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Old 09-26-2011, 11:38 AM   #11
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I have neighbors on either side of me who are Indian and have had the pleasure of learning to cook s few of their dishes and talking about food with them. The Indian use of spices and herbs is without parallel and creates amazing flavors.

So you won't go broke, find an Indian market. Their spices sell for a fraction of the price you would pay for Penzey's or McCormick's.
I wish I had Indian neighbors! I'd love to learn more hands-on type cooking and recipes of India.

In my town, there isn't a single Indian market. Jacksonville is the closest at about 30 miles from me.

My Doctor is Indian/American, and has told me the places to go here. He says there is only one restaurant in this area that serves "real" Indian food that attracts all the local people who are from India.

I haven't been there yet, because it's about 40 miles away. That's outside my usual driving distance for a restaurant.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:44 PM   #12
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I wish I had Indian neighbors! I'd love to learn more hands-on type cooking and recipes of India...
The first recipe the gave me was for tandoori chicken. Her dad was visiting from India and bought them a gas grill. They made the TC and sent over a taste for SO and me. We loved it. It was a lot better than what I had been making. I asked for a recipe and dad starting dictating on the spot. Daughter told me she'd write it out for me. She did and it didn't work. After another try, She came over and watched me make it. Turns out all her measurements were way off as she doesn't usually measure. The spices were off by a factor of three or four times the amount (2 tsp. vs. 3 TB). Now it's right on and is also the basis for the butter chicken recipe her husband gave me. His family has a restaurant in India.

I think my next attempt will be a vindaloo.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:58 PM   #13
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So you won't go broke, find an Indian market. Their spices sell for a fraction of the price you would pay for Penzey's or McCormick's.
Couldnt agree more. Many of the dishes I make have a minimum of a half dozen spices rarely used for anything else other than food from this region. The most efficient means of getting these spices is an Indian market. you get twice as much for 1/4 the price. I have two shelves in my cabinets for spice. One is for Indian spices, the other is for everything else
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:20 PM   #14
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Couldnt agree more. Many of the dishes I make have a minimum of a half dozen spices rarely used for anything else other than food from this region. The most efficient means of getting these spices is an Indian market. you get twice as much for 1/4 the price. I have two shelves in my cabinets for spice. One is for Indian spices, the other is for everything else
That's interesting. To which spices do you refer? I actually find that most of the spices are fairly common for other things I cook. I do cook Middle Eastern, North African, and Mexican a lot, though, in addition to a LOT of other ethnic foods including Indian. I was just looking at my spice cabinet and the two things that I thought of as really exclusive to what I use for Indian are hing (asafoetida) powder, and mango powder. Otherwise I use the rest for non-Indian dishes.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:26 PM   #15
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none -- I have tried several times and several different dishes as I love to try new foods and nope not for me. The smell of curry just turns me off.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:42 PM   #16
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She came over and watched me make it. Turns out all her measurements were way off as she doesn't usually measure.
That's why I always try to watch when I can. The methods, amounts and timing are sometimes very difficult to put into words.

Like something my old friend and boss once said to me as he prepared a dish; "Ok Tim, you add this until the color of the whole dish looks like this". No amounts, just added in 'pinches or dabs' and stirred in well until the proper color happens.

My offer to friends who make dishes I love is for me to buy all the ingredients for them to prepare at thier home while I watch. I jot down the measurements while watching and then translate my notes into a recipe later at home.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:51 PM   #17
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Its possible and probable that my cooking experience isnt as broad as many people here, but some of the spices that I have used exclusively for Indian were, the Hing and Amchoor ( mango) powder you were referring to. In addition, turmeric, garam masala, methi leaves, methi seeds, cardamom, kaffir lime leaves and a few others Im too lazy to get up and check :) . Sure, there are the overlapped spices like cumin, coriander/ cilantro, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, bay leave and ginger. With the things that I cook, I do notice some overlap in Mexican, Moroccan and Middle Eastern dishes that I make.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:46 AM   #18
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Its possible and probable that my cooking experience isnt as broad as many people here, but some of the spices that I have used exclusively for Indian were, the Hing and Amchoor ( mango) powder you were referring to. In addition, turmeric, garam masala, methi leaves, methi seeds, cardamom, kaffir lime leaves and a few others Im too lazy to get up and check :) . Sure, there are the overlapped spices like cumin, coriander/ cilantro, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, bay leave and ginger. With the things that I cook, I do notice some overlap in Mexican, Moroccan and Middle Eastern dishes that I make.
Ah, yes, kaffir lime. I consider that to be Thai cuisine and I don't cook thai (allergic to coconut), so that's not something I've ever used. I can see that if you cook Thai that you wouldn't use that much outside of that cuisine. Methi is just fenugreek, and I do use that for other dishes, but don't use it fresh. I use turmeric and cardamom, too, in other things. Garam masala is just a mixture of spices, so I make my own. Same with curry, which is a mixture.

I guess all I'm saying is that those who might be new to Indian cooking shouldn't be put off by the spices or by the COST of spices because they really are quite common and will not go to waste if you cook a variety of cuisines. Even if you just cook Mexican at home, many of the spices will cross those borders. I know that my Indian friends say that when they talk to people about their native foods that overwhelmingly, the spices are what put people off of trying to cook it at home. It's such a healthy diet and I just wanted to point out that it's not difficult, the spices are not complicated even though they use a lot, and it's not cost-prohibitive (or waste-inducing because you're really not going to throw all of those spices away). You probably have 90% of what you need already in your spice cupboard.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:27 AM   #19
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I very much like Sag Goshth, "meat curry in a rich, melt in the mouth, creamy spinach puree," a quote from my source cookbook, Curries Without Worries by Sudha Koul. I serve it over brown rice. It's somewhat of an indulgence, since I'm cooking it for only me, but there is enough to portion out and freeze several meals' worth. My freezer supply is gone as of a few weeks ago, and as I scraped the last few delicious drops from the bottom of the bowl, I vowed to make another batch soon. I do use ground turkey as a substitute for lamb because lamb is not always available and besides is very expensive for not-that-great-looking cuts.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:12 AM   #20
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...a quote from my source cookbook, Curries Without Worries by Sudha Koul.
Thanks for the reference, tinlizzie.

I just ordered that book at Amazon for a total of $9, including shipping.

I love curries. I mean....I *really, really* love curries!

This will be a well used addition to my cookbook collection!
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