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Suvir Saran

Your first experience with Indian food

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When was it?

Where was it (restaurant, home or other)?

How did it come about?

What did you think of it?

What did you like most?

What did you not enjoy at all?

Was it love or hate that first time?

How did it change your eating habbits, or has it?

Have you ever cooked it at home?

Have you introduced it to other non-Indians?

What have their first reactions been?

What dishes do you think ought to be used for the first introduction to this complex and varied cuisine?

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My first experience with Indian food was probably about 10 years ago in Lakenheath, England. My friends and I were going to a church ladies conference in England and we were all going out to eat on a limited budget - and everyone thought going to an Indian restaurant would be "neat." I must say I was excited to be eating something different, but the only memorable thing about the meal was that the chicken was neon red. I think the restaurant there was the Indian equivalent of Chinese restaurants in the States. I don't remember the flavor of that chicken in great detail, but I remember thinking it had a hint of some unusual spices and that it was dry. I wouldn't say that I hated it, but I was "under-whelmed." I wouldn't say it changed my eating habits at all, but when I had a chance later to go to another Indian restaurant in New Jersey, I was so eager to try it! THAT meal was wonderful! I can't remember the name of what I ordered, but it was some sort of chicken curry with coconut milk. It was absolutely breathtakingly wonderful. The bread, naan, was spectacular as well - I remember it being warm, toasted and onion-y. I've made curries at home since. but am still very much the novice with Indian cooking. My favorite Indian dish to make at home is a shrimp coconut curry. I am still very much the novice with Indian cooking, but I would love to learn more!

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My first experience with Indian food was probably about 10 years ago in Lakenheath, England.  My friends and I were going to a church ladies conference in England and we were all going out to eat on a limited budget - and everyone thought going to an Indian restaurant would be "neat."  I must say I was excited to be eating something different, but the only memorable thing about the meal was that the chicken was neon red.  I think the restaurant there was the Indian equivalent of Chinese restaurants in the States.  I don't remember the flavor of that chicken in great detail, but I remember thinking it had a hint of some unusual spices and that it was dry.  I wouldn't say that I hated it, but I was "under-whelmed."  I wouldn't say it changed my eating habits at all, but when I had a chance later to go to another Indian restaurant in New Jersey, I was so eager to try it!  THAT meal was wonderful!  I can't remember the name of what I ordered, but it was some sort of chicken curry with coconut milk.  It was absolutely breathtakingly wonderful.  The bread, naan, was spectacular as well - I remember it being warm, toasted and onion-y.  I've made curries at home since. but am still very much the novice with Indian cooking.  My favorite Indian dish to make at home is a shrimp coconut curry. I am still very much the novice with Indian cooking, but I would love to learn more!

Thanks for sharing your first experience with us Ladybug. I am sorry you were subjected to that neon red chicken. It annoys me no end to see it, and I am always saddened by it showing up at tables.

When I cooked my first meal at my current home, some friends had come over, and a couple had brought along Indian friends. All of them, including the Indians that came over that night, loves my Tandoori chicken, but complained that while it was tender, moist and perfectly cooked, they were disappointed that the color was not red enough.:shock: I was laughing and my partner knew exactly what was going through my head... But what can one do? I still have not added coloring to any of my food.. and actually, friends have learned and now many know better than to look for coloring. Taste it where it is at for me as well.

What recipe do you use for the Shrimp Coconut Curry? Where did you learn it? It sounds great. I wish all novices could have the confidence or expertise as you show in preparing that dish. I hardly feel it is a dish a novice could make. You are very modest. When I first started cooking Indian food, shrimp was way too fancy for me...Good for you... Please use this forum to learn whatever it is you want to know about Indian cookery. There are members who post here that are extremely generous of their time and their knowledge. You shall be happy you needle them for information. And actually, every post leaves us all richer and more educated. It is good for the lot of us.

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When was it?

Where was it (restaurant, home or other)?

How did it come about?

What did you think of it?

What did you like most?

What did you not enjoy at all?

Was it love or hate that first time?

How did it change your eating habbits, or has it?

Have you ever cooked it at home? 

Have you introduced it to other non-Indians?

What have their first reactions been?

What dishes do you think ought to be used for the first introduction to this complex and varied cuisine?

I first tasted Indian food about 5 years ago. An Indian resturant opened up in the town where I work, and a friend talked me into going with her. I NEVER regret that decision. The food was amazing, the most wonderful flavors that I have ever put in my mouth ! :biggrin: I like everything, but the thing that had the biggest impact was the chutneys and other condiments that came with the meal. I think I had Lamb Vindaloo and it was magnifcent ! I also greatly enjoyed the NAN bread ! I can't say that that anything "turned me off" as I loved everything ! It was definately love at first time ! I don't know that it has changed my eating habits, as I have always loved interesting and exotic foods from different cultures. I have never tried to cook it at home. I have convinced others to try it with me and most have found the food to be excellent and said that they plan to return. Unfortunately the resturant has taken a turn for the worst in terms of service and quality and I do not go as often as I used to.

I think a good first dish would be any of the SAAG dishes ! They tend to be less intimidating for some !

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Welcome to eGullet and the Indian forum scbuzz. :smile:

Thanks for sharing your first experience eating Indian food with us.

What city were you in? What restaurant? Shall I assume it was SC?

Can you tell us more about why you think Saag is a good first dish? What makes it less intimidating?

Sorry that the restaurant has taken a turn in the wrong direction. Maybe a new one has opening in your city?

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Welcome to eGullet and the Indian forum scbuzz. :smile:

Thanks for sharing your first experience eating Indian food with us.

What city were you in?  What restaurant?  Shall I assume it was SC?

Can you tell us more about why you think Saag is a good first dish?  What makes it less intimidating?

Sorry that the restaurant has taken a turn in the wrong direction.  Maybe a new one has opening in your city?

Thanks ! :biggrin:

The city that the resturant is in is Columbia SC. It's name is the India Pavilion ! They also started a lunch time all you can eat buffet, which is good in a way since it give one a chance to sample different dishes without really knowing what to order from the menu. But I believe that buffet's tend to serve lower quality food and plus I don't like the thought of food just sitting out !

I think the SAAG dishes are best because they seem to be less spicey ! Although some people might be turned off by the spinach !

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I share similar thoughts on buffets as you scbuzz.

Also, I agree saag is milder than most Indian dishes. It also has a somewhat familiar feel to it. Most Americans have eaten some sort of cooked greens. And so, at least at first look, it is not too exotic.

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What recipe do you use for the Shrimp Coconut Curry?  Where did you learn it?  It sounds great.  I wish all novices could have the confidence or expertise as you show in preparing that dish.  I hardly feel it is a dish a novice could make. You are very modest.  When I first started cooking Indian food, shrimp was way too fancy for me...Good for you... Please use this forum to learn whatever it is you want to know about Indian cookery.  There are members who post here that are extremely generous of their time and their knowledge.  You shall be happy you needle them for information.  And actually, every post leaves us all richer and more educated.  It is good for the lot of us.

Suvir,

Perhaps the recipe I have been using is not authentic. It is a Martha Stewart recipe. It reminds me of the wonderful chicken coconut curry I had at the Indian restaurant I mentioned, but now I am not entirely sure Martha Stewart knows much about Indian cooking! At any rate, whether it is authentic or not, I enjoy it. It includes onion, garlic, ginger, coconut milk, cilantro, green chilies, shrimp and salt and black pepper to taste, served over basmati rice. Perhaps you could tell me whether this dish is indeed Indian.

I am considered a good cook by people I cook for, but I don't know many "foodies." Most people I know eat a lot of Hamburger Helper. This makes me look brilliant! :biggrin: On these boards, I realize that what I know about food wouldn't fill a gnat's ear!

If you have a recipe for a coconut curry, I would be thrilled to try it.

Thanks,

Ladybug

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My first experience with Indian cuisine was during my first year of college. Growing up in rural Iowa didn’t offer me many opportunities to experience much outside of my farming country, Scandahoovian culture. The first day of classes I fell in with a girl named Shalini. She was from Bombay and was everything I wasn’t; vibrant, loud, dynamic, culturally sophisticated, and worldly. Shalini introduced me to a lot of new things including Indian food.

The first time I tasted it was in a cheap basement apartment of a few gentleman graduate students who were more than happy to have a bunch of college girls come over to eat and socialize. They fixed us a meal, Shalini ended up kicking them out of the kitchen and taking over, and we ate it off of plates of folded tinfoil. It was wonderful. My favorite was this chicken with a hot, spicy kick in a “gravy.” This wasn’t my grandma’s gravy! The only spoil was when Shalini made me sing a song in front of everyone (cringes with the memory).

After that I took every opportunity I could find to experience Indian cuisine. There weren’t many but the few that I found were very satisfying. Before I graduated I experienced paneer, Indian milk sweets, raita, Indian bread, dahl, and loads of others. I began to see the possibilities of food without a big slab of meat as the center.

The biggest change in my eating habits, though, was the way I looked at herbs and spices. The little tin cans in my mother’s pantry were all at least three years old and not a single one of them was in whole form, so I grew up not knowing anything about herbs and spices. I tried to cook a few of my favorites at home. I even made paneer once! Even the clumsy attempts taught me a lot about how to use and appreciate spices which has carried over into all of my cooking.

I am far from learned in Indian food, but if I had to choose a dish to introduce people to Indian food, I would probably choose some of the great snack food. I can’t get enough of the great snacks Indians cooks have come up with, especially these spicy chickpea batter wheels that I love but don’t know the name of.


9 out of 10 dentists recommend wild Alaska salmon.

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My first experience with indian food was in 1964 when we went to London for the first time. We ate at indian restaurants and in pubs, we had a lot of time on our hands but not a lot of money. Don't remember the specific dishes and the restaurants were not memorable, just inexpensive and tasty. British food in those days was not only expensive but uninteresting.


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My first experience was when I was 19. I was invited to dinner and a movie by an older guy who I had an AWFUL crush on. I can have a very sensitive stomach when it comes to many herbs, spices and tastes. I was panicked that I'd be ill. So telling my misery to my step sister, she offered to take me to a local Indian place so I would know what to expect. COOL. So we went to Atithi on University Place (closed now) and had a wonderful meal. We started with samosas and pakora (I was also NOT big on cooked vegetables) and I then had the Tandoori chicken as seems to be the beginners meal. It was red. But a very good start for someone who doesn't know how they will react to exotic food.

My date picked me up and we went to see the movie Belissima, then on to Italian. I could definitely have eaten Indian again.

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When was it?

Friday evening, 14th of May 1981.

Where was it (restaurant, home or other)?

The Akash restaurant in Helensburgh. It's still there to this day.

How did it come about?

It was intended to be a celebration meal for forty odd engineers who finished their apprenticeships on that day. I remember it well because I had been sacked for being quite possibly the worst electrical and electronics engineer ever :biggrin:

What did you think of it?

I had chicken tikka Burryani and to this day it remains my all-time favourite dish. It was the first time I had tried the cuisine and I was joyously shocked at the riot of flavour and texture erupting in my mouth.

What did you like most?

The chicken tikka and naan - my first experience of foods cooked in a tandoor - were standouts. The basmati rice was sensational, too. Having only every had over-cooked and/or flavourless rice afore that day, I was delighted to learn that such a basic foodstuff could be made into something wonderful to eat.

What did you not enjoy at all?

Whilst the meal was intended to be a celebration, I recall being incredibly sad at the end of the evening. I knew I'd likely not see many of my fellow apprentices again. Also, I drank myself unconcious. Inevitably this lead to a murderous hangover that almost stopped me going out the following night.

Was it love or hate that first time?

:wub:

How did it change your eating habbits, or has it?

Absolutely! I eat - and cook - Indian foods every single day now. Not only did it change my eating habits, it also inspired my choice to go to college and begin my career as a chef. I had no idea when I started college that all I would be taught there was French methods. What a pity and what a shameful waste.

Have you ever cooked it at home?

Many, many, many times.

Have you introduced it to other non-Indians?

Of course! Although here in Scotland this is not a difficult task as it's our favourite food by far.

What have their first reactions been?

Invariably positive. Apart from one attempt at a Haggis Pakora. That was rotten :laugh:

What dishes do you think ought to be used for the first introduction to this complex and varied cuisine?

That's impossible to say as folks taste is a varied as the cuisine itself. I find it easiest just to ask what guests like or don't like. That way I can avoid serving up, say, a vindaloo to someone who doesn't like hot and spicy food. Perhaps I'm also a little fortunate in not having any religious dietary restrictions to consider, as beef dishes have been very popular amongst the requests.

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When was it?

Where was it (restaurant, home or other)?

How did it come about?

What did you think of it?

What did you like most?

What did you not enjoy at all?

Was it love or hate that first time?

How did it change your eating habbits, or has it?

Have you ever cooked it at home? 

Have you introduced it to other non-Indians?

What have their first reactions been?

What dishes do you think ought to be used for the first introduction to this complex and varied cuisine?

My very first experience with Indian cooking was when I was three. My family moved to St Paul, MN from Rhode Island. The house we bought was formerly owned by an Indian family. The lingering aroma in the kitchen was unlike any other I'd ever smelled before. I can still remember it even though I was very young. At three it was not an altogether pleasant smell for me. I was used already to the conventional smells of my Norwegian grandmother's kitchen - cookies baking, fresh bread cooling, etc. In addition, my family were NOT adventurous eaters - we were a strictly pot roast and potatoes and carrots every Sunday sort of family.

I'm ashamed to say that tho' intrigued by Indian cuisine, I stayed away from it up until my college years. I was on a vacation with some friends in the UK. We took a weekend trip to Oxford from London. There, we had a fantastic meal at an Indian restaurant. I cannot even remember what we ate or even the name of the restaurant (I must consult my travel journal!), but it was super!

Now the circle of friends I have are very much into trying different cuisines from all over. I sometimes go to a restaurant in St. Paul called Taste of India, but more often opt to cook at home with friends. So far, we've made karahi chicken with mint, cumin-scented chicken with cucumber raita, chilli meat with curry leaves (from Andhra Pradesh), naan, bhaturas, and chapatis as well as different chutneys. I've absolutely loved everything I've tried so far. I can't believe I waited so long to venture out to try Indian food.

matthew in Minnesota

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The first time I had Indian food was in the '70s as a kid. We went to an Indian place in Curry Hill for my mom's birthday. I remember thinking it was interesting, but didn't make much impact on me. I didn't eat Indian again until the early 90s when one of my friends was dating an Indian guy. One night we went to this little, divey place in Little India and he ordered us this amazing meal. It was one of those experiences where my tastebuds just came alive. I loved the interplay of flavors and the heat. Since then I've been addicted.

Because I keep kosher, the menu I stick with is vegetarian. But I never miss the meat when I eat because the food is so well flavored. Fortunately, living in NYC I have lots of options of places to dine. I like Pongol a lot. For lunch, I'll go to Dosa Hut which has a great lunch special. I'm also lucky to have a husband who loves Indian food which means I have someone to eat with - most of our friends hate spicy food and react with horror when we suggest dining out.

I have a collection of Indian cookbooks at home - Yemuna Devi's Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking, a couple by Mahdur Jaffrey, and several others. I'll make curries on occasion. I have a bag of chickpea flour in my pantry waiting to be used.

Hmm, now I may have to go out for dinner tonight. :raz:


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wow, oddly enough i completely remember my first experience. i was about 19 or 20. it was at a place called "A Taste of India" on Bleeker street in NYC. i was underage, so just ordering a beer with this incredibly interesting food added to the excitment. i recall lamb vindaloo. i was blown away by it.

i returned several times to that place, usually with dates of some sort. those were some nices memories for me.

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My first Indian meal was in a restaurant in Ann Arbor in 1980. I had gone there from my college in Indiana (by bus.....*groan!*) to visit the object of my first full-blown adult crush, so memories of the food are somewhat eclipsed by memories of all those churning emotions.

I didn't actually like the food all that much, although I'm fairly certain the food was good (the restaurant had an excellent reputation). I was still a novice when it came to new cuisines, and the combination of spices was just too complicated and unfamiliar for me to take in completely. But it piqued my interest, and I knew I wanted to try Indian food again in the future. I was right, because Indian has since become one of my favorite cuisines.

One dish I do remember with utter clarity: a delicious, mild egg curry. I used to look for it on menus of other restaurants, but had to give up....hardly any restaurants anywhere seem to offer this dish. But that's the dish that really hooked me.


My restaurant blog: Mahlzeit!

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Eric,

When I have cooked for friends that have made a blanket hatered of Indian cuisine, I often will make Egg Curry. And that one dish has changed many a strong opinion.

What did you like about the egg curry you had? Do you remember how it was prepared?

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Eric,

When I have cooked for friends  that have made a blanket hatered of Indian cuisine, I often will make Egg Curry. And that one dish has changed many a strong opinion. 

What did you like about the egg curry you had?  Do you remember how it was prepared?

Suvir,

It was so long ago (well over 20 years) that I really can't remember all that much about it. I do remember it was light in color (I had an egg curry years later that was in a reddish-brown sauce--this was not like that), mild but complex enough to be interesting. Sorry I can't give you more details....that's pretty much all I remember.

Any ideas where I might try an egg curry like that again? It seems like such an initiation should be commemorated somehow.... :cool:

Eric


My restaurant blog: Mahlzeit!

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my parents (mid 70s) had the Time-Life Cooking of the World series--we grew up eating curries in my household.

also, using eggroll wrappers, my mom would make samosas and pakoras... mmm... :smile:

but what i remember more is that almost weekly we'd go to Atwater Market in Montreal, and at this East Indian store we'd go to, there were *millions* of containers of every spice imaginable. that store was the first place i *ever* saw cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, star anise... wow. it was ostensibly a spice & dry goods store, but for me it was a museum of wonderment and joy, as a kid who loved cooking and food... i used to just go into that store and inhale deeply to get the aromas. sorry, i'm being rambling and Proustian about this store hehe...

:biggrin:

gus


Edited by gus_tatory (log)

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

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When was it?

Where was it (restaurant, home or other)?

How did it come about?

What did you think of it?

What did you like most?

What did you not enjoy at all?

Was it love or hate that first time?

How did it change your eating habbits, or has it?

Have you ever cooked it at home? 

Have you introduced it to other non-Indians?

What have their first reactions been?

What dishes do you think ought to be used for the first introduction to this complex and varied cuisine?

I know that you'll laugh at me, but my first experience with Indian food (and any other experience during the following 10 years as well!) was something I cooked by myself. Here in Italy, Indian cooking is not diffused, Indian restaurants are rare and at those times (more than 20 years ago!) they were practically unknown.

So, my first meeting with Indian food happened totally by chance. I just moved from my parents' town to another one to go to university and, since I lived alone, bought some cookbooks and started practicing. One of those books was a compendium of foreign recipes from all over the world. Since I didn't know any dish, I chose what to try first just following my instinct...and opted for a chicken korma. All those spices sounded very promising to me, and, more, I love yoghurt. I spent a couple of funny days looking for the spices (which was a hard job here!) then invited a friend and set to work.

As soon as that wonderful smell got up from the pot, I felt in love with Indian cooking! The day after I bought an indian cookbook and started my journey through Indian food. When I had enough practice, I started cooking indian meals for my friends (who didn't know indian food at all) and I can say that they liked them alot, apparently :smile:

The funniest thing is that, as I said, I cooked indian for 10 years without having the slightest idea whether my dishes tasted like the real ones or not :laugh:

Finally, in 1989 I went for my first time in India...looking forward to tasting REAL indian food! I found out that my "poor relatives" weren't that bad, although they were rather weak, pale, and often lacking that special flavour you can get only using the true indian spice mixes.

Actually my indian dishes got better and better after I got the possibility to purchase the locally produced spices...and to compare my products with the original ones, of course :wink:

I must say that cooking indian has changed a lot my eating habits. Not only I often make indian dishes for my everyday meals, but also tend to add an Indian touch to non-indian food...adding my favourite spices, for example, or replacing cream with yoghurt, or using pulao rice as a side for western main courses.

The only thing I don't like that much are desserts, which are (like most Asian desserts) too sweet for my italian palate. And (please forgive me!) rasgullas are one of the most awful desserts I ever tasted in my entire life!

Luckily, Southern Italian pastry includes many items which go very well with Indian food...

As I said, I introduced my friends to Indian cooking, very successfully since Indian food is really suitable for Italian palates, with its spices, gravies, plenty of vegetables and pulses. As far as I can judge, Italians like more all the moist, juicy dishes like curries and kormas, and rice dishes as well, while we are not that fond of "dry" food (for example tandoori dishes). We also love Naan above any other indian bread (BTW...can you share a good recipe for Paneer Naan?)

It's a pity that we have so few Indian restaurants here, because they would be always full!

Pongi

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WHat a great post Pongi! Thanks for sharing your discovery of Indian cuisine. It seems so perfect. I envy you and hope I can discover other cuisines similarly.

Glad to know that your relatives of Indian cuisine in India were not too far off. How could they be? You seem like one who enjoys discovering and the best teacher in life is our curiosity. How lucky you are.

May I be curious and ask you to share here with us some of the desserts from your Italian repertoire that you feel work really well with Indian food? I love Indian desserts, but find it difficult to get anything of any real quality in the US, so I make mostly non-Indian desserts. I would be a very happy man to learn some good recipes from you. And I thank you in advance. :smile:

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The first time I tried my hand at cooking Indian food I was making a dry masala for use in a chicken dish I can't recall. We didn't have any dried red Indian chilli peppers like the recipe called for, so I figured it would be all right to use 1 small dried habanero pepper instead of the 4 dried hot red chillies it called for. This turned out to be a ridiculously poor judgment call.

My first inkling that this was a mistake was when I ground up the toasted spices in the spice grinder (aka coffee grinder)... I removed the lid and was confronted with a toxic cloud of burning, chokingly hot capsaicin-infused smoky steam. I had to turn on the fan, open all the windows, and vacate the kitchen for at least five minutes.

When I came back, I figured hey, I'm a tough guy. I like spicy food. So does my dad, with whom I was cooking and who was also an Indian-cooking neophyte. So we finished the recipe.

The taste was terrific, but so searingly spicy that neither of us could finish even a single serving, even with lots of rice and vegetables to cut the heat. We admitted defeat and cut the dish 50/50 with rice to put in the fridge for leftovers.

The next day we were both cursed with, shall we say, evacuation troubles of the most painful sort. The leftover dish, even cut, was almost inedible.

It took me a long time to start making Indian food again, but now I love it. I started with Madhur Jaffrey's Invitation to Indian Cooking and have never looked back. And I am wiser to the power of the Habanero.

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I first had Indian food at a fair during college, back in 1986. There were booths selling all kinds of foods, and the something smelled delicious, so I followed my nose. The Indian club was selling samosas with cilantro chutney. It was completely different from anything I had ever tried - the spices were heady and wonderful, and I immedieately adked how to make them. The girl selling them shrugged, said her mother made them, and mumbled something about potatoes, peas, and spices. My only exposure to anything even resembling Indian cuisine before this was American curries. I had decided long ago that I hated Indian food, because curries were so bad (to my mind). I now realize that I simply don't like the taste of American curry powder. This one experience opened me up to trying new foods, and soon I was hooked on all things Indian. I started experimenting with spices and dals at home, and now make a mean samosa of my own, as well as many other Indian dishes of all sorts, including kheer, which is one of my favorite comfort foods. We have dal almost every week, and roasted cumin, cardamom and mustard seeds are now my favorite spices :wub:

I've served samosas, curries, and spiced rice of all sorts to many friends who swore they didn't like Indian food. I've found that if it resembles something a bit familiar, people are more ready to try something new. So samosas get picked up, as they look like a typical stuffed pastry. Rice dishes also go over easily, and meats with sauces do as well. I've tried offering saag and dal, but both are a bit daunting unless you grew up eating cooked greens or something similar.


Edited by tejon (log)

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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It took me a long time to start making Indian food again, but now I love it.  I started with Madhur Jaffrey's Invitation to Indian Cooking and have never looked back.  And I am wiser to the power of the Habanero.

I am glad you were able to start making Indian food again. Madhurs books are excellent to begin with and to also learn about Indian from.

I love Habaneros and I agree about their power. Many friends I know cannot eat the spice stuffed habanero pickle I prepare. It is just too hot. Some find even the oil, in which the pickle is preserved to be TOO strong. Such are the ways of Habanero chiles.

What are some of the dishes you most enjoy preparing and eating?

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    • By Bhukhhad
      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
       

    • By Deeps
      This is one of my daughter favorite dishes, being mild and less spicy she loves this rice dish.  Its super easy to make and goes well with most Indian curries.
      Do try this out and I am sure you will be happy with the results.
       

       
      Prep Time : 5 mins
      Cook Time: 5 mins
      Serves: 2
       
      Ingredients:
      1 cup rice(basmati), cooked
      1/2 cup coconut, shredded or grated
      1 green chili, slit
      1 dried red chili
      1 1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee(clarified butter)
      1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
      1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
      1/2 tablespoon chana dal(split chickpeas)
      1/2 tablespoon urad dal(split black gram)
      1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
      A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
      Few curry leaves
      Salt to taste
       
      Directions
      1) Heat oil/ghee(clarified butter) in a pan in medium flame. I used coconut oil here because it tastes best for this dish.
      2) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal(split chickpeas), urad dal(split black gram), green chili, dried red chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry this for 30 seconds in medium flame. The trick is to ensure that these are fried but not burned.
      3) Add a pinch of hing(asafoetida) and mix well.
      4) Now add the cooked rice and coconut. Stir well for about 15 to 20 seconds and switch off the flame.
      5) Finally add salt into this and mix well. You could add peanuts or cashew nuts if you prefer. Goes well with most curries.
    • By Sheel
      Prawn Balchao is a very famous Goan pickle that has a sweet, spicy and tangy flavor to it. 
      For the balchao paste you will need:
      > 8-10 kashmiri red chillies
      > 4-5 Byadagi red chillies
      > 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
      > 1/2 tsk turmeric powder 
      > 1 tsp peppercorn
      > 6 garlic cloves
      > 1/2 tsp cloves
      > 1 inch cinnamon stick
      > Vinegar 
      First you will need to marinate about 250 grams of prawns in some turmeric powder and salt. After 15 minutes deep fry them in oil till them become golden n crisp. Set them aside and add tsp vinegar to them and let it sit for 1 hour. Now, make a paste of all the ingredients mentioned under the balchao paste and make sure not to add any water. In the same pan used for fryin the prawns, add in some chopped garlic and ginger. Lightly fry them and immediately add one whole chopped onion. Next, add the balchao paste amd let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the prawns and cook until the gravy thickens. Finally add 1 tsp sugar and salt according to your taste. Allow it to cool. This can be stored in a glass jar. Let this mature for 1-3 weeks before its use. Make sure never to use water at any stage. This can be enjoyed with a simple lentil curry and rice.
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