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Welcome Monika,

Are you from a Marwari family? What is the Indian grocery situation like in Finland-are you able to get all the essentials or is it difficult to find things, like....besan for instance?

Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking


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Hello Edward. Yes, I am from a Marwari family.

Here in Helsinki, where I live, there is an area where one can find a few Asian-African shops. They store almost all types of legumes, pulses, masalas and many other Indian items. They mainly import it from the UK and so we have brands like TRS and Natco which seem to have all sorts of Indian products on the shelf that one can think of! Overall, yeah, most of the Indian items needed for day-to-day cooking are available here. Some typically Indian vegs might be hard to find but other 'exotic' vegs (okra, for instance, might be placed under this category) are also imported by these shops from Thailand or China. I was actually surprised to find Pakistani mangoes there, imported from Karachi, last week. The Asian community here is on the increase so I guess we're getting to see lots more imported items.

- Monika

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Hello bague25. What do I prepare - hmm...that's a difficult one to answer simply because I prepare very many different types of things depending on the time and what I have in the fridge! :smile: Dinner can be any of the following - a coconut-based veg curry with rice, a mixed dal+salad with rice and papad, avial with rice, aloo-gobi with plain paranthas and raita, some other types of sabzis with phulkas, fried rice (from leftover rice) and tom-yam soup or pasta with a tomato-based sauce, etc. On the days I'm feeling lazy or time is a contraint (atleast two times a week approx), I make pad-thai or I make some tofu-based stir-fry with rice and an egg-based thai salad. And then there are ofcourse those days when I'm too flogged out to cook so we end up having frozen pizzas. :smile: Weekend meals are something more elaborate...maybe a more detailed north-indian meal or maybe something keralite like a fish curry and par-boiled rice (my husband sometimes likes to venture into the kitchen to make his special fish curry or pork curry which he claims doesn't taste the same if I make it! ) :rolleyes: In non-vegetarian food, I'm not much of a red-meat eater and also I've only started fish after I met my husband so chicken is something that we cook more often at home. Most of the masalas, etc I have are what I've brought from home. The dals, etc I purchase from the Asian shops here. Vegetables that I buy from the supermarket are imported from other parts of Europe, mainly from Spain or Holland. This is not to say that finland doesn't cultivate them. They do, but anything produced locally can be pretty expensive...often, three-four times the price of the same vegetable imported from other European countries. Often, the Finns claim that Finnish produce is superior to those from other countries...maybe, I don't know...though ofcourse, I can definitely say that Finnish tomatoes taste far far better than Holland ones. Finnish vegs get cheaper in the summer (they can be horrendously expensive in the winter months) so these days, we're off to the open-air markets in the weekends to purchase the local stuff.

I have tried Finnish cuisine - salmon-based dishes and also, Finnish hash (which is a sort of a potato and meat-based dish with a fried egg served on top) and some other Finnish delights like the makkara (sausages) and mashed potato, etc. I haven't had the guts to try dishes using reindeer meat like reinder meat soup or smoked reindeir meat. Finnish deserts are very nice - different types of berry-based fools and fruit-based 'rahkas' which is a like a curd-cheese based dessert. During the months of Aug-Sept, the berries start ripening and we get plenty of strawberries, rasperries, blueberries, cloudberries, etc. I believe cloudberries are more common in the northern parts of Finland though we do get them here in the local markets in the Autumn months.

hmm...the mail's turned out to be a long one although you just had 3 questions, Bague25! :biggrin:

- Monika

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Here in Brussels, our markets are flooded with Spanish veggies too, and since Holland is a neighbour we get our share too… :wink:

The Belgian and French veggies, though, are often of better quality and a bit more expensive :smile:

Edited to add: I should read in more detail the posts. Can you please share the pork curry recipe?? Thanks. :smile:

Edited by bague25 (log)
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Richie111 - Did you say Reindeer meat curry? Hmm...now that would be interesting! Reindeer meat can be pretty tough so be prepared for ways of tenderizing it.

Gingerly - I shall post some pics soon.

Bague25 - I shall post the pork curry recipe soon - I'll have to verify it's exact ingredients and procedure with my hubby! Don't want to send a wrong version. :smile:

- Monika

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By any chance is there Santa Claus in Finland?

And you guys stop talking about Reindeer meat curry. Some residual emotions from my childhood are getting hurt. How would you like to have Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen on your table. :shock: And Bambi.

I faithfully stock my car with christmas music when tis the season.

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


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I faithfully stock my car with christmas music when tis the season.

You don't need to stock on Christmas music to hear it. Just ring any Indian government department and ask some question so complicated that you're put on hold. A few have some suitably patriotic music like that mournful shehnai stuff you hear on Air India, but most of them haven't bothered to change the default hold music the telephone system came with, and for some reason it usually seems to be "Jingle Bells"!


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By any chance is there Santa Claus in Finland?

And you guys stop talking about Reindeer meat curry. Some residual emotions from my childhood are getting hurt. How would you like to have Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen on your table. :shock: And Bambi.

I faithfully stock my car with christmas music when tis the season.

Okay, I'll make an exeption for Caribou. :smile:

Has anyone made Sambar Sambhar. :biggrin:

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


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