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Found 986 results

  1. I'm sure this has been discussed, but following on Monica's excellent food blog I'm curious as to your overall preference: North Indian or South Indian? I am most definitely South, as I feel there's more variety, better presentation of the vegetable's natural taste and texture, and although I'm a carnivore I don't really find Indian meat dishes all that they're cracked up to be (save Vindaloo, Dhansak and the odd tandoori craving). South India totally redefined how I look at lentils, okra and coconut. And if the heat of it (I thought Andhra Pradesh would give me a heart attack) doesn't kill you it most certainly makes you stronger.
  2. Pork Vindaloo In this Murgh Vindaloo thread, I learned a lot (particularly from Waaza) about the vindaloo. One of the things I learned is that it makes a lot more sense to do it with pork (which is how the dish was originally made). So here goes... The recipe: 1 lb pork cut into bite-sized pieces 1 tbsp ground coriander seeds 1 tsp fenugreek seeds ½ tsp cumin seeds 1 segment of star aniseed 5 garlic cloves 2" ginger 4 crushed/chopped dried red chilies ½ tsp ground turmeric Garam masala ¼ cup vinegar 1 tbsp oil 1. Roast coriander- fenugreek- cumin- and star aniseed seeds. I didn't roast them a lot. Also, I kinda screwed up with the star aniseed -- I just cut a segment off and roasted it, rather than removing the seed. I removed the seed later. 2. Grind them along with garlic, ginger and chilies. 3. Add turmeric, garam masala, vinegar and oil, grind some more. One thing I am worried about here, is that there are an awful lot of different spices mixed in here. I would prefer to be able to distinguish the different tastes, not so much because of the culinary experience, as much as I'd like to be able to tell if I've used too much or too little of a certain spice. Was going to use a blender to mix it together, but I opted to just stick with the mortar and pestle, rather than dirtying up another item. 4. Marinade with pork overnight. I used a vacuum marinade container, and marinated it about three hours, rather than overnight. The marinade isn't very liquid (but it was starting to smell really good at this point). After I removed the pork, you can see there is very little marinade left. 5. Finely chop 2 med yellow onions. I only had one onion, but it was a big one so I figured it'd be okay. However, the cooking process renders it down so much, I think I'll definitely use two the next time around. I'm pretty fond of chopping things with a normal chef's knife, but a proper mandolin makes short work of the "finely chopped" part of the recipe. I was originally planning on trying to dry the water from the onion, but part of the advice I got in the aforementioned thread said to just make sure to cook it as soon as I'd chopped it. And I made sure to not cut off too much from the end of the onions, since those bits contain a lot of good stuff that makes the onions sweet. 6. Cook onions over medium heat until golden, 15-20 minutes. Not quite golden after 13 minutes or so -- but I think the photo shows the color a little too pale. I turned the heat up to med-high towards the end, in anticipation of adding the meat. 7. Remove meat from marinade and cook it until browned. With Chinese stir-fry recipes, I'd normally brown the meat first, remove it from the wok, and put it back in after the onions were done -- I'm thinking this might be a good idea with this dish too. Because I think the one thing that marred this dish, was that the onions were slightly burned while the meat was browned. This process took about 15 minutes. 8. Reduce heat to low, add remaining marinade, cook until dry. There was just a tablespoon of marinade left, but I added it, and cooked it until dry. 9. Add ¼ cup water, cook until dry again This method of drying the dish out is apparently know as the bhuna stage -- or a bhuna cooking method, like stir-frying. 10. Add ¾ cup tomato sauce, simmer 10-15 min. Mix the tomato sauce in properly... Looking good -- the color is starting to look about right. Okay, that looks just about done. Just the right color. Serve over rice, and sprinkle with some parsley (I dunno how authentic that is, but the color looks good, hehe). Post-meal analysis: It was quite good, but there were two things I disliked. One, the meal left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth, which I believe is because I cooked the dish slightly too fast (a total of about 45 minutes), over slightly too high heat. Two, the meat wasn't very tender, which I think was caused by the shortened cooking time, or possibly because of a shortened marinade period (does vinegar tenderize meat the way citrus juices do?). I used a pork sirloin -- when braising cubed pork, I normally go for a cheaper cut. The good thing was that the nice vinegar flavor wasn't overpowering, as with the Murgh Vindaloo. But then again, I used a mild rice vinegar this time, rather than the red wine vinegar, that I think I used last time. Some conclusions -- Next time, I'll cook it slower, at lower temperatures. -- The Murgh Vindaloo dish (previously mentioned thread) tasted a bit more like the Vindaloos I tasted in Britain, but I think part of this may be that I overheated this pork dish. -- Cooked at this pace, the chicken would have been more tender, yet the vinegar wouldn't have been as overpowering (as in the last dish). -- When I first started eating curries in Rusholme, there were four "strengths": Mild, Medium, Madras and Vindaloo. I used to wish for a mild Vindaloo -- well, now I know there's such a thing. I'm not there just yet with the recipe, but I figure I can get there from here. Finally, a couple of questions: Ever heard about a dish called Phal? I came across it in Wokingham, and it was labeled as being stronger than a Vindaloo -- and it was. It was also very tasty, but so strong I could only eat about a third of it. This "Betty Crocker Indian Home Cooking: Recipes by Raghavan Iyer" book I've got has some good information on Vindaloo (about the Portuguese in Goa and vinegar), and it also mentions a dish called Sorpotel -- Pork in Cashews. It is also a pork and vinegar dish. Anyone familiar with this dish? Any comments, questions, and criticism welcome.
  3. I'd really appreciate it if someone had a ready answer.
  4. I have been getting many requests to set up cooking classes for couples and am thinking of doing one for valentine's day.. what would you suggest I teach?
  5. i have a craving for tomato fry and chapati - but my recipe for chapati makes sooo many!! i am terrible at splitting recipes - it never works out. does anyone have a chapati for one or two recipe?
  6. Every now and then since December 2004, a good number of us have been getting together at the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off. Click here for the Cook-Off index. For our third Cook-Off, we've chosen Indian lamb curry. Yes, it's true: that's a huge category for a cook-off, and saying "Indian" is about as stupidly broad as saying "American." However, like gumbo, there are some basic elements to most of the many, many permutations of this dish, and several cook-off participants wanted to start cooking Indian at home with several options. So, instead of choosing a specific lamb curry, I thought that having a conversation about those different permutations (like the gumbo okra/roux discussion, say) would be interesting and fun. I also wanted to avoid too particular ingredients that some of our cook-off pals can't get in certain places. A few things that we can discuss, photograph, and share include: -- the spice mixture: If you've never toasted your own spices, then you have a world of aromatic wonder ahead. I'm sure many people can share their ingredients, ratios, and toasting tips for curry powders that will blow away the garbage in your grocery's "spice" aisle. We can also have the ground vs. whole debate, if there are takers! -- the paste: many curry dishes involve frying a blended paste of onion, garlic, and/or ginger, along with the spices, in oil or ghee (clarified butter). I found that learning how to cook that paste -- which requires the same sort of patience demanded by roux -- was the key to making a deep, rich curry. -- accompaniments: rice dishes or bread (I have a pretty good naan recipe that I'd be glad to try out again). Here are a couple of related eGullet threads: lamb kangari a lamb and goat thread If anyone finds more, post 'em! So: find yourself a leg of lamb to bone, sharpen your knives, and get ready to update your spice drawer!
  7. Hi. Heading to NOVA a couple of times over the next few weeks to catch up with friends. We're interested in good Vietnamese and Indian. From the Washingtonian that I checked out from my local library, it looks like Four Sisters at the Eden Center and Raaga are good choices. I live in Caroline County, Maryland, a wasteland when it comes to ethnic food of any kind. So, I'd like to maximize my enjoyment only getting Vietnamese once or twice a year. There is a decent Indian joint I go to in Dover that I am worried will become endangered unless someone besides me goes. Any recommendations are appreciated.
  8. This and almost everything else listed on the site So what do YOU want for Christmas?
  9. Hi all, my first post here. At another forum I visit, there were some people wondering if India, with its distinct (and delicious!) cuisine for the past so many centuries, has also developed some distinct types of cutlery. For example, the westerners have knives such as chef's, boning, slicer, parer etc., the Japanese have their own, the Chinese have their cleavers and so on. Being from India, however, I could not think of knives specific to India or its cuisine. To begin with, while I was there, I was never aware of cutlery as a very important part of the kitchen; whatever was sharp enough to cut would do, without much emphasis on its shape/design, ergonomics, steel etc., but that might've been just me... What I have usually seen in Indian (home) kitchens are what I would describe in western terms as 'utility' knives of different sizes, and some serrated ones that don't belong to any named category that I know of. Also, in my grandma's kitchen there used to be an old, wooden-handled carbon steel knife with square tip, presumably similar to what the Japanese use as their 'vegetable' knife. Again, my family is a vegetarian one, so I'm totally unaware of what cutlery might be used for meat. I have been thinking about this for a while even before this question came up, and I am pretty intrigued to know what you think. So any thoughts regarding the specifc (or not so specifc) type of cutlery that was/is used in Indian cooking, vegetarian and non-veg, north or south, would be really interesting to know. Thanks, Anchita
  10. I was membered into this group as a result of this searc on Google I hope I will get a lot help on this topic.. I was amazed of this fact that most of our day to day cooking material came from out side of india especially vegetables and equally at the ease with which the flavours of each vegetable is cherished by us ( post on childhood memories of vegetables on eG) would be very happy to share my insignificant knowwledge with you all on this as I get to know more I'm exploring too... Love Geetha
  11. Sound a cool dish some would like to know about it in my forum Would anyone like to post any details as we go.. Thanks Geetha edited: You can see the Query to it in my creativechore groups http://groups.yahoo.com/group/creativechore/message/2 Thanks
  12. Hello Everybody, Fresh tomatoes here in the US are so inconsistent in quality, even at peak season. In order to ensure good results for my students or anyone else who might be using one of my recipes I now, pretty much always, test my recipes for gravy-type dishes with canned tomatoes and canned tomato puree. I especially like the canned tomato puree. It always thickens the sauce nicely and does not need to be cooked down with the masalas before you add the water, meat or vegetables. I like the flavor of fresh tomatoes, but I find a need to make adjustments each time I cook the same thing with the same recipe. That is fine for me, but not for someone who is following a recipe. What are your opinions on this? What has your experience been?
  13. just joined the forum and have a question on indian cookbooks and non-indian cooks that i have been mulling over for years.... has anyone else had the following experiences? i have had several white friends over the years who are home cooks, i.e. have not taken professional cooking courses and don't seem to any idea of the techniques of indian cooking.... they seem to like indian cookbooks that i find totally bad...once i went to an american friend's house for an indian dinner he cooked and i could not recognize the dishes at all, which were channa daal, rotis, and some vegetable....it was very embarrassing for me... i have noticed this trend on amazon reviews too. it has gotten to the point where i now try to figure out if the poster is s. asian or not and if not, then i disregard the review and in fact not buy the book at all if recommended by a non-s. asian. and, sometimes it doesn't seem to matter even if the non-indian poster claims that he/she has been cooking indian food for years, i''m quite amazed at the cookbooks he/she seems to find good because typically i will own the cookbook and know that the recipes were not tested enough etc. sp
  14. In another topic, v.gautam mentioned: This prompted me to start a topic. Fried neem leaves is indeed a speciality in Bengal, and is also something I like. Traditionally, small cubes of fried eggpant is mixed with it. Bengalis eat it with rice, at the very begining of a meal. (I myself dont like the eggplant). Only the very young, freshly sprouted leaves are used. I actually bought a neem tree sapling from http://www.neemtreefarms.com a while back and happily, the tree is doing just fine in our California weather. Have others ever had a neem leaf to eat? A neem plant has many other uses as well.
  15. I love dalia, which I buy in bags online. I have always thought they were roasted channa dal, and so they are. But recently, I'm finding that my beloved "dalia" has other meanings. One cookbook says dalia is a porridge. Another said it was a gram flour. Then last week I food it sold in split form. Now I am confused. What does the word mean to you?
  16. SO how do you make your koftas? DO you add a binder or not? What are some of the gravies you add them in.. do share
  17. My favorite restaurant had a beef keema dish (keema matar) on the buffet the other day. Man was it good. I am 99% percent certain it contained annatto. Is annatto a common ingredient in keema?
  18. the translation of tej patta into english as bay leaf may cause confusion for some cooks. the bay leaf most americans/europeans are familiar with is the mediterranean Laurus nobilis. (i didn't find an indian language name for this herb; my understanding is that it isn't used much??) the bay leaf of india (hindi tej patta) is Cinnamomum tamala. the herbs are related and similar, but different enough (to me at least) to warrant drawing the distinction (in situations where this confusion might arise.) camellia panjabi, for instance, calls for tej patta, and not the mediterranean laurel leaf, in her 50 great curries cookbook. do you think it matters? do you use the mediterranean bay leaf in your indian cooking?
  19. What's the best non-buffet Indian restaurant in Iselin? We're staying for two days and a EG search came up with the repeated recommendation that pretty much all the Indian places were worthwhile. Oak Tree Rd, was mentioned as a mecca but I'd like specific places. thanks
  20. I am looking for recommendations for a gift. I want to give a cookbook on Indian food to someone who is a relatively sophisticated cook but knows very little about Indian cooking. He works full time (not as a chef) and cooks mostly for his family. Thus, he is not going to want recipes that take a long time to prepare. Suggestions?
  21. I have been successfully making idli for a few years but have had problems lately that I don't fully understand. My recipe uses 64g of urad gota (decorticated whole black matpe beans), 192g of parboiled rice, 1-1/4t salt, and 1/4t guar gum (as a tasteless, colorless substitute for the methi seeds which according to a researcher at University of Mumbai act only as a thixotropic agent). The beans and rice are soaked separately for 6 hrs (the rice is washed the urad not) in RO filtered water (no chlorine, mineral content< 10ppm). The soaked beans are then ground (with water to make a total dry beans + water weight of 256g) plus salt and guar gum for 5 min in a stone grinder, producing a very smooth paste. The soaked rice (dry rice plus water to make 550 gm) is added and ground for 11 min until the particle size is like coarse sand or idli rava. The batter is then covered with plastic and fermented at 30°C (86°F) until it at least doubles in volume. When it works, it works fine, taking about 13 to 15 hrs to double. The batter is then steamed in greased idli pans for 13-15 min, cooled slightly and served or cooled fully and frozen. The problem I have been seeing is that the batter does not ferment (after 48 hrs it just picks up a pink bacterial growth on the top surface that stinks but does not get foamy or rise). I have an active hypothesis that the beans I have bought were treated with heat or radiation to kill insects before they were imported and that the process also killed off the leuconostoc mesenteroides bacteria that is the active agent for the fermentation. Does anybody have any insights that support or refute the hypotheses? Or is there something I don't yet fully grasp that is essential to the making of these wonderful fluffy little steamed dumplings?
  22. Guys In many indian recipes I follow, you usually add the oil, jeera/rai, some initial spices like big elaichi, cardamon, etc and then add the vegetables that take longer to cook like potatoes. Now the problem is the potato gets all the flavoring and what comes next seem to lack in flavor. This seems to happen with many dishes I make. For eg I made sabudana khichdi yesterday and the potato was great but not the sabudana I know there may be a quick fix to this by adding half spices initially and the other half in the middle. However, the flavoring is best when you add the spices directly into the oil. Does it make sense to remove part of the oil after flavoring it and add it back later? Thanks
  23. In a few weeks I will be hosting an outdoor/indoor "party" (for lack of a better word). It will consist of 14 families from India staying here for a few years (they have been here for about a year) and the local families of the people professionally involved with the Indian group... Kids of all ages will also be coming. What should I serve? I thought about a BarBQ, for those that do eat chicken/meat, but what about those who do not? Should I have some Indian style dishes? Which ones can I make having not too much experience cooking this style of food? Should I go with what I normally would make? Any ideas and recipes? What would YOU do/want? Whenever the group gets taken out to a restaurant, they request to go to "Taj Mahal" restaurant... Thanks in advance!
  24. hi all. just started making paneer and i've read a recipe where you can use the old whey from a previous batch to seperate the whey from the curds in a new batch. i used lemon juice for the first batch. i've since used that whey for a new lot and it's turned out a lot more tender (kind of like philly). anyone know how many time the old whey can be used? not sure about bacteria etc. hope this makes sense cheers
  25. 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
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