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Everything posted by indiachef

  1. You do not need any water to make Achar Gosht. However, if the meat dries up before being cooked, you may add as required Mustard oil is to be added when marinating the meat
  2. What you have described is known as "Dhakai parathas". Laccha Parathas need not be made with white flour. White flour tends to make the dough very elastic. This Glutinous product can be fortified with melted ghee (I would prefer half pure and half vegetable). Fat in the dough not only strenghtens the structure of the dough but also breaks down the elasticity of the flour Some also recommend adding mashed potato or cornstarch - it does work against the elasticity - but does not enrich the product. Use whole wheat flour, add salt and melted ghee. Rub in the ghee. Add water and make a pliable dough. Use a little oil to smear on top when dough is ready. The trick is to knead the dough slowly and rest it. Make small rounds and roll gently. Smear enough oil and sprinkle enough flour to absorb the oil. Mix with fingers and spread evenly on the rolled dough. Make pleats, stretching it from both ends and fold in joining both ends. Rest it again for some time under a moist cloth (not wet) Roll again gently. Cook on a slow well heated thick griddle. Cook on both sides and then smear with ghee. Some purists do the lacchas twice.
  3. Episure, I am not in the Trade anymore, though the passion for food still exists. Can't really speak much about trends. Unfortunately the Molson muscle has started bothering a little Somewhere in this topic I was asked my favorite recipe. There have been many but one that stands out is the "Achar Gosht" - given to me by a Disciple of the so called God of Indian Foods - Imtiaz Quereshi Achar Gosht: Lamb - 1kg thick yoghurt - 1/2 kg real mustard oil - 1/4 litre salt - as required roasted coriander powder - 15 gms mustard seeds - 5 gms methi seeds - 5 gms kalonji - 5 gms green chillies - 7 to 8 nos In a thick bottom pot (steel) - mix the cleaned meat with yoghurt, salt and the coriander powder. Leave it overnight in a refrigerator Roast other spices and pound them coarsely. Stuff in slit green chillies Cook the marinated meat - covered on a moderately hot stove. Check, stir occasionally. When meat is almost cooked, remove lid and let the water evaporate. Add stuffed chillies, and cover the pot. Simmer it for a little over 10 minutes. Turn of the stove, let meat stand in for a couple of hours. Reheat and serve This dish is fairly dry and may have considerable amount of oil separated from the meat
  4. Pankhi kebab: Chicken wings - cleaned and cut in half Salt Chilli powder Paprika Lemon juice Cream cheese and or Sour Cream Ginger and garlic pastes (if desirable) Mustard oil and olive oil (1:1) Mix and marinate for a couple of hours Charcoal broil. Pankh ke Pakode: Chicken wings Salt Ajwain Roasted crushed cumin seeds Chilli powder Lemon juice or vinegar Besan Eggs whole Chopped cilantro Chopped ginger Chopped green chillies Cornstarch Add salt and lemon juice or vinegar to the cleaned wings. Mix well. Add ajwain, chilli powder, cumin seeds, cilantro, green chillies, ginger and mix well. Add beaten egg, besan and cornstarch. Fry in moderately hot oil
  5. In my personal opinion, I think Triphal does not go in a Sukke, but that's just an opinion However, try grinding it along with the coconut and other sukke additives, one or two should suffice Triphal, I think is more used in Bendis and some specific Fish curries Indiachef
  6. One of the most underused vegetables in the world AFAIK. Some fancy the asparagus and the long beans instead. Two of my favorites. Slice beans - to almost dice size. Wash before cutting. Temper hing, mustard seeds and whole red chillies in oil. Add beans, stir and cook covered, with salt and a pinch of sugar. Old timers would use jaggery. When almost done, add in scraped white coconut. Eat with layered Chappatis String whole beans and cook till underdone in boiling salted (Avoid the soda-bi-carb) water. Heat oil in a vok, add sliced garlic, green onions. and green beans and stir fry. Add seosoning. Goes well with almost any red meats cooked either dry or in a gravy. I use it as a warm salad
  7. Dahi Wadas/Dahi Bhallas/Dahi Gujiyas!! They all come from the same place The art lies in making the batter right. That's the secret. Soaking in water is to remove the oil and make it absorb the beatern yoghurt. Whatever the recipe, the batter needs to be ground on a stone grinder with almost no water. Soaked lentils have enough water in them A good recipe of a Bhalla would have half moong dal and half urad dal. Although a gujiya tends to be more rich, in that it is stuffed (AFAIK), it yet has the same base recipe. Frying is important too. The fermented batter, should be lightly beaten and seasoned with salt before frying. Some use a spoon and others are comfortable with moistened hands.
  8. thanks That was very educative I think I now know how to cook a Steak!!! Is Paneer made different ways. Not sure if there are different styles of making Paneer But then you never know, with an increasing awareness of Indian cuisine globally, there could be some interpretations. And for the majority of paneer dishes, I would not fry the Paneer. If its to be accepted as a soft block cheese product sans the fanfare, it should be left at that. However, Indian restaurants have been visibly responsible for half educatiing the minds about Indian foods. Which is why I never understood either, why is it also referred to as Cottage Cheese? Sure. Why not. Am still wondering what flavoring we enhance in SEARING Paneer, apart from making it more rubbery and hard Coloring, Yes I agree, as a matter of Opinion Yet another attempt to vegeterianise Tandoori foods. Although the best Paneer Tikka is barely passable, it amazes me, why this concoction is a favorite when planning Indian menus. And of course I could never omit this from the menus I designed, lest I don't get paid for not listening to my Boss Indiachef
  9. By far the best is a tall glass or two of ICE TEA with lots of ice, sugar and lime juice It works wonders Indiachef
  10. I would preferably buy it from an Iranian Grocery stores. Iran makes the best saffron, no matter what others say about Spanish saffron It is more expensive than the ones in Indian grocers Indiachef
  11. Surprisingly in the Mugal era - Pulao was considered a richer concoction than a Biryani, which was looked as a poor man's food made with left-overs. How this got reversed is something not many can tell Personally, I prefer biryani and truly its almost impossible to find a good Pulao. The ones I tried in Persian restaurants are too bland for our spiced tongues Differentiating between the two is more appropriate in contemporary times. Who knows what its original Recipes were. One major difference is that a Pulao is a self contained nourishing Rice delicacy, enriched with just about meat and or nuts and spices, but nearly always never hot. Specifically a Pulao is cooked in a Yakhni/Stock. A Biryani on the other hand has its own ritualistic ways of dealing with the rice and meats either separately or together. The emphasis in a Biryani is to preserve the grain testure of Rice, and umistakenly imparting all fanciful spiced flavors to the meat. Except for a few strands of saffron and a few whole spices, Rice is not heavily pampered. Again in a Biryani, many prefer to half cook rice with whole spices and use this with the meat mix in alternate layers finishing off in the Dum. Some prefer to cook rice in absorbtion method too. A Kutchi or Hyderabadi Biryani, uses blanched rice (forget the specific term used), with the marinated meat cooked together on Dum Indiachef
  12. How insulting can little knowledge be. Not afraid to speak up, I always suspected, Chefs with no knowledge of other cuisines come up with their own definitions of things alien By no means Tandoori is a mix of spices. Agreed Edward, but the Tandoori masala is another hyped product on the shelf living upto its image of churning out a red -colored Chicken. Simply defined a Tandoori chicken is Chicken cooked in a Tandoor. Marinades can vary from a cheap bright red normally made in Indian restaurants, to a white, green or its own natural color yoghurt is the favorite as a marinade base. But you may use any one or a combination of Sour cream, Cream cheese, Thick cream, lemon juice in addition to the spices. Minced kebabs are generally spiced up with fresh cilantro, roasted powdered spices and green chillies, with a little bit of ginger and or garlic Chopped onions in a minced kebab make it very succulent, Unfortunately not many tend to use it (at least in the skewered variation) for the fear of falling off. Cashewnut paste ia another way of fortifying and enriching a marinade, though its usage outside the sub-continent for this purpose is very rare Mustard oil is another commonly used item, though some may use good qualtiy olive oil too. Speaking of Beet - Yes - I have used beet - surprisingly to add color to Consomme - that was only once. Cooked beet with diced boiled potato makes a good Raita
  13. Searing is a term used generally when cooking meats. Is there any juices to be retained in Paneer, that it needs to be seared. Yes I do agree, its fried - either deep or shallow in a lot of places, but that's what intrigues me. Why do we need to fry paneer? Answers that come to mind could be; To get rid of milky smell Increase its shelf-life Make it crusty Make it more appealing And also used as a snack item as deliad has mentioned. But this last one, I would only try it with a rich Malai Paneer Indiachef
  14. The basics of making a grainy Pulao is to cook it on high heat. Rice when cooked on low heat turns in khitchdi. Using Tawa as an underliner to Rice pots is an attempt to keep the rice from getting burnt at the bottom. Its usage has become a norm in some places. Making goood rice in large quantities, in my opinion is a true test of a responsible cook, not necessarily good Rice should always be cooked in shallow pots, with a heavy bottom. Once rice has absorbed almost all moisture, it is safe to turn of the heat and keep the pot covered for some time. Remove lid, and loosen rice with a wooden spatula. Preferably transfer it in another bowl. Again, I would add drained rice, once the water comes to a boil and not before it. Recipes normally suggest to fry the rice in oil. I strongly reject this approach, it only breaks the grains. Do not leave rice unattended, gently stir twice with a wooden spatula, when cooking Personally I would prefer to place the pot in a pre-heated oven for 5 - 10 minutes, depending on the size of the pot
  15. "Ambeche Saasam" - Mango Saasam - made with small fibrous ripe mangoes, in a sauce of coconut and other spices. Is a favorite of the Saraswats and the Konkan region
  16. Flavored Paneer as it is called Not many places make it. Not many places know how to make Paneer either - I mean the Indian restaurants Yes sacre_bleu, paneer can be fortified with seasonings and herbs. Chopped cilantro, roasted cumin, tender methi are some examples. Some may even use chopped green chillies. And for some, salt is a necessity, like me. Haven't come across a recipe which calls for "roll in flour.....", though the idea seems stemming more from a regimented cuisine like French/Italian. Personally I never understood the findamental reason for frying paneer (cut), before adding it to any sauce. Paneer in my opinion, is an already cooked product and should be handled with delicate hands, a rare thing to find in Indian kitchens. Not sure if any seared Paneer dishes exist in the classical sense, though others would have an opinion, Paneer is not raw meat, that needs to be seared BTW - feels good to be back - had quiet a time - getting access Phew Thanks Indiachef
  17. Butter Chicken (masala) Murg Makhni Chicken Tikka Masala Chicken Makhanwala On one hand none of these creations are from mainstream Indian foods. Which leaves it open to altercations. On the other, some definitive distinction is necessitated. Prasad2’s query of a distinction is a brave and honest attempt of finding the factual. The revolution of Indian foods seems to have been smothered by Murg Makhni and Chicken Tikka Masala. Though a lot of good work is done in India about Indian foods, a lot more needs to be done on the global scene. For a fact this was a concoction made from left over Tandoori Chicken and not Chicken Tikka as some Colonial may want to amend it. For a fact, we are not too sure of the original composition. But to say the least with an affirmative confidence, it would include tomatoes, butter, powdered spices and lightly roasted crushed qasoori methi. The distinction lies in the method of preparing the base sauce. A “Makhni” sauce is a smooth pureed simmered sauce made with blanched tomatoes, butter, seasonings and spices. A “Butter Masala” sauce on the other hand is made from chopped ingredients instead of pureed. Using Chicken Tikka in place of Tandoori chicken is a matter of choice, politically influenced by the clientele. It is probably easier to handle the silver on a boneless piece of grilled chicken floating in a sauce than a chicken on the bone. Chicken Tikka Masala – as the name suggests should have a coarse sauce. But in reality it is Chicken Tikka Makhni. The term Masala – is more identifiable with the foods of the sub continent. The word Makhni is a suave term normally used by people from the subcontinent. How these sauces are fortified specifically in different establishments is a matter outside the scope of this discussion and left more to the discretion of the Chef. I would certainly agree with BBhasin - there is a certain amount of distinction between the two. Again this distinction is a deliberate attempt to segregate the primitive from the refined. Better Hotels and restaurants in the days when greasy foods were popular with the masses developed a smoother variety of the “Butter Masala” sauce and ergo the “Makhni Sauce”. Interestingly this sauce (unfinished) has been one of the basic sauces in Indian kitchens for quite some time.
  18. One of my personal favorites is the Chutney Macchli. Made with a thick paste of coriander based chutney, flavored with hot green chillies, A whole Tilapia goes well for this sort of a preparation. Ideally it should be broiled in an oven or a slalamander. Another favorite is the patra ni Macchi, made the usual way. The chutney in this case could be sweetened with sweet Mango Pickle. Rolled in Banana leaves and steamed. A great variation is to use large spinach leaves, to wrap the fish in and can be eaten without discarding the leaf. Chilean Sea Bass is one great fish that goes well for this preparation. Grouper filets is great for Fish Tikkas. A Tandoori Fish Tikka does not necessarily mean it should be marinated in a generic red colored Marinade. My favorite Fish Tikka marination is; salt, lemon juice, chopped garlic, chopped green chillies, chopped cilantro stems, pinch of turmeric (more for coloring purposes), mustard oil and a pinch of ajwain. The same Fish Tikka marination could be used for large shrimps to make Rubian/ Tandoori Shrimps. A home based favorite is the Karwari Fried Fish. Preferably a fish slice cut on the bone, marinated with salt, garlic paste, chilli paste, dash of lemon juice and turmeric, rolled in rawa and shallow fried in a pan. Fish Caldine is another of my favorites. Gently cooked in squuezed out coconut milk, mildly spiced. This one great seafood delicacy is rare to find in its originating region of Goa. Recheade made traditionally with the freshest of Mackerel is a great treat. And the mussel Balchao, which is another favorite appetizer or a side dish is so very irresistible
  19. One of the most misunderstood terms in Indian foods is the korma. A true "Korma" is a ghee based dish where all water has been evaporated, and the the sauce if any is lapped around the meat or vegetable. A "Kalia" as opposed to "Korma" is water or milk based gravy and is closer to what is served in Indian restaurants commonly. Origins of "Kalia" again is a mystery to me, I've found it's mention in both Bengali and Kashmiri cuisines. Both however has its roots in Persian foods or the foods of the Mughal dynasty which again is an evolved cuisine. Having had the patronage of the ruling elite, Mughlai foods as is known today became popular by its sheer brutal force. The Mughals were not the only blue blooded people, there were other small kingly and princely families having access to the state exchequer, who had equally regal food traditions. Notable are the Rajputs, the Kashmiri kings, the Marathas, the Scindias, and the Nawabs. The fall of the Empire shifted the power base to the hungry colonials. This change did not leave the cooks out in the Cold. The officers soon employed them in the quarters, noble or not. Was it here then the great “CURRY” was born!! In its composition, it seems to be largely an evolved cuisine, including its name, which is associated with the ruling dynasty. Mughals however originate from Mongolian ancestry. The evolution was necessitated by the assimilation of local food habits. In its contemporary form, it has been plagiarized to the extent of being insipid and boring. Anything with a hint of richness in the foods with a mild flavor is passed around as Mughlai. Have we the lost the true recipes of Mughlai foods? Not really, I guess some descendants of the grandeur probably still practice it at homes Due to its sheer brutal force, it has had a lasting impact on our foods. It is characterized by its opulence and extreme hospitality traditions. Largely supported by the state and its fiscal strength, Mughlai foods have been an important cultural bastion of the Rulers who were at the helm for a few hundred years. In its early stages its practice was restricted to the palaces and state banquets. The noblemen perhaps vied to employ the best of the cooks for a taste of the conjured delicacies. This art of conjuring has taken a new name in contemporary times called “Creativity” with a French flavor. Its beauty lies in its adaptation to local foods and traditions, like using spices without making it chili hot. What recipes constitute a Mughlai food is something hard to deduce. Some Awadhi foods with its Persian sounding names could be a part of Mughlai cuisine. Also some Delhi foods may owe its origins to a fall out of the entourage "Navrattan Korma" is credited to be named after the famed cabinet of Ministers of Emperor Akbar. What constitutes this dish is again a matter of argument. Generally it is accepted to be a vegetable preparation of nine different types, in a creamy sauce. But then there is the "Murgh Navrattan" which does not constitute of any vegetables.
  20. How true, little knowledge is misleading. Who do we blame for this? Without hesitation the colonials and the Imperialists. And yes there is cause to be upset for having being told the truth, eh! And yes what is well accepted is not a matter or Truth. And yes there probably is no such thing as East Indian in the larger picture of things. The East Indian as Vikram pointed out, do exist and peacefully fish in Bombay. And yes Vikram pleads not to use the term East Indian, not once but twice, having been regimented, the pleads come in so naturally. And yes there is more to Indian foods than the Plain old Naan and Sag panner and the crappy foods that come out from North American Indian Restaurants. And yes we never stood up determined, so our foods are called Curries And yes Curry does not exist in India And yes Curry does exist for the Colonials and the fabled East Indians And yes, the menu in an Indian restaurant is always spiced up with Chef's own Creation and some mystic curry mix And yes all this has nothing to do with foods but with identity And yes some on this forum stand up and profess And yes Baingan Bhurtha is termed as smoked Eggplant curry and RATATOUILLE is RATATOUILLE in India And yes and yes and yes, there never was an option eh!
  21. Bebinca is certainly not rubbery textured. But yet you could be right, most places do serve/sell Bebinca that is awful And yes kokum would be used in Goan Christian foods too, in their Fish Curries. Here again, Tamarind would be a souring agent in a Hindu Shaguti and the same for a Christian Xacutti too, though the flavors and tastes differ considerably. And to speak of styles of cooking, there are basically two large group classifications, the Bardez and the Salcette, though I feel a true Goan would shed more light on this. And am positively sure the Goan Muslim cuisine also has its share to show, of which not much is known.
  22. Was it Escoffier then who classified French foods and the Mother sauces? Is there someone doing this to Indian foods. Maybe it doesn’t need to be classified based on the same lines. But maybe we do as a matter of academic interest and as a subject for cooking schools. Cause if there are no rules there should be no practice and if there is a practice there should be a guideline We do agree that almost all Indian restaurants have a few prepared base sauces, used in the so-called a la carte menu. Escoffier has also been credited with inventing/popularizing the A la Carte concept, although Ritz must have had a role to play From a hospitality perspective, we do seem to follow what was set as a practice. But from a purely culinary point of view, we seem to ignore this aspect and tend to camouflage all Indian foods as traditional and authentic. One reason for the deficit I see is that Indian foods to a large extent are undefined. There has seldom been an attempt in doing this, though it is common to find Chefs coming out in the open demonstrating recipes and tricks of the trade. What we need is a flamboyant academician to theorize the art of Indian cooking. To a large extent theoreticians have no room in the business of Indian foods. We are still too small to make any impact globally. Not withstanding the fact that “CURRY” is so very popular in England, our cuisine is still in its Infancy. Having numerous recipes and a depth in its varieties does only make a cuisine rich. Basically traditional Indian foods depended on the so-called Handi cooking not restricted to the Northern Indian style only. Banquets are one example where one sees this practice. A la Carte menus is a compromise on the originality. Though most restaurants in North America do their basic bulk foods like sauces and the meats in handis retaining its originality to some extent, it leans more towards adhering to a set standard rather than being truly authentic. And I feel its time that we introduced Murg Makhni into the mainstream cuisine. This I speak with vehemence, cause the English will have a patent for it. Very soon they will sue us for using the word “CURRY” in our terminology. We almost lost the rights to say “TURMERIC”, and still battling with “BASMATI” or is it “BUSS- MAATTI”?
  23. Sorpotel would certainly contain offals as you've mentioned. Some recipes also call for tongue, though I have rarely seen this used. No Vindaloo does not contain offal meats and is normally served with rice and or the local baked bread.
  24. What you've mentioned holds true for "Sorpotel" and not Vindaloo. Sorpotel uses pork meat, rind and the fat diced and then deep fried. The basic spice paste is almost the same as in Vindaloo. And yes blood is used too for thickening the sauce. Not many places follow this practice though Sorpotel is traditionally served with "Sanaas" - a steamed rice cake fermented with toddy
  25. Dried methi and qasoori methi may not necessarily mean the same. Although both these terms are used to denote Packaged dried Qasoori Methi as sold in South Asian grocers. Qasoori methi (dried) needs to be lightly warmed in a pan on stove top, constantly in motion. Toasting in the oven may brown or burn the leaves. The purpose here is to facilitate crushing between fingers when adding it to finish a sauce. Excessive roasting may tend the methi to loose its fragrance and give a very odd flavor. Most Indian restaurants, would have warmed crushed methi in an open spice container ready to be added to the dish at the moment. Personally, I would only warm it up and crush it straighwaway in the sauce before finishing. This helps retain most of its flavor. The process of roasting normally erodes the flavor of a spice. Roasted powdered spices and herbs normally do not need much cooking. It is usually added towards the end of cooking. To specifically answer your question, the Recipe in itself should spell out its usage. However most recipes out there usually give a list of ingredients with their measures and a Cooking Method to follow, with not much emphasis on the "WHY" of it. If there is no measure specified, it usually denotes a good size pinch of methi crushed between the fingers. The grassy texture of the methi is due to impurities in the product itself. Normally this type of Methi should be made from the leaves only, but manufacturers tend to use the stalks to add bulk to the product. It could also be because the Methi is not warmed enough to be crushed. Recipes that calls in for soaked methi usually uses Methi as a noticeable ingredient as in Aloo Methi. Palak in an Indian restaurant for an example is normally fortified with methi. We used to do this with fresh fenugreek. But most would use the dried methi crushing it between fingers. Then there is also the salad methi grown in sands. Its leaves are tiny and these are eaten raw with a simple dressing and chopped onions.
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