Author Topic: Greens  (Read 2385 times)

Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Greens
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2010, 06:15:36 AM »
Only real source of heat in the dal was 3 dried Indian chilies (the round kind).  The flavor was provided by turmeric, sweet red pepper, a base of murgh yakhni (chicken broth with moghul spicing), an onion with garlic and ginger sauteed in mustard oil, and a mix of fresh kari patta, black cumin (kala jeera), cumin, fenugreek, coriander seed, black cardamom, black salt, amchur, some commercial garam masala, and quite possibly some more things that I am forgetting.  What made it really spicy hot was the fact that I halved the amount of dal to a 1/2 cup and didn't really adjust the chilies!   ;D

Offline capozzoli

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Re: Greens
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2010, 10:19:16 AM »
Damn nic, sounds like you really started cooking Indian style for real. Cool.

Good thing about Indian cooking is that when you master it all of your other cooking styles will improve. Even if one dsent like Indian food it is wise to learn it. You gain a stronger purchase of spices and the flavors they create.

Beer, its whats for dinner.

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Offline beerocd

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Re: Greens
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2010, 02:51:30 PM »
You gain a stronger purchase of spices and the flavors they create.

Exactly, I was looking through his list of spices and thinking DAMN I gotta get me some more spices!
The moral majority, is neither.

Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Greens
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2010, 06:47:42 PM »
If you find the right store...Indian or Pakistani place usually...you can get amazing quantities of spices for VERY cheap!  I am generally perturbed when I have to shell out lots of money for a paltry quantity of stale spices at the grocery store.  I run through a lot of fennel seed.

It's kind of weird thinking back to a time when I saw cumin (or coriander, or many others) as just a name on a recipe but I'd have been hard pressed to describe or understand its flavor.  But when you start working with them regularly you get a feel for them. 

Full disclosure...for example I'm not able to tell you exactly what flavor kala jeera imparts...and while I can tell you how asafetida SMELLS I can't tell you what it imparts in taste because I've not been brave enough to use enough to notice.  So I've got a lot of learning yet to do...but learning is fun!   ;D

Had Thai food tonight and as my wife had her grilled beef mint salad placed in front of her (that I goaded her into getting, I should have ordered it myself) the look of panic in her face as she caught wind of the fish sauce was amusing...poor girl.  But she liked the food once the odor dissipated.  I think our culinary preferences generally trend west of Indochina.

Offline capozzoli

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Re: Greens
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2010, 07:13:03 PM »
Nic, do you have a Pe Nang near you? Its an awesome chain of Malaysian restaurants.

Malaysian food is very nice. Sort of a mish mash of Vietnamese, Thai and Indian cooking. Look into Burmese cooking too.
Beer, its whats for dinner.

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Greens
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2010, 07:21:51 PM »
From greens to Indian mish mash.

I swear I'm going to head down to the local Indian grocer and fill up a basket of these fine spices and some dal. Make some naan bread and go to town on some great Indian food. Between Capp and Nic...I'm almost convinced to break down and do it.

Maybe this isn't the thread to ask but could one of you guys give me a starter list of Indian spices and ingredients to make some basic Indian recipes?

Do greens fit into Indian cuisine?  ;D
Ron Price

Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Greens
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2010, 06:26:48 AM »
Of course greens fit into Indian cooking!  That's what saag paneer is anyway, and spinach and other greens are used a lot, since so many of their folks are vegetarian.

On what to get at the indian store...

spices you ought to pick up:
kalonji/nigella seeds: an extremely tasty addition to indian breads.
methi/fenugreek seeds: great addition to any spice mixture or curry powder.
jeera/cumin: bedrock spice...you need this in quantity.
coriander seed: usually cheap, pick up a bagful.
amchur powder: made from green dried mangos, a good souring agent.
choti elaichi/green cardamom: use with care, very strong.
turmeric: where all the yellow comes from, but also a nice flavor addition.
imli/tamarind: used in many recipes for souring.
black mustard seeds: useful for many recipes, whole or ground.
whole dried red chilies:  delicious heat!  you can use fresh ones too but I like the red indian dried ones.
saunf/fennel: great for many styles of cooking, not just indian.
garam masala: I know you should make your own, but I like having the commercial stuff on hand.


spices I would consider optional:
anardana/pomegranate seeds: I grind these up to add sourness to aloo samosa filling.  Not really necessary though.
kokum: put it this way, I haven't even tried cooking with it yet...but I'll get to it...
kala jeera/black cumin: this is a regional spice and is subtle enough that I think you might not notice its absence...to some extent I don't.
methi/fenugreek leaves: the leaves that I bought adding a funky taste, stick with the seeds at the beginning, but it might be nice to have on hand for recipes.
ajwain/carom: similar to thyme...not ubiquitous, optional.
kali elaichi/black cardamom:  I use it a lot but its not often called for.
hing/asafetida: skip this in a big way unless you have a secure place to store it...it reeks, uncooked.
kala namak/black salt: an aromatic pink salt.
gur/jaggery: I have a block of this to sweeten dal slightly but I imagine cheap brown sugar would work perfectly fine.

other things to pick up while you are there:
dal: perhaps chana or toor dal (not the kind stored in oil)
basmati rice
atta or chapati flour (a sort of whole wheat bread flour)
gram/chickpea/besan flour (good for fritters and fried fish)
ghee/clarified butter
coconut milk
garlic and ginger...I buy these from my normal market, but whereever you get them, you'll need them, unless you're cooking for Jains, who abstain from garlic for religious reasons.
likewise plain yogurt is another essential ingredient in many cases.

Offline capozzoli

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Re: Greens
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2010, 03:02:05 PM »
Plus 1 to nicks list. I would add only green cardamom and cloves to the first list. and fresh curry leaves are a must. Could add lime leaves to the optional list.

Nic, do you use black salt? wow. I have had some of that for the last 15 years or so. Think I used it twice in that whole time.

I like savory salt lassies with cilantro lime and spices. It gets salt instead of sugar. Someone suggested a black salt lassie. I made one up and it was awful, more like a fart lassie. Must have medicinal qualities or something.
Beer, its whats for dinner.

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Offline beerocd

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Re: Greens
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2010, 04:05:11 PM »
This black salt... not actually a "black salt"? I have some from Hawaii - more for looks in my mind. White pepper and black salt on the table is neat to put out though.
The moral majority, is neither.

Offline pinnah

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Re: Greens
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2010, 04:08:12 PM »
Second year chard is also a good early green, but just to last until the spinach comes on.

Spinach I planted last fall are just about ready to start snipping on,
but today got covered with a few inches of snow ::)

Babalu, do your collards just come up every year?
I just planted some kale.

Offline capozzoli

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Re: Greens
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2010, 04:18:29 PM »
Its not the volcanic black salt. Its different I think?






Its actually pink, but if you put it in yogurt say for a lassie, it turns black. Looks like charcoal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kala_Namak
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 04:22:10 PM by capozzoli »
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Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Greens
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2010, 04:25:50 PM »
I don't use black salt (it is pink) much...just sometimes a pinch of it here and there, but always with lots of other spices.  It does have a bit of a sulfur aroma.

Forgot about curry leaves!  kari patta I believe is how they refer to them.