Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Suvir Saran

Souring Agents

Recommended Posts

Suvir - I forgot that I am also using pomegrante concentrate/syrup as a souring agent.

Adam,

I have only ever seen the pomegranate concentrate in bottles and tasted it in certain Middle eastern dishes. It find it more sweet than sour. And also used often for coloring.

I simply used dried seeds that are crushed. They are not sweet and amazingly sour. Most Indian stores will sell them as Anaardana. Try them, they are easy to use and would never make a dish too sweet or dark.

Different brands of pomegrante concentrate vary greatly in flavour, sweetness, colour and sourness. I mostly use Iranian brands as they tend to have a more fruity flavour and more sweet/sour balance then the Turkish versions I have tasted. In Persain cooking, the dark colour from the concentrate is highly prized. Unfortunately it does burn easily, which is how I ruined a meal recently, I busy drinking cocktails, not enough attention being paid to the cooking.

Strangely, it is quite nice when used to make caper sauce (a hot brown butter vinegette) to go with boiled salt beef.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How lovely-barberries in rice pudding.

I'm going to try that.

We have a Kurdish friend staying with us at the moment and he puts barberries in saffron pilaf. Very pretty.

Recipe Please! :biggrin:

It sounds amazing...

My friend Kalil soaks his rice (basmati) in cold water for at least one hour but over night if possible.

Drain the rice and fry it in butter with a sprinkle of saffron, some salt and some barberries.

Cook as per absorbtion method, with a clean teatowel wrapped around the lid of the pan to absorb the condensation from the steam.

Sorry about the lack of measurements, but this is just from watching Kalil cook dinner.

He learnt from his mum, and doesn't seem to measure anything.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
many Indian dishes have at least one souring agent in them.

Michael Ovitz is a good example of an agent who soured. :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting thread on souring agents. Indian dishes are most often associated with spiciness, but in fact I think its the souring agents that can be the really distinctive factors. Certainly I think communities tend to have their own souring agents which they cling to as points of distinction.

So, for example, on the West coast an in particular in Goa, fairly similar ingredients and styles of cooking are distinguished by the souring agent of kokam, which would be used by Hindus, and vinegar, which would be used by Christians. And different types of vinegar, as Suvir notes, are used by different communities. Anardana is a _very_ north Indian spice - I never saw it in a kitchen until I was in London staying with a friend of Pakistani origin.

Barberries, by the way, are used in dishes made by the Irani community in Bombay, made up, as their name suggests, of immigrants from Iran who came at the turn of the last century. Bombay's economy was booming then, lead in particular by Parsi entrepreneurs and they used their new prosperity to bring over people from Persia, the homeland they had fled centuries back, to work as servants for them.

Some of these people were poor Zoroastrians like the Parsis, some were Muslims, but since their connections to Persia were much more recent than those of the Parsis, they stiff used ingredients like barberries that the Parsis had given up. Not far from my office there's an excellent restaurant called Britannia which makes Parsi and Irani dishes for lunch including an absolutely amazing chicken berry pulao where the berries are barberries imported from Iran.

Vikram

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For meat dishes (especially goat meat aka mutton), I use Yougurt most of the time. Sometimes I use tomatoes. For veggies, I almost always use tomatoes.

Also use tamarind (concentrate is what I use) for some dishes, especially as the main ingredient in the "sauce" to be used on chaats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Suvir,

Are Barberries the same as the Middle-eastern Sumac? What is their Hindi name?

Thanks,

Suman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pardon me if I butt in Suvir, but I have this info in my head.

Barberries are known as Zareshk/Zarishth or as my Mom & her tribe refer to them, Jireesh. They look like red raisins and the taste is not unlike dried anardana.

The last time when I went tracking them( I often do these hot pursuits when something evades me!), I managed to buy them in the Iranian market in old Dubai. Now I just ask friends to bring it from there. I also discovered some good Iranian caviar there at a ridiculous price but it was without a CITES certificate so I dont order that anymore.

Apart from the pulao I add barberries in dolmas.

Sumac, Ive been led to believe, is not totally unknown in Indian cuisine but I've only come across a specimen recently. Will let you know after doing some more cross referencing with the sample, which incidentally is from Afghanistan.


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

http://www.gourmetindia.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sumac, Ive been led to believe, is not totally unknown in Indian cuisine but I've only come across a specimen recently.

I've also just been given a bagfull by a friend who's came from Istanbul and knew my liking for odd ingredients. If you come up with any ideas for using it, let me know,

Vikram

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Digging up this thread to ask a question on amchur. I was replenishing my stock the other day - standard Everest brand packet - when I realised I didn't know much about it. Does anyone know if any particular kind of mango is used to make amchur or will any mango do? How ripe or raw does the mango have to be? Is it just the flesh that's dried or the skin as well?

Amchur is a spice I am only just getting to know and its an interesting one. There's a fruity edge to the sourness that I find quite attractive. What recipes do people have that bring out this aspect of amchur well? And has anyone tried using amchur in non-Indian dishes? I imagine it might be possible to substitute it for some middle Eastern spices like sumac or dried lemons - it wouldn't be the same, but might give interesting differences?

Do cuisines outside India use an amchur type spice? Mangoes, as we now know thanks to the extensive mango thread that came up in defiance of Mongo's protests, are grown all over the place like in Mexico or Hawaii or the Philippines. Has anyone come across mangos used as a souring agent there?

Vikram

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know barberries, an Iranian aunt doles out a share to me everytime she gets them. I saute them with onion and scatter over pulav.

I also use the dried limes (from the same source). Adam could you share some recipes for both of these ingredients?

Vikram Amchur is the powdered form of peeled kairis. I dont know if it has to be a specific species however as I recall my grandma used to dry odd bits of Pickling mangoes (bits cut from close to the stone that were not attractive enought for the pickle) and then grind them into a powder. Amchoor spoils fast.

In our family it is traditional to use the summer months to put down pickles and preserves and spices for the coming year. When I was little i often accompanied my grandmother to the family home in Ahemdabad (where our family originates from), for a whole month in the summer. This is when she would get masallas and pickles made for the rest of the year. I am told she made some 100 different pickles, sadly the recipes have gone with her. along with the tradition of annual pickling etc. I try to follow the tradition at my tiny scale by doing a bit of the pickling etc. in that month but it is nowhere near the way she did it.

Another Gujerati aunt in Ahemdabad (yes i am truly blessed!) is now my source for all of the masallas. Haldi, Red Chilli Powder, Dhaniya Jeera Powder and dried mango, both salty and sweet. (the sweet ones are nice to chew on). Another thing she sends me is the diced, dried and spiced stones of the mango. These aromatic masallas have a very distinct aroma compared to the packaged ones. I feel liek they smell of the sun that they have been dried in...

Rushina

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone here tried tamarind powder? I bought some out of curiosity, but have not used it yet..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Suvir Saran
      What role do they play in your Indian kitchen?
      Do you use it in other dishes you prepare? Maybe even outside of the Indian food realm.
      Do you find it easy to find Cilantro?
      What parts of cilantro do you use?
      How do you keep it fresh?
    • By bague25
      Which are the pickles you have in your pantry right now?
      Which are the ones you dream of?
      Any recipes? Any secrets? Any reading material?
      Please share - as Monica says Inquiring minds want to know...
    • By Deeps
      This is one of my daughter favorite dishes, being mild and less spicy she loves this rice dish.  Its super easy to make and goes well with most Indian curries.
      Do try this out and I am sure you will be happy with the results.
       

       
      Prep Time : 5 mins
      Cook Time: 5 mins
      Serves: 2
       
      Ingredients:
      1 cup rice(basmati), cooked
      1/2 cup coconut, shredded or grated
      1 green chili, slit
      1 dried red chili
      1 1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee(clarified butter)
      1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
      1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
      1/2 tablespoon chana dal(split chickpeas)
      1/2 tablespoon urad dal(split black gram)
      1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
      A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
      Few curry leaves
      Salt to taste
       
      Directions
      1) Heat oil/ghee(clarified butter) in a pan in medium flame. I used coconut oil here because it tastes best for this dish.
      2) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal(split chickpeas), urad dal(split black gram), green chili, dried red chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry this for 30 seconds in medium flame. The trick is to ensure that these are fried but not burned.
      3) Add a pinch of hing(asafoetida) and mix well.
      4) Now add the cooked rice and coconut. Stir well for about 15 to 20 seconds and switch off the flame.
      5) Finally add salt into this and mix well. You could add peanuts or cashew nuts if you prefer. Goes well with most curries.
    • By Sheel
      Prawn Balchao is a very famous Goan pickle that has a sweet, spicy and tangy flavor to it. 
      For the balchao paste you will need:
      > 8-10 kashmiri red chillies
      > 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.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...