on the streets where vendors have touched the cooked food with water, fresh fruit or veggies etc. The fried and sauteed meats and vegetables and beans and lentils etc, will not kill you or make you sick. They are just fine. I have friends that travel writing about food, and one has been doing so for 30 years. Her favorite food overseas.. Street Food, have they fallen sick eating it, not enough times I guess to change their craving for street foods. When they come to my home in NYC, they want Street foods to be a large part of my menu. Having steamed things I am told can be a problem, since the water contaminants are able to affect the food. That is what I am told made my experiences with Knishes miserable. Well, last year, my partner ate salad in a small way side restaurant in Paris. He got horribly sick and for that reason, could not enjoy his meal at Arpege. The risk of street foods exist everywhere. The western belief of safety within the western hemisphere does not exist. I have come back with bad bacteria and bugs from more trips within this hemispher than in the east. But that does not mean one is safer than the other, all our bodies build immunity to the many bugs in the foods and water we are most exposed to. And so, as we travel outside of that comfort zone, it is upto us to decide how much we want to shock our system.
  2. Bux.. cumin is used in Mexico.. and some do wonder if cumin did come from the middle east.
  3. They are great.. as are most Indian street foods.. and if you stay away from fresh fruits and veggies.. the fried and cooked street foods are relatively safe for a tourist to eat. I will someday do an extensive book on street foods of India. Since they are as different as the many dialects seen in India.
  4. And David Karp, Fruit Detective based in LA and writer with LA Times has written an extensive piece for the LA Times .. I am sure one could get a link on that.. And as in all his pieces, he covers everything you everr wanted to know. There is great flavor in a pommelo once you make the first effort to try that giant fruit.
  5. Simon, She ate a very humble meal. We were testing the rice chapter.. and I had a very full weekend. I was embarassed that it was not all that I would have liked to share with her. Rassam ( South Indian Soup ) Pakoras - spinach and scallions Chaat Paapri - street food from India Indian Fruit Punch Shrimp Stir Fry Malikaye Masoor Kee Daal Lamb Biryaani ( a secret recipe that will be shared in the book) vegetable biryaani 3 Desserts I am not sharing the details as it would take away from the charm of the book to be. The Queen of Publishing, ate a humble meal.. but I feel lucky to have her editing my book. SHe knows so much about Indian food. And about food in general. Makes me feel safe and protected.
  6. yes Steve.. I heard of that study.. and they did find curry being the most favorite cuisine of England... Interesting.
  7. Times are surely changing.. But Indians still eat most all meals around a table with family and friends. In fact, my grandmother waited for my siblings and I to come back from school before she ate lunch... she was not young.. but that was the tradition... And weekend mornings, breakfast too became a family ritual. For us it was no novelty, but perhaps, that is what makes food both a culinary, a social and a familial treat. It is that bond between food and history and politics that Steven seems to have difficulty in accepting or grasping or both. But to us Indians, it is second nature. And Vivin... aren't you lucky. Your father's restaurant had the best Tandoori Rotis.. That was Sunday dinner for my family... Dum Aloos (baby whole potatoes with woody spices and blind baked), Paneer (Indian cheese cooked either with spinach or with peas), Sabut Bhindi(whole stuffed okra), Kamal Kakree ke Chips (chips made from lotus root and spiced) and Koftas with your fathers restaurants rotis.. Brought hot and fresh. The fetcher would make two trips, so we could have hot bread with the meal. And yes... Kadhi Chaawal, Rajmah Chaawwal, Kaale Chane for lunch with onions bought at your fathers restaurant.
  8. I am like Bux.. and if I do go to a McDonalds,.. which happens on occasion.. I would rather go to one here.. to the real thing. And India does have great and varied street and fast foods.. it would be a shame to go to India and not indulge in those great foods.
  9. I have just finished cleaning from a buffet like dinner I had at our home tonight. For my cook book editor and agent. While we did not have any chafing dishes.. The food was served without being plated..... What we call family style. It is the only way I like hosting Indian dinners. It makes for very sensuous tables and very happy guests. Restaurant buffets are very sad. And a shame. They do very little justice to the cooking. And yes, Indian food fares much better at the buffet table than other cuisines generally. Bux, some Indians compare the American need to eat raw vegetables of undercooked vegetables as a certain bovine tendency on their part. Some Indians believe Americans to be like cattle, eating anything as they graze.
  10. Thanks Bux,..... I do think you have given us the most commonly understood and accepted meaning.
  11. Bux just for you to know, what you call Curry Powder is also mostly used only in western cooking. Yes there are a few exceptions where Curry powder is used in Indian cooking, but those are rare.. and few. Few if any trained Indian chef will use that horrible bottled mix. But then again, many chefs are using it and some close to successfully. Just a clarification.. to your point above.. I wanted you to know.. Curry Powder certainly would be an ingredient more familiar to the western trained chef than an Indian one.
  12. The first Bukhara Grill to open was on 49th street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. And it is still there.. and doing well. They recently opened another branch on the same street as Dawat.
  13. I once was a partner in a higher end Indian restaurant. The lunch numbers did not make any sense. And our lunch buffet, which we had to have at the request of the customer and a point that may have led to my parting ways with the others involved in that concept, was $25.00 many years ago. The buffet did help the food cost, but a lunch ticket of $50- $80 per person would make us all smile. And Indian food does fare better in buffets, I think it has such large amounts of sauce in so many dishes, that it can stay fresher longer in those chafing dishes. I find the idea of eating a buffet very sad. But many in NYC love them for lunch and expect it when thinking Indian. We need to see that change as Indian food becomes more known in NYC.
  14. Economics of it are better I agree... but with a guest wanting foods off the regular menu, often one has increased likelihood of other sales... wines, water, desserts, teas etc.. and these are what would excite some owners.. but I am talking about the higher end restaurant... but I suppose, when you have a buffet, you have a short staff and are wanting to drive your sales through quick volume and you are correct in your statement.
  15. I deliberately left the topic loose so we can discuss it across many cities... Anil lets begin with the major cities around the globe where you know of good lunch venues. And jinmyo.. where are you eating these lunches, where waiters are not happy serving from the menu. One would think they would want to make more money... duh... Silly waiters. Perhaps the chefs are lazy and give the servers a hard time.. that could be a reason for the server not being too thrilled.
  16. Yes Vindaloo is a poor dish to be eaten in most all Indian restaurants. Very few chefs know how to really make it. And actually, the dish was meant to be only cooked with Pork. Not that it should matter. Yes they do have chef from the Delhi Bukhara. And no, it has no connection to the Bukhara from 48th Street that is now Patang. No, I take it back, the owner of these 2 Bukharas worked at what was Diwan Grill that was the name of Bukhara after the Sheraton Group sold it. So they do have some connection to the NYC Bukhara. And the chef at Diwan who was from Bukhara New Delhi, became the chef at Tamarind. He is the wizard of Tandoori cooking. He left Tamarind a few months back and is now in San Francisco. New York lost a shining star with his leaving our city. I have had amazing Naans at Bukhaara consistently. The best I have had in NYC. I am sad to hear the bread was too doughy.. or not that good. Pity. Give them another try.. and tell your server that you want to experience the food of the North West Frontier. Or ask for the manager or owners Raja, Vicky or Sanjay depending on which location you are at and when, and tell them Suvir Saran sent you. They will know then to make sure you get real food. One would hope all are served authentic meals.
  17. Lord Lewis, I must say you do make far more middle lever sense in this last post. I have to agree with most all you say. I understand what you say. Thanks for speaking in a language I can understand. I agree with you about life not being just about fame. We need a good balance between fame and substance And around the globe, that has been a diminishing balance, since many are very quick to jump and approve passing fads and flukes as great achievements. A true talented artisan can outdo the race of time itself. Those are the artists who work lives long after ther own physical death. We need more of those to leave behind as a legacy of our own times. So, I am in agreement with that sentiment of yours.
  18. Jinmyo.. I want to hear and know more about and from you... you seem very interesting.. And always provoking others for their thoughts.. Lets hear from you.. Please.. And thanks for your encouragement... do we really need more? But it is always good. I do not think that French cooking has had any drawbacks any more fatal than in other cuisines. As the world comes closer as a global village, these boundaries that have existed in the many art forms will get more and more fuzzy. No one cuisine will ever be the same. And that is what can be very exciting about indulging in food today. We may be a part of something that will be looked back as that critical moment in time when cuisine across the world changed forever. While we can argue as to who is doing a better job in dealing with the fusion that is happening, it is all deeply entrenched in our personal biases. But that does not make one any better or worse than the other. Certainly the pace and style and interpretation will vary, but it is all that need for this world to grow as a world and move on to its next level of existence. Now only if our politicians and religious leaders would take the cue from all the many art forms, if they too can walk this path of fusion, we would be a much safer people.
  19. Where does one go to eat a good Indian meal at lunch time. What does one order? How does it affect the workday? Any different from the many other options one has?
  20. It is indeed on 48th between 2nd and 3rd. They now have a new branch on the same street as Dawat, Chola and Ada. It seems to have more promise than the other restaurants in that street.
  21. That sounds accurate as well. But it was a feast for the eyes as much as it was a most wonderful journey into sweet sensations that excite the palate for a long time. They were great. Even the caramel suckers... lollipops.. wow.. they were the best I have ever had.
  22. Mogul could be from the sub-continent of India or the Indian word Moghul could be borrowed from the west. In any case, the word itself meant something very different from what we use it as in the US today. But that shows the beauty of language as it fuses across cultures. Like food.
  23. Steve, That dessert cart was the highlight of my meal at ADNY.. and yes I came home with many wonderful things...a nd they encouraged the greedy child in me to come out.
  24. Cookbook Lady, How are those cardamom crab cakes constructed and served? They do sound very fusion.. would love to know more. Vancouver sounds exciting.
  25. Maybe Mao and you could do the PR for Ducasse. I wish you a great meal at ADNY. Look forward to knowing from you what you reallt think of it.
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