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Old 10-09-2011, 08:25 AM   #51
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I don't make Indian from scratch very often because I do wind up with spices that stand on the shelf for ages because I don't make Indian food that often (see, a self-fulfilling cycle).

I believe that, at least here in the U.S., especially in a cosmopolitan city or college town, going to an Indian "all-you-can-eat" buffet can be a good introduction to the cuisine, because you don't have to commit to a dish and find you don't like it. As a general rule, I don't like buffets, but for this purpose .... One place I went to (in Apple Valley, CA) would bring you tandoori chicken and nan straight from their oven ... what is it called? A tandoor? My brain isn't firing on all cylinders this morning. Anyway, the buffet was loaded with various curries (yes, I know, I know), salads, rice, etc, but the nan and tandoori were brought out to the table. Wonder if the place is still there?
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:38 AM   #52
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I love funny or odd food experience stories. Once upon a time, many moons ago, the Daytona area had no Indian food.

A friend wanted to introduce us to her daughter's paramour. She said (imagine a stage whisper) that we'd understand where some of her friends wouldn't (???). the implication was that he was African-black and we wouldn't care. Well, she's right. So we arrived to find ... and laughed. He WAS from Maurititius (probably misspelled and probably mis-named it, but an island off the African coast), but ethnically it was quite plain he was Indian. We got along great, and I told him I couldn't possibly make the foods his mother did (he was a college student), however, I'd give it a try.

we all had a wonderful time. I told the gal to wear a u-neck T-shirt with her shorts/jeans and bought copious yardage of pretty-but-cheap fabric and tried to dress her in a sari as best I knew how (yeah, seeing it on TV doesn't do it) and added kohl and figured out what kind of dot to put on her forehead.

We really did have a blast. But the most fun was a week later when we got together for something else, her father cracked up. He'd thought he was hemoraging when he went to the bathroom the next day! That darned tandoori chicken does it every time!
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:41 AM   #53
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Oh, another P.S. -- the guy was born on Mauritius but actually lived most of his life in, I think, NYC, and, thank heaven, although he loved it all, he had limited knowledge of Indian food!
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:53 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire View Post
He'd thought he was hemoraging when he went to the bathroom the next day! That darned tandoori chicken does it every time!
LMAO!! My mom use to make quite the Indian spread, and prefaced the meal with that disclaimer, and ensuring folks NOT TO WORRY, lol. Not the best pre-game speech, but, it certainly was worth getting out there.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:55 PM   #55
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The Indian dishes we like are the spicy ones, LOL. Seriously, Moong Dal hits the rotation about once a week, 3 out of 7 dinners around here are a curry, from different parts of the world, but Bengali or Tamil most frequently.
I noticed several comments about cost/acquisition/storage of spices and have a system that makes it work for us, here in the middle of nowhere. It is 57 miles to our nearest international food market of any note; that defines the middle of nowhere, LOL.
The freezer is your answer. If you keep whole spices well sealed in the freezer, they last almost forever, so you can buy a spice and not worry if you will use it "often". To kick it up a notch get 2, not 1, spice grinders, one for sweet and one for hot spices (let your nose decide which is which).
Find an area in your freezer that you can dedicate to spices; double seal each spice in ziplocks, with a label for any "other language" names slipped inside the outer bag, alphabetize according to the name you purchased it under and you are good to go for most cuisines that occur at a similar latitude. I started with plastic storage boxes in teh freezer, full of spice bags; the current refrigerator has a freezer drawer pull out that I have dedicated to spices. The trick is to store them in a an order that makes them easy to find.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:29 PM   #56
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We used to have one night a week devoted to Indian food at our house, so I've had quite a few different regional dishes from different parts of India. I like almost all of them.

But my hands down favorite is Pork Vindaloo. The real Goan stuff, fiery and heavily laced with vinegar. Not the pale imitation that a lot of restaurants call vindaloo.

would love to see the recipe for that dish
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:23 AM   #57
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There is only one Indian dish I'm not crazy about (that is to say, of what I've tried) and that is the spinach/cheese one. Cannot remember what it is called, but the spinach has the appearance of spinach baby food, and the cheese more closely resembles tofu cubes (to my palate).
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:00 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by NoraC View Post
The Indian dishes we like are the spicy ones, LOL. Seriously, Moong Dal hits the rotation about once a week, 3 out of 7 dinners around here are a curry, from different parts of the world, but Bengali or Tamil most frequently.
I noticed several comments about cost/acquisition/storage of spices and have a system that makes it work for us, here in the middle of nowhere. It is 57 miles to our nearest international food market of any note; that defines the middle of nowhere, LOL.
The freezer is your answer. If you keep whole spices well sealed in the freezer, they last almost forever, so you can buy a spice and not worry if you will use it "often". To kick it up a notch get 2, not 1, spice grinders, one for sweet and one for hot spices (let your nose decide which is which).
Find an area in your freezer that you can dedicate to spices; double seal each spice in ziplocks, with a label for any "other language" names slipped inside the outer bag, alphabetize according to the name you purchased it under and you are good to go for most cuisines that occur at a similar latitude. I started with plastic storage boxes in teh freezer, full of spice bags; the current refrigerator has a freezer drawer pull out that I have dedicated to spices. The trick is to store them in a an order that makes them easy to find.
Thanks for this, Nora. This certainly appeals to my thrifty side -- if I can just get my "get up and do it" side into action and actually put your suggestions to work.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:17 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Claire View Post
There is only one Indian dish I'm not crazy about (that is to say, of what I've tried) and that is the spinach/cheese one. Cannot remember what it is called, but the spinach has the appearance of spinach baby food, and the cheese more closely resembles tofu cubes (to my palate).

That was probably palak paneer. Palak for spinach and paneer for cheese. Indian paneer does have a soft tofu-like texture. It's a very mild fresh cheese.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:50 AM   #60
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I like the kind of Indian food that someone else fixes!
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