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Chimayo Joe

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  1. Best First Cookbook

    Kitchen Sense by Mitchell Davis is what I've been suggesting for many years. Doesn't look like it's sold by Amazon currently, but other sellers offer it through Amazon.
  2. Have you read the Serious Eats article on wonton soup? It might provide some insight. http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/04/the-food-lab-wonton-soup.html
  3. Cooking with Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India

    Just a word to anyone unfamiliar with asafetida, don't let the odor of it scare you away. Cooking with it transforms it.
  4. Best Fast Food Burger

    I broke my vegetarianism(actually, I eat like a vegan almost all the time, but I'm not a fanatic about it) to try Freddy's when it opened here several months ago. Too dry for me, but I can understand the appeal. I like Smashburger best(if it counts as fast food.) I think Freddy's was patterned on Steak 'n' Shake, but I've never had S 'n' S.
  5. Cooking with Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India

    Is this how it was worded in Vegetarian India? "In Andhra, ‘vepadu’ refers to dishes that are either stir-fried or deep-fried until they are crisp" (Curry Easy Vegetarian) I think she communicated poorly and meant "crisp" just to apply to the deep-fried dishes. Stir-fried vepudu is similar to other stir-fried dishes of South India known by various names depending on the language of the state (thoran in Kerala, poriyal in Tamil Nadu, palya in Karnataka.)
  6. Cooking with Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India

    The book was published as Curry Easy Vegetarian in the UK. That might be the title to look for in Australia.
  7. Cooking with Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India

    That's a Madhur Jaffrey book I'm sure I'll buy sooner or later. Looks great.
  8. A little taste of Kerala

    Thanks for posting this thread. It's been very informative and enjoyable.
  9. I used to roam the DFW area looking for good barbecue, but all of it fell far short of central Texas barbecue. Two places that have opened since I was there and are likely better than any of the places I went are Lockhart Smokehouse and Pecan Lodge. Sorry, I can't provide any first-hand experience of either place, but they're probably worth a try. http://www.lockhartsmokehouse.com http://pecanlodge.com
  10. Vegetarian Recipes and Meals

    Yeah, if you like the flavor of fenugreek seeds, you'll love the flavor of fenugreek leaves. It's one of my favorite elements of Indian food. Even dried fenugreek leaves are great. They do much better than most dried herbs.
  11. Vegetarian Recipes and Meals

    I've been a fan of Indian food for something like 20 years, but I mainly cooked meat-based North Indian recipes when I cooked Indian food until recently. About 8 months ago I switched to vegetarianism, and Indian food has become a much bigger part of the way I eat. Lately my interest has shifted to South Indian cooking and Gujarati cooking.
  12. One of my new cookbooks is Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts by Ammini Ramachandran. It's a Keralan cookbook. I started looking through it today and ran across this in the Cooking Methods section: "Seasoning or tempering (kaduku varakkal): Seasoning food with spices pan-fried in oil is a technique fundamental to many dishes. Most curries are seasoned with spices and herbs fried in a few spoons of oil. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat, and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start sputtering, add halved dry chili peppers and curry leaves and remove the skillet from the stove. Pour the contents into the cooked curry. For certain curries, asafetida and urad and chana dal or coconut flakes are also fried with the mustard seeds and chili peppers. In some curries, instead of the seasoned oil, fresh curry leaves and a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil are stirred in." I've skimmed through the recipes and would estimate that most of the book's recipes using the technique don't include dal, but very many do, usually urad dal or a combination of urad and chana dal. I consider the recipes that fry the spices first then add the other ingredients to the spices to be a variation of the technique. That seems pretty common when dal are used(possibly to give them time to soften up a bit?) I found it interesting that the author called the technique "kaduku varakkal" which seems to indicate how important mustard seeds are to tadka in Keralan cooking.
  13. I looked through some Indian cookbooks and while urad and chana were by far the most commonly used dals for tadka (the term for fried spices regardless of when they're added during the cooking of the dish) , I did find a few instances of toor dal being used that way. Also, some of the sambar powder recipes in the cookbooks I examined used toor dal as an ingredient, and the sambar powder recipe in Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian has moong dal as an ingredient, so it appears it's not just urad and chana dal that are used as spices in South Indian cooking. edit: I bought World Vegetarian a few days ago and am still looking through it, but I ran across a recipe where Jaffrey offers the choice of urad dal, chana dal, or yellow split peas in the tadka.
  14. Tempering is the frying or dry roasting of spices (and sometimes other ingredients) to be added at some point in the cooking of a dish. Tadka is the term used when they're added at the finish in Indian cooking. (I'm not sure if the term"tadka" only refers to them being added at the finish though, but that's often when it's done.) South Indian cooking often uses fried dal as a spice. And it's not dal that's already been cooked; it's just raw dal that gets fried.
  15. I only see urad dal and chana dal used in tempering. Is it only those two and if so, why? Preference for the flavor of those specific dals? Maybe it's easier to judge how much the lighter colored dals have roasted? I've never tried using other dals and am wondering if other people have used them or possibly even other legumes (such as split peas.)