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Ronald N. Tan

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  1. Ronald N. Tan

    Chai Tea

    This is my personal favorite chai recipe. I found my version I liked from the YouTube channel of Indian Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. This is to make slightly bulk. Ingredients for Chai Masala • ~32 hari elaichi (green cardamom) • 1½ tbsp. dalchini powder (cinnamon powder) • 4 tsp. saunf (fennel seeds) • ½ tsp. kali mirch (black peppercorns) • 20 laung (~1 tsp.) (cloves) • 1 tbsp. sonth (dried ginger powder) • Optional: a pinch of pulverized saffron in mortar and pestle • Optional: a pinch of salt Ingredients for Tea (Makes 5 c. total) • 3½ cups water • 2 tbsp. (heapful) tea leaves • 2-3 tbsp. sugar (adjust to taste) • ½ c. evaporated milk • 1 c. milk • 1 tsp. chai masala I don't use anymore than 1 tsp. chai masala for total volume of 5 c. in saucepan. I tend to experience headaches, when I overload myself with masalas.
  2. I think I may have found an edible, food/culinary grade sandalwood powder (chandan powder) from the Santalum album that's native to India. The item is linked at https://lhasakarnak.com/products/sandalwood-white-yellow-powder?variant=34160833549. The herb store is located in Berkeley, CA at: • 1942 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704 • 2506 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702 [Pickup location for online purchases as instructed on their website]. For 1 oz (~28 g) sandalwood powder will cost 10 USD plus another 10 USD for shipping and handling. Because I am about 40 minutes away, I am going to check out the herb store and if I make the purchase, I'll report/update my findings accordingly. Mainly, from reading about sandalwood (chandan) powder, it should have a smell, if it doesn't, it's some tampered with "sawdust/wood powder."
  3. Hi @Kerry Beal, I saw that brand as well as others. I even submitted enquiries from others and for the seller if the item was food grade. I have done my homework and I think I may have to accept that I won't find edible/culinary grade chandan powder from the Indian Sandalwood, e.g. Santalum album. This is the tree that's native to India and hence "chandan" powder comes from, due to its name in Sanskrit containing "chandan." The sandalwood in the item linked is from Cameroon and it's Red Sandalwood and not the "chandan" referenced originally in the ingredients for this super masala mix. Thank you for helping me (and others) find this elusive chandan powder that's culinary grade and from the Santalum album native to India. From asking the chef whose YouTube video I followed, he told me that it's normally purchased at Ayurvedic store in India. For the moment, as much as I'm curious about this chandan, I'm going to skip it.
  4. This may be a rhetorical. I don't think anyone or any food experts will pinpoint exactly who invented the biryani that we know and love. At best, we could only go by folklore or anecdotes. What's fact concerning biryani have been said in the thread, it was brought into India by the Persians (Mughals). Cuisines like Lucknow, formerly Awadh (Awadhi Cuisine) have many scents called ittars used in their cooking. Common scents are kewra (screwpine essence) water and rose water, and let's not forget saffron! The anecdote surrounding the "invention of the biryani" is something I like and that is: Biryani was army food. Nothing fancy as it is today. It's simply a meal to nourish the bodies of soldiers and workers under the employ of the who ever was ruling back then. Only when the army food went into the royal kitchens, it became fancier...for the palate of the royal(s): using ghee, better quality meats, spices, and edible perfumes (ittars/attars...e.g. culinary grade essential oils).
  5. Thank you for the wonderful welcome messages. I'll be sure to not only use, but share (to the best of my knowledge) about the foods and spices used. Cooking has given me a secondary creative outlet during our odd times.
  6. My profile was recently approved and I am excited to ask some culinary questions on spices mainly used in Indian cooking, since it's my primary culinary interests. On YouTube, I follow Sanjeev Kapoor, Ranveer Brar, and my personal chef hero—"Vahchef" Sanjay Thumma. If you're looking for authentic Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani, look no further than his many videos on how to cook the perfect pot of various styles of biryani in India.
  7. Has anyone made their own "Lazzat-e-Taam"? How was it? As I was looking online for this super masala mix, Google search lead me to this exact post here in eGullet. I managed to find almost all the items, but having difficulty procuring edible/culinary grade chandan powder. I'm in Northern California. If anyone knows a trustworthy and edible chandan, please let me know. 🙂
  8. Sorry for "bumping" this post. I find this relevant, because as I was searching for culinary grade (edible) sandalwood powder known as "chandan" in Hindi/Hinglish, Google search results lead me to this exact post here on eGullet. I'm curious if the OP, @hapacooking found sandalwood powder that's edible? I was trying to reproduce a recipe from Chef Afraz Shaikh for making Lucknowi Nalli Nihari and Galawati (Galouti) Kebabs and he added some chandan powder into his super masala mix. Elsewhere on eGullet is a reference to "Lazzat-e-Taam," which also calls for sandalwood powder. I found chandan powder at Delhi Bazar and Threading Salon in Fairfield, CA. Right underneath "Chandan Powder" are the texts: "For religious purposes only. Not for human consumption." As I saw that, I quickly placed the item back on the shelf. Thank you for the privilege of your time.
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