Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Vikram

buffalo vs. beef

Recommended Posts

Monica's article on India's white revolution makes me think about another little commented on aspect of it: much of the milk that goes into it comes from water buffalos as well as cows (I don't know the proportions, but I could try finding out). I think that has a definite impact on many Indian dairy products, but I don't know enough about the subject to comment on exactly how - can anyone explain?

The even less noted aspect though is that a lot of water buffalos (I'm going to drop the 'water' from now on) must mean a lot of buffalo meat. But you will never find buffalo meat being sold as such. Indian cooks, perhaps correctly, feel that people won't want to eat buffalo meat, so most of what goes as 'beef' in India is really buffalo meat. Just like 'lamb' or 'mutton' is often goat. Vir Sanghvi, the editor of the daily The Hindustan Times, who writes a most excellent food column under the pen name Grand Fromage, noted that in Nepal you can find buffalo billed honestly, if a rather peculiarly, as 'buff steak' but you will never find anything like this in India.

What is really strange about this culinary deception is that there are considerable and real penalties attached to it - not for the deception, but for consuming beef. Barring a few states like Kerala, West Bengal and some of the Northeastern ones, the Hindu religious lobby has ensured that killing a cow is a crime in most of the country. (For those unfamiliar with Hinduism the cow is considered very sacred for various reasons I don't want to get into because the chances of my saying something contentious are quite high [And I'm a Hindu myself]. All I'll say is that if you want an interesting take on it, read the anthropologist Marvin Harris' famous essay on the subject).

The growth in power of Hindu fundamentalists means that cow killing has become an increasingly emotive issue. There is a very strong move now to make killing cows illegal across the whole country. (Apart from trampling on the rights of beef eaters, this will mean millions of starving decrepit cows, but that for some reason if OK, as long as they aren't killed). There have been several horrific cases recently of people being killed on suspicion of killing cows.

And yet a lot of meat is sold and eaten, whether its from buffalos or cows. In my own city of Bombay not far from where I'm typing this I can go and find a number of places serving excellent - and another irony - very cheap beef. 'Mutton' is expensive, presumably because its legal, but beef is cheap which is another reason why its popular. Mmmmm, maybe this might be my dinner solution. Beef kebabs at Baghdadi in Colaba maybe, or beef khichada, a wonderful creamy stew of meat cooked with wheat and pulses, in the lanes of Minara Masjid.

You have to know what to ask though - people are wary on the beef issue now. Only in the hearts of Muslim or Christian neighbourhoods will you find beef being openly sold. In the roadside places serving beef you might be asked "bade ka ya chote ka?" ("the big one or the small one?" where big is obviously beef and small is mutton). In butcher's shops you ask for 'undercut' or specify beef sotto voce. And if you ask an expensive restaurant where they got their steaks from they'll say it came from outside the state, since its illegal to kill cows in the state, but not (yet) to eat them.

This isn't quite true, of course. Some really expensive restaurants do import genuine beef from abroad and some people are presumably shipping dead cows into the city (But from Kerala or W.Bengal, neither of which are near?). The bulk of course comes from illegal abbatoirs in the city and you can just imagine the workpractices there, since its all illegal anyway. And yet, despite all these problems, restaurateurs and butchers still shy away from saying that they are serving - quite legal - buffalo!

I suppose it the unprepossesing muddy black look of the animal, though I rather like their cud chewing placidity as they stand in the middle of roads defying all attempts to move them - 'India's natural speedbreakers' as exasperated drivers call them. Cows can be skittish and will move with a honk, but buffalos will stand there till kingdom, or the kid in nominal charge of them, comes. Anyway, this mail did have a query, before I got carried away, which is this: when it comes to cooking the animals, how much does buffalo meat differ from beef?

I find the meat I get at the butchers pretty tough and I usually have to pressure cook it which is fine for curries, but I guess means no steaks. I'm told restaurants tenderize like crazy. But is buffalo meat really tougher than beef, or is it more a reflection on the way both cows and buffalos are raised in India? Can it be used in almost exactly the same way as beef or should adjustments be made?

And finally, are there other cultures less snobbish about water buffalo meat that have recipes specifically for it? I think I've read in Davidson about it being popular in parts of Southeast (but is it labelled as such, or is 'beef' again used?) What about Italy? What happens to all those mozzarella producers once they're past their producing days? And can anyone give me Italian buffalo recipes? It'll make a nice change the next time I get some 'undercut' from my butcher.

Vikram

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting stuff.

Water buffalo and bison are both part of the buffalo family (along with cape buffalo), and I've been told by bison farmers that the meat is similar. It's also probably similar to grass-fed beef, albeit a bit leaner.

In any event, just as with beef, different cuts of meat require different cooking methods. The steaks should be quick-cooked, and should be served as rare as possible. The leaner the meat, the less it can tolerate cooking before it dries out. Other cuts should be braised or whatever. In other words, I would treat it as beef but strive for more rareness when cooking the steaks. The ground meat will also be leaner than normal beef hamburger, so again you'd want to go rare or risk dryness. Were I to grind my own hamburger meat from these animals, I'd probably try to get some fat trimmings and mix them in with the pre-ground meat in order to bring the fat content up to a more hamburger-like level.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Vikram,

Thanks for the good dissertation on the Beef scenario in India. Your perception is accurate.

I've found Buff to be more flavoursome than Beef, perhaps as a species the buffalo is wilder( Time Line) than the domesticated cow. If you use undercut from a good supplier( Francois Maison at Kemps Corner, Bombay) and cook it to just done, I think you will be happy with the results. Bear in Mind that this cut is very lean and you can cook it up to medium only.

Come to think of it at only 80 Rs ( 1.80 $ ) a kilo you should use only the middle section, also known as center loin and use the ends for braising.

This is the way I cook it Chateaubriand style:

Trim an entire 2 kg. undercut to a center loin section about 750 - 1000 grams between the tail and the knob. Marinate in 30 ml. worcestershire, 60 ml red wine, 15 ml olive oil(preferably), 2 oxo cubes, some garlic and herbs. Cover and keep chilled for 5-10 hours, turning over in the marinade once in a while.

Drain lightly and tightly wrap in foil to a toffee shape, twisting the ends. Cook in a low- medium hot oven till you feel the meat stiffen to your doneness(about 15 - 25 minutes). This part is completely empirical but a couple of times and you will get it right. There are too many variables here so I can't be exact.

Remove from oven, let it stand for 15 minutes remove from foil and brown the meat ( couple of minutes only) in some butter. Remove and deglaze the pan with the leftover marinade till you get a thick sauce, finish with a dollop of cream. Slice the meat down bread loaf style almost all the way, pour the sauce over it and serve with your choice of accompaniments. Serves two, halve the quantities for one person.

Let me know how it turns out.


Edited by Episure (log)

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beef or Buff

This goes back a few years ago. The congress party was in power in India and the Junta party ( Holy Cow) was in opposition.

A Junta party minister sits down to dinner at ' The Supper Club ', a pestegious restaurant in the government operated Ashok Hotel in New Delhi. He opens the menu and is appalled to see beef steak on the selection, furious, he storms out and at the next parliament meeting lashes out at the ruling party that in a predomenantly pious hindu Indian society, in a restaurant run by the government, the holy cow ( revered like a mother by hindus) is being butchered and served.

This could be serious trouble for the chief of the hotel but they had an intelligent individual whose sole purpose was, you guessed right, to field these stupid querries.

Did the hotel chief get fired? Nope.

Did the opposion minister get appeased? Yes sir.

The hotel responded that as per the Dictionary Beef meant the meat of not just cow but water buffalo, bison etc.

and the beef sreak was not cow.

If I remember correctly it was served there as a pepper steak as that seemed to appeal to both the Indians and the foreigners who dined there. I do not remember it being tenderised in any special way. The Indians usually liked their steak really well done ( which was easy, just cook it to death) but getting right the medium and medium rare for the others was a little tricky.


Bombay Curry Company

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

Delhi Club

Arlington, Virginia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are right, Pepper steak is the most common manifestation in India.

Tenderizing usually consists of using a meat mallet till the steak resembles a piece of sponge, completely destroying the texture.

9 out of 10 times the steak is never made to the required degree of doneness. The funny thing is, even 5 star chefs will err and offer to replace it, but by then the moment of savoring is lost.


I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tenderizing usually consists of using a meat mallet till the steak resembles a piece of sponge, completely destroying the texture.

Don't some places uses papaya as a tenderizer? I was told that this was the secret behind the decent steaks served up at The Only Place, Bangalore's famous steak joint (once upon a time). Apparently Haroun, the owner, was taught the technique and how to cook steaks by Peace Corps volunteers.

Thanks for the suggestions on cooking buff. You're right, Francois Maison is excellent and I used to buy from them when I stayed in that area. Maybe its worth making the trek out there from Bandra.

Vikram

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Papain, the active ingredient in raw Papaya is an enzyme that breaks down proteins. The problem is getting all the factors in sync, viz: cross section of meat, time, temperature and ratio of meat to tenderizer. It's very easy to make a mistake and turn the meat into a mushy mess which has the texture of liver( powdery?). Haroun, one of the first guys to specialize in this had got it right.

There is absolutely no need to use a tenderizer if you use the loin section and cook it to about 65 - 70 deg internal temperature which is just enough to do away with M/s E.Coli, Campylobacter, Listeria et al and plate you a nice juicy steak just like in the photos( utterly bovine :laugh: ).

I have used papaya paste to tenderize large cuts like a mutton leg ( Raan) but then it can take more heat unlike beef which gets irreversibly damaged beyond a certain temperature. The cell walls shed all the juices and you get a tough chewy piece of rubber.

After cracking the secret of a good steak I now use the same method( slow and low temperature) on Raan and the results are superb( earlier it was an also ran :laugh: ).

Another trick is giving the meat a good hard massage( about 10 minutes) in the marinade. This nugget of knowledge was given to me by Vallibhai Payawallah of Bhendi bazaar and is used by his bawarchi when making a bhuna gosht. This does away with the destruction caused by using a mallet.

For good steak meat in Bandra go to the back of Pali market and pick up the first arrivals.

Once again I aver that buff is more flavorsome ( not gamey) than beef including japanese wagu which I have had on a few occasions( any more and I will have to sell my wife's jewellery!)

I am also quoting relevant Cordon Bleu School guidelines which will still be subjective:

"When demonstrating the technique for cooking a steak, the chefs at Le Cordon Bleu hesitate to give students an exact cooking time because there are so many variables to consider. Obviously the thickness of the steak and the degree to which it is to be cooked (very rare, rare, medium, or well done) will have a considerable effect on the timing. The temperature of the meat before cooking (if you like your steak rare or medium rare it must be at room temperature before cooking), the presence of a bone, the method of cooking (sautéing, grilling or barbecuing), and the heat of the stove, grill, or coals will also affect the cooking time. The best way to test whether the meat is cooked is by touch and sight as well as by the clock: as a steak cooks, the meat becomes firmer and the interior colour lightens from a dark purple-red to pink. With experience you will be able to determine when all meats, poultry, and even fish are done, merely by touch.

Here are guidelines for cooking steaks to the desired degree: approximate times are given for 2-2.5 cm (3/4-1 inch) thick steaks.

VERY RARE (called bleu in French)

Sear both sides just until browned (about 1 minute each side) in very hot oil and butter. The steak will feel very soft when touched; the interior colour will not have changed from the purple-red colour of raw meat.

RARE (Saignant)

Sear for 2 minutes each side and 1 minute on the edge in very hot oil and butter. The steak will still feel soft when touched; the interior colour will be red.

MEDIUM (à point)

Sear for 3 minutes each side and 1 minute on the edge in very hot oil and butter. The steak will offer resistance when touched; the interior colour will be pink, and pink juices will bead on the surface of the seared side of the steak when turned.

WELL DONE (bien cuit)

Sear both sides just until browned (about 1 minute each side) and then cook for about 15 minutes in a 170 C (325 F) mark 3 oven. The steak will be very firm when touched; the interior colour will no longer be at all pink."


Edited by Episure (log)

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
do you have a favourite raan reciepe?

I don't have a recipe, but if you come to Bombay, Shalimar serves a very good one. Its not the most inspiring of restaurants, being chaotic and crowded with tables in every corner and all spaces filled up with squalling kids, but the raan is excellent. Only complaint is that they give you no means of extracting the marrow. One has to do all sorts of contortions with sucking and deployment of bone shards to get at it.

Vikram

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forgive me for responding so late.

I cook it differently everytime, my latest version uses Lagavulin whisky and rosemary. I think of Raan as a whole leg( Gigot) of mutton/lamb. I presume you want an indian version, this is one that deserved archiving the recipe:

Massage a well pricked leg ( 750g) on the bone with raw papaya and ginger- garlic paste for 15 minutes. Wipe off the pastes and marinate in:

In 2 tbsps ghee, lightly fry 10 g cuminseed, 5 g aniseed, 10 peppercorns, 5 g whole garam masalas and a few kashmiri chillies. Grind finely with 1 tomato gradually adding a cup of thick yoghurt and salt. Massage this into the meat and marinate for a few hours.

Roast in a slow oven with 1 star anise, a few allspice berries ( I use triphala) and sliced Shalgam( turnips/swedes/rutabagas) for 60-90 mins. or about 75-80 deg internal temperature. Make sure it does not dry out by adding water upto 1" sides.

Remove from oven, rest the meat for about 10 minutes, make a gravy from the juices. Deglaze the pan with milk and add to the gravy.

Carve at a slant on the bone into 1/2 inch slices and serve topped with the gravy and onion slices which have been fried in ghee.

I am afraid I am not much of a recipe writer, if I have left out something please ask me.

I fry by the heat of my pans :rolleyes:


Edited by Episure (log)

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Digging up this old thread to answer my own question about whether there people in this region who aren't squeamish about acknowledging that the 'beef' that they eat is usually buffalo meat. I've just picked up a tattered old book called 'Himalayan Recipes' which was compiled by the Inner Wheel Club of Darjeeling.

(The Inner Wheel Club, for those lucky enough never to have encountered Rotarians is a spin off from the Rotary Club meant for the wives of members. Pretty much the only thing the Inner Wheel Club had going for it - apart from the fact that its members could compile books like this - was that it was preferable to being called Rotariannes, the other term applied to the spouses of members. Now that at least some Rotary Clubs are enlightened enough to admit women members, perhaps all these things are in the past).

The recipes seem sort of Nepalese-Tibetan-Gurkha and include dishes like Thukpa (noodle soup), Momos (dumplings), Kwati (a kind of mixed lentil dhal, I think), Kinama (fermented soya beans) and bamboo shoots. And pride of place seems to go to Boiled Buff Meat, described as a typical Chhewala-Newari dish. The instructions are quite prosaic - it starts: "Boil the whole lump of meat in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes". A little later comes Roasted/Grilled Buff or Chicken or Mutton, with the words "This type of roasted buff is eaten as a delicacy, especially by the Newars."

So there you have it, Newaris, a Nepali community who is honest about eating buff. Wonder if there's a religious angle - doesn't this community worship Devi (the mother goddess) who killed Mahishasura, the buffalo headed demon? Would that make them less squeamish about admitting they eat buff?

Vikram

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...the consumption of an organism produced by the rotting of meat. I did not, however, come across a single individual eating such a thing. But the consensus of opinion among the Newars themselves asserts that it still forms a favourite dish of the Jyapoos in the Patan area. Some of the high caste Buddhist Newars are also reported to relish it. It is prepared in the following manner: Raw meat is stuffed into half a foot-long bamboo tube, which is closed tightly at its both ends. It is allowed to rot till the flesh is transformed into maggots. These organisms begin to eat one another and finally become a single organism of the size the volume of the tube. It is boiled in water and cut to pieces

Aaaiiieee! :wacko:


I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At a lovely lunch buffet I came across 'Tenderloin Goulash'. Upon tasting, it definitely wasnt tenderloin, probably round or gola. Just then the Chef flitted across gracefully to to ask me how the food was.

me: Chef, I dont think this is tenderloin.

chef: (very softly) Yes sir, it is.

me: But why are you whispering?

chef: You know sir, many people dont like it.

me: Yes, I can understand that if you give them this and call it tenderloin, they wont like it.

chef: No, No, we dont like to call it ****.

me: You mean people will swallow this as tenderloin but not as ****.

chef: Yes sir.

me: But this is not even tenderloin!.......

I then realised I had come across another euphemism for Beef/Buff. :smile:


I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • 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.
      In the recipes below we are merely attempting to scratch the surface, presenting you with a glimpse of these magnificent breads.
      North Indian breads are prepared with various kinds of flours. The ones listed here use a whole-wheat flour known as atta and all-purpose flour. The dough is prepared in most cases without the use of yeast. (We have shown a special sweet bread here, called Sheermal, that is prepared using yeast.) Also, the tandoori breads are generally rolled out by hand not with a rolling pin. But in the recipes below, for ease of use for the home cook, we have used a rolling pin. As you will also see then, no special equipment is needed. We have prepared the breads in a traditional oven and in a non-stick skillet. (We have included some pictures towards the end of the lesson of a roti being prepared in a commercial tandoor.)
      A few tips:
      • Knead the dough well, adding only enough water or other specified liquid to make the dough the right consistency.
      • A must for preparing these breads is to let the dough rest as indicated. This will ensure that the dough softens and moistens, making it more pliable and easier to stretch
      • 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.)
      • You can also purchase ghee or clarified butter at your local Indian grocer or from www. Namaste.com.
      Clarified Butter (Ghee)
      Yields: About ½ cup
      ½ lb unsalted butter
      Heat a heavy pan over low heat. Add the butter, allowing it to melt. Once the butter has melted, increase the heat, bringing the butter to a simmer. The butter will start to foam.
      Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Watch carefully as it may burn. The milk solids will start to settle at the bottom, and the liquid butter will float to the surface. When the liquid butter becomes amber in color, remove it from from the heat. Cool to room temperature.
      Strain the amber liquid into a jar and discard the milk solids.
      Cover and store, refrigerated, for up to 6 months.
      Plain Naan Dough
      Naans are traditional Indian breads prepared in clay ovens or tandoors. They are commonplace on most Indian menus. We have tried here to present a simple dough for Naans and then two of the more unusual preparations for it: the Peshawari Naan and the Onion Kulcha. .
      • ½ cup milk
      • 1 teaspoon sugar
      • 1 cup warm water
      • 1 tablespoon yogurt
      • 1 egg
      • 4 cups of all-purpose flour (labelled "maida" in Indian grocery store)
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (for baking tray)
      • 2 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee
      In a bowl whisk together the milk, sugar, water, yogurt and egg.
      Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a large shallow bowl. Mix well.
      Pour the liquid onto the flour and begin to knead. Continue kneading until you have a soft dough. If you need more liquid, add a few tablespoons of warm water. Knead for at least 10 minutes, or until you have a soft dough that is not sticky.
      Oil the dough.
      Cover the dough with a damp cloth and place in a warm place for 1½ - 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in volume.
      Directions for plain naan:
      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large, heavy baking tray and set aside. Lightly dust the rolling surface and rolling pin with flour.
      Knead the dough again on the floured surface for about 5 minutes. Divide it into 8 equal pieces and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap.
      Roll each piece into a ball and flatten it with your hands. Using a rolling pin, roll it out into an oval shape (about 8 inches). Using your hands, pull at both ends of the oval to stretch it a little. Continue until you have made 8 naans.
      Brush each oval with clarified butter.

      Place the naans on the baking sheet bake for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 minutes or until golden brown.
      Peshawari Naan
      In this delightfully sinful recipe, the naan dough is stuffed with dried nuts and raisins and baked. Serve this warm right out of the oven for the best taste.
      1 recipe prepared plain naan dough
      For the stuffing:
      • 1 tablespoon cashews (crushed)
      • 1 tablespoon almonds (crushed)
      • 1+1 tablespoons pistachios (crushed)
      • 1 tablespoon raisins
      • 1 teaspoon cilantro leaves, minced
      • 1 teaspoon sugar
      • 1 tablespoon Milk Mawa Powder (Dried whole milk powder)

      • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
      • 3 tablespoons melted butter or clarified butter
      Prepare the Naan dough.

      While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.
      Set aside 1 tablespoon of pistachios and the raisins. In a mixing bowl combine all the other filling ingredients. Add a few tablespoons of water to bind them together to form a lumpy consistency.
      Roll the dough into a log. Cut into 8 equal portions. Lightly dust the rolling surface with flour.
      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large, heavy baking tray and set aside. Lightly oil or flour your hands.
      Take one portion of the dough and roll into a ball between the palms of your hands. Flatten the ball. Place it on the floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a circle about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.
      Add a tablespoon of the filling to the center. Bring the sides together and pinch them to seal and form a ball. Flatten lightly. Dust very lightly with flour.

      Roll the flattened ball again on a lightly floured surface until about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.
      Garnish with the reserved pistachios and raisins.

      Continue until you have made 8 naans.
      Brush each naan with clarified butter. Place the naans on the baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 minutes or until golden brown.
      Serve hot.

      Onion Kulcha
      We present this recipe by popular demand. Here the naan is stuffed with a spiced onion mix and baked to perfection.
      1 recipe prepared plain naan dough
      For the stuffing:
      • 2 small red onions, finely chopped
      • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
      • 1 tablespoon Chaat Masala (www.namaste.com)
      • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
      • Salt to taste
      • 3 tablespoons melted butter or clarified butter
      • 2 teaspoons cilantro, minced for garnish
      • small boiled potato, grated (optional)
      Prepare the naan dough.

      While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.

      First, using the palms of your hands, squeeze out all the water from the chopped onions. If the onions still appear to be watery, add a small boiled grated potato to your filling. This will prevent the filling from spilling out of the kulcha.
      In a mixing bowl combine all the filling to form a lumpy consistency.

      Roll the dough into a log. Cut into 8 equal portions. Lightly dust the rolling surface with flour.
      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large, heavy baking tray and set aside. Lightly oil or flour your hands.
      Take one portion of the dough and roll into a ball between the palms of your hands. Flatten the ball. Place it on the floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a circle about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.

      Add a tablespoon of the filling to the center. Bring the sides together and pinch them to seal and form a ball. Flatten lightly. Dust very lightly with flour.

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

      Dip your fingers in water and moisten the surface of the kulcha very lightly. Sprinkle with a few minced cilantro leaves. Continue until you have made 8 kulchas.

      Place the kulchas on the baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 minutes or until golden brown.
      Serve hot.


      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.
      Makes 8 parathas
      • 2 cups Indian atta flour (whole-wheat flour)
      • 1½ teaspoons table salt
      • 2+2 tablespoons melted butter or clarified butter
      • Water as needed
      • 8 eggs
      In a bowl combine the flour, salt and two tablespoons of clarified butter. Slowly begin to add the water, kneading the flour as you go. Make a dough, kneading for at least 10 minutes. The final dough should be soft and pliable. It should not be sticky or else it will not roll out well.


      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.
      Lightly oil or flour your hands. Take one portion and roll into a ball between the palms of your hands. Flatten the ball. Place it on the prepared floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a circle about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.
      Now fold the dough over itself.

      Take the folded dough and roll it around itself into a spiral.

      Tuck the end under.

      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.


      Heat a griddle on medium heat. Brush it lightly with butter and add the paratha. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the bottom of the paratha begins to blister. Brush the top lightly with butter and remove from heat. Put the paratha aside on a warm plate.

      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.
      Serve hot.

      Indian Bread Stuffed With Spicy Potatoes (Aloo Ka Paratha)
      This filled paratha is a very popular North Indian bread, served traditionally with homemade white butter and Indian pickles of your choice.
      • 2 cups Indian atta flour (whole-wheat flour)
      • 4 tablespoons semolina
      • 1½ teaspoons table salt
      • 2 tablespoons melted clarified butter or butter
      • Water as needed
      • 3 medium potatoes, peeled
      • 2 Serrano green chilies, seeded and finely minced
      • 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
      • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, grated
      • 1 teaspoon Chaat Masala
      • 4 tablespoons melted clarified butter or butter
      • A few tablespoons flour for dusting
      In a bowl combine the wheat flour, semolina flour, salt and two tablespoons of clarified butter. Slowly begin to add the water, kneading the flour as you go. Make a dough, kneading for at least 10 minutes. The final dough should be soft and pliable. It should not be sticky, or else it will not roll out well.
      Cover the dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes.
      While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.
      Boil the potatoes in enough water to cover for about 15 minutes. Drain.



      Put the potatoes in a bowl and mash them well with a fork. Add the green chilies, cilantro, ginger root, and chaat masala and mix well. Set this filling aside to cool.
      Roll the dough into a log. Cut into 8 equal portions. Lightly dust the rolling surface with flour.
      Lightly oil or flour your hands. Take one portion and roll into a ball between the palms of your hands. Flatten the ball. Place it on the prepared floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a circle about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.
      Lightly brush the surface with the clarified butter. Add a tablespoon of the potato filling to the center. Bring the sides together and pinch them to seal and form a ball. Flatten lightly. Dust very lightly with flour.



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


      Heat a griddle on medium heat. Brush it lightly with butter and add the paratha. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the bottom of the paratha begins to blister. Brush the top lightly with butter and flip over. Cook for 2 minutes.

      Remove the paratha from the griddle and place on a serving platter. Cover with a paper towel. Continue until all the parathas are cooked.

      Sheermal
      A sweet bread, it is one of the few Indian breads that uses yeast. Keep the dough in a warm place to ensure that it rises. You can increase the amount of sugar if you like a sweeter taste.

      • 1 packet dry yeast
      • 1 teaspoon sugar
      • ¼ cup water
      • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
      • ¼ teaspoon salt
      • 2 tablespoons sugar
      • 2 eggs (separate 1 egg and set the yolk aside) beat the whole egg and the white together
      • 2 tablespoons melted clarified butter or butter
      • Extra flour for dusting
      • Pitted cherries/raisins for garnish
      Mix yeast with the sugar and 1/4 cup water. Set aside until frothy, about 5 - 10 minutes.
      Combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the clarified butter, egg and yeast mixture. Knead until a smooth dough is formed. (You may need more warm water.) Set aside to rise until the dough doubles in size.
      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large, heavy baking tray and set aside. Lightly dust the rolling surface and rolling pin with flour.
      Knead the dough again on the floured surface for about 5 minutes. Divide it into 6 equal pieces and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap.
      Roll each piece into a ball and flatten it with your hands. Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a disc. Continue until you have made 6 discs.
      Beat the reserved egg yolk and brush a little on each sheermal. Place a few cherries on the sheermal for garnish. Place the discs on the baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.

      Turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 minutes, or until golden brown.

      Tandoori Roti
      We wanted to show how the tandoor is used to prepare breads. These pictures are of a special roti or bread, called Tandoori Roti, being prepared in the hot tandoor or clay oven.
      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.




      Post your questions here -->> Q&A
    • By rajsuman
      Inspired by a similar thread under 'General Food Topics', I wanted to know how many Indian cookbooks we collectively own on this forum. I have 43 right now, but I'm sure more will turn up from under the bed etc. I'm particularly curious about your collection Vikram, because you seem to own every Indian cookbook under the sun. Here's a picture of my very modest collection (a few on the left haven't come in the shot)

      This is in the kitchen, although there are not that many Indian books here ('Indian Everyday' is from the library) except the small booklets at the end.

    • By Suvir Saran
      What role do they play in your Indian kitchen?
      Do you use it in other dishes you prepare? Maybe even outside of the Indian food realm.
      Do you find it easy to find Cilantro?
      What parts of cilantro do you use?
      How do you keep it fresh?
    • By bague25
      Which are the pickles you have in your pantry right now?
      Which are the ones you dream of?
      Any recipes? Any secrets? Any reading material?
      Please share - as Monica says Inquiring minds want to know...
    • 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
       

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...