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Old 03-28-2008, 02:57 PM   #1
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I need help eating Indian food

I love Indian food. A new restaurant opened near my office and they have some of the best Indian food I have ever tasted. I go for their buffet at least once a week. My problem is that I am not sure the proper way to eat everything.

Here is what I mean. There are always at least three chutneys to choose from. Today they had a tomato chutney, mint chutney, and coconut chutney. I love the tomato and always get some, but I am not sure what I am supposed to do with it. What I have been doing is ripping off a piece of naan and dipping it in. I also dip my dosa in the chutney sometimes. Is this the right thing to do or an I making a mistake?

My other question has to do with all the dishes that are in a sauce with a very thin constancy. Often times there will be 5 or 6 things on the buffet like this. There may be Lamb Rogan Josh, Chicken Tika Masala, some sort of Dal dish that is very thin and maybe a few others. Are these all supposed to go over rice? That is what I have been doing, but that seems like so much rice.

Educate me please!

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Old 03-28-2008, 03:24 PM   #2
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Hi, GB. I do pretty much as you do, although I also put some chutney on my plate and mix it with the main dish as I cut it up (I usually get chicken). You could also put some of the thinner sauces on the plate and top it with the main dish; then they would sort of mix together as you eat.

Here are a couple of pages that describe how to eat Indian food:
btw, I'm taking an Indian cooking class at a local Indian restaurant Sunday afternoon I'll let you know if I find out anything more.

HTH.
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:30 PM   #3
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Thanks GG. That does help somewhat. I hope you enjoy the cooking class. I can't wait to hear all about it.
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:57 PM   #4
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I usually make a mound of rice in the middle of the plate and then surrund it with portions of the different curries. Some naan bread to mop up as well. I also use the chutnies as a topping with the curries. The chutnies also go well on a poppadom or two!
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Old 03-28-2008, 05:21 PM   #5
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We love Indian food, unfortunately at the moment we live about 40 miles from the nearest place so almost never go. Except on vacation when we hit every Indian place we can find.

Have been to some very tony Indian places and some that were just regular joints.

And actually prefer the regular restaurants.

But why should someone tell you how to eat food?

Put mango pickle on a pappadom or piece of bread. Love the raita on a pappadoam.

The rice is there to be have food placed on it.

And if you want chutney with something else, add it. Food is supposed to make you happy.

No one is going to care. The restaurant folks are serving the indigenous population, and they are there to make money. If folks suddenly decided they wanted saag and queso blanco with cinnamon and raisins with a topping of kimchee wrapped in a nan, I bet they would start selliing it.

Went to one of the recommended web sites and saw that recommendation about only using the right hand to eat. Gimme a break. Today we have modern plumbing and cleanliness, and that is no longer a factor, particularly in first world countries.

Went to eat with someone, an American, at a Middle Eastern restaurant once, and he mentioned to everyone not to eat with their left hands. Looked around and everyone else seemed to be ambidextrous diners, and the waiters were not laying into them with scimitars.

Was going to tell him to put it where the sun don't shine, but realized he would have said precisely the reason he mentioned it. So I shut up and ate.

LOL.
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Old 03-28-2008, 05:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auntdot View Post

But why should someone tell you how to eat food?
Because I asked politely and would like to know how the food was intended to be eaten lol.

I appreciate your comments auntdot, but the reason I am asking is because while food does not to have rules some things are just meant to go together. If you had never had oregano sprinkled on your pizza and went to a pizza joint and saw the shaker on the table and no one taught you what to do then you might sprinkle a pile in your plate and eat it on its own instead of putting it on the pizza and having the flavors combine as they were intended. That does not mean that what you are doing is wrong (although a mouthful of oregano does not sound appetizing to me), but you would be missing out on a food combination that has been proven to be a great one.

I am simply trying to learn what was intended in the cuisine. That does not mean I will not still do what I enjoy, but I would like to be educated and not ignorant.

I will give another example. Before I know much about sushi I was taught to mix some wasabi into the soy sauce, put a piece of pickled ginger on the sushi and then dunk the whole thing into the soy sauce. I later learned that the intended way to eat sushi was to use the ginger in between different pieces of sushi to cleanse the palate. You then put the piece of sushi in the sauce (without mixing in wasabi) with just the fish touching the sauce. Once I started doing it that way I was able to appreciate the flavor of the fish seasoned with the soy and not have the whole thing fall apart on me because it was saturated with soy and have the delicate flavor of the fish hidden by the ginger and sauce. My mom (and many others) still dunk the rice right into the soy because they like it that way. Neither of us are wrong. We do what we enjoy. I am glad that I was educated to the way it was intended though because for me I found a higher level of enjoyment once I started eating it the way it was designed to be eaten.
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:03 PM   #7
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There are always at least three chutneys to choose from. Today they had a tomato chutney, mint chutney, and coconut chutney. I love the tomato and always get some, but I am not sure what I am supposed to do with it. What I have been doing is ripping off a piece of naan and dipping it in. I also dip my dosa in the chutney sometimes. Is this the right thing to do or an I making a mistake?

Youre not making any mistake,if thats the way you like it its right . The chutneys are sometimes not even needed with some meals, for example, if having a curry with a naan, then the chutney really isnt needed, its just there as an extra. I am of pakistani origin and all my family mainly have chutneys with finger food/starter food -samosas, pakoras, kebabs, small things which could do with a extra element of flavour. Things for main meals like curries, i think have enough oomph in themselves to do without the chutneys. But again, personal taste, if you like chutney with your naan, its fine. Anything can be dipped in it. At home i like to dip my chips in mint chutney, a nice refeshing taste. I also sometimes have potato crisps with it.


My other question has to do with all the dishes that are in a sauce with a very thin constancy. Often times there will be 5 or 6 things on the buffet like this. There may be Lamb Rogan Josh, Chicken Tika Masala, some sort of Dal dish that is very thin and maybe a few others. Are these all supposed to go over rice? That is what I have been doing, but that seems like so much rice.


These dishes do not have to go over rice. Sometimes the rice tastes better when it soaks in all the thin sauce. It can be ate with naan or roti instead, and the extra sauce can be scooped up using the naan/roti. Delicioussss.
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:08 PM   #8
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Thanks shamalicious. That is helpful.
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:11 PM   #9
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Youre welcome
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:04 AM   #10
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Also consider GB that some sides are there to take away heat from a dish, while others are there to provide the heat. As Shamalicious said, a curry doesn't usually require the extra heat, but may need the cooling ones, depending on your palate.

Another thing to try, is to actually order a dish, rather than buffet, and see how the restaurant serves it to you.

This is a good thread. Thanks for starting it!
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