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Everything posted by prasad2

  1. Suvir, I did not mean to! That's what ( 6 Idlis ) I ended up having for breakfast and they were mmmmm good....
  2. Ben You are welcome. I was too embaressed (Spell?) to say,but that's what I had this morning for breakfast. Please let me know how yours turned out. P2
  3. Hi Bbhasin That was a very good point. I did not know an answer to that until a couple years ago. The answer to the point you made to the Health department should be a mechanical blast chiller. The chicken or lamb or beef what you cook in handis (large stew pots) should be transfered immediatly after cooking into smaller storage tubs or lexon pans (NSF Approved) and then move to a quick chiller or a blast chiller, will bring the temps from 140 plus 40 degrees in about 60 minutes. Also they have these huge manual chillers like a bat shape, where you fill in with water and freeze. As soon as you take either hot milk or food from stoves, stir with this frozen bat, which will inturn reduce the temps faster than the normal walk-in-cooler does, then tranfer them to your regular coolers. Hope this will answer the health departments concerns. I personally like to work with tougher health inspectors, which only benefits the management in a longer run. I hope every health department does the way they do it like your place before you could open your doors or plan a kitchen. I have had the pleasure of working with the toughest of opening inspectors and eventually benefited with better kitchens. P2
  4. In London Cinnamon Club I personally have not been to Cinnanon Club but had the pleasure of meeting owner Iqbal Wahhab at Thali in New Canaan, CT. Cinnamon club is expected to come soon to NY City. The Cinnamon Club adds a new dimension to the London social and dining environment. In a Grade II listed building, we offer an all day bar, a private members bar, a restaurant for 200 diners and art exhibitions. Now open for breakfast "If you really want cutting edge curry, visit Iqbal Wahhab's superb restaurant The Cinnamon Club and re-educate your palate" - Evening Standard "The sandalwood chicken is set to be a smash hit...heavenly" - Daily Telegraph "A symbol for London dining today.... the most distinctive new restaurant here" - New York Times "A magnificent obsession known as the Cinnamon Club" - Financial Times "The Cinnamon Club is a class act" - ES Magazine
  5. How does this sound? Piping hot steamed Idlis (steamed rice & lentil cakes), topped with meting ghee (Clarified butter) with karropodi (Seasoned chily powder) and Allam patchadi (ginger chutney ), this is what one should have for breakfast. P2
  6. As long as you limit the dhabas to '90s experience
  7. One more TIP as a precaution: To keep this chutney longer in your refrigerator, please top off with some oil. Longer life.
  8. Oh man, I am still waiting for my rasam or else I WILL DIE. P2
  9. Diwan Grill 148 East 48th ST (Between Lexington Ave & 3rd Ave) New York - 212-593-5425 This spacious East Midtown Restaurant serving authentic Indian cuisine popular with the locals and the EGulleteers will satisfy the most sophisticated Indian food lovers as well as initiate and convert the most stalwart of skeptics. Definitely best in New York. A perfect balance of spices and a haven for kababs impressed me at Diwan Grill. A real jewel in the crown is the best Lamb Chops you will ever encounter from the Tandoor, made by Chef Hemant Mathur. Hemant Mathur cooked at Bukhara in New Delhi. First time I have been there after scoring Two Stars from the NY Times by Eric Esimov, I was more thrilled and moved with the food and in my opinion Diwan Grill truly deserves Three Stars. CLICK HERE to read more about Diwan and chef Hemant Mathur.
  10. I'll list outside of India - because putting India into the mix would be tad too much for my old grey-brain-cells
  11. Monica, Not fair is right.... Without a blink or not getting personal at any one I will say, Few Road side Dhabas. Prasad
  12. Dear Mark I enjoy reading everything you write. I came across your travel section of the NY Times and saw INDIA and your quote "Delights for the taste buds and the eyes in four New Delhi hotels". I read that article atleast half a baker's dozen times. I enjoyed it very much. Dining in section of the NT Times which I follow every week, I read this great article on "Korean Mysteries, Deciphered By a family of Masters. Korean flavors authentically fiery, with generous use of garlic, chilies and pepper." Garlic seems to be one of the favorite ingredients in these cuisines and one should guess that Indian or Korean or Italian cuisines it is hard to cook without it. Here is my question to you Sir! It is a pretty hot topic when it comes to some of our egulleteer friends on this great Forum, At what stage of of LIFE is Indian Cuisine, it's ambience and service and decor. You as a great writer, cook book author, critique, travel writer to India and a great fan of food, Could you please give us your insight and thoughts on INDIAN CUISINE: 1) Ten Years Ago 2) Today 3) Forecast on Future. Sir, if I could add a follow up question to this, I will be highly obliged. Thank you very much again for your generous participation on EGullet. P2
  13. Hello Mark What is your opinion on an excellent Dining room / Restaurant? Where do you start and where do you finish. When you review a restaurant how much importance do you give to the food & beverage, service and decor? How important is each one for you? How do you select which restaurant to review. Your job (which I envy ) for a living - do you still enjoy the food or do you enjoy it for the doing sake. Being a writer, a cook, travel writer and a critique what do you think about the resaturant business in general and would you ever plan or dream of opening your restaurant, and if so what kind and what rating would you want to achieve? Thank you so much, I really enjoy reading everything you write and you did on NBC the other day.
  14. Mr.Bittman I am huge fan of your weekly coloumn in the Times and a follower of your how to cook everything and your travel coloumns. After following your The Minimalist cooks at home/Dinner, I love the down to earth approach and simplicity of your recipes. Here is my question: Given the fact of your awareness of all the distinct cuisines of the world, which do you find most challenging to cook and fascinating to eat and why? Thank you Prasad
  15. Sounds wonderful Monica! Would you have a menu? It would make for fascinating reading... If you can find time, I shall be grateful, and I am sure others would feel the same way. Indians do know how to "Live Life King Size." Monica ! Thats quite a concept and i can imagine the prep you had to go thru. How did the guests receive, you must have had quite a few good compliments. Prasad
  16. Suvir You hit the spot. If money is certainly not the issue, I guess my next question is: are ther people who believe in this and think alike pros, such as Danny Meyer or Jean Georges or Suvir Saran or BBhasin or Rks or Prasad. I thought I am a big beleiver of a good restaurant and have had my passion fulfilled to certain extent in opening units from 250K to Million plus with set of Angel investers. I have made and run kitchens you can eat of the floor. Bottom line most (wealthy) investers did not continue to believe in operations of upkeeping the place to local standards or operate like a Danny Meyer restaurants. At certain times these investers have hired owners of competing restaurants to cut down costs. These competing restaurants operate without knowledgeble managers, chefs and do not give tips to employees(waiters). Sure are they maintaing the places? Hell no, are they profitable? Yes Sir They have changed management on me to cut costs, including firing managers and chefs and running with out them and eventually selling them. I am lucky enough and proud enough to be where I am (Stand alone) and how I operate Thali today. The day I can not operate with out these standards, I will not cut corners, but I shall close. Yes Suvir, This might be the last post until late evening and i will contnue to look forward for many interesting posts. Prasad
  17. You are very well welcome. Let me know how it turns out.
  18. Can we club these two threads about New Indian and Indian Restaurants in NYC together! BBhasin You are right, we are not stuck in a rut. NYC is a very good example with other states like, VA, NJ, CT. Look at Monsoon in Chicago. Lets go back 20 years, have we come ahead? I think so. Are we learning something new ? Of course yes. is it more challenging today to open a restaurant in NYC today than 10 years ago? You bet. Can we do better now? Yes Sir! Are the Indian restaurants and Kitchens Dirty? Again there are good kitchens and bad kitchens in Indian restaurants. As Bbhasin well stated about the health officials and inspections, the traing and education should be very well taken. Now there are two points to be considered. Are there chefs, cooks, kitchen help (what is available locally) willing to learn and train? If so where are they? What kind of remunerations can be affordable. Most of the help today runs for $ 50 increment to another job. Very small minded and not career oriented. Where do you start. I am not saying it is not impossible, it takes time and training. We are well in our way than ever before. Yes, it is very very interesting to look back Indian Restaurants in India. Their themes, formulas are very different, clientele is different. Affordabilty and availability of trained personnel again comes in picture. As an example let's talk one Good restaurant (I consider) in Mumbai, Vrindhya's at Orchid Hotel. It will knock any one's socks once you look at the menu. Now I personally have the pleasure of talking to the owner of Orchid, Mr Kamat, he claims that kitchen alone has a kitchen personnel of 20 plus. Talented personnel can still be hired well in India at decent going price. You have one ad for one position, you will receive 100 applications who are close to each other on qualifications., here you have an ad for one position, you are lucky to get 10 applications, out of which you are even luckier if you get any one qualified. We know when Danny Myers opened Tabla and Jean-Georges Vongerichten opened 66, they have had more budgets for training than many Indian Restaurants have budgets to open an entire restaurants. Exception is always there, there might be some Indian restaurants who have budgeted themselves better. On a more positive note, Given the resources we are accomplishing a lot more than yester years. P2
  19. Suvir: Mmmm, they were great. You know mom as chef at home, I get spoiled, I helped her blend and she ended up with both pakodi and Pesarattu. Pakodas were later packed in a zip log for the car ride. You are right no rice, no fermentation either. Never, ever turn the dosa (any dosa other than uthappam), it looses its crispiness (I had mentioned in the tips). Onions and cumin get some what cooked when you sprinkle oil or ghee. Allam Patchadi (Ginger Chutney) Oil----------------------------------3 Table Sp Dry Red Chilies------------------ 8 to 10 or to taste Sliced Ginger -------------------- 1 Lb Seedless Thailand Tamarind-- 1/2 Lb Zaggery -------------------------- 1/2 Lb (Or as per taste) Cumin Seeds -------------------- 1 T Sp Salt -------------------------------- A pinch or to taste Tempering: Oil ----------------- 1 Tb Sp Urad Dal --------- 1/2 T sp Mustard Seeds --1/2 T Sp Cumin Seeds ---- 1/2 T Sp Chopped garlic -- 3 Cloves Curry Leaves --- 5 or 6 (Optional) Grate zaggery and mix well with tamarind by adding 1/2 a cup of water. Heat Oil, saute red chilies and cumin, then add ginger and tamarind mix and cook for ten to 15 minutes stirring and scraping. Then blend to a fine paste. Tempering: Heat a table spoon of oil, add mustard seeds, urad dal, cumin seeds, chopped garlic. Once these start crackling add curry leaves, remove from fire and top of the chutney before you serve. If you Refrigerate in air tight jars it should stay for a longer period of time. Just remember to temper before you serve. Best Served with: Any dosa, Idli, definetely with pesarattu. How about this: Mix this chutney well with steamed rice and ghee. Every bite you eat, bite a slice of red onion, a little chutney goes a long long way................. Prasad
  20. Good Morning Suvir Guess what? Pesarattu / Pakodi is my breakfast for today. Please do not envy, as a saying when some one else envys while you are eating and you do not share, you are bound to get stomach ache. As much as I love food, I love to share it as well. Unfortunately you are far to reach. Just couple of things you need before you start. 1) Wet Blender (Sumeet or National or traditional stone grinder). 2) Heavy Bottom cast iron skillet or non-stick teflon pan and or a wok. You can make couple of things with these lentils. a) Pesarattu, b)M.L.A Pesarattu c) Pakodi Your sister is absolutely right. Soak over night green lentils (Moong dal) with skin on. In the morning, blend it in a wet grinder with a piece of ginger, cumin seeds and few green chilies. Blend it coarsely if you are making pakodi / pakoda with no water added at all. To this mixture add very little salt and finely chopped spanish onion and mix very well, using your hand as a whisk. No Bi-carb is neccessary. Heat oil in a wok and deep fry by pouring into very small balls / fritters with a tea spoon. Once they turn to crispy golden brown fritters remove from oil and serve. For pesarattu blend these soaked lentils with ginger, pinch of salt and green chilies to a smoother batter by adding a little bit of water to form a pouring consistancy of Dosa. Chop some onions and mix with cumin seeds and set aside. Heat the non-stick pan and place a cup of batter in the center of the pan. Slowly start at the center spreading like a pancake . Spread in some chopped onion and cumin, sprinkle a Tea spoon of oil. Once the edges start getting crisp fold in half, remove and serve at once. Tips: Batter has to be no more than an hour old or two at most. Leave the batter a little coarse. Never turn the pesarattu on the otherside. Cannot be served warm or cold. No fermentation is required. Blender to pan to plate. M.L.A Pesarattu (Member of Legislative assembly) (the rich) This pesarattu is made with ghee and served with upma in the center and a little larger in size. The right chutney pesarattu is allam pachadi (Ginger chutney )
  21. Suvir, You make me salvate. It's past mid-night and I see a thread on pesarattu. Guess what? after reading your post, I just soaked the Dal for Pesarattu for breakfast. It's the simplest of all the Dosas and probably the best... All the secrets and tips of this recipe, will post in the morning, while I am grinding, making and eating, Prasad
  22. Oh. I thought Chaat was the Hindi word for snack food and appetizer like things. Its specific to a region? You are right about the word and what it means. Chaat is also eaten in hawker-style stalls from North through Western India - But in South India, the appetisers are not chaat - Hawker type apps are popular in Hyderabad - with Mughlai kebabs and seekhs, and banana fritter savories in Trivandrum. Yes, Yes, Yes We should have hawker-style stalls on wheels moving around the dining area. No menu... Like Mortons, except you prepare everything in front. Well in South you do hace chat Bhandar, like pani poori is called "Gupp Chup" (Gupp essentially you are opening your mouth and Chup you are shutting your mouth with the mini pani poori inside your mouth). On these carts you can make Dosa's, Pesarattu, Mysore Bondas and an Indian Chinese Hakka noodles and chilly and Ginger chicken with some egg fried rice. Small sized Lamb kababs to seekh kababs on mobile charcoal grills, I can go on and on .......... endless. Yes, Anil, Rks, Jason.. we can be in business. P2
  23. Will be checking out OTTO keeping South Indian in mind. Great idea. yeah, imagine a Indian "enoteca" type place. I mean if you think about it, a dosa/breads menu (like Otto does with pizzas), with indian "antipasto" (chaat and chutneys) and perhaps a sophisticated Indian tea selection and pastries to do along with the indian ice creams/ice milks. Sounds attractive to me. Sounds exciting to me. I am ready to offer my services for menu planning brainstorm session as long as I have food to sample. P2
  24. P2, sorry I didn't take the time to define comforting. I don't even think it was the right word. I think some restaurants should try and really focus on capturing a younger demographic (22-35) while keeping a moderate price point. Rks Mmmm, Now we are talking. I have not meant to question your integreti or any thing else. Most of the restaurants I have mentioned, I thought they were pretty clean and well trained steps of service, you knoww... I did not think they were not dirty as hell.. I am with you on the focus of a welcoming, smart casual dining room / Bar to bring in the younger demograhics. Moderate price and casual stylish approach is what we should be looking forward for in the future. We have the masses in NY, it can be done with some one like Suvir. Are we ready Suvir.......
  25. Keeping authenticity of the food with the 20th century presentations is what I will expect. How does one educate the MEDIA or the clientale if a chicken tikka masala or a samosa with imli (tamarind) chutney is forgotton on the menu. Offerings basics and picking up menus of the seasons or regions in a specialty restaurant with the highest of talents of the chefs and the management might be the key to success in tomorrow's restaurant. Look at Ada, I feel sad for the guy.... Keep in mind, smart casual atmosphere is an other key. Fusion still makes sense keeping in mind the use of spices and the best available local ingredients. We did see the trio combo of three chef's Peter Beck, Hemant Mathur and Late Raji Jellapalli at Tamarind. This team offered fusion specials and many nights I visited Tamarind these specials were sold out. P2
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