Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

Other than Brewing => All Things Food => Topic started by: denny on September 11, 2015, 11:05:32 pm

Title: Indian Food
Post by: denny on September 11, 2015, 11:05:32 pm
I really want to learn to cook Indian food....at least in part so I'll eat more vegetarian meals.  Does anybody have a reccomendation for a good book for a beginner in Indian cooking?
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: homoeccentricus on September 11, 2015, 11:19:10 pm
http://www.amazon.com/Madhur-Jaffreys-World-Vegetarian-Meatless/dp/0609809237/ref=pd_sim_sbs_14_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=13NR9PMQ6YX021MTC534&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR138%2C160_ very good vegetarian recipes, mostly from India but also from other countries. It's one of the only cook books I use regularly. If you want nice pictures of dishes, get another one. Very well written.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: Alewyfe on September 11, 2015, 11:54:18 pm
we eat a fair amount of Indian cuisine. I actually studied breadmaking (naan, Puri,
chappati, etc.) with an Indian woman before we moved out here as i figured there'd be a dearth of good Indian food in rural Oregon.
I'll check my books and mail you a few recommendations. Costco recently had a large Indian cookbook for sale. I bought a copy and have not used it yet, but it looked like it had fairly decent recipes. You can find pre-made spice mixes for just about any kind of ingredient -  vegetables, dahls and pulses, by various companies at the Indian food stores. They are pretty good and really easy to use. Check out Sunrise mkt., and the indian store on 29th just off willamette.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: mchrispen on September 12, 2015, 12:10:01 am
I have found most books on Indian cuisine are pretty, well, Americanized. Not that it's a bad thing, but if you are looking for real family recipes full of flavor and tried and true... you won't find it in a book.

Best thing is to find a native, make friends, and cook together. Indian food is not, for the most part, easy. I was fortunate to have a colleague from Delhi transplanted into San Fransisco - fascinating to hit curry shops and various restaurants in SF that he thought were 'home-like' and the food was far more interesting than just plain hot curry.

Hint - spice is important, but process is even more important.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: kmccaf on September 12, 2015, 01:04:55 am
There are lots of great Indian recipes in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark  Bittman. Also, just a great book. Changed my life in fact. I can't imagine what my household cooking would be like without that book.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: narvin on September 12, 2015, 05:36:27 am
I've found some good recipes, videos, and information on this site: http://vahrehvah.com/
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: reverseapachemaster on September 12, 2015, 06:20:41 am
Saying you want to cook Indian food is pretty much like saying you want to learn how to make European beer. Most of the Indian cuisine you find stateside is a mishmash of various parts of India. There's many different styles and techniques across the country. It's hard to find restaurants or cookbooks that are specific to regional specialization and when you do it's often Punjabi (which is delicious) or the British-safe versions served in touristy areas that are tempered and semi-bland. The other side of that coin is that most cookbooks will cater to that paradigm and provide recipes from around India and generally recipes for things you find in restaurants stateside.

The threshold test for a decent Indian cookbook is whether the ingredients listed are all available in your local chain supermarket outposts. Even your whole foods or whatever premium chain supermarkets you have won't carry all the ingredients you need. You will need a good local Indian grocer or liberal use of internet purchasing to stock your pantry for Indian food.

I'll recommend two books that I use that you should be able to buy. One is Indian Fast Food which is not the most exciting book but the recipes are simple, fairly quick to cook and are reasonably legitimate recipes. You might find this book at your local used bookstore. I went in a local Half Priced Books and found like five copies for like $6. It's a small book so it won't last long but it's a great introductory book. I still use my copy. Another great book is 50 Great Curries of India. I picked this up maybe six months ago from the clearance rack at B&N for like $10. It is just a great book. It's actually more than curries but the bulk is curries of all sorts. The recipes are involved and take time but they are solidly authentic. The author does a really good job of exploring various Indian regions and provides recipes out of regional cuisines you have probably never tried unless you happen to know people from that particular region and culture.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: HoosierBrew on September 12, 2015, 02:38:53 pm
Agreed. Access to the right ingredients is half the fight. Luckily there are a few Indian groceries around here. I dabble but don't own any Indian cookbooks, so I try to find recipes online from actual Indian cooks when I do. I like these so far :

http://www.harighotra.co.uk/

http://maunikagowardhan.co.uk/cook-in-a-curry/

http://store.indianfoodsco.com/indian-spice-blends-spices-cooking-grocery-ic-sb-0    -   They sell spices as well.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: denny on September 12, 2015, 03:59:45 pm
Thank you all for the recommendations!  I'm gonna start checking them out!
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: homoeccentricus on September 12, 2015, 04:54:06 pm

http://www.harighotra.co.uk/

The masala prawns recipe looks awesome!
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: HoosierBrew on September 12, 2015, 08:00:37 pm

http://www.harighotra.co.uk/

The masala prawns recipe looks awesome!

I've made that. Really tasty.


EDIT -  The (lamb) Rogan Josh recipe from that site is excellent, too.
           http://www.harighotra.co.uk/indian-recipes/mains/lamb-rogan-josh
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: pete b on September 14, 2015, 02:09:46 pm
Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian is great.http://www.amazon.com/Madhur-Jaffreys-World-Vegetarian-Meatless/dp/0609809237/ref=pd_sim_14_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0QNEACZSNDMVF0ZS03YE&dpID=51A6ptm%252BXNL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR138%2C160_  Not exclusively Indian but it sounds like that's not your biggest priority.
I manage the kitchens at a large meditation retreat center that serves only vegetarian food and we serve quite a few Indian meals so I can give you a few basic tips:
1. Buy whole seeds for spices: cumin, fennel, coriander, brown mustard, cardamom pods, fenugreek etc. You'll be tempted to buy them by the pound if your excited about getting into it but onjly buy what you will use fast. Almost every Indian meal starts with toasting whole seeds in a cast iron skillet then grinding with a mortar and pestle or electric grinder. It only takes a minute of hands on work and your house will smell fantastic.
2. Make ghee. Its easy, it stores indefinitely, and its indispensable AFAIK
3. Learn to make Indian breads: Naan, chapati etc. Even if you don't bake they are super easy and some, like chapatti, can be mixed up and cooked on the spot, no need to rise for hours. A baking stone or large cast iron skillet is helpful.
4. Paneer is super easy to make and super expensive to buy, so make it if you like it.
5. Get a little rice cooker. You can measure some basmati, rinse, measure water and turn it on at the beginning and now you have a component of the meal being cooked for you not taking up a burner.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: erockrph on September 14, 2015, 05:29:59 pm
4. Paneer is super easy to make and super expensive to buy, so make it if you like it.
I've been following this thread closely, but didn't have much too add since my "Indian" cooking is largely based on store-bought curry powder and garam masala that I doctor up a bit. But I am wholeheartedly behind Pete on paneer. It's super easy to make, and once you make it you will want to use it in about everything.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: curtism1234 on September 14, 2015, 06:30:46 pm
I could go for some lamb tikka masala  :o ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: narcout on September 14, 2015, 06:32:48 pm
I'll recommend two books that I use that you should be able to buy. One is Indian Fast Food which is not the most exciting book but the recipes are simple, fairly quick to cook and are reasonably legitimate recipes. You might find this book at your local used bookstore. I went in a local Half Priced Books and found like five copies for like $6. It's a small book so it won't last long but it's a great introductory book. I still use my copy.

I just picked up a used copy on Amazon for $4.02 (including shipping).  Thanks for the recommendation.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: 1vertical on September 24, 2015, 05:08:47 am
Hey Denny,
Watch this on Netflicks....Rick Stein's India BBC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKEQxS8uZ94
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: pete b on September 24, 2015, 02:23:20 pm
Denny, I think this might be helpful too. I have been putting scaled down recipes of some of our popular meals where I work on our website. They are all vegetarian and several are Indian. They are normally prepared for up to 140 people so they are meant to be fairly straightforward and made from readily available ingredients.
 http://www.dharma.org/resources/recipes
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: erockrph on September 25, 2015, 01:40:31 am
Denny, I think this might be helpful too. I have been putting scaled down recipes of some of our popular meals where I work on our website. They are all vegetarian and several are Indian. They are normally prepared for up to 140 people so they are meant to be fairly straightforward and made from readily available ingredients.
 http://www.dharma.org/resources/recipes
Nice! That Aloo Matar Sabji recipe looks like something I'll have to try out in the near future.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: pete b on September 25, 2015, 01:49:39 am
Denny, I think this might be helpful too. I have been putting scaled down recipes of some of our popular meals where I work on our website. They are all vegetarian and several are Indian. They are normally prepared for up to 140 people so they are meant to be fairly straightforward and made from readily available ingredients.
 http://www.dharma.org/resources/recipes
Nice! That Aloo Matar Sabji recipe looks like something I'll have to try out in the near future.
We serve it with Bengali Dahl, raita, and basmati. Sometimes naan too.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: evil_morty on October 06, 2015, 12:49:02 pm
This is a solid book that I have:  http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Indian-Cooking-Julie-Sahni/dp/0688037216

It's not going to be look food you get at Americanized indian restaurants so if that's what you are looking for this might not be for you.

I acquire a lot of my whole spices here:  https://www.ishopindian.com/

Not just b/c some are hard to find but b/c buying this stuff in bulk is cheaper than the grocery store.  I buy cumin seed by the pound.  perhaps I have a problem...
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: reverseapachemaster on October 06, 2015, 02:44:49 pm
Not just b/c some are hard to find but b/c buying this stuff in bulk is cheaper than the grocery store.  I buy cumin seed by the pound.  perhaps I have a problem...

It always sounds like so much but if you cook on a regular basis in cuisines that use a lot of spices you move through them quickly. I bought a large bag of bay leaves a couple years ago thinking I'd never go through it and I'm almost out.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 06, 2015, 02:51:31 pm
+1. There are couple of Indian markets fairly near by, so I buy some of my spices in bulk there. Better quality and far cheaper.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: evil_morty on October 06, 2015, 02:56:25 pm
Not just b/c some are hard to find but b/c buying this stuff in bulk is cheaper than the grocery store.  I buy cumin seed by the pound.  perhaps I have a problem...

It always sounds like so much but if you cook on a regular basis in cuisines that use a lot of spices you move through them quickly. I bought a large bag of bay leaves a couple years ago thinking I'd never go through it and I'm almost out.

yeah, I do a fair amount of Mexican, bbq and tex mex so the cumin gets used a lot there as well.

I go through paprika really fast!
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 06, 2015, 02:58:50 pm
yeah, I do a fair amount of Mexican, bbq and tex mex so the cumin gets used a lot there as well.

I go through paprika really fast!

Same here
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: redbeerman on October 06, 2015, 07:30:30 pm
This is a solid book that I have:  http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Indian-Cooking-Julie-Sahni/dp/0688037216

It's not going to be look food you get at Americanized indian restaurants so if that's what you are looking for this might not be for you.

I acquire a lot of my whole spices here:  https://www.ishopindian.com/

Not just b/c some are hard to find but b/c buying this stuff in bulk is cheaper than the grocery store.  I buy cumin seed by the pound.  perhaps I have a problem...

She is a very author.  Her recipes are solid.  We eat a lot of Indian food because my daughter is a vegetarian.  I make her cook most of it though.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: pete b on October 15, 2015, 04:38:25 pm
Lunch at work today reminded me of this thread. Aloo matar sabji, Bengali dahl, basmati, and raita. (http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/10/15/0e5fb4d1de313ea93589aa25ddfb3bae.jpg)
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: Delo on October 15, 2015, 04:51:09 pm
Pete your recipes sound good and ill be making the aloo matar sabji soon.  I am fortunate to live in an area with a high Indian population so I have been ordering it more than making it.  Some great advice already posted.  Blooming and toasting ingredients makes the meals great.  I have used decent spice mix packs before and some of my Indian friends use them.  Parampara and Shan off the top of my head.   Youtube is a great source for techniques for cooking and I cant recommend using a pressure cooker enough.  I’m so hungry now.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: theindiagrocery on November 08, 2020, 10:53:04 am
https://www.theindiagrocery.com is a New Jersey-based one-stop online Indian grocery store for all your daily groceries needs at low-price. No more hassles of perspiring it out in the rush shops and supermarkets. We are dedicated to making your life easier by serving you all of your daily Indian groceries needs at most reasonable prices.

Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: Fire Rooster on November 08, 2020, 01:19:28 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWPtOSzOHwM

I use this recipe often, and add a little extra water so it's less pasty. Marinading a day before works best,
and when chicken breasts are cut into large strips, and pounded a little to soften up.  Goes well with
basmati rice/ few peas, and naan bread.  I cook basmati rice the traditional way by boiling in water, as you
would spaghetti. 1/4-1/3 cup dried rice per person.
https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/28011/tandoori-chicken-ii/

Indian food is by far my favorite, favorite Indian dish is Dhaba-Gosht (Lamb).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YA48OOnSb3k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHOQOUOBM-A

Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: fredthecat on January 03, 2021, 11:33:04 pm
i found hitting that restaurant quality level of many indian foods very difficult. a lot of specific techniques to intensify flavours like dry roasting spices, roasting spices in ghee, getting the huge variety of spices reasonably fresh, etc.

it's challenging.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: fredthecat on January 12, 2021, 01:10:34 am
just make a barbecued chicken tikka masala. a lot of effort but turned out well.

yeah indian food is labour intensive.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: pete b on January 12, 2021, 01:40:39 am
just make a barbecued chicken tikka masala. a lot of effort but turned out well.

yeah indian food is labour intensive.
I find that being able to turn out some common side dishes in my sleep like raita, Dahl, and chapati/roti without needing recipes makes Indian cooking less intensive in that way. I made butter chicken for the first time a couple weeks ago and making sides without much thinking made it pretty easy to focus on the new recipe.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: fredthecat on January 12, 2021, 06:22:40 am
just make a barbecued chicken tikka masala. a lot of effort but turned out well.

yeah indian food is labour intensive.
I find that being able to turn out some common side dishes in my sleep like raita, Dahl, and chapati/roti without needing recipes makes Indian cooking less intensive in that way. I made butter chicken for the first time a couple weeks ago and making sides without much thinking made it pretty easy to focus on the new recipe.

yeah, i took the leftover marinade of yoghurt and spices and stuff and cooked eggs in it with extra crushed tomatoes. a decent very easy 2nd dish.

my kitchen is geared towards chinese/korean/japanese and european food though, so getting a full amount of indian items for example just isnt likely to happen. today was a one-off thing i think.

re: dahl, i dont like lentils and am sort of off beans overall for health beliefs.

i dont have a mixing machine, so while i can make any bread i dont because im too lazy to knead and clean up the sticky mess. my go-to indian flat bread is a dosa kind of thing fermented with yeast because its as easy as making simplified crepes.


Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: pete b on January 12, 2021, 12:37:08 pm
I actually don’t use my mixer for chapati or roti. Just mix the water and flour in a bowl, knead just for a couple minutes, rest, form balls, and roll. I like dosas too.
I know what you mean about taking on a new cuisine, it can get out of control having all the ingredients for everything. I keep having to find more room to store stuff. I have been working on my Chinese cooking the last couple of years and I still don’t have all the ingredients I would like to keep on hand.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: pete b on January 15, 2021, 12:43:35 am
I have been meaning to make onion pakoras and my wife happened to buy some gram flour for something else so I made pakoras and a cauliflower curry out of what was available in the fridge.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20210115/d445bf0394e297466f365000c5bb92bc.jpg)

Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: erockrph on January 15, 2021, 02:17:54 am
The first time I tried onion pakoras was at an Indian wedding, and it blew my mind. Theirs were puffy, almost like a small onion clamcake or doughboy, and I realized that this was the perfect drunk food - a little sweet and a little salty.  I've never seen them in quite that style since, but I've never had a bad one.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: pete b on January 15, 2021, 12:30:43 pm
The first time I tried onion pakoras was at an Indian wedding, and it blew my mind. Theirs were puffy, almost like a small onion clamcake or doughboy, and I realized that this was the perfect drunk food - a little sweet and a little salty.  I've never seen them in quite that style since, but I've never had a bad one.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
I think the puffy ones are called bajhi and have white flour and maybe egg which is why they are like clam fritters. Pakora  only have the liquid that salt coaxes out of the onion and are super crispy.
In the summer I make tons of zucchini fritters when zucchini is abundant in the garden the Italian way with egg, bread crumbs, and Parmesan. I discovered that bread crumbs instead of flour makes them fluffier and less doughy. Yes, all good drunk food. Or comfort food when the world has gone to hell.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: erockrph on January 16, 2021, 03:35:06 am
That would explain why I've never had a panoramic like that in a restaurant :) Although I will say that Indian food names, much like their food itself, is way more regional than you can tell from the handful of restaurants in my area. I'm pretty sure the person who told me they were called pakoras were from a different area than the caterers at that wedding.

That wedding, by the way, was one of the coolest cultural experiences I've ever had. The bride is Irish Catholic and the groom is Indian. The day started with a Catholic ceremony, followed by a buffet of Indian food in the church's basement prepared by the groom's family, followed by a traditional Hindi ceremony (they had a leaflet explaining the ceremony for each guest and repeated everything in English). Then there were Indian passed hors d'oeuvres, and a mix of Indian and typical American food at the various stations for dinner. Everything felt very inclusive, and I had some great conversations with many Indian guests who freely shared their culture and traditions.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: pete b on April 17, 2021, 10:59:14 pm
I had some duck breast to use for supper tonight but was in the mood for something spicy so went with Indian.  I made a Punjabi style sauce generally used for chicken,  a black pepper and chili pepper Dahl and coconut green beanx.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20210417/5fd39c0003cefe01dd4d54e05397d64d.jpg)

Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: caesduman on July 31, 2021, 07:36:25 pm
Thank you very much for such cool recipes! I have also been interested in Indian cuisine lately. It was exciting to read about your experience. I especially like the Punjabi recipe because it has all the products that I adore.
I liked the Indian cuisine after I visited a local restaurant. It was as if I had discovered a new world for myself. Now I want to open my own restaurant, where I will combine Indian and European cuisine. It seems to me that something interesting will come out of this. However, before opening your own business, you need to prepare thoroughly. Therefore, I study a lot of information about the Food Services industry (https://www.reportlinker.com/ci02054/Food-Services.html). Fortunately, there is a convenient website with detailed analytics and reports.
If you are in New York, be sure to write. Let's go somewhere!
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: reverseapachemaster on July 31, 2021, 11:41:06 pm
yeah indian food is labour intensive.

I tend to avoid prepackaged food but prepackaged Indian foods sold in Indian and Asian grocers tend to be reasonably good. Far better quality than prepackaged American foods. Mixing in prepared foods with your home cooked food can help lighten the workload for a meal.
Title: Re: Indian Food
Post by: fredthecat on August 01, 2021, 01:08:01 am
yeah indian food is labour intensive.

I tend to avoid prepackaged food but prepackaged Indian foods sold in Indian and Asian grocers tend to be reasonably good. Far better quality than prepackaged American foods. Mixing in prepared foods with your home cooked food can help lighten the workload for a meal.


yeah, i used to eat the sachet curries a lot, especially before indian food entered the mainstream, like early 2000s. not sure if its mentioined here or not, but indian desserts are also great and a fun thing to try if one hasn't ever before. burfi/gulab jamun etc

i seem to have slowly developed a serious stomach intolerance to spicy food however over the years and i've stopped eating a lot of spicy food. i lived in korea for a long time and have eaten tons of whole, uncooked full-on chili peppers among countless other foods that would make 99% of people in the west just give up. i think i've just had my sufficient life-time proportion of spiciness and my body says no more.

so, i dont get curry too much anymore.