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Big Bunny

How much is a "glass?"

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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


Food is all about history and geography.

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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

I would guess eight ounces, as that was the size of most of the glasses in the goods old days in India/Pakistan. Even Coco Cola I believe at that time came in eight ounce bottle.


Bombay Curry Company

3110 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305. 703. 836-6363

Delhi Club

Arlington, Virginia

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Hi Big Bunny,

no help with the "glass" measurements here, but as someone who experiments with Pakistani packaged biryani masala mixes, i often reduce the cooking times and water content/volume when preparing the "korma" base, especially with US broiler/fryer chicken, even lamb shoulder chops. YMMV, wildly, because my preference is for a not-melting meat texture. When put on "dum" or steam, meat seems to tenderize very rapidly or well. Since this step is obligatorily included, I make an allowance for it. Also, i am not a fan of the "green" spices, ciliantro, chilies, [even tomato] in any biryani, but then again, your preferences may vary. The green spices show up in the Hyderabad-Deccan redaction, perhaps even to leser extent in the Bombay/Ismaili versions.

If you have the desire/opportunity, you may wish to try the National brand biryani mix, as well as the LAZEEZA brand [several different biryani types].

If you ever wanted to try your hand at your own biryani from scratch, you may find these interesting: [get iranian saffron, btw, although its price has gone up to $78/oz. It will last for 5-7 years in the freezer.]

http://www.gourmetindia.net/forums/index.p...opic=134&st=140

# 132 [pictoria for technique] # 147, #155 [ for time modification]

http://www.gourmetindia.net/forums/index.p...opic=134&st=180

post 194

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Thank you for your insight, v. gautam.

I have seen Lazeeza brand at my local Halal butcher. I will give them a try.

These packages are quite useful to someone who doesn't usually keep all of the spices on hand.

BB


Food is all about history and geography.

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If your local Halal butcher is from Pakistan, there is a strong possibility that with a bit of personal history between you two, he might be persuaded to prepare [from his home kitchen, as a special order] biryani for you. This adventure should not be missed, if available. Eid-ul-Fitr is coming up, popularly called Chaand Raat, or Night of the (Crescent) Moon. People are in a very expansive mood, distributing food to friends and customers alike!! So a few thoughtful and sympathetic expressions of goodwill and greetings, sincerely meant will go a long way to cement a personal relationship.

In North Indian Muslim cookery, the art of meat cutting is as important as that of cooking. This is a dying science,a s none of the younger generation is prepared to undergo the long and thankless apprenticeship involved. Ask your butcher about this, and get him to show you how he slices the meat for kebabs in thin strips holding the knife with his feet. The cuts and thinness of this makes for the right kebabs. Other dishes like biryani depend entirely on the cuts of meat and the correct cooking of the fat and manipulation of meat and gelatinization of rice: a whole universe of interplays of textures and aromas, a symphony orchestra.

We have created a forum to discuss a few of these aspects, step by step.

When you prepare the paboiled rice or dum, you need to lightly flavor and salt it. One traitiona way was to add a ittle ballof cheesecloth containing a few weet spices, like cardamom, cassia, cassia leaf, cloves, shahzeera/shiahzeera into the cooking water for a hint of flavor. A more elborte way was to prepare a yakhni, a flavored stock. Yet a third way was to sizzle the sweet spices in a tiny bit ofhot ghee and add water in which to parboil the rice, gelatinizing it.

The hybrid basmatis we have available in the US seem to require minimal handling. Quick washing, very little soaking, and not even 5 minutes parboiling in copious water before draining and immediately being set on dum. It is desirable to keep the rice a tad undercooked than overcooked. For fussy cooks, when doing high quality chevon or lamb kacchi-pakki or raw meat-par-cooked rice, biryani, it sometimes is worthwhile to add the rice in 2 batches: the lowermost batch slightly more undercooked, the topmost layer, a bit more cooked. Top means the rice layer that comes above the layer of rice sitting immediately above the meat.

Remember in all these cases, there is ONLY 1 layer of meat, sitting on the bottom, and only 1 layer of rice, above it. All the creatures made with multiple layers of meat and rice are outside our purview.

There are other types of biryanis, zarebirian etc. with different (higher) proportions of ghee, and yoghurt investing the raw meat marinade which later gives up water to the rice, cooking it, and then the ghee and fat fom the cooking meat further fries the rice, gelatinizing the grain in a particualr way. The amounts of the liquid and the meat-rice-ghee proportions have to maintained in prescribed proportion, as does the shape ofthe vessel, and the quality of the rice. Here, Long grain Basmati is not necessariy the first choice.

There are hundreds of aromatic rices in India, of various lengths and starch properties. All evolved along the foothills of the eastern Himalayas and migrated south and west (e.g. Persia).

[There are some people who go around preaching that "pilafs" originated in Persia. They have not the slightest knowldge of the etymology of the word pilaf, palAnna, pala + anna and that this meat + rice, and legume + rice (khecarAnna) dish had ancient roots in India [including the us of aromatic rice] predating its appearance in Iran. ]


Edited by v. gautam (log)

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  • Similar Content

    • By gsquared
      Post your questions here -->> Q&A
      A Sampling of North Indian Breads
      Authors: Monica Bhide and Chef Sudhir Seth
      Introduction
      These breads are the taste of home for me -- wholesome breads prepared with simple ingredients and simple cooking methods. There are many different types of breads in North India. They can be prepared in the tandoor (clay oven, as is done in many restaurants), dry roasted, cooked on a griddle, or deep-fried. They can be prepared plain, or stuffed with savory or sweet filling, or just topped with mouthwatering garnishes.
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      • To prepare simple ghee (clarified butter) see below but for a in-depth discussion check out this wonderful thread in the India forum. (See the last few suggestions on preparing it by melting butter.)
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      • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
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      • 2 teaspoons cilantro, minced for garnish
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      In a mixing bowl combine all the filling to form a lumpy consistency.

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      Roll the flattened ball again on a lightly floured surface until about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.

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      Ande Ka Paratha
      This is a unique addition to your recipe collection. A mild and flaky bread, it is a small kid’s favorite at our home.
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      • 1½ teaspoons table salt
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      • 8 eggs
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      Cover the dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes.

      Roll the dough into a log. Cut into 8 equal portions. Lightly dust the rolling surface with flour.
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      Do this for all eight dough balls. (This folding and rolling will make the paratha very flaky.)

      Now flatten the spiral and roll again on a lightly floured surface until about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.


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      Grease the same griddle a bit and break an egg on it. Cook the egg sunny side up. Place the cooked side of the paratha on the egg. Press down gently to break the yolk. Let it cook for a minute. Brush the top of the paratha with butter, flip carefully and cook for another minute or two until the paratha is no longer raw.


      Remove the paratha from the griddle and place on a serving platter. Cover with a paper towel. Continue until all the parathas are cooked.
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      Roll the flattened ball again on a lightly floured surface until about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.


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      • 1 packet dry yeast
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      • 2 tablespoons melted clarified butter or butter
      • Extra flour for dusting
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      Turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 minutes, or until golden brown.

      Tandoori Roti
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      The basic recipe entails preparing a dough of whole-wheat flour. (See the paratha dough prepared earlier.) The flattened rolled out discs are then cooked in the tandoor until the dark spots begin appearing on the surface of the bread.




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      1 medium onion sliced
      1/2 jalapeno deseeded
      1 sprig curry leaves
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      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
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      Finger licking good!! 
      Now when I make this next I will post a picture. 
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      *************
       
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      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
       
       
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      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. 
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      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
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      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
       

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