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Pork Vindaloo


Grub
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My guess (based on no knowledge whatsoever and instead on cynicism) as to why UK restaurant vindaloo will usually contain both potatoes and tomatoes:

The two constitute a cheaper way of bulking up (is this a phrase?) the dish. Certainly a lot cheaper than having meat as the main ingredient.

If you look at most of the meat dishes in your run-of-the-mill UK Indian restaurant, there is usually an awfully large amount of gravy and an awfully small amount of meat. So why not try to fill the whole thing out even further with potatoes, etc.? Not saying that this is the only reason, but surely it is one of the reasons?

I'm not saying that this is true of all restaurants. I know I was going to all the wrong places while studying in the UK. At first anyway. (Stupid enough to take other people's recommendations as worthwhile until I finally wisened up). :wink:

Edited by anzu (log)
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a good idea, anzu, but then why just vindaloo? :huh:

Also, in most UK 'Indian restaurants', as they are run by non-Christians, the meat would never be pork, so, as Grub has found, the UK vindaloo is that in name only, everything else being way wide of the mark.

Personally, I think it is just lack of knowledge, most restaurants are/were run by Pakistanis, Bangladeshis or African Indians, and therefore probably had no notion of what a vindaloo was. Same goes for many dishes, I'm afraid.

(bulking out is quite OK, I must admit to a bit of personal bulking out myself, oh salad days :biggrin: )

cheers

Waaza

still working on the recipe......

Edited by waaza (log)
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to Grub, as promised:

Goan pork vindaloo (vin d'alhos)

According to Waaza, please copy the entire recipe,

do not change anything and credit me if you pass it on, thanks.

Ingredients for 4 people

Heat a large shallow pan on medium high heat. (1)

add 1 tbsp whole Indian coriander (2)

1 tsp white cumin (3)

1 tsp brown/black mustard seed (4)

1 tsp black pepper corns

6 - 10 lightly crushed dry red sanam chillies, or to taste.(5)

heat until just smoking, then add 1/2 tsp cracked fenugreek seeds.(6)

heat for another 10 seconds only, and take off the heat and cool.

when the seeds and chillies are cold, grind to a medium fine powder.

Add to the grinder 1 tsp garam masala (7) and 1 segment of star anise.(8)

Place the ground spice mix in a bowl, then

add 1 tbsp oil, 120ml (4 fl oz or 1/2 cup) cider vinegar(9)

and 7 cloves of garlic and 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger.

mix all together, then add about 700g of diced stewing pork(10)

so that all the pork is totally submerged in the marinade.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for 24 hours.(11)

To cook the vindaloo:

Heat 80ml (3 fl oz, 1/3 cup) cooking oil to medium heat in pan

meanwhile, cut two medium sized onions into 3mm dice(12)

add to pan and cook on medium heat for about 20 mins, until onions are golden(14)

strain pork from excess marinade and add to pan, maintaining medium heat.(15)

Continue cooking until the contents of the pan dry up.(16)

Add rest of marinade, and cook until dry once more.

Add a little water, and continue the bhuna process.(17)

Continue with this for about 5 minutes.

Now add 1/2 tsp of ground turmeric, and fry for 10 seconds only(18)

then add water or pork stock to cover all the pork.(19)

Place a lid on the pan, turn down the heat to simmer for 1 hour.(20)

Uncover the pan, and allow the gravy to thicken according to requirements, but do not boil.(21)

Serve with rice, or potatoes, or both, and a strong greens-based dish, like spinach.

Notes

1) this is to dry roast the spices, where the heating produces flavours which are similar to those from roasted meats. As the pork will not be roasted, it is important that these flavours are developed.

2) Indian coriander is the slightly larger, lighter coloured 'rugby-ball' shaped seed, said to have a better flavour than the (usually) Moroccan cultivar, but it really makes little difference.

3) Use the white cumin, and not the so-called black cumin, which has a very different flavour.

4) Or use the European white/yellow, not Indian, but similar effect.

5) Really to taste, if you prefer it even hotter, use the very hot Birdseye type chilli, but they must be dried, fresh will not produce the heat quickly enough for the marinade.

6) Try to find the cracked fenugreek used for making pickles, or very lightly grind whole seeds, be very careful not to roast these for more than 10 seconds, as they will become very bitter.

7) Make your own by grinding green cardamom, cassia, cloves and mace

8) Remove the seed if there is one, it is tasteless. Use just one 'leg' of the star.

9) Goans would use vinegar made from toddy, a kind of alcohol made from palm sugar, but a mild cider vinegar works well, as would rice vinegar. I use a mix of acetic acid, red wine and fresh elderberry juice, stored for a year.

10) Use stewing pork, which needs slow long cooking.

11) The pork will absorb some of the liquid, making it juicier, and adsorb some of the aromatics from the spices and garlic/ginger, giving a deeper flavour.

12) The onions need to be cut into small dice so that the water can be driven out without burning, and leave the pan with just oil, so the temperatures can rise to those which start to brown the meat, thus adding flavour.

14) heat the onions (cut and cook immediately, to reduce bitterness) and cook on medium heat until golden, this takes about twenty minutes, there should not be any black bits on the edges of the onion, remove them if you have any, and turn down the heat a little. The heat will depend on the amount of onion, the size, shape and construction of the pan, and the ambient temperature/draughts, but with time, you'll find just the right combination, believe me.

15) It is important not to increase the heat or the pork will shrivel and become tough as it squeezes out the marinade you so carefully bathed it in!

16) This is the so-called bhuna method, it’s a way of 'frying' the aromatics to hot oil extract the flavours without burning them, add a little water when it looks (or smells) as though it might burn. This gives a deeper, slightly smoky flavour to the dish.

17) Continue heating and adding water a few times to complete the bhuna process.

18) Turmeric will burn very quickly, so watch it very carefully, but it still needs a little oil extraction for those vanilla-type notes to come through, and to extract the colour.

19) This is a stew-type dish, all the pork needs to be covered.

20) The water or stock (if you have any) must only be heated to simmering point, that is, just a bubble now and again, if the liquid gets any hotter, the meat will shrivel and become tough, and rather tasteless.

21) You could take the lid off sooner if you think the gravy is going to be too thin, or you could remove the cooked meat, and reduce the gravy on its own. Add salt to taste at the end only, just prior to serving.

You could add some finely cut coriander leaf for garnish if you wish, but I suggest if preparing for a dinner party when several dishes are being offered, you put a very large fresh chilli on the rim of the serving dish, to indicate its pungency! Note, although I have used many chillies, they do blend in very well, the overall effect is one of total glow rather than stingingly hot.

Enjoy.

cheers

Waaza :wink:

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Woah, that's a really detailed recipe; looks very good. I'll report back when I've had a chance to try it out. It seems very interesting.

I'm particularly curious about the abscence of any tomato sauce, especially considering the long cooking process. I should think this would make the gravy entirely different from any vindaloo I've made, or eaten -- not that this would necessarily be a bad thing, of course. Very interesting.

Not sure when I'll have a chance to try it -- I've been wanting to modify the one I've tried a few times, but next chance when I do a vindaloo, I'll try this recipe.

Thanks.

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I had a chance to try it tonight. Got a lot of pictures, and just a few comments, but too tired to sort it out right now.

It was absolutely superb. The cooking process took quite some time (I would have started early, but wanted my guests to see the whole thing, since they're very interested in Indian cuisine), so we all got a little inebriated -- and not to equate this with a Rusholme curry, but I think that helped really get people raving.

It was absolutely fantastic. I mean, the last one I made was good, but this was in an entirely different league.

Normally, I love it when people eat everything -- I like having leftovers, but then again, it's nice if you cook something so good, that people eat everything, and you have no leftovers -- it's a compliment, sorta...

Well I made far too much food this time, to ensure I'd have lots of leftovers. But damnit, they ate everything -- I didn't need a compliment on this one; I knew it was fantastic. I wanted some damn leftovers, hehehe. I'll try to get the pictures up tomorrow.

Dude, that was excellent!

If you have any other recipies to share, I'd really like to hear 'em!

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Hi Grub, for you....cooking rice :biggrin:

I will start by saying that cooking rice is both an art and a science, but if you understand the principles and control the variables, it's just a science, that is, demonstrable. Everyone seems to have their own methods, but tried and tested methods show that there is a way which produces excellent results every time.

Firstly, we must discuss water content, of the 'dry' rice and the cooked rice, for all we are doing when we cook rice is pump it full of water. How this is accomplished determines the end result. Most rice contains about 60% water when fully cooked, but only about 10% (in round numbers) when dry, therefore we need to add about 50% water. That’s the easy bit, so a cup of rice needs a cup of water to cook it, and fully absorb it. Now, how many books have you seen (or instructions on packets) where they suggest two cups of water to one cup of rice? they are wrong. However, if one is to use an ordinary pan to cook the rice, we must expect a slight loss of water by evaporation.

Next I must discuss whether to wash the rice. In the US, rice has added vitamin dust on the outside, so if you wash the rice, you wash away the vitamins. However, rice will taste better, be lighter and less sticky if it is washed, it is subtle, but can be detected. I don't always wash my rice and get perfectly acceptable results, if slightly more robust grains. Some people suggest soaking the grains, but I never do. When the grains are soaked, some water gets inside. I prefer not to soak, so that when the rice is being cooked, what goes into the grain is flavoured water, not the murky stuff the rice would be sitting in if soaked, but its up to you.

So, to cook rice, choose a suitable pan, easily big enough to hold the swollen grains when cooked, and with a good fitting lid. You will also need two thicknesses of kitchen foil. This is to put over the pan. It keeps the steam in, reducing water loss. Take the rice and wash it if you like, and place in a sieve to drain and dry a bit, no water should remain. In the pan, place a little ghee or oil, (butter may burn!) and heat to medium high. Depending on the recipe, add very thinly sliced onion (use half an onion and slice it in at 90 degrees to the top/bottom, ie latitudinal rather than longitudinal if the south pole is the root end). As it is frying add spices according to the recipe, this could be whole spices or coarsely ground, but watch for burning. After a minute, add the rice, stir carefully to coat all the grains, and heat for a couple minutes whilst stirring. Now add liquid, either plain water, or stock, again according to the recipe, but make sure it is nearly boiling, or just boiled. Add it carefully to the pan, a little steam could be generated as the water hits the hot pan. Add enough water/stock to cover the rice by half an inch. This is very important, only half an inch. This extra half inch of water is lost during cooking, it is always half an inch, regardless of how much rice you are cooking, believe me. Now add any veg, such as peas and mushrooms, if appropriate. Also add any colouring agents such as saffron (best to soak this in hot water first) or turmeric. Now the important things:

Bring the water/stock to a boil, and break up any rice balls that may have formed, with a fork. Place the two thicknesses of foil over the pan, and put the lid on, ensuring no (or very little) steam escapes. Now turn down the heat to very low. You will have to experiment a little to get this exactly right, but with a little effort, after a few goes, you will get it right every time. Now leave it for twenty minutes. Do not lift the lid, I'll repeat that, do not lift the lid (bet you do the first time! :raz: ), do not add any more water, even if it looks dry. The rice is steaming, it needs this process to finish the cooking.

After twenty minutes, you can lift off the lid, and if you have added any aromatics, just breathe in the aroma, heavenly. Either cover the pan again and keep warm in a low oven, or serve when ready. The rice should be light and fluffy, with no water left at the bottom of the pan, there should be no burnt bits either, indicating too low a temperature or too high a temperature respectively. A little practice and you will get perfect results every time.

This is the way to make boiled rice and pilaus, the biryani pilau is much more complicated, so that can be another recipe. Choose the ingredients carefully to accompany your main dish/es, some may only need lightly spiced or even herbed rice, others can handle more robust flavours. One of my favorites is lemon rice, perfect for fish/prawn dishes, even some chicken dishes.

As a final note, the method above works for basmati rice, other rices may need different cooking times.

cheers

Waaza

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I'm going to add two qualifying statements here (not disagreeing with anything Waaza said above, just trying to head off any problems before they happen).

1. Qualifying what constitutes a suitable pan. Of course the rice should be able to fit in once cooked, but that's not all there is to it.

That is, don't use a pan which is very tall and not very wide. If you do, you might end up with undercooked rice even though you cooked it for the time stated.

2. Getting the heat right under the pan once you've turned the heat down.

Stoves vary tremendously, and with a few of them you simply CAN'T get the heat right for this. I've been cooking rice for decades for virtually every meal, and never had a problem. Then just recently I moved. New stove. Burnt rice. Now I have to use a flame tamer under the pot even when I have the heat turned down to the lowest setting. This is something I never had to do before. So, conditions do vary.

And two questions to Waaza.

1. Murky water the soaking rice would be sitting in?

I learnt to wash my rice in China and Japan, and was always taught to wash it until the water ran clear (the starch-containing water from this is quite good if you save it and you use it for watering plants, by the way.) In Japan, in particular, it was emphasized that the very first washing should be done rapidly and the washing water should be poured off quickly, otherwise the rice begins to absorb the murky water that you're discussing here, and will actually taste different. Subsequent washing can be a bit more leisurely.

However, I can't see any situation where it would be sitting in murky water. (?)

2. If you're talking about basmati in the U.S., would this actually have vitamins etc. added to it? Won't it be imported from India, and be without the U.S additives?

I used to buy Indian rice in the U.S., but I can't remember if it was plain, or if stuff had been added.

Personally, I would be in favor of washing, as if it's from India hygiene can be a bit lacking sometimes. It might not just be dust from the milling process you're washing away, but real honest-to-goodness Indian dirt as well. Not to mention the occasional stone, piece of string, nail, etc. :wink:

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all good points anzu. The pan needs a little consideration and your comments are spot on. I mentioned that it would take several goes to get it right, and for the reasons you mention. It always fills me with dred when I have to work in someone else's kitchen, however well equipped it is. As you say, cookers/ranges vary so much, not to mention the pans. I use heavy cast iron pans and electric/halogen hobs. I would prefer gas, though I have liked Aga's 'til recently.

I take your point about the dirty water, I do throw the first lot away immediately, as it gets merky very quickly, subsequent washes take longer, as you say. I use hot water, don't know if this makes a difference. If it sits in water, the starch will start to leach out, causing it to get murky again.

I don't know about the vitamins on imported rice, maybe we will be enlightened. The stuff I buy looks very clean, so either the exporters are improving, or the basmati rice does not come from the Indian SC. I know there are many imposters. Also, I had some polished rice from Pakistan, can't say I liked it, it had a strange texture.

cheers

Waaza

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Okay, very cool.

I've experimented with adding turmeric, as well as onions and scallions to my rice, but that's about it. On one occasion, I simply added some yellow food coloring, and had people insisting that the rice tasted differently -- it didn't, and once I told them I hadn't added anything but color, they agreed that maybe it did taste like normal rice after all... This showed me how much appearances affects taste.

Now, I've got few clues as to what aromatics to add to rice.

Lets say I'm making rice for the Pork Vindaloo (not the one in this recipe, but the latest -- heh, I've thrown away the recipe for this one) -- what would be good aromatics to add to rice for that dish? My natural inclination would just be to go with plain white rice, and dump the curry on top of it. Since the Vindaloo has such an immensely great taste, it wouldn't occur to me, that flavored rice could add something to it, you know?

If I could create rice that brings something additional to that plate, I think that might be amazing...

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Also, I had some polished rice from Pakistan, can't say I liked it, it had a strange texture.

Can you say more? Which brand, for example?

It wasn't 'golden rice' was it? That's the stuff that has been parboiled before milling. The colour and the texture are indeed somewhat different.

I was told off by a cook in India for making my pilaf/pulao (whatever you want to call it) with regular Basmati, when he insisted it should only be made with golden rice...

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Also, I had some polished rice from Pakistan, can't say I liked it, it had a strange texture.

Can you say more? Which brand, for example?

It wasn't 'golden rice' was it? That's the stuff that has been parboiled before milling. The colour and the texture are indeed somewhat different.

I was told off by a cook in India for making my pilaf/pulao (whatever you want to call it) with regular Basmati, when he insisted it should only be made with golden rice...

I still have the 5kg sack hanging in my kitchen!

Its brand name is Sabina, it says it is 'super kernal' Pakistani basmati rice, produced and packed by Amin Ittefaq Rice mills, Nankana Sahib.

The grain was super-smooth, and extremely white, but it was like eating little (soft) polished stones, to me, it was strange, the flavour was fine, and I have no doubt it was basmati, and I am only saying it wasn't right for me, it may be a perfectly good product.

There is a notion that pilaus should be made with par-boiled rice. May need looking into. I make pilaus with good quality basmati, sometimes washed, sometimes not (depending time available and whether just for me, etc., ) and I am happy with the results. Might look into the parboiled rice thing, but the methods given above always give me a good result, asnd they are so versatile.

Cheers

Waaza

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Okay, very cool.

I've experimented with adding turmeric, as well as onions and scallions to my rice, but that's about it. On one occasion, I simply added some yellow food coloring, and had people insisting that the rice tasted differently -- it didn't, and once I told them I hadn't added anything but color, they agreed that maybe it did taste like normal rice after all... This showed me how much appearances affects taste.

try adding blue colouring, and see what they say? only kidding!! :laugh:

Now, I've got few clues as to what aromatics to add to rice.

It is usual to add those spices found in garam masala, but whole, like cassia, cardamom (green, the whole black ones look like cooked cockroach, you must have done it, or is only me? :shock: ) cloves and mace, also whole coriander and cumin, and a leaf from the cinnamon tree, usually called tej patta, and always described in cookery books as bay (laurel), but it is different. Use bay by all means, but if using cloves and green cardamom, it would be pointless.

Lets say I'm making rice for the Pork Vindaloo (not the one in this recipe, but the latest -- heh, I've thrown away the recipe for this one)  -- what would be good aromatics to add to rice for that dish? My natural inclination would just be to go with plain white rice, and dump the curry on top of it. Since the Vindaloo has such an immensely great taste, it wouldn't occur to me, that flavored rice could add something to it, you know?

I think your feelings are correct, plain boiled rice would probably be fine, as the vindaloo is packed full of flavour, what is needed is a rather plain foil, for contrast and a little gustatory relief :wacko: BTW, I would put the curry on the side of the rice, so that people can take what they like, sometimes a mouthful of plain rice is needed. Also, it is not usual to have just one dish at a formal gathering, and keeping things a little separate is a good idea. What has not been mentioned is all the other things one can have that make the Indian meal such a wonderful experience, like pickles and chutneys, raitas and cachumbers/salads. The ideas of a balanced (tastewise) meal is at its highest in Indain cuisine, IMHO. More later.

If I could create rice that brings something additional to that plate, I think that might be amazing...

I'll have a think about a flavoured rice for you, and maybe introduce you to my flavour square :rolleyes:

Are you familiar with raitas etc.?

cheers

Waaza

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Okay, very cool.

On one occasion, I simply added some yellow food coloring, and had people insisting that the rice tasted differently -- it didn't, and once I told them I hadn't added anything but color, they agreed that maybe it did taste like normal rice after all... This showed me how much appearances affects taste.

try adding blue colouring, and see what they say? only kidding!! :laugh:

Hey, this is getting off-topic, but did you see the article the other day about the Colored Rice that's being marketed in Taiwan to entice teenagers back to eating rice instead of hamburger buns?

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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... Also, it is not usual to have just one dish at a formal gathering, and keeping things a little separate is a good idea. What has not been mentioned is all the other things one can have that make the Indian meal such a wonderful experience, like pickles and chutneys, raitas and cachumbers/salads. The ideas of a balanced (tastewise) meal is at its highest in Indain cuisine, IMHO. More later.

...

I've done some simple raitas, but don't know enough about it to call myself familiar with it, mind you... The thing about multiple dishes is, I try to keep things uncomplicated if at all possible; the path of least possible stress. Generally, I'll just do some papadums and chutneys as hors d'oeuvres while cooking -- or, depending on who's showing up, encourage them to bring something :)

Hey, this is getting off-topic, but did you see the article the other day about the Colored Rice that's being marketed in Taiwan to entice teenagers back to eating rice instead of hamburger buns?

Man, thems some wild colors -- very cool that they're natural...

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Okay, Hey, this is getting off-topic, but did you see the article the other day about the Colored Rice that's being marketed in Taiwan to entice teenagers back to eating rice instead of hamburger buns?

very interesting! wonder if it's popular, and whether the tastes

differ by colour.

milagai

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  • 11 months later...
Hi Grub, for you....cooking rice :biggrin:

...

Hiya Waaza, I don't know if you keep an eye on these threads, but thanks for the advice on the rice. Sorry for not getting back to you on this before, but I move back and forth between different cuisines. Thanks a bunch for the advice on rice -- I've taken it to heart...

While I still probably make more plain rice than flavored, I have managed to find a good mix of flavoring for my rice now -- although I must admit it came to me through a friend who was given a styrofoam cup with the needed ingredients by a friendly cook at a nearby hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant.

I start off with some thinly sliced onions (as you describe), and add a bay leaf and 2 black cardamom pods and a tea-straining pod with about ten cumin seeds and peppercorns, and a clove (for easy removal). This results in a slightly darkened, "dirty" color -- not unappatizing or anything, but sometimes I'll add turmeric or paprika for added color.

I've been doing a lot of European things lately, but my friends have been bugging me about making "my" now-famous vindaloo again, which I certainly will... But if you have any other great recipe to share, I'm all ears. :smile:

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been doing a lot of European things lately, but my friends have been bugging me about making "my" now-famous vindaloo again, which I certainly will... But if you have any other great recipe to share, I'm all ears.  :smile:

I don't follow any threads, so finding this one is your gain, I hope.

One recipe that comes to mind which might suit your cooking styles and interests is a tandoori style chicken breast recipe, with a creamy tomato and ginger sauce, which can be served in one of three ways to suit starter or main course. I have cooked this many many times, and showed others, when it becomes a kind of signature dish (awful term, but you know what I am getting at). It is also useful for those people who do not like 'hot and spicy food' as no chillies have to be slaughtered for this dish. And its a kind of India meets France.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, let me know. (I forgot to say its easy to make, very quick, stunning visually, and you don't need a tandoor). Have it with bread or rice.

cheers

Waaza

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Oh yes, please do share! That sounds fantastic -- creamy tomato and ginger sauce...

Indian and French food (well, I guess mostly the techniques of the professional French kitchen) are my two main areas of interest, so this sounds absolutely perfect.

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Hi, I'm new to this thread and have just read through it all, and throughly enjoyed it. I am so happy to see Indian food being tried out. I thought I might chime in, if thats ok?

Grub - for an Indian meal, the way I was taught by Mum (Mum is from Calcutta, I am born in London), that you always start the meal with lentils + rice (or Indian breads...we have rice for lunch, and breads for dinner). This is because, as Hindus, one could argue that meat-eating is somewhat forboden. It depends on what school of Hinduism you follow (this discussion is a separate thread I'm sure, or maybe even not for eGullet!), but in any case, starting the meal with a veg is important, the way I understand it. If anyone started the meal with meat, Mum would accuse them of being a rakshas, which is a demon type figure!

Then you move on from lentils (dahl) to another veg - subzi. This could be anything, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, aubergines...whatever. You may even have 2 veg, with perhaps paneer making up the second one. In Bengali cooking, garlic and onions are not much used in veg cooking, to keep them more "pure veg", and again prevent the meal from becoming too rich or "hot" (in a ying yang sense, rather than chili hot sense).

Then you would move onto meat or fish. If you were having meat and fish, fish would be first, then meat. In Bengali tradition, the meal would be finished with a sweet chutney, and then sweet homemade yoghurt. With the exclusion of the chutney and yoghurt, this is how every dinner in our home in London goes. We usually have a salad of tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce and onions to eat alongside everything, with some lime wedges.

Raitas and pickles have their place, but in a Bengali meal, they are used more to accompany certain dishes rather than condiments that go alongside anything and everything. Raitas would be made to go alongside biryanis, kebabs and the like. Pickles would be eaten more with breads and simply cooked veg than with rice.

So, I am in agreement with waaza (I am assuming your name is from the Kashmiri waazawan - the meal of 36 dishes? love it!) about the composition and balance of an Indian meal.

Oh, and as for "spiced" rices (pulaos etc), my Dad always prefers them to plain white rice, but I much prefer plain white rice with curries etc.

Thanks, hope this is useful. Oh, and heres the quick way we make Tandoori Chicken at home (altho we dont have a tandoor, so it goes in the oven, altho you could spatchcock and grill for a better flavour - I dont like having to spatchcock a chicken, but maybe I'm lazy!):

Chicken pieces should be slashed, marinated for 20mins in lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, pinch turmeric and chili powder (no paprika, the smoky taste is undesirable). Mix the dry with the wet and coat chicken and leave to one side.

Then mix yoghurt (pref not low fat, cos it protects and moistens the chicken, low fat is generally too thin) with garam masala, ground cinnamon (small pinch) coriander and cumin and chili powders, salt and some oil. Mix this together, rub over the chicken, and leave overnight or an hour...whatever time u have, in the fridge. If you have any to hand, Kasoori methi is also great if added at this stage. It is available, dried, in Indian food stores, and can be used in many Mughlai style curries as well. I think methi is fenugreek? Anyone clarify? Whilst you're at the Indian store, if you can find Kashmiri red chilies, either dried or ground into powder, that will really give you a better taste than regular chili powder. And I would never substitute paprika for chili powder, they taste very different to me and are in no way substitutable. Altho you may prefer the taste of paprika, in which case, go with it.

Take the chicken out of the fridge, allow to come to room temp, and roast in the oven as you normally would...10mins at 220C (to get the browning) and then at 180C til cooked. I like to use legs and thighs on the bone for this, but its up to you what you use. Oh, and though it may have been mentioned, chicken is always used without the skin in Indian cooking...I dont know if this is cos of hygiene (skin being considered "unclean") or to allow marinades into the meat. Probably both. Western cookery prefers to preserve the flavour of the chicken meat, whereas Indian cooking tries to impart its own flavours to the meat (hence the first marinade with the salt and lemon juice...to get water out of the chicken meat, mix with the marinade [chili ginger garlic], and then re-enter the meat).

Thanks again, happy cooking!

Raj

edited for punctuation :rolleyes:

Edited by Raj Banerjee (log)
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OK, will try to post tomorrow.

Methi is fenugreek, and I do add it to tandoori chicken, but in a special way.

Also I have some comments about Kashmiri chillies.

'til tomorrow, if pos.

cheers

Waaza (name is from the head cook who cooks the waazawan!) its also a corruption of my surname........ :blink:

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OK, will try to post tomorrow.

Methi is fenugreek, and I do add it to tandoori chicken, but in a special way.

Also I have some comments about Kashmiri chillies.

'til tomorrow, if pos.

cheers

Waaza  (name is from the head cook who cooks the waazawan!) its also a corruption of my surname........ :blink:

I am intrigued by your "special way" but will wait patiently til tomorrow!

Ta

Raj

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recipes, as promised. There is a third recipe which takes this one stage further by frying the chicken in butter, and adding a few more spices, then adding the sauce and cooking a little longer, but I need my notes for that, and I will post at a later date, along with a list of ingredients for the tandoori and chaat masala.

cheers

Waaza

Tandoori style chicken breasts with ginger and tomato sauce.

Recipe by Waaza, please do not change anything, if copying, and give credit where relevant, please.

This recipe uses chicken breasts instead of part of, or a whole small chicken (on the bone) to provide an easy to eat starter or main course, which is good cold as well! It does not contain hot spices, and is perfect for those who wish to try ‘spicier’ food, without jumping straight into a full blown Indian meal. It is loosely based on chicken makhani (or what it has become!) the origins of which are well known. This dish could even be the basis of the dreaded ‘CTM’.

As always, I have included some notes, although this dish must be one of the easiest to perfect. Nonetheless, it is, IMHO, one of the best; a good example where the result is better than the sum of the parts (ie its not just a load of flavours mixed together, one has to develop them!)

For four people or pro rata:

1 Choose four very plump chicken breasts (no bone), the best quality [1].

2 After washing, place each breast on a chopping board so that each lies east-west.

3 Cut diagonally from east to west across the meat, about ¾ of the way down into the breast.

4 Now flip the breast over north south, so the major axis of the breast still lies west-east, but the cut diagonals (now underneath) run west to east.

5 Repeat the diagonal cuts, as before (east to west). You should now end up with a whole breast, cut with diagonal slashes running contrary to each other.[2]

6 Prepare the marinade by mixing:

full fat yoghurt (say 5 fl oz), [3]

tandoori masala, about a teaspoonful, but to taste[4]

finely chopped fresh garlic (one to two cloves)

and finely chopped fresh root ginger (about an inch).

Add to the yoghurt, and mix well[5]

7 If you like, paint each breast with red/orange/yellow food dye, (this is up to you, of course, but the final result looks stunning (if a little too red!))

8 Put the marinade in a bowl (plastic is fine) immerse the slashed chicken breasts in it and ensure every crevice is coated.

9 Cover (with plastic wrap) and refrigerate for 24 hours.[6]

10 To cook, prepare a hot grill (broiler or salamander) or even a charcoal grill (maybe the best, apart from a tandoor!).

11 Place all the breasts on a tray lined with foil, lightly greased, and grill for about 8 minutes (depending on heat levels). [7]

12 remove the tray, and sprinkle on some chat masala, to taste. [8]

13 Turn the breast over and repeat the grilling and salting.

14 Either serve as is, or cooled, or use with a ginger and tomato sauce (recipe follows).

For the sauce

1 Take two inches of fresh root ginger and slice to produce thin rounds.

2 In a small saucepan heat about two tablespoons oil or ghee. [9]

3 Fry the ginger until crisp, then remove it, let it cool a little, then chop finely.[10]

4 Add it back to the hot oil, and immediately add a 16oz tin of plum tomatoes.[11]

5 Cook to reduce the liquor a little. Now you can add any left-over marinade (there shouldn’t be much) and any juices from cooking the chicken (on the foil!) [12]

6 The sauce can be left in this state until near to serving, then

7 Add a little (about 2 tablespoons) of double cream, and stir the sauce to mix well.

8 Add a little lime/lemon juice to taste, as a foil to the cream and add a little salt if needed. [14]

9 Just bring to the boil, and reduce the heat to low. Check the seasoning.

10 To serve, spoon some of the sauce onto the serving plate, cut the chicken across the breasts, and separate a little, showing the ‘white’ inside, and place on the sauce. [15]

notes

[1] , or I have used guinea fowl and even ostrich meat.

[2] this rather elaborate procedure (to write but easy to accomplish) ensures that if the cut is too deep, the breast will still remain whole. In essence, we are trying to achieve the maximum surface area for marinade permeation.

[3] use full fat yoghurt, this helps with the permeation of the flavours, and produces a moister product.

[4] I often use a bought masala, and maybe supplement it with other spices. There are several ideas on the net as to what can be used, (maybe open to discussion), but in fact, I don’t believe it’s that important, it doesn’t seem to make much difference to the final product.

[5] The mix, if a bought product is used which has a little dye in it, ends up a lurid pink colour, but don’t worry, it turns red on heating!

[6] It is essential to marinate for this time, the permeation rate of spice flavours is very slow (mm per hour), but this is an area I am going to (scientifically) experiment with.

[7] The final product has just the very edges slightly burnt, so cook until it just starts to burn.

[8] chat masala is like a spicy salt, containing some very smelly ingredients, including black volcanic salt and devil’s dung (asafoetida or hing) it also contains dried fenugreek leaves - recipe to follow. It has the ability to bring out the meatiness of the chicken.

[9] Butter is inappropriate here, as it will burn.

[10] This process develops the flavour of the ginger, which is extracted into the oil.

[11] You may have to adjust the temperature of the pan to prevent spitting.

[12] I add the marinade and cooking juices, but my SIL, whom I taught, prefers not to, horses for courses!

[14] This is really classic French procedure. The end result is not unlike ‘cream of tomato’ soup, with a subtle ginger flavour. It may need a little adjustment to get it just right, but experience will tell you.

[15] The result should be so good as to warrant a little extra decoration, I sometimes use gold leaf, especially if I’m using guinea fowl (in which case I call it ‘golden guinea fowl’!!)

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.

I think methi is fenugreek? Anyone clarify?

yep, it is, used as the seed and the dried leaf, and shoots!

Whilst you're at the Indian store, if you can find Kashmiri red chilies, either dried or ground into powder, that will really give you a better taste than regular chili powder. And I would never substitute paprika for chili powder, they taste very different to me and are in no way substitutable. Altho you may prefer the taste of paprika, in which case, go with it.

I would be careful about what are and what are not 'Kashmiri chillies'. As it is known, the region of Jammu and Kashmir is in turmoil at the moment, and even getting to the markets that sell chillies is fraught with danger. This situation has led to less scrupulous dealers selling any chilli under the guise of 'Kashmiri chilli'. I have at least two packets which, although stated on the label, are definitely not from Kashmir. I hope to bring back from real ones obtained by a friend who went into the 'bad lands' to procure a few of the real ones.

I don't believe they are particularly bright in colour nor that mild, about average in fact. The mildest chillies are grown in Karnataka, and are called Byadgi, after the market that sells them. They would be the equivalent of 'Indian paprika'. Of all the approximately 300 chilli varieties that I know of that grow in India, these are the nearest to what I believe people require in mildness and colour.

cheers

Waaza

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Waaza

Thanks for your recipes and notes! Very interesting.

I havent read them thru thoroughly yet, as I have an exam tomorrow. But as for J&K being in turmoil, I was in Jammu December last year, and it was ok. My newphew is in fact with the Indian Army. We were supposed to go on to Srinagar and Golmarg, where, owing to the snow, wintersports were abundant, but because of delays in getting flights out of Delhi (winter fog, what a waste of 3 days) we ended up just going up to Vaishno Devi (stunning) and spending a couple of days in Jammu.

Unfortunately it didnt cross my mind to bring back chillies! Although, from a supply point of view, I can imagine things being a different matter.

Cheers

Raj

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recipes, as promised. There is a third recipe which takes this one stage further by frying the chicken in butter, and adding a few more spices, then adding the sauce and cooking a little longer, but I need my notes for that, and I will post at a later date, along with a list of ingredients for the tandoori and chaat masala.

Wonderful -- this seems quite simple and straightforward. I expect I will have a go at this next week. Will report back. Thanks again, Waaza!

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