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LAURA - INDIAN SPICES!

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LAURA - INDIAN SPICES!

Postby B_BQ » Dec 17, 2008 8:10 pm

For some reason I'm not able to readily access the thread on this subject! I'm too rushed and harassed to go looking! :cry:
I've put some thoughts together:

Trailblazer and Ven have good suggestions. I admit to keeping a couple of jars of Patak’s sauces available for an emergency!

Forewarned is forearmed, however, and we all know that most prepared foods, including sauces, are very high in fat and sodium. Patak’s is no exception. And, they are expensive!

Indian cooking is very high in fat, and I almost always at least half the amount of fat called for. I do actually use Ghee, which is rendered butter, with the solids removed. If I have time, then I will also make a curry ahead of time, and chill it down in the fridge. This allows the fat to congeal on the surface. I will then skim it off before warming it up before eating! The flavour is not compromised one bit!

I do stand by my assertion that cooking Indian from scratch is the best way, however.

With a few dried spices on hand it is so easy to prepare a very delicious Indian meal. Fortunately most of the spices needed are now available at the Bulk Store, although some are not. We fortunately have a little store which, if they don’t have it, will bring in anything I want.

As has been suggested, an Indian cookery book would be great. If I had to choose one author it would have to be Madhur Jaffrey. She really is a guru. She’s been around a long time and her recipes are tried and true.

Some of the dried spices you could assemble would be:

Cayenne; (not Chili Powder as that is a combination of many spices);
Cumin, (powdered or whole, which is what I buy, and grind it myself);
Coriander Seeds, (again powdered or whole);
Fresh Chillies, (or dried Chili flakes); red are hotter than green;
Fenugreek;
Garam Masala;
Fennel Seeds;
Cardamom;
Turmeric;
Mustard Seeds, yellow and black;
Garlic;
Ginger;
Concentrated Cooking Tamarand

Also some jars of Pickles and Chutneys

Indian Breads are readily available from President’s Choice: Naan Bread can be bought and frozen. Pappadums are readily available too. I ignore the suggested method of cooking; instead I spray each side lightly with cooking spray and microwave each side for about 20 seconds.

If you still would like a recipe or two, just let me know.

Adding an edit here Laura: How could I forget to include Cinnamon! I buy the sticks at the Bulk Store, and either grind one down when I'm grinding the coriander and cumin seeds, or just throw a whole one in, and fish it out at the end!

~BBQ
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South/Central Ontario

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Re: LAURA - INDIAN SPICES!

Postby Laura » Dec 17, 2008 9:40 pm

Thanks BBQ for the great help,armed with all this info I am sure to put together a basket they can use.

It is so great to have such good friends to help you no matter what you need.
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Re: LAURA - INDIAN SPICES!

Postby Trailblaze1 » Dec 18, 2008 8:07 am

How do you feel about white vinegar? A friend of mine who cooks Indian frequently, was making up a chicken dish when I arrived to visit. The smell was awesomely delicious, and later, the taste even better. She said she had a 'secret ingredient' which an Indian friend told her.
It was> adding a half to one cup of vinegar (depending on size of your pot) to the spices after simmering them in ghee, and browning the chicken slowly in it. I tried this myself but couldn't bring myself to add that much vinegar, so supplemented with water. The dish tasted just like the chicken in my favorite Indian restaurant! I suspect apple cider vinegar might be good too, I prefer it to white, for health reasons.
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Re: LAURA - INDIAN SPICES!

Postby B_BQ » Dec 18, 2008 8:46 am

Trailblaze1:
There are several recipes which call for vinegar - these usually come from Goa.
They are amongst my favourites, and are in the 'Vindaloo' family - usually beef or lamb, but I often use chicken.
Some recipes actually call for half a pint!
I certainly would not use even half a cup, but I usually put 2 or 3 tablespoons of vinegar in if I'm making a Goan curry. I put all the necessary dry spices into a small bowl and add the vinegar, making a paste. I wouldn't use cider vinegar, as it would be a bit too sweet for us. I use white vinegar, and sometimes even malt vinegar.
I didn't know that cider vinegar is more healthy than white.
~BBQ
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Re: LAURA - INDIAN SPICES!

Postby Laura » Dec 18, 2008 9:29 am

Since I had to give up salt,I use vinegar on my vegetables now,it adds a nice taste.I use the cider because I love the taste . . . did not know it was better than white.
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Re: LAURA - INDIAN SPICES!

Postby Ron Evers » Dec 18, 2008 10:05 am

I keep a cruet of cider & malt blended vinegar on the table. I would not be inclined to think cider any more "sweet" than malt. In comparison to the aforementioned I find white very sharp tasting.

When boiling down chicken bones for stock I add some white vinegar to extract some of the calcium from the bones.
Ron.

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