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First Things First:
Tea in India is traditionally made with black tea, and I use the Orange Pekoe cut black tea that is available in the market in the USA. In India we used brands like Wagh bakri/ Girnar or BrookBond Red Label tea. Strong tea for the morning.
1. Plain tea with milk
3/4 cup of water per person.
1 t loose leaf black tea
less than 1/4 cup warmed milk
Heat the water in container. When it comes to a boil, add the milk. Heat till the mix rises. Turn OFF the heat and add the tea leaves, cover and let steep. In about a minute you can stir the tea with a spoon. If the brew color and fragrance are appropriate, you can sieve the tea and pour it into cups to enjoy.
If it is light, then you can turn on the heat and boil it for thirty seconds. Remember the bitter tannins generate from the tea leaves after steeping so hesitate to boil.
Instead if you like stronger tea, I would suggest adding more tea leaves earlier. Or if using teabags, use two instead of one. If I use lipton, Brook Bond or tetley brands I always take two teabags per cup.
2. Masala tea
Here measure 1 cup of water per person because you will boil it down to 3/4 cup per person after adding the masala.
The ‘masala’ in the tea can be made up of either one or two or a mixture of certain spices. However I am always amused that the one spice which we never ever added to Indian tea is Vanilla, and that was originally the starbucks vanilla chai latte flavor! It was quite distasteful at first, but do you know what, either they changed the formula or we go used to it!!
Anyway the most common tea masala that you can find in the Indian stores can also be made at home.
Take one teaspoon powdered ginger
3 small seeds of cardamom (not pods)
crush together and keep in a jar.
When making tea, add a pinch to the water as you start to heat it. You can add more or less as you prefer. Boil this masala with the water and THEN add milk and tea leaves later.
You can substitute fresh grated ginger for the powdered variety. Start with smaller quantities. You can substitute mint leaves for ginger and cardamom, or cinnamon instead of anything. In the northern regions of India fennel is sometimes the masala in the tea. Or even ajwain or carom seeds (though I dislike that taste in tea).
Hope this will help you to make Indian masala Chai at home. And since we are more similar than different, when I say ‘Indian’, I would most certainly include all of the neighboring countries as well. Our tastes unite us in more ways than one.
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
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
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.
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
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.
Goa being one of the popular cities of India is known for its local delicacies. These delicacies have been passed on from generation to generation, while some of them have continued to remain popular, some of them have lost their charm with the introduction of newer cuisines. Since the Portuguese entered Goa, they have had a strong influence on the local cuisine. A major turning point came when they introduced a variety of spices that changed their style of cooking completely. The Portuguese introduced plants like corn, pineapple, papaya, sweet potato and cashews. One such example of a popular dish would be Pork Vindaloo. Goan food is a mix of hot and sour ingredients that make their seafood delectable. Kokum is one such ingredient which is known to be a tangy-sweet fruit. It is added in curries to render a sour taste and is often accompanied with seafood. Dried red chillies are one the most vital ingredients common among all the local delicacies that is either used in its whole form or ground into a fine paste. Since seafood is the soul of Goan food, it is preserved and relished in other forms too. Goan pickles are known to be quite famous. Prawn Balchao, a very famous prawn pickle prepared with dried red chillies is relished with a simple lentil curry and rice. Another delicacy is the Goan Para Fish made with mackerels, red chillies and goan vinegar. These are regular accompaniments with their routine meals. When talking about Goa, you cannot not mention their sausages. These mouth-watering and spicy sausages are made with pork and a variety of spices. Last but not the least, is the widely famous Goan bread, locally known as Poi. Leavened bread which is part of almost every meal and eaten with plain butter too. These ingredients make the cuisine extremely palatable and continue to make this cuisine stand out from the rest.
By shweta gupta
Do any one familiar with the Bengali spice brands of India, my friend is Interested in Cooking Bengali Food. Can any One Suggest me few Brands to Reffer.
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