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The North vs. South debate


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I'm sure this has been discussed, but following on Monica's excellent food blog I'm curious as to your overall preference: North Indian or South Indian?

I am most definitely South, as I feel there's more variety, better presentation of the vegetable's natural taste and texture, and although I'm a carnivore I don't really find Indian meat dishes all that they're cracked up to be (save Vindaloo, Dhansak and the odd tandoori craving). South India totally redefined how I look at lentils, okra and coconut. And if the heat of it (I thought Andhra Pradesh would give me a heart attack) doesn't kill you it most certainly makes you stronger.

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Do we have to pick one :smile:

right, i mean, i mix the two styles all the time

(last night: monica's okra sabzi delhi style - big hit

with family; plus lemon rice, plus yogurt, plus

green beans koottu: trad south indian dish).

next week prob some bangla style dal and

western indian sabzi, etc......

i really doubt i could pick one ..... :smile:

milagai

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I'll pick one just for one fun. I prefer South Indian.

My opinions on Indian cuisine though are totally novice. Maybe it's more fruitful to discuss regional cooking or has this been done already?

EDIT: I'm not a novice in eating Indian food. Mostly I don't know the names of dishes I've tried. Lately I've been going to this casual Indian place and parts of the menu are divided into North Indian and South Indian. I will be having a dosa today. :wub:

Edited by touaregsand (log)
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South for me. I love the Dhosas. Hyderabad and Madras-style curry dishes.

No, wait! North! Indian Chinese food from Kolkatta (okay, its technically East, but still)!

That isn't to say I'm not a total fiend for tandoori either.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I'm almost tempted to say that the Indian cuisine I prefer is one I haven't had yet. I love both South and North Indian cuisine, but to my knowledge, I have yet to try anything Assamese, Rajasthani, Pondicherry-style, Baluchi, or from several other states.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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:biggrin: I don't know... must you ask..

Hard to speak about this, without conjuring up tasty favourites from either regions, anyway north and south is too general, I'd rather pick some dish and ask which region it comes from. Not to mention the current palates are seasoned by the continuous mixing trends from all regions.

For instance I love poha which is maharashtrian, and also the fact that they use dry curry leaf powder for every thing and dhokla's.. too but on the whole I should say that every cuisine is not independent in itself, I thought that certain practices of cooking are unique to a region but it is not so, and the taste difference comes from very small variations that keep getting adopted by others too..

Gujarathi cooking uses dry powder of spices like chillies for tadka and so do bengalis.. so my apologies but if we were living in a time when there was little or no travel and consequent mingling amongst people

I would consider one's cuisine as one's cuisine on other terms no. :raz:

Only few dishes have so far remained unique to a place so we can comment on a

of them I guess

North in general stuffed parathas, tandoor, all tomato based roux curries, mint/coriander chutney, tamarind chutney, dals, vegetables spiced with cumin

South Rice pancakes (dosas uthappam ..), sharp spice and acidity, coconut based curries, less or rather independent of tomatoes curries like avial/kootu sambar, chutneys(very specifically called toghaiyal)

I think my balance will be almost on equal by now if I were to weight both sides.. so I think it is really beneficial to take one at a time and enjoy it as it comes.. :laugh:

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Actually, I prefer east or west over north and south!

Though it really is too hard to choose...I would take a fresh paratha with achaar and dahi at breakfast over idli/sambhar anyday. But if you offered me a choice between a nice biryani or a mangalorean fish gassi for lunch, I would take the fish. Depends on my mood I guess...

Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking

edhamann@hotmail.com

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The parathas are the most tempting for me about North Indian. Esepcially the stuffed ones. The Indian place I've been frequenting doesn't make them as rich and flaky as I like. I went three times this week, but I will have to limit myself to once a week. I'm beginning to notice that my clothes are getting a little tight. :hmmm:

I also bought a bread griddle. I wonder if I have to cure it? What is it called? I know I should have asked at the place. There is one person who speaks perfect English, but he says things like "I use it to make tortillas" and the other person doesn't speak much English at all. The cook/chef by the way is a hispanic woman who makes the best dhosa I've ever tasted.

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Actually, I prefer east or west over north and south!

Though it really is too hard to choose...I would take a fresh paratha with achaar and dahi at breakfast over idli/sambhar anyday. But if you offered me a choice between a nice biryani or a mangalorean fish gassi for lunch, I would take the fish. Depends on my mood I guess...

Manglorean gassi would kinda be like south-west :wink: When I'm visiting India, I have variety in my breakfast or a dinner - idli,dhokla,paratha,vada ...

anil

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The parathas are the most tempting for me about North Indian. Esepcially the stuffed ones. The Indian place I've been frequenting doesn't make them as rich and flaky as I like. I went three times this week, but I will have to limit myself to once a week. I'm beginning to notice that my clothes are getting a little tight.  :hmmm:

I also bought a bread griddle. I wonder if I have to cure it? What is it called? I know I should have asked at the place. There is one person who speaks perfect English, but he says things like "I use it to make tortillas" and the other person doesn't speak much English at all. The cook/chef by the way is a hispanic woman who makes the best dhosa I've ever tasted.

You are right about paranthas. I have been eating them for 40 years.. cant get them off my back.. Love 'em so much. To keep your old clothes still fitting you, try to cut the carbs of paranthas. Instead of all atta, try to add some protein like soy flour. This will make the dough a little less carby. I typically use 2.5 to 1 ratio of whole wheat flour to soy flour for paranthas, ever since i started to watch my carbs.

What kind of gridle is that?.. Round tawa or some other type. Typical curing is to slather any cooking oil and heat it up in an oven for 30 minutes or so before using. (Make sure it does not have any plastic parts) Do it a couple of times for good measure and it should be cured after 1 or 2 actual uses, when you make paranthas on it.

Edited by deliad (log)
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Yes it's a tawa. I did a search on Yahoo images with that name.

Thanks for the curing tip. I'm doing it now and noticing the impurities that are coming out.

The soy flour tip is great. I never thought of it. I'm starting to watch what I eat too. It's age and having two kids. :hmmm:

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Yes it's a tawa. I did a search on Yahoo images with that name.

Thanks for the curing tip. I'm doing it now and noticing the impurities that are coming out.

The soy flour tip is great. I never thought of it. I'm starting to watch what I eat too. It's age and having two kids.  :hmmm:

assuming the tawa was not a non-stick kind? :unsure:

the soy flour is indeed a great idea.

count me in among the 2 kids and old age crowd.

too often it's me eating the 2 kids' lefotvers in

frustration as they satisfy their bird appetities with

tiny portions of the decent helpings i fill in their plates

(they are age 7 and 3); i should really start letting them

serve themselves; the 7 yo is almost at the point where

she can wield a ladle independently......

milagai

Edited by Milagai (log)
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Growing up grass was always greener on the otherside. In school we always ate lunch box of the person from another part of the country.

However i think the cuisine that you grow up with is what you cannot live without. i think that being vegan or not, ability to tolerate hot (spicy stuff) etc determines how much of the other cuisine is adopted apart from your own.

I am North Indian Monday to Friday and over the weekend it's another part of the country (or world)

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Growing up grass was always greener on the otherside. In school we always ate lunch box of the person from another part of the country.

Lucky you, Geeta! What were the other kids eating that your mom wasn't packing in your lunchbox? :smile:

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Growing up grass was always greener on the otherside. In school we always ate lunch box of the person from another part of the country.

Lucky you, Geeta! What were the other kids eating that your mom wasn't packing in your lunchbox? :smile:

Well my lunch box was mostly Roti/Parantha and Vegetable along with some salad. My mom's parantha's were(are) so good, soft and they always had layers.

My class mates depending on part of the country they were from (or sometimes day of the week or if it's a special day (b'day, festival etc)), their lunch boxes had Idli, Dosa, Poha, Sabudana kichdi, Various Preparation of rice, different types of veggies with Roti/Parantha, bread and jam, bread rolls, kichidi with pickle.

One person normally claimed another person's luch box, though everyone got a taste of what other ate.

All my friends were vegans atleast in their lunch box, so we all had a great time. Oh those were the days...

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Well my lunch box was mostly Roti/Parantha and Vegetable along with some salad. My mom's parantha's were(are) so good, soft and they always had layers.

My class mates depending on part of the country they were from (or sometimes day of the week or if it's a special day (b'day, festival etc)), their lunch boxes had Idli, Dosa, Poha, Sabudana kichdi, Various Preparation of rice, different types of veggies with Roti/Parantha, bread and jam, bread rolls, kichidi with pickle.

One person normally claimed another person's luch box, though everyone got a taste of what other ate.

All my friends were vegans atleast in their lunch box, so we all had a great time. Oh those were the days...

i can testify to being on the southie end of this deal.

definitely i used to trade my boring every day idlis

and lemon rice

for parathas, poha, etc. from friends of other regions.

this tiffin-trading was a huge lunchtime ritual in school

despite indian food-sharing taboos.

:wink:

the funny thing is my 8yo dd takes home-food

for her school lunch (public school lunches

here are quite disgusting) and i had initially

been worried that her friends would tease her

about her "peculiar" food, but she reports that

they often ooh and aah over her lunch and

say that they wish their moms would pack lunch for them.

there is apparently a critical mass of

rasam-and-rice kids in the chapel hill school system;

its quite mainstream!

milagai

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Well my lunch box was mostly Roti/Parantha and Vegetable along with some salad. My mom's parantha's were(are) so good, soft and they always had layers.

My class mates depending on part of the country they were from (or sometimes day of the week or if it's a special day (b'day, festival etc)), their lunch boxes had Idli, Dosa, Poha, Sabudana kichdi, Various Preparation of rice, different types of veggies with Roti/Parantha, bread and jam, bread rolls, kichidi with pickle.

One person normally claimed another person's luch box, though everyone got a taste of what other ate.

All my friends were vegans atleast in their lunch box, so we all had a great time. Oh those were the days...

*sigh* To have paranthas for school lunch! My mom would only pack American lunches - ham sandwich, tuna sandwich, turkey, turkey, turkey........

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[

*sigh* To have paranthas for school lunch!  My mom would only pack American lunches - ham sandwich, tuna sandwich, turkey, turkey, turkey........

where was this? in the US or were you overseas?

and did your mom do parathas any other time?

milagai

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