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eG Foodblog: Monica Bhide - Thoughts without a thinker


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Here we go, Monica's Malay Curry

1. Heat oil in a pan and add finely ground shallots and ginger

Fry them till they change color to a light brown. Add a cinnamon stick and 2 star anise.. and smell paradise.

2. Now comes the AWESOME part -- add as much of this sambhal as you can take

3. Now add the your spice paste (Monica's spice paste -- in a bowl add turmeric, red chili, coriander powder, cumin powder, salt, a touch of dried mango powder -- if you dont want to do this add a spoonful or two of any commericial hot curry like Shan)

4. Cook for a few minutes. If the spice paste starts to stick add some water.

5. Add the chicken and continue to cook for 10 -12 minutes or until the chicken is 3/4 cooked.

6. Add a can of lite coconut milk and bring to a slow boil. Cover and lower the heat. Cook for about ten minutes or until the chicken is done.

Monica! I would have been here a lot sooner had I known you are blogging. :raz:

A comment or comparison on the 'Malay Curry' and the use of coconut milk. No that I'm saying what you did is not malay curry. It is like you say Monica's Malay Curry. And what tastes good is good. :biggrin:

The usual way we (the Malays) do this is to mix everything into a paste - the chiili paste, the spices, the blended shallots, garlic and fresh root ginger.

Heat oil - a generous amount of it (which later can be spooned out and thrown away) and add in the whole spices - cinnamon, star anise, clove and cardamom. Stir-fry on low heat for 1 minute.

Then add the wet spice paste and fry until the oil separates. If the mixture sticks, add more oil, not water - the idea being you want to 'fry' the paste until it is quite 'fried'. This, IMO, also yields a more aromatic curry.

Add chicken pieces, light coconut milk (light here meaning second and third press coconut milk) and tamarind juice.

Cook until chicken is half cooked and add potatoes and carrots, and tomatoes if desired.

Otherwise, when chicken is cooked, add salt to taste and add THICK coconut milk.

Keep stirring until the curry starts boiling and then remove from heat when it comes to full boil.

Adding the thick coconut milk will give it a creamier taste. I would say that Indian curries here do not bother with this step.

Coconut milk used in curries will not curdle but if used to make a dish by itself will curdle if left to boil without stirring. In making the dishes that uses only coconut milk (besides the onion and flavorings like anchovies or prawns), light coconut milk is used first to cook the vegetable and when it is cooked, only then thick coconut milk is added. It must then be stirred continously and once it boils, remove from heat. And the first time I cooked in my own house after marriage, I used a Visionware pot which retains heat long after it is removed from the stove - and my dish was ruined. The coconut gravy has curdled.

We eat curries with a lot of things including yellow glutinous rice which is a common main dish during religious ceremonies.

Okay .... back to Monica's blog. :biggrin:

I hope to see you cook a Vindaloo, Aloo Gobi or even Dum Aloo Kashmiri - my favorite Indian dishes along with Handi Biryani!

And I love the mixed vegetable dish called Jal Frazi. What does jal frazi mean?

Also the last time we dined at The Bombay Palcae, we tried a new kind of curry which was a whiter gravy and not hot at all. I forgot the name. :rolleyes: It looks like the Malay Kurma dish but tastes a little different.

Do you use a lot of coconut milk in your Indian cooking or do you usually use yoghurt or milk?

Will you be making mango lassi? My husband loves this.

And kulfi? :biggrin: Can you tell that I'm excited? :raz:

I can't wait to see more pictures (and recipes).

And yes, please come visit us here! We'd be delighted to have you.

Edited by kew (log)
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Both photos of the kheer are also making me drool. The sliced (and blanched) almonds looks so pretty on top. I must now make some as soon as possible.

Adding my thanks for a terriffic blog.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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This is wonderful reading. It is very nice of you to remember me -- I was indeed a student in Maryland (and still am, but have followed my dissertation director to Cleveland). I wish I'd done a better job of connecting with DC area egulleteers while I was there. Alas. But speaking of this:

When I lived in Cleveland many years ago, my dearest friend and I used to eat at this Greek joint run by Indians and this is how they made their rice pudding.. and I have adored it since.

That looks wonderful. I wonder if the place is still there! Do you remember the name?

"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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Kew -- Thanks for that lovely explanation. i am glad I called it Monica's curry :laugh:

Your list is huge -- I can try to do some.. so little time. Perhaps I will blog again sometime.

This blog I just wanted people to see how we ate as a regular family... it was not meant to be an Indian cooking class of sorts :laugh: :laugh:

I do use coconut milk a lot, probably more than I should. In India it a very popular ingredient.

My son wants egg curry.. so get ready.. that will be sunday's dinner for sure.

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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This is wonderful reading. It is very nice of you to remember me -- I was indeed a student in Maryland (and still am, but have followed my dissertation director to Cleveland). I wish I'd done a better job of connecting with DC area egulleteers while I was there. Alas. But speaking of this:
When I lived in Cleveland many years ago, my dearest friend and I used to eat at this Greek joint run by Indians and this is how they made their rice pudding.. and I have adored it since.

That looks wonderful. I wonder if the place is still there! Do you remember the name?

It was in downtown in the old Post office building on Euclid Avenue.. let me see if my friend remembers the name.. i am sure she does, she still lives there. I will aks her tomorrow.

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Your list is huge -- I can try to do some.. so little time. Perhaps I will blog again sometime.

This blog I just wanted people to see how we ate as a regular family... it was not meant to be an Indian cooking class of sorts :laugh: :laugh:

I know but I can't help myself. :biggrin:

I do use coconut milk a lot, probably more than I should. In India it a very popular ingredient.

I asked because the North Indian restaurants here do not use coconut milk but rather yohurt or milk. I just love North Indian food!

My son wants egg curry.. so get ready.. that will be sunday's dinner for sure.

Oh I love that too! I look forward to seeing how you make it though.

Thanks for a wonderful blog!

Edited by kew (log)
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<snip>  I would love to visit Malaysia some year. I have seen only parts of the far east and loved them (Thailand, Singapore etc. )

Monica, perhaps you'd consider including a visit to Indonesia as well. It would be my honor and pleasure to welcome & host you! (I'm still waiting for Pan & Suresh to come! :wink: )

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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Monica, perhaps you'd consider including a visit to Indonesia as well. It would be my honor and pleasure to welcome & host you! (I'm still waiting for Pan & Suresh to come!  )

My experience is limited to Thailand only and I'd love it if we can all have a discover Indonesia trip. You cant get a better hostess than Yetty. :wub:

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

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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Unfortunately, there's that small matter of airfare....As the Italians say "magari." I suspect I'll see Yetty in New York before I have a chance to go to Bogor. But thanks, Hon. :wub:

And now, back to our show. :raz:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Good morning all - ANd what a lovely invitation to wake up to. Yetty --thank you.

I was going over my blog and am horrified at my breakfast habits -- coffee and nuts. Hmmm. I was eating better breakfast when I was on Atkins.

Suggestions for breakfast would be welcome. Something light.. very light.

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Well - I am sipping my tea and looking for interesting pictures to post. I know there are many dog lovers on the board. ... so here is my contribution -- I was in Georgetown last week looking for a new story idea.. and I swear he was posing for me :laugh:

gallery_6825_1143_818035.jpg

My tea is Ethiopian today. A friend from there brought it over -- nice and spicy with lots of cloves, cinnamon... heartwarming

I am recharing my camera batteries so the pictures I am sharing are from tea in India a year or so ago

gallery_6825_1143_390636.jpg -- Street tea

Also here is one of my favorite st johns picture -- a great way to wake up --

gallery_6825_1143_109917.jpg

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Hi Monica,

Thanks for giving us an insight into your life. Your article "The Color of your dreams' is very inspiring. I think you are very right when you say 'Creating your personal vision is not just a creative exercise, but an exercise in commitment to yourself'

BTW i live in DC area as well

Regarding getting okra, i get good okra almost anytime of the year at Superfresh, Han ah reum and local indian market. Ours is a family are okra hogs and everyone particularly like the stuffed bhindi which i make a lot of. (I always ask for new batch of okra as i always get 2-3 pounds. I think they all remember me as the okra lady)

Also thanks a lot for pointing us to MDH kasuri methi. Will buy and try. The methi was amazingly green for a dried methi. Normally i make alu, palak and dried methi. The palak provides the bulk and the dried methi flavor turns the palak into methi. Left over is great for stuffed paranthas.

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Hi Monica,

Thanks for giving us an insight into your life. Your article "The Color of your dreams' is very inspiring. I think you are very right when you say 'Creating your personal vision is not just a creative exercise, but an exercise in commitment to yourself'

BTW i live in DC area as well

Regarding getting okra, i get good okra almost anytime of the year at Superfresh, Han ah reum and local indian market. Ours is a family are okra hogs and everyone particularly like the stuffed bhindi which i make a lot of. (I always ask for new batch of okra as i always get 2-3 pounds. I think they all remember me as the okra lady)

Also thanks a lot for pointing us to MDH kasuri methi. Will buy and try. The methi was amazingly green for a dried methi.  Normally i make alu, palak and dried methi. The palak provides the bulk and the dried methi flavor turns the palak into methi. Left over is great for stuffed paranthas.

Hey - welcome and thanks for taking the time to post. I miss Indian okra.. it has a different taste. I wonder why that is.

If you go to Han ah reum.. we may be neighbours :smile:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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I live on the other side of potomac - MD :-)

You are right, for whatever reason (soil, water or air) the veggies taste lot different (read better) in India, though ogranic ones here are close

I am enjoying reading your blog. Even though i am an vegetarian (indian kind) i go over each and everypost. U have all of us involved. Thanks.

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Cakewalk -- Does this help

1. Heat oil in a pan and add finely ground shallots and ginger -- ginger is the sort of thing that I usually double, like garlic  :hmmm: -- but can you give me an idea of how much I should be doubling?  :raz: -- I used about two teaspoons

Add a cinnamon stick and 2 star anise.. and smell paradise -- do you grind them first, or put them in whole? Whole

2 Can I please ask for an idea of amounts used for a given quantity of the paste? go easy on the spices 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon for the most

. Add the chicken and continue to cook for 10 -12 minutes or until the chicken is 3/4 cooked. --Do you usually use particular parts of the chicken? Legs, breasts, etc. Does it make a difference? I use thighs. I am not fond of chicken breasts. Cooking times change for different cuts.

Okay?

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Of course we want to cook along with you!!! Please post the steps. I won't be able to do it tonight, (I work evenings) but I bet a lot of others will!!!

Thanks so much !

Stop Family Violence

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Monica, you are very naughty pulling me away from work.

:raz:

I am here, just not posting a lot. Because, believe me, I'd like nothing better to talk food all day, esp. since I'm trying to finish writing a diet book (boo, hiss).

Hey, I have a question -- on the first day of your blog, you posted a photo of colorful tidbits that looked like rice puffs, and then you deep-fried them. Pray tell, what are they? I've never seen them in the stores around here.

di

Diana Burrell, freelance writer/author

The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock (Marion Street Press, Nov. 2006)

DianaCooks.com

My eGullet blog

The Renegade Writer Blog

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