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Suvir Saran

Do you taste as you cook?

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Do you taste as you cook?

Is the tradition of not tasting foods as you cook them just a part of Indian myth today?

If you do not taste as you cook, how do you make sure your food is perfectly cooked and spiced?

Is there a reason why you do or do not taste food as you cook?

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I hardly ever taste while cooking; I don't know why, I just never did. The only time I taste is when I'm making something I've made before and really like and I taste it because I like it so much, but not to see how it's doing. Generally, I can tell from how it smells and how it looks in the pot (color, degree of activity from heat) how it tastes. The only times I ever have trouble is if I change the type of salt I'm using and then I taste.

I've noticed that when I cook a very large meal and might be cooking all day long, even though I haven't been tasting, I usually feel as if I've eaten, but then the leftovers next day are a treat. I think it's because I've been standing over the stove inhaling the smells all day.

What is the tradition in India and what is the thinking behind the tradition?

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I didn't realize that was an Indian tradition. I'd be interested in hearing the reasons behind it. Certainly, from a pragmatic standpoint, tasting as you cook is a way to ensure that you will achieve your desired result. Then again it's not as though I taste a steak as I cook it, so it is of course possible to cook something well without ever tasting it. Still, I think when you get into the area of sauces and spice blends tasting becomes rather useful.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
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If it's a new preparation, I taste at every step. If it's something I've done for years, I don't bother until I get to the very last.

I believe one of the most useful phrases in cooking is Julia Child's directive at the very end of her recipes: "Correct seasonings."

When I first began cooking, I'd get to that bit and just laugh to myself: "Well, Julia, thanks a lot for all the assistance. If I could simply 'correct seasonings' with no more instructions than that, I wouldn't need you."

But now, a good forty years after I started, at the bottom of all of my recipes I, too, write: "Correct seasonings."

When I had a large family at home to cook for, I sometimes did taste and sometimes did not. But, when I am cooking for guests, I absolutely never put anything on the table that I haven't tasted, at least once before the final presentation.

I like to do whatever I can to reduce the possibility of unpleasant suprises at the table. Like the time I put 1/4 cup salt in a sweet potato casserole that had called for sugar.

That little beauty hit the disposal instead of the dinner table.

So no one ever knew a thing about it but me. And my reputation for great food remained intact.

:biggrin:


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Jogged my memory that when I shared a kitchen with some workers from Pakistan, they would ask me to taste the curries they simmered all day during Ramadan. They didn't want to taste them, of course, until the sun was down. So I used to tell them if they were spicy enough, or too salty - as if I had any idea what their preference was!

(Yes, I do taste when I cook, as much as possible - how else do you season?)

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you can't cook with your eyes, as emeril says. although, i still have to make a conscious effort to taste as i go along.

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Jogged my memory that when I shared a kitchen with some workers from Pakistan, they would ask me to taste the curries they simmered all day during Ramadan.  They didn't want to taste them, of course, until the sun was down.

Shabbat goy, ramadan infidel, whatever.

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To taste or not?

I tend not to taste. I have no fundamental reasoning for why I do not taste. I owe it to my heritage for the most part. In our home in Delhi, Panditji (chef of over 60 years in our home, also a Brahman by birth), followed the Hindu practice of Naivaidyam. This is the practice whereby Hindus prepare all foods as an offering to Gods and only after serving it first to the Gods is the food then given to members of the family.

Because food was being cooked as an offering to the Gods, it was imperative that it not be defiled in any way. Tasting was considered to be an act whereby the offerings for the Gods would be defiled. So, Panditji like many cooks before him, and others like him even today, has learned to cook by smell, sight, feel and experience.

I have personally learned how to season without taste quite expertly, even if I must say so myself, but the tasting for salt took a while to get used to. Also it is very hard to ensure salting on a consistent basis if you use different salts. One has to understand the effect of each salt on any dish. And remember the salt experience from any one type. So, I have to be very careful to remember accurately every time I cook with a particular salt how it changed a particular dish. In my kitchen and even at NYU where I teach classes, I have come close to mastering even the Salt addition. But I see myself nervous when cooking in foreign kitchens for the first time with salts I have not worked with. But it has not been as much of a challenge lately. When I first started cooking 10 years ago in the US, I was not very good at it. And I ended up tasting before serving. Now, many years later, I have a very good sense about it.

Also the same happened to me with meats. Having been raised vegetarian and for the most part practicing ovo-lacto vegetarianism, I was nervous when I first started cooking with meats. Chuck was my taster in the beginning, but now, I cook with careless abandon and serve both Indian and Non-Indian guests meat dishes that have never been tasted. The results seem delicious to my guests and they cannot believe they are eating meat cooked by a vegetarian that does not even taste it as it cooks. It took me 2 years I think to get to the comfort zone. Before that, Chuck would have to always be there.

I cook a lot of middle-eastern foods, pastas, Moroccan dishes and even your basic French dishes. I never end up tasting any of them. For me by now, seasoning has become a part of what I begin the dish with. As I buy produce in the farmers market, my mind is already measuring and planning the spice blends and proportions for those items I buy.

In fact it is a relationship I have between produce, spices, water, salt, fat and my own hands and utensils. We seem to indulge in one another. I know certain people would call me crazy to continue a tradition that seems antiquated, but I do it not out of any pressure but for it resonates with some part of me. And while perhaps a large group of Indians may not practice this anymore, there are still several homes where people like Panditji are still preserving that tradition.

In fact curiously enough, a friend of the family that is a well respected doctor here in the States, was so fascinated by this aspect of Indian cooking, that he attributed certain medical genius to it. He wondered if for that reason alone, some of the tropical diseases that would be lingering in the air and in the germs in each of the people living in India seem to not have caused as much havoc as they could have. When I thought of that, I realized how Panditji or my mother never got sick and the germs around the house never got transported as easily. Food was treated with such respect and care that every effort was made to not add any foreign germs into it. Maybe that care was what made my immune system very weak. On the flip side, when I first came to the US, I kept having gastro-intestinal trouble. Any foods I ate outside, water that I would drink from the tap in NYC would get me sick. The doctors at first found success in having me eat at home and drink only bottled water. Today, I have increased my immunity by very slowly adding tap water to my diet. It was difficult at first but has helped me gain certain resistance.

I also never ate from another's plate. I never shared foods with family or friends. We were served small portions at home. Encouraged to take second and third or more servings. But it was not considered appropriate to leave food. And if there was a time when there were left overs, they were fed to the birds. My mother never ate our left overs. In fact, she reminded my sister not to eat her sons left overs. She feels it is one way of getting germs but even a bigger way of getting extra calories that we do not count for. My mother had friends that ate the left overs of each of the kids and then ate their own food. The end result were people that were overweight and did not realize for years that this left over food had calories as well. Panditji of-course does not worry about calories, he only worries about germs being shared un-necessarily.

In closing, in some Hindu homes like mine, the morning begins with the lady of the house (my paternal grand-mother in my parents home) worshipping at the shrine in the kitchen. My grandmother would wake up at 4:30 AM. After she had bathed and performed her ritual ablutions, she would go to the garden with her Phool Kee Tokri (flower basket) and collect jasmines, plumerias, roses, marigolds and gardenias. She would then enter barefoot into the kitchen ( barefoot so that no germs from outside are carried into the kitchen), sit over a small rug before the shelving that housed the temple. She would then grind a sandalwood paste. Use that paste and milk and some of the flowers she had picked to wash and scrub the deities. They were first undressed, then bathed and then dressed again. The incense would then get lit, she would chant and meditate in silence and by that time, Panditji would have prepared the breakfast for the family. This would be lying on her side. With ladles and spoons, she would take small portions on a plate of every dish prepared. Offer these with a song and a chant to the Gods and then finish the prayer with the Aarti ( a chant that one ends with) that was performed with a lit ghee lamp. All of us would have to hold our two hands together and try and get some of the holy smoke from the ghee lamp and then rub that over our heads. This was emblematic of us taking the energy she had created with the ritual and spread it around our own aura. And then we were all served some Prashaad (usually sweet stuff) and the platter with the food was served to the birds after a few teaspoons of each dish had been put back into the pans it was cooked in. This act ensured the blessings of the Gods to the entire dish and thereby carry blessings to all that partake in its eating.

The tasting rule went so far as to not allowing us kids and our numerous friends that joined on our tables each day, from serving ourselves. My mother had no issue with any of this, but my grandma would not have eaten if ever hand had touched the serving spoons. My mother would serve everyone. This was another step to insure the sanctity of the food. Indians worry a lot about germs. While the word Namaste ( a greeting that loosely means I bow to thy soul) is spoken when people meet or part, one also holds ones hands together in the Hindu gesture of greeting or parting. The reason some believe one held ones own hands was to ensure that people did not exchange germs with one another. In some ways, it makes sense as in old days, and especially in times of large epidemics, this made great sense and must have saved many lives that could also have been lost to the tragedies that affected that land.

Toby, like you I hardly ever eat food cooked by me. Even though I never taste, the act of cooking itself sates my hunger. I enjoy the meal I cook if at all, only the day after. When I host dinners, which is quiet often, I mostly end up eating desserts. But I could assign that to my sweet tooth that never has enough. And for baking, again I never taste, but I do follow every step judiciously. I am very precise with baking, but with no other cooking.

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Shabbat goy, ramadan infidel, whatever.

They did teach me how to make a decent curry*, though.

*Sorry if that's too vague for the India board.

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And recently a few weeks back I was invited to our friend Marinas home to learn from her and her chef of over 30 years on how to cook some Pakistani dishes. Marina and her husband live on the Upper East Side in NYC. They belonged once to the Pakistani Foreign Service but have been stationed in NYC for at least a couple of decades as her husband started working with the UN.

Marinas home is like the Frankfurt Airport. Most any Pakistani or Indian who is traveling to the US must call upon them if they belong to a certain part of India or Pakistan's social scene. While many UN officials are able to take people out to dinner for work related parties, Marina the consummate host has taken it upon herself to use her home as that very special dining room. It is great to have a beautiful brown-stone to work with, but above all, it is her generosity of self and her desire to share all she has that makes their home a hub for any and all that have ever known them.

Every night at their home is a banquet. At the very least a dozen or so people eat a meal. And she has hosted over 200 people. In fact her daughter got married from their home in the traditional Pakistani-Indian style.

When I first met Marina, I was at the tandoor in a friends house. I was cooking for my friends 50th Birthday bash at her home. We had over 50 people attending. My mobile tandoor had been transported to her home. Marina wanted to find out who had made the lamb chops. And as she was walking towards me, I wondered who this brilliant person was. There was a radiance in her person that had me hooked at first sight. We soon became friends. But it took a long time for us to have a meal at her home. She was somewhat nervous about what to feed a vegetarian, and a chef at that. Now she knows better. Anything and everything she or Majeed (the chef) make is sublime. I am a fan and a devotee at their feet.

So, for my cookbook, I asked Marina if I could come spend an afternoon in her kitchen. She planned the meal around what I wanted to learn and invited guests to join at 8:30. From 3 PM onwards we worked in the kitchen. A modest NYC kitchen, it was a gallant tribute to what human spirit can do when it wants to. From a relatively small and humble kitchen, in this household, they serve meals of great grandeur and consistently to at least dozens daily. One of the several refrigerators had over 50 pounds of Halal baby goat. Another had over 40 pounds of Halal Chicken. And then there were huge amounts of trotters, kidneys, brain and other parts.

That evening she was going to teach me a basic Pakistani chicken curry and lamb biryaani. For me they were making Saag Aloo (potatoes with spinach) and Daal. I convinced her to not prepare any plain rice for me. I was hungry I said to her to taste her biryaani.

That afternoon, I tasted and touched and tasted and touched the foods several times. And I realized how different and yet similar our foods were. The recipes were very similar, but what changed was how easily Marina and Majeed would take a spoon and taste the dishes.

I also learned several tricks from Majeed and her. These shall be revealed in my cookbook. But what we spoke about as we cooked was how we cooked relatively similar recipes. And ended with similar results. But even as we did almost the same things, we did just one basic thing differently. One of us tasted the foods as they were cooked and the other did not. But still, we each treated spices and foods very similarly. Marina was not tasting for checking the food for spices and salt. That was pre-determined in her mind. She says she never has to measure spices or worry about salt. She tastes for she wants to enjoy the sauce in several stages of its preparation. She enjoys being part of the dish as it evolves from a "young nothing" into a "well groomed dish".

Another friend from India, a Bora Moslem, cooks with passion unlike any I have seen in a very long time. In his early twenties, he lives for good food and cooks food every day. When he travels he enjoys discovering the foods of the world, but at home, he enjoys recreating dishes from his youth in India. When grandma would instruct and work with the chef in creating traditional Bora dishes in their homes. He always teases me about being the prissy chaste Hindu and how our friendship has "forced" me to eat with one that eats cows. Well, I would eat any and everything he cooks. For he cooks with such passion that I cannot imagine anything he prepares to be less than amazing. I have caught him dipping his finger into sauces, licking them to taste and then throwing the same finger back into the dish or even another to taste yet again. It does not bother me at all. In fact even today, after I have seen him do this A LOT, I still smile and am taken aback in a nice way. It is so different from what I do and yet just as magical. While he marvels at enjoying some of the best Indian meals at our home, he is always telling people how he eats Tomato Chutney like grandmas, the best Dam Aloos in the world, the best Sheer Khurma * at the end of Ramadan and then he goes on to tell them how this was prepared by someone who never tastes his food. And I tell all our friends how only at his home do I eat food where I have seen the chef stick their finger into the pot.

* Sheer Khurma is a vermicelli pudding. It is the traditional dessert made for the first meal one has at the end of Ramadan. I make this for our Moslem friends and acquaintances. Made Indian style with great complexity and subtlety, it is the perfect thing to have at the end of that long period of fasting. I make large amounts that go to any and all Moslems I know in our neighborhood. Friends, shopkeepers, restaurant owners, check out clerks in grocery stores and news stand owners, all get a tiny package of this sweet from me that day. It is my way of taking these people back to their homes in our Sub-Continent, where grandma or mother would have made this famous sweet.

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He wondered if for that reason alone, some of the tropical diseases  that would be lingering in the air and in the germs in each of the people living in India seem to not have caused as much havoc as they could have.  When I thought of that, I realized how Panditji or my mother never got sick and the germs around the house never got transported as easily. Food was treated with such respect and care that every effort was made to not add any foreign germs into it

I also never ate from another's plate.  I never shared foods with family or friends.

I feel obligated to add that I NEVER eat from, or taste, foods that I am preparing for others in such a manner that would "spread germs."

I always have a small vessel handy (usually a coffee cup) and I place a bit of the preparation in progress into that. It is that from which I take my samples.

But I never, and I do mean NEVER, take a spoonful from the dish I am cooking and then put that spoon back into the pot.

I didn't even do it when I was cooking for my own family. I was a very busy working mother of three, with a picky, critical husband, and the LAST thing I wanted was for one of us to catch something from any of the rest of us. Including me.

It is a very simple matter to taste dishes without contaminating them. This was taught to me by my grandmother who owned several restaurants. "Sure you can help," she'd say. "But wash your hands first, Kid, and don't taste from the pot."


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Jaymes.... you are better than the most of us. And good for you! Grandmas can teach us the best things in life. Their wisdom is unparalleled. You were lucky.

I have worked alongside many chefs in NYC... and mind you, not just Indian chefs.. some fancy names in the business, cooking "fancy, expensive and greater meals".. those that have huge fans and following on this site... I have seen them and their chefs using fingers and spoons to directly go again and again into a pot.

I have owned two restaurants. One French-Indian fusion and one 2 Star American Cuisine restaurant. It was somewhat startling for the chefs to see my look of horror when I caught them doing the above. They changed with time. And I hope they have kept that trait of being more careful. But I sincerely doubt it. I often wondered if the kitchen went back to tasting as they would before they had to deal with my look, every time I walked out of the kitchen. For I was not the chefs in these kitchens. Only a partner in the restaurant. Who knows what really happened behind my back.

But yes my grandmas would always have us wash our hands before entering the kitchen. In fact I do the same even in my kitchen in NYC. When friends want to help and enter the kitchen, before they do anything, they have to wash their hands. Chuck included. I find that a necessity.

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This is very interesting thread -- it seems that whether people do or don't taste as they cook can be an instinctive choice -- I never thought about it one way or the other and then when I started cooking with people I saw some of them tasted all the time. Maybe it has something to do with the way you set up and maintain rapport between yourself and another entity.

I also don't like people tasting food I've cooked until it's actually on the table and we're serving it. My best friend cooks professionally and he tastes as he cooks and what drives me nuts is he tastes all the way from the kitchen to the table and before anyone's started eating he's nibbling, very delicately, but picking off pieces.

I had a hot sauce business and when I was developing the recipes I pretty much had to do it by smell because once you tasted it once, it was so hot you couldn't tell anything by tasting it again. So I tasted it once at the end to see if it needed more salt. Working with chiles is very difficult because the heat level varies so much from one pepper to another, and you can't taste each pepper, so smell is really the only indication you have.

I know when the food is cooking and I'm in the kitchen very close to the stove the aromas are much more discreet and individual than if I go out in the hallway where the smell is much more rounded and of a whole. You know how people say "Oh that smells delicious," when they first come in. So maybe it's the closeness that lets me be able to tell the balance of flavors, seasonings. When I have a bad head cold I don't even bother trying to cook anything other than soup, because I can't taste a thing.

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Fabulous stories Suvir. It seems that, whether you taste as you go or not, it is the passion and care that you give the food that makes it wonderful.

I am a finger-dipper from way back. I like to know how things are going as i cook, but i also utilise smell and sight.

I think i probably taste alot when cooking just because i enjoy the flavour of things so much.

Marcella Hazan says that she can tell if a dish has enough salt just by smelling it.


How sad; a house full of condiments and no food.

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Marcella Hazan says that she can tell if a dish has enough salt just by smelling it.

Polly, I have been saying that to friends for over 10 years and no one believes me.

Now I have proof for my theory. I never taste for salt.

I simply pour and pour, sniff and stir, and I can tell when to stop.

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That's a good question. I didn't realise it until you asked.

I don't taste .....I don't know why I don't ...maybe its a habit but I tend not to taste. Not even when I am baking. :shock: Everything always comes out tasting great though. I don't understand it myself. :unsure:

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That's a good question.  I didn't realise it until you asked. 

I don't taste .....I don't know why I don't ...maybe its a habit but I tend not to taste.  Not even when I am baking.  :shock:  Everything always comes out tasting great though.  I don't understand it myself.  :unsure:

Did your mother taste?

Do most friends of yours you have cooked with taste?

Do you not taste for any particular reason you can think of?

How do you salt foods if you are not tasting?

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I also never ate from another's plate.  I never shared foods with family or friends.  We were served small portions at home.  Encouraged to take second and third or more servings.  But it was not considered appropriate to leave food.  And if there was a time when there were left overs, they were fed to the birds.  My mother never ate our left overs.  In fact, she reminded my sister not to eat her sons left overs.  She feels it is one way of getting germs but even a bigger way of getting extra calories that we do not count for.  My mother had friends that ate the left overs of each of the kids and then ate their own food.  The end result were people that were overweight and did not realize for years that this left over food had calories as well.  Panditji of-course does not worry about calories, he only worries about germs being shared un-necessarily.  

And here I thought it was just me. I went through this as well, though our lecture encompassed sharing candy and soda bottles.

Toby, like you I hardly ever eat food cooked by me. Even though I never taste, the act of cooking itself sates my hunger. I enjoy the meal I cook if at all, only the day after.

I think this is why I am such a skinny cook. For some reason I am never hungry after cooking and eat very little.

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I think this is why I am such a skinny cook.  For some reason I am never hungry after cooking and eat very little.

I wish I had the problem! I never eat my cooking... But I eat every good dessert I can ever find...and so, I unfortunately have no way of being skinny...

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Did your mother taste?  

Do most friends of yours you have cooked with taste?

Do you not taste for any particular reason you can think of?

How do you salt foods if you are not tasting?

No my mother does not taste.

No one in my family tastes. (My grandmother would harp at anyone who dared to lift ladle to mouth. I guess they got tired of her germ lecture)

Maybe it is because I learned by watching everyone else

As for salting my food...I don't know how I do it. I can't even explain it to myselft. I just ....know. Maybe its because Ive been doing it for so long?? :unsure:

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Oh...I EAT dessert! Don't get me wrong. I have a HUGE sweet tooth. I believe that since I am always cooking and don't really eat much of my cooking, I am accustomed to very small portions. Then when I do go to eat out....I will order just an entree or an appetizer and dessert. Years of not eating my cooking has left me with a very small appetite. :blink:

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Many,many important lessons can be taught when tasting one's food

layer upon layer of flavores develope as we capture the truth of one's kitchen.

Like building a home,the foundation must be strong and sound before we can add weight to the structure,tasting as we go teaches us how all things come together on our palete.

I am a good cook,yet we live in a world where mother nature dictates the consistecy (or lack there of) of what we use.

I say taste as often as you can an learn from each stage you are at.

not to taste and adjust (if you need to) is a way of fooling yourself into complacency


Turnip Greens are Better than Nothing. Ask the people who have tried both.

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not to taste and adjust (if you need to) is a way of fooling yourself into complacency

Wow! See how different we are?

Many Indian restaurant chefs, actually several that I really consider the finest from that land, never taste either.

They did when they first started, for he same reasons you share, but years later, they find no need to do so.

I never taste, and I can also sense when a certain meat, vegetable or spice is not doing what it ought to. And again without tasting.

BUt I only have such confidence when cooking Indian food and my own food. When working from a recipe, I tend to follow it as closely as I can. At least the very first time.

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I never taste, and I can also sense when a certain meat, vegetable or spice is not doing what it ought to. And again without tasting.

That is the cooking style on my island.....very close to Suvir's cooking style. Our cooking is rather intertwined with Indian food. A blend of African & Indian with a little European thrown in for good measure. But mainly African and Indian. So I believe we have adopted the Indian cooking style. I also never taste. It is as if you develop a sense of what is going on in the pot. BUT, as Suvir also stated:

...

BUt I only have such confidence when cooking Indian food and my own food. When working from a recipe, I tend to follow it as closely as I can. At least the very first time.

I only do this with my own cooking and will follow a recipe step by step the first time.

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Suvir, just a small question: Do you conduct accurate measurements when cooking? I noticed when I go to dinner as a guest, and Im allowed in the kitchen, that many people are taking out their measuring spoons and cups. I find no need for this. I add a palmful of this, a capful of that, a pinch of this or that spice or a soup spoon of something else. Do you find yourself cooking this way or do you use accurate measurements?

Actually I find that to be accurate measuring in my book...unless you are in a professional bakery no one has measuring cups or spoons...simply cannot afford them or know nothing about them. Our recipes are passed on by word of mouth or by watching the person prepare it a few times. Occasionally ingredients may be written down and given to the person requesting them.

I remember my grandmother saying to add a gill of water! Now I call that old-fashioned measuring. :laugh:

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      > 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
      > Vinegar 
      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.
    • By Sheel
      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.
      Please comment
    • By Chris Hennes
      A few weeks ago I checked out a copy of Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India from the library, and it is well on its way to earning a permanent place in my collection. I've really enjoyed the recipes I've cooked from it so far, and thought I'd share a few of them here. Of course, if anyone else has cooked anything from the book please share your favorites here, too.
       
      To kick things off, something that appears in nearly every meal I've cooked this month... a yogurt dish such as
       
      Simple Seasoned Yogurt, South Indian-Style (p. 324)
       

       
       
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