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eG Foodblog: Monica Bhide - Thoughts without a thinker


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Monica, I was just about to come here and say how double-triple-sorry I was to miss the Sunday party! :sad: The food and the hands look lovely. Did lots of women get their feet done like I did last year?

Let me add my voice to those who are really looking forward to this blog. I've often wondered what you cook the 364 days of the year you're not hosting a henna party.

Re: fruit leather--many natural foods stores carry fruit leathers without preservatives. So if your son is insistent, you may want to poke around next time you're at Whole Foods or near a food coop.

Mangoes--how are US mangoes and Indian mangoes different? I find that most US mangoes sweeten up nicely if left at room temperature until they're soft but not so soft as to be rotting.

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This thread is already 3 pages before I even found it!

I'm really looking forward to this, I cook a few Indian dishes and am hoping to add some to my repertoire.

Your dosa lunch looks just like the yummy ones from the vendor in Washington Square Park.

I've been recently wondering about mangos because I had always bought the darker colored ones but just I noticed the yellow ones are in all the markets around here. Also, I usually peel my mangos, then make a series of slices towards the seed and then slice them all off the seed in one fell swoop (if that makes sense).

Do you ever make traditional Indian sweets?

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This thread is already 3 pages before I even found it!

I'm really looking forward to this, I cook a few Indian dishes and am hoping to add some to my repertoire.

Your dosa lunch looks just like the yummy ones from the vendor in Washington Square Park.

I've been recently wondering about mangos because I had always bought the darker colored ones but just I noticed the yellow ones are in all the markets around here. Also, I usually peel my mangos, then make a series of slices towards the seed and then slice them all off the seed in one fell swoop (if that makes sense).

Do you ever make traditional Indian sweets?

Mom never made too many desserts growing up so I dont do too many. I do make a killer rice pudding if you would like to see that :raz::laugh:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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My dearest Monica, my heart has been literally pounding as I try to catch up on your splendid blog. I do love reading all the blogs, but somehow I feel that I'll have an emotional attachment to yours. Thank you for sharing your week with us.

Don't you and the little monkey share a birthday? I seem to recall a certain "Nemo" birthday cake last year?

Mom never made too many desserts growing up so I dont do too many. I do make a killer rice pudding if you would like to see that  :raz:  :laugh:

Very strange and yet so delightful, last night I had a dream about rice pudding, please do share your killer recipe and photo :wub:

Blog on, Monica!

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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Yes, he was born on my 30th birthday.

I will share the recipe. Mom made mostly rice pudding and carrot pudding. i guess because that is all we loved to eat. My grandma would make all kinds of desserts. Most Indian desserts tend to be time consuming to make. I buy them sometimes. Ofcourse I am addicted to icecream.

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Oh, that curry looks so lovely -- and easy, too. The recipe I have for coconut shrimp curry is quite lengthy. Will add this one to the menu next week -- and great tip on the chili oil. Ha ha, I'm the one who needs stuff mild around here -- my monkey inherited his dad's love of hot and spicy. :smile: Good night!

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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Three pages of fantastic postings. What a start. I confess I am a bit intimidated by Indian food I don't know why I love to eat it, cooking it that's another story. Other than baking its the only type of cooking that I don't attempt.

Wonderful start!

"Spiderman endorsing prunes" :laugh::laugh: I'm still laughing over that one.

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Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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Great blog Monica. I have been enjoying Indian food for years and years but was always tentative to try making it myself. This could finally be my inspiration to start, perhaps with that delicious coconut shrimp curry..... thanks and keep up the great blog.

Get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie!!!

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Good morning Monica

Good luck on your blog. I am really looking forward to learning about Indian home cooking.

I was introduced to Indian food when I spent several months in England back in the early 70s. Since then, I have enjoyed many a meal at several restaurants around the country and I have even managed to turn out a few decent curies. I even managed to get a chef at my favorite restaurant in Fort Lauderdale to teach me how to make his fluffy basmati rice.

Admittedly, Indian cuisine is not one of my culinary strong points. Ill be following your presentation and I can’t wait to try some of what I learn.

Thanks so much for undertaking this project

Elie

Eliahu Yeshua

Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.

- Alice May Brock

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My cup of tea always has company - I love Indian glucose biscuits (Parle G). The funny part is that when my family eats them, they dip the biscuit into the tea and still manage to keep it whole. I dip it and it dissolves into the tea and makes a mess. SO I prefer to eat it on the side LOL.

gallery_6825_1143_188492.jpg

My monkey needs to get registered for first grade today -- so we are all excited

Ummm! Parle Gs! That's my breakfast with a cup of instant coffee! I love dipping'em in my coffee and manage to get them out whole! We recently bought a whole box(around 200 packets) so that we don't have to go buy them often! :laugh:

Great blog, Monica, loving it!! Do we get to see a picture of the little monkey? :wink:

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Monica -

When you buy the big box of curry leaves, are they dried or fresh? I can only seem to find the fresh ones at the Indian grocery store which I frequent, and for some reason I never end up making the dish I bought them for that night, and then it turns into a week, and the darn things have gone bad before I get a chance to use them... I'm sure they will taste wonderful if I can ever get my timing together...

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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hi monica,

this blog could not have come at a better time! :smile: my beloved has just returned home from india today!

mr easternsun is back with a massive bag of mustard seed :wub: and heaps of sambar powder (what is in that anyway?) i dont have an indian grocery (we live in osaka, japan) so i sometimes struggle to find the right ingredients.

masala dosha is our fave -- and the reason (well the tea and bikkies didnt help) that i gained 5 kilos in india last year :laugh: i was living in kerala last year and did manage to study cooking for two plus months while i was there.

he also brought me back "recipes for all occasions" mrs. b.f. varughese, parts one and two....bless! now i see you have a cookbook - i need to get that one too!

i also have a question about curry leaves. have you ever tried to grow them and would they grow on on an urban veranda?

my other question is why are your papads tiny and colourful? are they some extra special ones?

ok, one more :wink: will you be sharing the cilantro chutney recipe with us? pretty please :wub:

i am so excited about your blog this week. i hope it is as much fun for you as it is for me!

"Thy food shall be thy medicine" -Hippocrates

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Very nice looking blog Monica. Loved your article in the NY Times.

I love mangoes and miss the Indian mangoes so much. Which mangoes are the sweetest here in the US? What do you all buy?

I love champagne mangoes -- they are long and slender, with a yellow skin like bananas. They are fragrant and always sweet, and never tart , even close to the seed. I can't always suck on the seed with other types of mangoes.

heaps of sambar powder (what is in that anyway?)

Could that by any chance be what they use to cook Keralan sambar soup?

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You make lovely, light dosais, Monica - they look like small rotis for roti canai!  :biggrin:

I adore roti canai. I had it in Penang restaurant in Boston a few years ago - it was delightful. I would love to visit Malaysia some year. I have seen only parts of the far east and loved them (Thailand, Singapore etc. )

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Great blog Monica. I have been enjoying Indian food for years and years but was always tentative to try making it myself.  This could finally be my inspiration to start, perhaps with that delicious coconut shrimp curry..... thanks and keep up the great blog.

SUrely you must try it. It is such easy food to make. Yes there are complex dishes, but is that not true for all cuisines?

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Ummm! Parle Gs! That's my breakfast with a cup of instant coffee! I love dipping'em in my coffee and manage to get them out whole! We recently bought a whole box(around 200 packets) so that we don't have to go buy them often!  :laugh: 

Great blog, Monica, loving it!! Do we get to see a picture of the little monkey?  :wink:

Post his pic? Yes I can do that. That will be the highlight of this blog, I can tell you that.

Personally I just love Parle G. Its interesting, I lived in a semi cloistered convent for about 5 years and the highlight of tea time was hot spiced tea and Parle G.

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Monica -

When you buy the big box of curry leaves, are they dried or fresh?  I can only seem to find the fresh ones at the Indian grocery store which I frequent, and for some reason I never end up making the dish I bought them for that night, and then it turns into a week, and the darn things have gone bad before I get a chance to use them... I'm sure they will taste wonderful if I can ever get my timing together...

People swear by frozen leaves. I just prefer to use them fresh. I think time it such that you can use it.. they are inexpensive now. The other thing is to spend five bucks and get a tiny curry plant. That way you have them when you need them. ANd they are always fresh. Heck even I can grow a curry plant.. trust me.. I kill silk flowers. So if I can do it, anyone can

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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mr easternsun is back with a massive bag of mustard seed  :wub: and heaps of sambar powder (what is in that anyway?)  i dont have an indian grocery (we live in osaka, japan) so i sometimes struggle to find the right ingredients.

i  also have a question about curry leaves.  have you ever tried to grow them and would they grow on on an urban veranda? 

my other question is why are your papads tiny and colourful?  are they some extra special ones?

ok, one more  :wink:  will you be sharing the cilantro chutney recipe with us?  pretty please :wub:

Let me see if I can get all your questions answered --

1. Sambhar powder comes from the south of India and is used to season sambhar (prepared with lentils and if done right is to die for). I have used it sometimes to season sauteed potatoes. Gives them a great tang. Most stores sell them.

2. Yes I grow them.. and they have not died yet.. its been six months - that is a record for me. Just be careful curry leaves and curry plant are two different things. One is edible the other one is not. I think my previous post said curry plant -- it is curry leave plant

3. The small papads -- My son loves them so I make the colored ones. No nothing special other than just that

4. Cilantro Chutney -- I make mine with cilantro, mint, lemon juice, a touch of garlic and on occasion grated coconut. I used to hold events at Whole Foods and here is how we served it -- Take thick slices of warm french bread, spread on some sweet cream butter, top with the chutney and then place a thinly sliced English cucumber on top -- YUM

Hope that helps and keep reading :smile:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Very nice looking blog Monica.  Loved your article in the NY Times.
I love mangoes and miss the Indian mangoes so much. Which mangoes are the sweetest here in the US? What do you all buy?

I love champagne mangoes -- they are long and slender, with a yellow skin like bananas. They are fragrant and always sweet, and never tart , even close to the seed. I can't always suck on the seed with other types of mangoes.

heaps of sambar powder (what is in that anyway?)

Could that by any chance be what they use to cook Keralan sambar soup?

Champagne Mangoes -- sounds so romantic. Thanks for the note on my article. By God's grace it was very well received. Yesterday it was picked up by the International Herald Tribune.

Do u cook Indian food?

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Good morning all!

I am back and wanted to start the morning by having you look at pictures I have been looking at.... its a good way to start the morning

Here is another view from our trip to the islands

gallery_6825_1143_176497.jpg

I loved walking thru the streets of St Johns. This tiny stall caught my eye. The locals are so amazingly friendly. And everything has RUM -- wahoooooo!

gallery_6825_1143_539426.jpg

For coffee this morning (and breakfast) -- we are having Brazilian coffee that my friend brought me from San Paolo. Dont feel like eating much so I am munching on almnonds

gallery_6825_1143_224122.jpg

For dinner we are having OKRA -- YAY-- dont know about lunch yet

gallery_6825_1143_630213.jpg

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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