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horrible mistakes


mongo_jones
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#1 mistakenly substituting 1 tspn kalo-jeere (black cumin) for 1 tspn kalonji (nigella).

i did this last night to an alu-kofi (potato-cauliflower) dish and ruined it. i know the difference between the two--still can't explain why i used the one instead of the other.

Edited by mongo_jones (log)
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Oh can I relate!!!! I grabbed the cinnamon instead of the paprika the other night.....I have no idea what I was thinking - they're not even the same colour!! Needless to say, the lentils went in the bin.

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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#1 mistakenly substituting 1 tspn kalo-jeere (black cumin) for 1 tspn kalonji (nigella).

i did this last night to an alu-kofi (potato-cauliflower) dish and ruined it. i know the difference between the two--still can't explain why i used the one instead of the other.

Was is that the black cumin was too much or that it wasn't compatible with the other masalas in the dish. Usually aloo and kopi are pretty neutral and take to most seasonings.

I put sweetened vanilla-flavored yogurt instead of plain into an eggplant bharta once. It wasn't all that bad!! I just added some lemon juice. A friend thought the flavor was jaggery.

Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking

edhamann@hotmail.com

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One time about 2 years go while heating milk to make paneer...I forgot about it and I let it sit on the flame way too long. It reduced a considerable amount and after separating the curds from the whey...it was incredibly sweet.

If I had been thinking clearly, I would have made a sweet dish out of it...but I used it to make a savory paneer and vegetable fry. Bleh. :wacko:

--Jenn

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Was is that the black cumin was too much or that it wasn't compatible with the other masalas in the dish. Usually aloo and kopi are pretty neutral and take to most seasonings.

this is a classic bengali dish---there are almost no other seasonings, just a touch of haldi and salt; the vegetables (cauliflower, potatoes and peas, tiny bit of tomato) do all the work. kalonji is subtle, black-cumin is not (plus this lot was a little stale i think). in any case a spoon of black-cumin is a lot. the aroma of the seeds overpowered the dish--we forced it down for dinner, tried again at lunch today but ended up throwing it away.

by the way, in bengali cauliflower is pronounced "kofi" or "kophi"; of course, the full name is "phul-kophi/kofi".

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Two here ---

I was making a lobster dish for friends, including my husband-to-be. It called for cream to be added at the end of the dish. The directions said not to boil. I boiled----- and the final dish was a coagulated mess. It tasted good -- or so my gin-soaked friends said!

I reached for nutmeg instead of curry powder for another disaster!

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I reached for nutmeg instead of curry powder for another disaster!

ach! even without the details i can almost taste that one.

i have another fairly involved one from 11 years ago: i'd only recently arrived in the u.s.a and lived very close usc in los angeles (where i'd started on a phd in literature). there were no indian groceries near where my room-mate and i lived and neither of us had a car. as a result once my store of spices brought from home ran out i started cooking with mexican spices from the local market. now, i don't want to start a battle of the brown people here but the average mexican chilli powder is bland compared to the average indian powder. as a result over time i'd begun to slowly increase the amount of chilli powder i was adding to dishes.

then my room-mate went home for a month and returned with indian red chilli powder. the first night he was back i was making kofta curry and having spent a month in his mother's bosom in cochin eating spicy malyali food he asked me to make it extra spicy. of course neither of us thought to make the adjustment with the chilli powder. we can both eat spicy food with the best of them, and we are both greedy bastards (well, he isn't any more--went all spiritual without warning one year), but we couldn't eat it.

there may be a sitcom in here somewhere. a building that looks like a bennetton ad--their pantries get mixed up and all kinds of crazy hi-jinks ensue. by the end everyone has a green-card and eats steak and potatoes.

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In 1984, when I first moved to Vancouver, I lived in a punk house in East Van. Feeling domestic one day, I set about making a big batch of gingersnaps.

When the cookies had been in the oven for a few minutes, I realized that something was not quite right. The smell coming from the vent was not at all a good smell for gingersnaps. In fact, it smelled downright...garlicky. I grabbed the bottle labelled "ginger" and gave it a sniff.

Yup. Garlic powder.

I will say, though, that if you're going to make that particular mistake, a punk house is the place to do it. The cookies were gone before they ever cooled off. I suspect that the level of general intoxication was a contributing factor... :raz:

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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#1 mistakenly substituting 1 tspn kalo-jeere (black cumin) for 1 tspn kalonji (nigella).

Hmmm....

I always thought that in Bengali when you say "Kalo Jeere", it actually means Nigella (aka "Kalonji" in Hindi). As far as I know, there is no word in Bengali for "Black Cumin" (called "Kala Jeera" in Hindi). The Black Cumin is generally not used at all in traditional Bengali cooking.

Nigella is used quite extensively in Bengali cooking, both on its own as well as part of the "Paanch Phoron" spice mixture. (Traditionally, "Paanch Phoron" consists, of Nigella, Cumin (called "Jeere" in Bengali), black mustard seeds, fennel seeds, and Radhuni. )

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I always thought that in Bengali when you say "Kalo Jeere", it actually means Nigella (aka "Kalonji" in Hindi). As far as I know, there is no word in Bengali for "Black Cumin" (called "Kala Jeera" in Hindi). The Black Cumin is generally not used at all in traditional Bengali cooking.

which is why my mistake was all the more horrendous. actually i blame egullet--i don't think i would have ever confused the two if i hadn't read posts here from people who're confused by the nomenclature. it is all your fault.

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I always thought that in Bengali when you say "Kalo Jeere", it actually means Nigella (aka "Kalonji" in Hindi). As far as I know, there is no word in Bengali for "Black Cumin" (called "Kala Jeera" in Hindi). The Black Cumin is generally not used at all in traditional Bengali cooking.

which is why my mistake was all the more horrendous. actually i blame egullet--i don't think i would have ever confused the two if i hadn't read posts here from people who're confused by the nomenclature. it is all your fault.

I always thought it was called "siyah jeera" in Hindi. :biggrin:

Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking

edhamann@hotmail.com

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

why you should not cook an overly-elaborate meal after drinking 3 beers in 60 minutes:

i made 4 dishes for dinner last night. one of them was an alur-dom with peas. when we sat down to eat my wife asked why it had come out so bland this time--i thought about it and said that it might have something to do with the fact that i hadn't cooked it with any spices or salt--just a garlic-ginger-tomato-onion paste.

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Fresh cherries had just arrived at the market (and were damn good!)

I had friends visiting and thought that finishing dinner with a Cherry Clafouti would be delightful.

I had recently transferred all my dry goods to pretty, cork-topped glass jars (as yet unlabeled) and instead of putting in 2 cups of sugar, I added 2 cups of salt.

Pretty hideous but I felt the loss of the cherries more than the loss of my time...

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Waaay back in my college days, my boyfriend and I had gone out for a sail and come back late in the day. While he was putting the gear away he put me to work on dinner. I didn't want to admit that I wasn't even certain how to cook a hot dog, but I figured I could bluff my way through the process. After all, how hard could it be to follow the directions on a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese? Well, I found out. I dithered over whether to drain the pasta after it was cooked, couldn't find where it said to, so I decided I must need all that water to make the sauce. I dumped the "cheese" powder in, and waited for the sauce to thicken...and waited some more. Only then did I see that one little word, that one-word sentence, at the end of the first paragraph of instructions: "Drain".

We ate mac and cheese soup that night, and it was years before I stopped hearing about it. :rolleyes:

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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why you should not cook an overly-elaborate meal after drinking 3 beers in 60 minutes:

Specify, how many ml.?

Doc, stop drinking beer, come up to the real stuff.

3 pints of wonderful local microbrewery beer.

episure-dada, the single-malt is an expensive hobby for us humanities ph.d's. but don't knock beer. i didn't have a true appreciation of it until i encountered the american microbrewery tradition. one of the beers at the brewpub i've been going to--the annapurna amber--would be great with most north indian curries.

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I am revealing this with much shame in my heart and I am trusting that none of you will ever tell anyone about this.

Last Tuesday night I was making chicken stock at home after a long day. I set the burner much higher than I normally would have because I wanted to get the thing simmering as soon as possible. I was in a hurry because I was tired.

At around 5:40am I woke up on the couch with a room covered in smoke. I immediately took off my glasses because in my sleepy smoke-laden stupor my first thought was that there must be something wrong with my glasses. Then I remembered the chicken stock.

The chicken lay cremated in my stock pot. The fat that had been rendered from the chicken combined with the gelatinous proteins to create a rather thick layer of charred substance that surrounded the disgraced carcass.

I am still trying to get the odor of smoke out of the kitchen and adjoining living room, the smoke may have caused permanent damage to my sense of smell and self respect, the stock pot recovered after a long intensive session of scrubbing that I fear may cause carpal tunnel syndrome. However, the real victim is, of course, the chicken.

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Dada,

First of all, single malt is not expensive or exotic for that matter. Actually it is nary but a mere Pehli dhar.. sort of!

Anything oral is of more than a passing interest to me. So please tell me more about this Annapurna Amber, I am more than intrigued.

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

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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why you should not cook an overly-elaborate meal after drinking 3 beers in 60 minutes:

i made 4 dishes for dinner last night. one of them was an alur-dom with peas. when we sat down to eat my wife asked why it had come out so bland this time--i thought about it and said that it might have something to do with the fact that i hadn't cooked it with any spices or salt--just a garlic-ginger-tomato-onion paste.

this was repaired tonight: heated some oil, put on gas-mask, threw in a 1/2 tea-spoon each of red chilli powder, turmeric and garam masala--fried for 30 seconds, ignored asphyxiating spouse's cries of indignation, tossed in previously bland alur-dom, mixed well, added salt, heated through and ate. this is not how you want to make an alur-dom, but it was still better than something you'd get from indian railways.

...i know you've all been waiting anxiously for this update

Edited by mongo_jones (log)
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As my husband would say, never trust a food writer to make a meal :blink::wink: . So last night I was cooking dinner and then got distracted by a article I was working on. Well after the smoke alarm went off and my four year old cried out of sheer terror.. the burnt mess was discarded and off we went to Friendly's Icecream

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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