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Found 988 results

  1. I'm working on a magazine ar6ticle about cooking classes in India. Does anyone know of any teachers they'd recommend who speak English? The classes could either be in the person's home or at a hotel or ir anyplace else suitable for a tourist (but a serious tourist). Many thanks for any help-- Dr. Wingo drwingo@aol.com
  2. I'm just beginning to venture beyond my preferences for American and French cuisine and exploring the cuisine of India. As a novice cook in terms of the variables and subtleties involved with Indian cooking, I thought I would start with just one ingredient-Lamb. I've been reading through At Home with Madhur Jaffrey as a reference to my introduction to Indian cookery. I started with Jaffrey's recipe for "Punjabi Lamb Kebabs." While staying fairly true to the recipe, I substituted rack of lamb for the boneless lamb meat called for in the recipe. I couldn't find, (nor did I take the time to make), the mustard oil called for in the recipe so I used a combination of Chinese Chili Oil, Sesame Seed Oil and Olive oil. And due to the cold, wet weather in the Northwest today, I wasn't able to barbecue on the outdoor grill like I wanted, so I used the recipe suggestion of broiling the meat. The rack of lamb was marinated overnight in a mixture of yogurt, the three oils, salt, garlic, ginger, garam masala and I added some curry powder and an incredibly fragrant Ras el hanout mix I bought yesterday. To accompany the lamb I made some pickled red onions and served them on a bed of sliced cucumber. And a simple steamed basmati rice seasoned with saffron, tumeric and cumin. I welcome your suggestions and discussion on how you like to prepare Indian-style lamb.
  3. Lindacakes

    Masala Dabba

    I'd like to know if a masala dabba translates out of Indian spices . . . I have two kitchens, and in one I have an old ironing board closet (about two inches deep, one foot wide, and tall as a regular closet) that I've converted into a spice rack. This stays dark, and inside I have a large set of spice jars, clear glass, that I keep spices in. For the second kitchen, I had a small spice rack on the counter with glass jars. I found that the exposure to light weakened the spices and I wanted to try a masala dabba, since I can bring it to the stove and change what I have in the box as the seasons change. I put a combination of Indian and non-Indian spices in there, for the most part -- mustard powder, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, basil, oregano, thyme. I realize this is a risk, and because the spices aren't individually covered, may weaken and blend. I am assuming the blending is a good thing for Indian cooking with it's spice mixtures, but maybe a bad thing for the thyme . . . I've just started it, and overall the aroma is intoxicating, but I haven't tried cooking with the individual spices yet to find out if my spaghetti sauce is going to taste like mustard. Can anyone who is using a masala dabba advise? Thank you!
  4. brucesw

    Keralan/Malayali?

    I've been exploring the menu of a restaurant serving such dishes as Kappa Fish Curry, Beef Fry, Pork Fry and Fish Fry, Karimeen Fry, Duck Curry, Avial, Thoran, Palappam, Chammanthi, Chemmendi and of course Payasam. The menu just uses terms like Kerala spices or sauces or 'typical Kerala dish.' What is the correct terminology for this cuisine: Keralan, Keralese, Keralite or just cuisine of Kerala? Is the term Malayali appropriate here or is that a term denoting a wider or narrower range of dishes?
  5. cteavin

    Mirchi ka Salan

    I was in India over the winter holiday studying in a proper school for 10 to 12 hours daily — it was bliss! Since I’ve come home I can really taste the difference the types of produce and the freshness of the meats make on a given dish. Not cooking Indian everyday, I want to continue learning by keeping up the dialog I had with my teachers and the other students, hopefully with people here. In this post I was hoping to talk about Salan’s as in Mirchi ka Salan (Green Chilies in Sauce) I have two recipes and I’d love discussion on how you make it. The first version we made contained equal portions of roasted peanuts, sesame, coconut with a healthy bunch of fresh coriander and mint, a couple of dry red chilies, about a tablespoon of ginger garlic paste, salt and turmeric. (This particular teacher emphasized tasting over measuring.) These were placed in a mixi and ground into a fine paste. Next, in a large kaldie we heated sesame oil then added, in order, about a teaspoon each of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, a sprig of fresh curry leaves, and finally the large split green chilies and cooked until the skins were seared. We then added the paste and about a cup of water and balanced it with a few tablespoons of tamarind juice and jaggery syrup then cooked it until the oil came out (about 25 minutes). It was really nice — and hot. The day we did the Hyderabad dishes was the only day I got sick in six weeks in India: way too spicy for my insides. (lol) The second recipe (made a different day) was prepared without coconut. In the mixi we added about 1/2 cup each of roasted peanuts and sesame seeds and added to that dry roasted coriander seeds, cinnamon bark, cumin, cloves and blended it into a fine paste thinned with a balance of tamarind juice and jaggery. In the kaldee we sauteed finely minced onions until very brown, added about a teaspoon of ginger garlic pasted then tomatoes and cooked until the oil came out and to that we added the paste and a cup of water and the seared chilies. Cooking was about 20 minutes. This particular teacher said that some regions add yogurt after the oil comes out. I would love to know how you all make your salans. In case anyone wants to know, this is where I studied. http://www.iactchefacademy.com/home.html
  6. BadRabbit

    Mirchiwalla Wings

    My local Indian place has wings that that they call Mirchiwalla wings. The wings are obviously cooked in a Tandoor but I can't seem to figure out the spice mix on the outside. Anybody have a recipe or an idea of what spices to try (I have a clay oven)? P.S. I understand that this might actually just be a name given by the restaurant that doesn't relate to a specific traditional dish.
  7. prasantrin

    Jilebi jilebi jilebi

    I love jilebi and I often crave the neon orange sickeningly sweet fried snack. I once tried to make my own, but it was too cold (I was living in Japan at the time) inside my house and the mixture wouldn't ferment. But I have a question which may seem stupid. I bought some jilebi the other day, and it's not very good. I don't think it was very fresh, so it's sort of soggy (not soggy, but it doesn't have that nice crisp exterior that fresh jilebi had). Can I rejuvenate it? Stick it in the toaster oven? Crisp it up in a non-stick pan? Or is my only choice to microwave it with some milk, mush it up, and eat it with a spoon?
  8. ElsieD

    Indian Spice

    I recently read an article about food trends for 2011. One item was a spice blend called (something like) vendaudam??? It is an Indian spice mix that has, as one of it's components, onion. Apparently, it is the next spice that chefs will be using a lot of this year. (Or so the article said.) I actually found a place that sells it but then........I lost the article. To make matters worse, I can't remember where I got the article or the exact name of the spice. I have spent a lot of internet time trying to track this down but have not have any luck. All I could find was vendhayam and vengayam and both referred to onion and nothing else. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?
  9. I have made Chicken Dum Biryani at least three times. Twice on the stove and the third time in the oven. The problem I have every time is that after the allotted cooking time is done and I take a fork to check the bottom of the pan to make sure the chicken is done, there will be juices at the bottom of the pan instead of it being dry. Since there shouldn't be juices once its cooked, I end up cooking it for another thirty minutes or more which cooks away the juices but also dries the chicken. What am I doing wrong? I do marinate the chicken the night before in yoghurt. Would using less yoghurt and draining it from a muslin cloth of excess water do the trick? Any advice as to how to solve this problem would be greatly appreciated! thanks.
  10. I will be on a liquid diet for the foreseeable future, so I want to come up with creative ideas on what I can eat other than cream of name your vegetable soups. There can be no chunks, seeds, or other bits in the food. I will pass everything through a strainer just to be safe. It has to be thin enough to drink. Lassis were mentioned in another thread. I was wondering what Indian dishes I could have while on this diet. Thanks! Dan
  11. I bought these at an Indian Grocery store. They were not named or described, except with the brand or maker - Jay Andeshwar. They are salty - like they are made with black salt - Kala Namak as they are sulphury too. They also may have sour plums (or any other sour fruit like tamarind) and a few spices. Each pellet is about 1/2- 3/4 inch long and about 1/4 inch in diameter. Most of us thought they were horrible. I sort of liked them in a strange way. I want to know what they are (what are they called?), what's in them, and why would people eat them (are they medicinal for instance)? Thanks!
  12. v. gautam

    Dhaba sauce bases

    @ infernoo Transferred the topic here from aloo-gobhi. Hope to add some dishes common in dhabas that others have tweaked and then I have. You may play around to get to your own taste preferences. Here is an idea from Marut Sikka, much modified. The scalding cream temper at the close remains his unique, sheer genius!! In Punjab, cream probably flows in people's veins! Real white butter freshly churned from buffalo milk yoghurt, accompanied by bottomless glasses of real buttermilk distinguishes the quality dhaba [a roadside establishment] from its competitors. Chicken with Shallots & onions [sort of Do-peeaza] Boneless Chicken breast or thigh cubed, marinated with a very little ginger/garlic paste + a little salt. You can smash the garlic with the salt on your cutting board & work it with your knife or end of cleaver handle [as Chinese chefs do] to a workable paste. Ginger can be grated and squeezed. No need to work the blender for this tiny amount. Save a bit of the ginger & garlic paste for cooking. Some people might want to add chicken hearts for a chewier texture. Chicken breast is the pits, in terms of texture & flavor. Before cubing, lay the breast out and pound with moderate force, breaking up some fiber. Then cube. You will find a cube that is less stringy. Most Americans dislike bones in their food, else a chopped poussin or squab, can be tried. Onion, diced fine; use your sense of proportion. You will brown these. They will shrink! Small shallots or the big ones halved or quartered, for quick cooking; little cipollini onions, ditto, or, if you only have red onions, cut big ones into quarters or eighths, separate the leaves, & cut to appropriate size. Very lightly roast Coriander & cumin & a whole red chile pepper that is not hot but flavorful: pound them moderately fine. In the West, use a coffee grinder! Remember, this is your basic karhai/balti spice! Reserve some turmeric powder, not much. Powder some Garam masala: green cardamom whole pods, a tiny bit of mace [strength differs according to source, & aril vs powder, use judgment, not to overpower], a tiny bit of clove 5-6?, cassia bark/cinnamon: 2 tsp total for 1kg chicken? The Plain tomato base Slightly sour yoghurt, smaller quantity than tomato [1: 8], beaten well Very fine julienne ginger root, optional Cilantro, chopped, optional & whole thai chillies, for aroma. Crushed moderately fine black pepper corns or pepper mill at ready. A lemon or lime to squeeze, brought to room temperature. Tempering mix: cream, chopped fresh mint (dry if no fresh availabbl) kasuri methi leaves rubbed in palm to crush Ghee Heat ghee, when shimmering add the reserved ginger&garlic paste,stirringuntil they sizzle. No prolonged cooking. Instantly add diced onions,stir and move around until they begin to brown. Here is a flaw in the recipe. Either use slow cooked browned onions drained of fat, would be my gut reaction, or brown only until the edges are colored in a significant amount of fat [which is what dhabas do]. They add taste with fat. Add ALL powdered spices including turmeric, stir to mix with the oil, then the tomato base, cook down a bit, then yoghurt, cook down a bit, season, then chicken and shallots, cook until almost done, taste, adding garam masala, a squeeze of citrus, a mere hint of black pepper, a tiny bit of cilantro, and quite a few whole green chillies to release their aroma. Remove to a serving dish. Scatter some julienne strings of fresh ginger on top. Do not cover the serving dish. The chicken is cooking away in hot clingy gravy, so remove it on the side of underdone, not stringy. In a small saucepan, add cream and bring to scalding, add other tempering ingredients, heat few seconds until aroma released, pour over chicken and serve hot. Adjust all spicing to suit your taste. You understand, of course, that in restaurants, the onions & tomato base are cooked in a flood of butter & ghee over a hot flame that is "invited" into the pan several times, much like the Chinese wok hei. That is the particular taste patrons crave, and the butter/cream swimming around never ever hurts a naan fresh from the tandoor. 66% of the world's cardiovascular cases will be confined to India in the next decade or two, according to official forecasts from diverse sources! P.S. Don't add all the garam masala. Start with 1/8 teaspoon. You can always ADD more. Likewise, a light hand with the spice powders. You want to taste the shallots & chicken here. In Bengal, we have, or used to enjoy, a preponderance of small tropical shallots over onions, so those were favored in Chicken Do-peeaza in the style of West Bengal, Calcutta.
  13. nakji

    Dal Makhani

    I picked up a bag of black dal at my local grocery and want to make dal makhani with it. We have a recipe here, but I'm wondering if anyone else makes this regularly, and what method you use? Do you soak for eight hours, then cook for several more hours? Or do you just cook without soaking the dal?
  14. nakji

    Kofta Curry

    I picked up a copy of Madhur Jaffrey's "From Curries to Kebabs: Exploring the Spice Trail of India" over the summer at the library, copied out some recipes, and now that the weather's gotten a little cooler, have started making some. My first attempt was her chickpea curry recipe, which I think will become a household standard for me. My second attempt was for a Kofta curry, which also came out exceptionally well. I mentioned over in the meatball topic that I wanted to freeze the koftas and freeze them for a few days before making the curry. The recipe calls for making the kofta mixture and then holding it for several hours before proceeding with the rest of the curry. Instead, I fried the koftas up on a Sunday, froze them, defrosted them Wednesday night in the fridge for a curry I made the Thursday evening. Came off without a hitch, and yielded a curry with exceptionally nice flavour, I thought. This was the first time I've made a curry using more broth than anything else - say tomatoes, coconut milk, or yogurt - as a base, and I thought it would be rather bland. It wasn't. In fact, it was one of the nicest curries I've had in a while. The sauce the meatballs cooked in was basically made up of several cups of beef broth, onions and aromatics, spices, and a bit of tomato. Very simple and easy to crack out on a week night - the only hard part was waiting the twenty minutes for the sauce to cook down a bit. My husband really enjoyed the koftas, and I'm interested to hear if there are other methods or sauces for making a kofta curry.
  15. I love making pickle. This year I made a new pickle, indian-style garlic pickle with oil, spices and salt. We opened it last night and tried a bit. My Dad happened to mention that he had heard that garlic preserved in oil and kept at room temperature for a long time can be at risk of containing botulism. A quick google reveals that this is indeed a risk, and we have decided that for safety, we will dispose of the rest of the pickle and not eat any more. However, it got me thinking about the other pickles I make. I make indian style pickles in a traditional manner, so I add no vinegar. Unlike western pickles with vinegar, they do not always contain added acid, though some do have lemon juice and they are also supposed (I think) to create acid through lactic acid fermentation. It occurred to me that I am probably rather lax about my preservation methods, and my pickles do tend to sit at room temperature for a very long time. I believe the worry with garlic in oil is that garlic is a low acid vegetable and the oil creates an anerobic environment which is perfect for botulism toxins to proliferate. When it sits at room temperature for a long time, this creates certain conditions which increase the risk. So the obvious suggestion might be to not make garlic pickle at home, but what are the risks for other pickled items involving oil and no vinegar? My squash pickle also contains a low acid vegetable, lots of oil, spices and salt - is it dangerous? I haven't died yet, but I don't want to take stupid risks or endanger my family. Here is how I usually pickle: I take fruit or vegetables such as green mangoes, chillies, limes, carrots, cauliflower, etc. These are usually cut up in some way, and sometimes I parboiled them (in the case of veg such as cauliflower, carrots, etc.) and other times they are left raw. They are then mixed with spices and salt. The next step varies on the kind of pickle I am making. Broadly speaking, I make three kinds. The first kind involves parboiling veg, drying them well, adding spices and salt and pickling them in the cooled liquid in which they were originally parboiled. The second kind is a lemon or lime pickle with no oil - the fruits are mixed with spices and citrus juice. The final kind involves oil. I usually use mustard oil for north indian pickles, and sesame oil for south indian. The oil is heated and allowed to cool a little, and then poured over the veg-salt-spice mixture. Most recipes tell you to cool the oil completely but I often add it whilst it is still warm. The pickles are put into kilner jars that have been washed and heated up in an oven. The pickles are supposed to be kept in a sunny place for several days or weeks and then moved to a cool storage place for a while longer to mature before use. In practice, as it is not always that sunny where I live, I tend to leave the pickling jars in my conservatory for weeks or months till the pickle is ready - this is evident when the fruit or vegetable being pickled has softened and the pickle has a pickle-y taste. I don't want to panic unnecessarily, but I do want to be able to make pickles confidentally without worrying about suddenly getting botulism. My Dad's philosophy is that people have been making pickles this way for centuries, so I shouldn't worry. My philosophy is that people used to die of a lot of things that we now consider preventable and/or treatable, so I don't want to take stupid risks. Unfortunately I a lot of the stuff on the internet about botulism is about home canning or making western style pickles with vinegar in them. This doesn't apply to the kinds of pickles I make, so I'm finding it hard to get information. So, any advice (preferably not just anecdotal - I need some hard science guys!) would be much appreciated.
  16. Hi all, I'm writing a story for Saveur on Indian Pudding and how its one of the few regional foods left that's really tough to find outside its home turf (New England). For example, in New York, there are only two restaurants, both owned by the same owner, that I can locate that serve the dish. I'm interested in hearing from people from New England and from New York and elsewhere about Indian Pudding. What's your experience with it? If you live outside New England, especially if you are a New Yorker, have you ever heard of it, eaten it,etc. If you're from New England, did you grow up with it? Have you heard of it? How does its tastes, texture and appearance appeal/not appeal to you, etc. Any stories about it, family and otherwise, would be great. Also, why when so many regional foods (e.g. Texas BBQ and fried chicken) have migrated broadly out of their regions has Indian Pudding stayed so local? Thanks so much!
  17. I received a bookstore gift card and decided to buy an Indian cookbook (to fill in a noticeable gap in my cookbook collection). If you could own only one Indian cookbook, what would it be?
  18. One of my dearest friends, Jith, is the only son of a South Indian family, and his wife, Laurel, is seven months pregnant. This is a big deal. So, a few weeks ago, we got invited to the the Valaikappu blessing ceremony, a multiday affair celebrating the kiddo to take place in the western suburbs of Chicago. (Sadly, this Heartland gathering overlapped directly with this year's eGullet Heartland gathering.) When normal people are invited to these sorts of events, their thoughts turn to family bonds, traditional rituals, love, all that. My thoughts turn to the food. Not just my thoughts, mind you. Laurel's always been appreciative of my cooking, but Jith is one of my favorite guests. He eats with his entire head: not just tongue, nose, eyes but also ears and, I swear, the skin of his face itself. The first meal I remember making for him was gumbo, in Laurel's family house sprawled across the beach in Jacksonville FL. When I placed the 12" bowls in front of most people, they joked about how the serving was too large. Jith, meanwhile, was basking in the steam; it looked like he was getting a facial. While they struggled to eat most of their bowls, Jith ate two and grabbed Laurel's to finish it off. I think he snuck downstairs in the night to have more, but I can't be sure. Soon after my wife and I determined we'd be able to go, I wrote to ask Jith what the food situation would be. Turns out that the big Valaikappu shindig Saturday would be catered -- more on that later -- but Jith's mom Ami would be making food all day Friday for an "intimate family affair" for 30 or 40 people, maybe more. Now, I may be wrong, but I get the sense that Jith got his foodie genes from his momma's side of the family, so the idea of getting there a bit early to lend a hand seemed like just the thing. Learn a little, eat a little: what could be better? So, when we rsvp'ed for the event, I let Ami know I'd be happy to be her sous chef Friday. I got second thoughts about whether I'd be in over my head when she responded by saying, "Chris, don't worry. I will put you to work in my kitchen! I love to cook and I accept only expert help. I am kidding!" Kidding. Ha ha. Gulp. Yes, that's what terror looks like when wrapped in a Grilla Gear apron.
  19. Zacky

    Ratanjot

    I found some ratanjot powder in a local Indian food shop and bought it out of curiosity. Only later did I google it to find out it is a natural colourant from the bark of a tree, used to give Rogan Josh and Tandoori dishes their signature red hue. I'm planning to make one of those dishes and thought, as my first post here on eGullet, that I'd ask other members if they have any ideas on: How to use it in the recipe, including amounts If it is completely safe, ie. non-toxic, as my wife is pregnant Naturally, we have all become wary of adding things to recipes simply to change the colour! Thanks.
  20. Indian Ocean is pretty much as good as gets for a “destination restaurant” in Ashton. It’s all plush banquettes for seating, private dining room for hire, big bar area, separate from the restaurant. What more could we northerners want for? Well, we’d like a high street curry house that’s won awards please. Certainly, sir, that’ll be the Indian Ocean – awarded “Best in North West” by the fairly prestigious British Curry Awards in 2008 and 2009. And against some class opposition in the form of Mumtaz (although when Bradford became part of the north west is a vexing question). All that said, this is still a high street curry house with all the usual menu stalwarts, along with some other “chef’s specials”. The first starter, Lahori Fish, was a couple of pieces of sea bass, coated in a batter delicately spiced with cumin and coriander. Good crisp batter, fish perfectly cooked. The other brought a lightly fried and light tasting puri, topped with a mix of potato and chickpea. Good spicing here – coriander & chilli to the fore. We both went for lamb main courses. Karahi Gosht was pretty much a standard affair, but none the worse for that. Dahl Gosht was more complex, ginger and coriander in evidence, with the lentils softening the whole dish. We shared some rice but also had a couple of kulchas . We didn’t recall seeing this bread on a menu before but will look out for it again. Flatter and thinner than naan, yet not as crisp as a roti, and sprinkled with sesame seeds, it was a cracking taste and texture. This was a pretty good meal – not up to the mark of the area’s high flyers (Akbars, EastZeast, Dilli, Seven Spices) – but pretty good.
  21. I have been trying to make Mishti Doi . I have made two variants so far a.Reduced a liter of full cream milk to half the qty or lesser and the sugars in milk have caramalised turning milk light brown and thicker .caramalised around 1.5 cups of plain sugar added cream to make a caramel sauce , waited till it cooled down and mixed it with milk .Allowed it to cool down until it was warm to touch and added a spoon of curd[mixed well] and poured into a earthern ware pot . b.same as above without cream . In both cases they dont set . I have used set curd from Britannia,Nilgris,amul and nandhini . I have also used loose curd from nandini . No luck I have tried referring to Harold Mcgee's book to see if I am doing anything wrong ,no luck ... I have also verified with a thermometer to hit 40C before I added a spoon of curd . I have heard Mishti Doi is rarely made at homes[i am not a Bengali] . Any help is deeply appreciated
  22. Had lunch recently at a local Indian restaurant and decided on getting what was labeled simply "Paneer" on the menu. When it came out, it was what I was expected, curried spinach with paneer, but when I started researching it later on, I came across two different names for what appears to be spinach with cheese, Palak Paneer vs. Saag Paneer. Is the difference in name regional? Are there subtle differences in these two dishes? I also noticed that spinach with chickpeas can be referred to as Palak Chana vs. Saag Chana. I guess I'd just like to know which name to use when I am describing the dish. Thanks!!
  23. Suvir Saran

    Curry Powder

    Do you make any Indian dishes in which you use curry powder? If not Indian, what other dishes have you used it in? What brand do you like? Do you toast your curry powder? Do you every make it at home? Is there a recipe for it that you like?
  24. crinoidgirl

    Masala mixes

    I now have some kingfish from my Indian grocer. He recommended a masala mix that he carries. He explained how to cook it all, but I wonder if anyone else has any ideas.
  25. Good morning. My wife has thrown down the gauntlet and asked me to make vada, idli and sambar for her this weekend. The vada and idli are no problem, but I need help with the sambar. I have been searching through eGullet, the interweb and my cookbooks, but so far, no luck. I would appreciate it if the kind people here would post their favorite recipe and tips for making sambar. Thank you! Dan
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