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  1. Kerala( southern most state of India), we call it "GODS OWN COUNTRY", why won’t it be ... Lush green fields , beautiful rivers and lakes , backwaters , unadulterated spices , Big coconut trees (now even come in varieties with yellow coconut on them), sprawling beaches , ancient temples , mysterious shrines , beautiful churches , enthralling wild life, pure ayurveda , amazing martial arts , enchanting dance forms , classical music and top of all beautiful people. It’s an amalgamation of extraordinary things, but the thing that has left the most biggest impact on my soul, is the cuisine of this beautiful state. Coming from a Malayali family(resident of kerala), I always looked forward to our visits to Kerala just for the food, the smell of those freshly cut bananas deep frying, fresh fish coated in spices and shallow fried, rice delicacies cooked in banana leaves, greatest varieties of tubers, stews, appams, parotha and for the sweet tooth’s the Special Halwa(convection) from those lovely bakeries which are mushrooming everywhere in the state. Being a coastal state Kerala cuisine has in it lots of seafood delicacies, beautiful fresh water fishes, cooked in aromatic masala is a feast for soul. Being a avid foodie there are varieties of recipes which I would love to share but the recipe which I will be sharing is the one which I always look forward to and the one unique taste which I deeply miss, although I have been trying this recipe here in Delhi but the taste which comes from cooking in earthenware (chetti) dish and using kokum / gamboge ( souring agent found in kerala) and fresh ingredients of Kerala is not matched. The smell of the curry with deep red colour is something for the senses to feel. So I would like to share one my mother’s recipe which is meen (fish) curry Fish - 500 gms Salt- 2 tsp Turmeric - 1 tsp Fenugreek Powder - 1 tsp Red chilli powder - 2 tsp Onion - 2 tbsp chopped Ginger- 1 tbsp finely chopped Garlic - 1 tbsp finely chopped Kokum/ gamboge - 2 no. Curry Leaves - 7 nos. Water - 2 cups Method: 1. Finally chop ginger , garlic and onions and keep aside 2. Rub little salt on the fish pieces (skinned or de skinned fillets) and keep it to rest. 3. Take oil in a special earthenware (called chetti), add oil and sauté onions, garlic and ginger. 4. Once the raw aroma of garlic is not felt, add turmeric, coriander, fenugreek & red chilli powder. 5. When the masala is cooked add kokum and fish 6. Add water and little salt and let the fish cook in water. 7. Reduce it till the desired consistency is reached. 8. Serve with rice or kappa Note: if you don’t have( kokum/ gamboge) , tamarind or tomatoes can be used as alternative. This dish tastes best with boiled kappa (which is a tuber found in Kerala) or with steamed rice.
  2. Poha can be bought in Indian stores as Thick or Thin Poha. It is flattened rice and is used in India for making Poha that many eat as a pilaf (a snack pilaf that is) or even into Chivras/Chevros (Indian version of trail mix). Do you use make Poha? What recipe do you use? What all do you add to the Poha? Have you used Poha to make anything other than the usual stuff one sees in Indian homes? For that matter, what is the usual for you?
  3. I thought I'd share with you my experiences in building a Tandoori Oven in a beer keg. I have always been a fan of Indian food, even from a young age. I just love it hot and spicy. When I was a teenager I tried out for a job at the local Indian take-away making Naan bread. Needless to say, I couldn't hack the heat and resulting burnt arm! However, my interest did not dwindle in Tandoor cooking. Why in a beer keg you ask? Because I had one sitting in the shed for about 10 years taking up space. I'm not even sure how got it in the first place (or why), but I'm guessing I had some crazy idea about making a pot belly stove, BBQ or something else like an ethanol extraction unit. Myself and the family really enjoy Naan bread and buying it was getting expensive. I had tried making it too, and although it was OK, I couldn't get the top and bottom to cook simultaneously with the correct, crispy skin you get. I tried everything, and the best method was a red hot charcoal BBQ, cooking the bread on the grill, and flipping it over to finish the top off. Recently I had found a few posts about home built Tandoori Ovens. Cool! Exactly what I wanted - a real Tandoor to cook the bread in. I sketched up a few ideas on a Napkin (the normal starting point for all great plans) and then translated the concept in Sketch-up. Essentially the Tandoor is built from firebricks and a Terra Cotta pot. The keg holds everything together, and keeps the vermiculite in place providing thermal insulation for the terra cotta. The pot is actually inverted and has the base cut off. A small door was also required for ventilation at the bottom.
  4. Hi, I just want an Indian perspective on this topic for a couple of questions. I know that Hyderabad biryani was the most recognized biryani and I will be going to Indian really soon. Here a Video that I found on YouTube about Hyderabad biryani https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhajwFlquPk Questions: 1. Why did they put so many ingredients in the process of making it? 2. Why did they put curd in the biryani? 3. Why did they put in white rice on top and not mixed? 4. Why did they pour hot water in the chicken?
  5. So, I finally got my paws on a copy of Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh. There's a nice recipe for this extravagant masala "available in. . . a few selected shops in old Lucknow" in the glossary. It calls for both jarakush and baobeer. Anybody know anything about these critters? Also, many of the recipes finish with a combo of keora and mitha ittr. Can anybody tell me anything about mitha ittr? (Other than it's a sweet perfume? )
  6. Is now being served at Selfridges as a part of the Indian festivities. A friend just came back from London. He said it was the best Rabri he has ever eaten, period. Have any of the UK members tried it? What is the feedback? Worth coming to London for? Honest answers please. For you know I will do just that.
  7. What are the traditional dishes of Mughlai cuisine? What ingredients are typical?
  8. Breakfast in India vs Breakfast in our homes outside India My breakfasts have varied from the time I started to cook for myself instead of just enjoying my Mother’s cooking. At first they were a mix-match of meal fixings, or just dinner leftovers. Or the good old breakfast cereal and milk. But as the years passed and I was more organized, the meals I enjoyed in my Mother’s home began to swim in my memories. And I began to prepare those for my family. However, I am no amazonian chef, so depending on the hectic nature of the days plans, I switched back and forth from convenience with taste, to elaborate and of course tasty breakfasts. We do have both vegetarian and non vegetarian foods but Indian breakfasts will mostly be vegetarian. So here are some of the things I might make: 1. Poha as in mostly ‘kande pohe’. 2. Cheela/ Pudla 3. Masala toast 4. Indian Omelette 5. Handwo piece 6. Thepla 7. Vaghareli rotli 8. Dhokla chutney 9. Idli sambhar 10. Leftover sabji 11. Muthiya 12. Khakhra 13. Upma 14. Paratha 1. Kande Pohe: The dish derives its name from Maharashtra where the Kande Pohe are celebrated as breakfast. They can of course like any breakfast, be eaten at any time. Pohe/ Poha are steamed rice grains that have been beaten flat and then again redried. So they are like Rice flakes. Except they are hand pounded, so have a knobbly texture. You get several varieties in the market. I prefer the thick white variety. 1 cup dry poha per person 1 medium onion sliced 1/2 jalapeno deseeded 1 sprig curry leaves 2 small garlic cloves 1/4 t cumin seeds 1/2 lemon 1/8 t asafoetida 1/4 t turmeric small handful of cilantro leaves 1T fresh grated coconut 2 T Peanut oil salt to taste sugar to taste In a pan heat some oil and add cumin seeds. When the seeds sputter, add sliced onions and stir. Saute on medium heat till they turn slightly browned here and there. Do not burn the onions. Meanwhile wash the Poha in a colander and drain. Do this two or three times to get rid of any dirt and also to allow them to rehydrate. They do not need soaking. Fluff the poha with a fork. Add salt sugar turmeric asafoetida and chopped cilantro. Mix and set aside. Once the onions are ready add minced garlic and chopped jalapeno along with the curry leaf sprig. Turn the heat to low and add the poha mixture. Stir to coat and to allow the turmeric and asafoetida to cook. The poha will turn mildly yellow and start giving a wonderful fragrance. Turn off the heat. Fluff gently and plate. Garnish with fresh grated coconut and a squeeze of lemon juice. Finger licking good!! Now when I make this next I will post a picture. Update: Ok I felt the urge to have Kande Pohe for tonight’s dinner. So here is a picture. I am certain to enjoy it for breakfast as well. The measurement of 1 cup poha per person is too much for one meal. But carried over to another meal thats super good! I will also have some stir fried bok choy greens made in the same kadhai after the poha was done, and some cooked and sliced beetroot for salad. My family will add some haldiram sev on the poha for extra crunch! And we will all have some chaas to round off this meal. ************* 2. Cheela/ Pudla These are essentially crepes but in the Indian style. 1/2 cup sieved garbanzo bean (Besan) flour. Water to form a thin batter 1T plain yogurt 1/2 t ginger garlic paste 1/4 or less green chili crushed 2 t heated oil * pinch asafoetida pinch turmeric salt to taste chopped cilantro (two sprigs) some ‘masala’ from a readymade pickle Method: mix the ingredients together except oil. Heat oil in a separate pan and add about 1 to 2 t of the hot oil onto the batter. It will sizzle. Use a whisk to stir thoroughly. The batter should be pouring consistency. Let the batter soak for about half an hour if possible. On a hot griddle, pour a ladle full of the batter. Turn the griddle with your wrist to spread the batter around. Cook on moderate to high flame. Flip the crepe when all the sides look like they are ready. You can add a little oil to the sides of the frying pan to make the edges crispy. In my home we usually have a Besan cheela with some yogurt its a quick and filling breakfast. You can have a small salad or fruit with it to make it more complete. Or fill the center of the cheela with some cottage cheese and fold for added creaminess! **************** 3. Masala Toast : 1 slice of bread (your choice) toasted 1/2 small red onion minced 1 medium roma tomato diced (or whatever you have) cilantro (few leaves) 1/8 t cumin (optional) 1/4 t chaat masala ( available in stores) 1 inch cube paneer 1 T peanut oil pinch turmeric (optional) Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions. Add the tomato and cook down to mush. Crumble the paneer and add the dry spices. Stir for a few seconds to warm the paneer. Add the cilantro and though I have not written it as an ingredient, I like a few drops of lemon juice. Do not overcook paneer. I started this topic because someone asked for Indian recipes on the new forum. I don’t think they have seen any yet. I hope they find this useful. I am enjoying it. ************************** I will add recipes to the list slowly. I have to however add that after a certain ‘age’ I have now resorted to having to make sure I have three things for breakfast besides coffee: a glass of water, a small portion of fruit and a small portion of some protein not necessarily meat. Bhukkhad
  9. I have recently made trips to a Dosa spot that has been praised quite a lot around this site and elsewhere. I was terribly dissapointed. Dosas are one of my favorite foods. It is a pity that Indian restaurants in NYC have really not shared the magic that can come with each bite of a Dosa. Some friends of mine that have traveled to India and had loved Dosas even before making that trip, came back never wanting to eat American Indian Dosas again. There is such a marked difference. Why is that so? What makes them so different? Where do you find your favorite Dosa? What are you looking for in a good Dosa? What do you think the perfect Dosa should be like? What should the Sambhaar have in it? What consistency should it be? What should the chutney be like? What chutneys would you like to eat it with? What do you think are the authentic companions to a Dosa?
  10. We're 50 something Aussies who enjoy travelling, eating, cooking, markets, kitchen shops, cooking utensils, animals & plants (often food related), architecture & photography (both kitchens and food) and exploring different cultures (of which food is a big part). The trip was January 14 - February 6, it was just marvellous. My favourite meal is now masala dosa with sambar, I had many. Here's some highlights of the food. A late afternoon snack of Sichuan pepper squid was washed down with a beer at the Ajantha Seaview Hotel on the promenade in Pondicherry. It's a colonial building with a first floor terrace overlooking the colourful display of women in their finest, and the Bay of Bengal. We're here on a Monday public holiday for the Pongal festival, a four day celebration of the harvest, with many different ceremonies and traditions. A visual bonus, cows (and sometimes goats) get their horns painted and wear flower garlands or other decorations.
  11. Apna Bazaar located in 2812 Audubon Village Drive in Audubon, Pa (610-635-1550) Is a JAM PACKED, Clean well stocked new Indian Pakistani grocery store in the burbs. It has so so much for a suburban market, many many frigerator and freezer sections PACKED with many different selections. Fresh Veg, big spice aisle, housewares etc. Check it out.
  12. I drive through Newark Avenue often and notice all of the Indian restaurants and stores. I have not gone to any of them in years, and need some help. Are there any standouts? Thanks, Joana
  13. I picked up a couple of packages of Shan brand spice mixes for a friend to experiment with. The instructions call for so-many "glasses" of water. How many ounces might that be? Is there some standard? Thanks, BB
  14. Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but since it revolves around the bacteria used to make idli I thought I'd ask: Are there any breads which use the bacteria that rise idli? Are there varieties of idli which use flours or other grains instead of rice? Thanks,
  15. We had an early lunch at a little Indian/Nepalese place last week. I satisfied my craving for poori, potato masala, and a cup of chai, and my husband had some kind of Nepalese vegetable curry, and a Nepalese spinach salad with roasted soybeans. Now I have questions. 1) The spinach salad was like cooked spinach wrung very dry, with (according to the menu) roasted chopped soybeans on top. To me these tasted almost exactly like wasabi peas, except not as pungent and not lurid green (they were regular tan soybean color). Definitely a horseradish type of flavor. What was it, and is this common in Nepalese food? 2) Both my chai and my husband's curry had a delicious, elusive smoky flavor. And please note that I have a horror of most smoke flavors added to food. These things tasted like they were prepared over a high-mountain campfire, but this restaurant was tiny and in a basement and I'm very sure that the only flames in there were from a gas range. And anyway, how would that flavor get into chai or a curry in which nothing was roasted? It had to be some ingredient they were using. I bought some Tao of Tea "Pine Smoked Black" tea and added it to chai in an effort to recreate the flavor, and it's similar, but very crude in comparison to the delicate smoke flavor at the restaurant. Yes I am kicking myself for not asking while I was there . . . I could call but thought I'd ask you guys first.
  16. Okay I'm about to make some khichdee, which is basically a porridge of moong dal and rice. Can I do this in the rice cooker on the congee setting? Will the moong dal clog it up and make a horrific mess? I rather suspect the answer is yes but am tempted to try it anyway.
  17. Just wanted to let you all know about Angeethi it's across from Tortilla Factory and We went there today for lunch and they had shrimp, goat, chicken 4 ways, chaat bar (always) tons of free lassi and other drinks, rice pudding and gulab jamun desserts, rice 2 ways and 3 types of breads all for under $30. w/tip for 2! It was a fine way to break a diet IMHO! Happy holidays to y'all and you really need to get over here especially on a Saturday they have made-to-order omelets and other goodies too
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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?
  21. 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!
  22. 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.
  23. 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!
  24. I am doing an eGullet food blog over here and would love some input on using mustard seeds with cauliflower. I want to keep things simple and was thinking of tossing the sliced cauliflower with olive oil, salt, and mustard seeds (black, white?)- would they need to be toasted first? I plan on a hot 425F oven. I know this is not a standard Indian prep but I thought cooks familiar with Indian preps would be the most knowledgeable about mustard.
  25. Hello, I am looking for a handi also call degchi or panai. It is a cooking pot with a neck. Does anyone in the DC area know of a store that seels Indian cooking pots? Or if not that, a web site? Thanks to all.
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