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Indian/Pakistani Food, Chicken Curry Spices  
User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4512 posts, RR: 53
Posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2887 times:

I've learned a lot about cuisine of the Indian sub-continent this year from befriending a group of people who include: 2 Pakistanis, 2 North Indians, 1 South Indian, 1 Bangladeshi, 1 Sri Lankan Tamil and 1 Sri Lankan Sinhalese.

Mel's thread on favourite Indian dish gave me the idea to create this thread to talk about chicken curry recipes.

My Bangladeshi friend claims that he knows how to make the best chicken curry and he has taught me how to make it using the following ingredients and I was wondering if anyone who is in the know could help me refine/adjust my recipe.

It involves:

Bassar masala
Garlic and ginger paste
Madras hot curry powder
Garam masala
Salt

First you fry the onions and then wait til their golden brown, then cook them until they dissolve a bit and then make the curry by using the above ingredients and then add the chicken and yoghurt.

That's how I make it anyway, but I'm not Indian, and this Bangladeshi guy is a bit dodgy. How do you make it and which spices do you use?

___________________________________________________________
As a side note, I almost started World War III the other day when I asked if somosas were Indian or Pakistani. One of my north Indian friends said that "somosas are a very delhi thing" and the Pakistani guy said "somosas are absolutely Pakistani" and the whole thing erupted into a row. Can anyone tell me for sure?

As another side note, we also had a discussion about where one can find the best food - Delhi, Dhaka, or Karachi. The consensus was that Lahore has the best food, because Pakistan has a lot of cattle and Pakistanis eat beef. Dhaka is out as far as I'm concerned, one of the Bangladeshis said that Lahore is way better than Dhaka, but the battle of Lahore vs Delhi still goes on.


PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2885 times:

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
As a side note, I almost started World War III the other day when I asked if somosas were Indian or Pakistani. One of my north Indian friends said that "somosas are a very delhi thing" and the Pakistani guy said "somosas are absolutely Pakistani" and the whole thing erupted into a row. Can anyone tell me for sure?

Given that Samosas have existed long before Pakistan ever did, I'd reckon that samosas came way before Pakistan did.

Versions of the Samosas have existed in Central Asian cooking even prior to that, and it is thought that they were brought to India by the invading Huns, Turks and Mongols prior to the 9th Century. Of course, back then they were basically meat pasties. Once potatoes and chili peppers became staples in Indian cooking (brought as they were from the New World through the spice trade), the modern day samosa took hold.

How's that for waaaay too much info?

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
As another side note, we also had a discussion about where one can find the best food - Delhi, Dhaka, or Karachi.

None of the above.

The best Indian food is to be had in London, England. And anyone who tells you to the contrary is deluded.


User currently offlineEWRCabincrew From United States of America, joined May 2006, 5523 posts, RR: 56
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2881 times:

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 1):
The best Indian food is to be had in London, England

Or Manchester. But the UK in general is the best.



You can't cure stupid
User currently offlineBravo45 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2165 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2874 times:

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 1):
None of the above.

 checkmark 

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 1):
The best Indian food is to be had in London, England. And anyone who tells you to the contrary is deluded.

Correction! Its Pakistani and you obviously haven't been to Lahore. Big grin
Though stuff like Nayhari and some other stuff (I'm sure Jacobin777 will tell us more about that) in Karachi are said to be second to none.

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 1):
Given that Samosas have existed long before Pakistan ever did, I'd reckon that samosas came way before Pakistan did.

Lolz!! Lahore is way older than Pakistan too. Doesn't make it any less Pakistani IMO.

Anyway to sum it up, Pakistani food generally tends to be more spicy than Indian, personally I'd have the Pakistani ANY day over the Indian style and yes be it samosas or ANY other thing there is almost always a considerable difference when see the other version of the same thing across the border.


User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2865 times:

Quoting Bravo45 (Reply 3):
Lolz!! Lahore is way older than Pakistan too. Doesn't make it any less Pakistani IMO.

Yes, but that doesn't make the Samosa Pakistani.

Besides, Delhi is one of the world's oldest cities. And all the marauding Turks, Huns, Afghans, Mughals, etc., established their capital in Delhi. In fact, the entire subcontinent was known as Hindustan or Bharat, even under the Mughals.

In any case, this is just a technicality to me. The only place I eat Samosas are at this all vegetarian joint in Bombay called "Kailash Parbat." Its run by a bunch of fat, smelly Sindhis who employ equally fat, smelly bhaiyas from UP, and there is no samosa in the world that comes close. They have a running contract with typhoid Mary and hepatitis Henrietta, but its worth the risk !

Quoting Bravo45 (Reply 3):
Correction! Its Pakistani and you obviously haven't been to Lahore.
Though stuff like Nayhari and some other stuff (I'm sure Jacobin777 will tell us more about that) in Karachi are said to be second to none.

Actually I have been to Lahore and I've had the food in that big open air restaurant place (what's it called? Hira Mandi or something?). It's all vey good, but Pakistani food tends to swim in oil and butter. What's that all about? Some Indian food does too, especially in the North. And I still remain unimpressed with Karahi Chicken. Its so boring. But all the desserts were beyond fantastic - the rabdi, phirni, etc. were to die for.

Incidentally, Bombay's chowpatty beach has the best Kulfi (Indian ice cream) in the world. And I've been to all sorts of places in Delhi boasting the best, to Lahore, Karachi, Southall and Hounslow. But Delhi's Bengali Market has the best Chaat.

Quoting Bravo45 (Reply 3):
Anyway to sum it up, Pakistani food generally tends to be more spicy than Indian, personally I'd have the Pakistani ANY day over the Indian style and yes be it samosas or ANY other thing there is almost always a considerable difference when see the other version of the same thing across the border.

Pakistani food is a form of what is generally called North Indian Mughlai/Punjabi cuisine and is heavily influenced by the cuisine of Lahore, which tends to be its center of haute cuisine, especially after partition.

Indian food is far more varied with the food from the South and the East being completely different, and almost unrecognizable from North Indian food. Given influences from all over the country and from South East Asia, Indian food has also become very innovative under the influence of many Indian celebrity cooks and the rediscovery of the cooking of Lucknow, Marwar and Hyderabad. It was always very eclectic, but its become more so given these trends.


User currently offlineComorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2828 times:

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
That's how I make it anyway, but I'm not Indian, and this Bangladeshi guy is a bit dodgy. How do you make it and which spices do you use?

A simple question deserves a simple answer:

Heat 2 tbsps vegetable oil, drop in a bayleaf, 1 tsp of cumin seed, and 2 cardamom pods (cracked).

Add 2 med onions chopped, and fry 10 mts till golden brown.

Add 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, and a tbsp of chopped ginger, fry for a minute.

Add I tsp heaped salt, 1 tsp level Cayenne Pepper, 1 tsp level Turmeric and 1 tsp Garam Masala to the above. stir and cook for 30 seconds.

Now add 1 pound chicken breast cut into 2" pieces and continue to fry for a few minutes to develop a basic flavor. A big deal is that you should see the oil separate from the spices, ie the residual water has evaporated.

Add 1 cup Pomi or crushed canned tomato gradually (no basil!) and continue to blend it in with the stir fry over a 5 minute period. Now add 1 cup water and cook on slow heat for 30 minutes.

When almost finished, add a pinch of ground cloves, chopped cilantro, stir and turn off heat.

This is a basic Chicken Curry that's better than most.


Some notes:

1. The oil is necessary not just for frying, but as a solvent for some of the aromatics that are not water-soluble.

2. The little bit of stir frying the chicken and fresh spices makes a big difference in opening up flavors.

3. Adding the water at the end will help the chicken cook through unattended, otherwise you'd have to be continuously slaving over the counter.

4. Secret to soft chicken is not to cook at a high heat - something about denatured protein strands that cause the meat to toughen up.

5. You can also add Mushrooms and/or sour cream to give this recipe a twist. using chicken parts with bones makes for a tastier gravy, but is messier.

6. Cardinal Sin in Indian cooking: leaving the skin on the meat...

I'll also have to disagree with the fowl canard that Indian food is better in the UK. I've eaten at all the usual suspects - Tamarind, Chutney Mary and so on. Reason is, the fresh ingredients (chickens, spices and tomatoes) taste so much better in India. There is no way you can duplicate the taste of 'Aloo Gobhi' outside of North India - the Cauliflower still has a flavor that has long been bred out in the West.


Bon Appetit!


User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2825 times:

Quoting Comorin (Reply 5):
There is no way you can duplicate the taste of 'Aloo Gobhi' outside of North India - the Cauliflower still has a flavor that has long been bred out in the West.

OK. I'll grant you that one.  Smile


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2810 times:

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
One of my north Indian friends said that "somosas are a very delhi thing" and the Pakistani guy said "somosas are absolutely Pakistani" and the whole thing erupted into a row. Can anyone tell me for sure

Samosas existed prior to 1947 so its Indian  Smile
About Food.Pakistani food would be similiar to Muglhai food from North India.

But personally speaking It depends on the Cook rather than the City.If you think Indians & Pakistanis will get along.They never will unless the topic is Foreigners  biggrin 


regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineWindowseater From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 51 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2801 times:

Quoting Bravo45 (Reply 3):
Anyway to sum it up, Pakistani food generally tends to be more spicy than Indian, personally I'd have the Pakistani ANY day over the Indian style and yes be it samosas or ANY other thing there is almost always a considerable difference when see the other version of the same thing across the border.

Depends what you classify Indian food as though. I personally feel North Indian food is less spicier than South Indian.

You should visit the state of Andhra Pradesh if ever you come to India, and try a typical everyday Andhra-style meal with chilly chicken and lamb fry.

Calling it hot and chilly would be an understatement......it's bloody mind-blowing literally...you'll be shedding tears and end up sniffing to put your head into ice !!!



'To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. To fly is everything.' - Otto Lilienthal
User currently offlineEmirates773ER From Pakistan, joined Jun 2005, 1449 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2790 times:

Quoting Bravo45 (Reply 3):
Though stuff like Nayhari and some other stuff (I'm sure Jacobin777 will tell us more about that) in Karachi are said to be second to none.

Nayhari and Haleem are a very karachi thing and were brought from India during the time of partition, but over the years these recipies have been modified to pakistani taste buds and is extremely famous as a coomon food diet.

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 4):
And I still remain unimpressed with Karahi Chicken

Karahi chicken comes from he north western part of Pakistan, it is a staple diet for the Pathans. Frankly I have never tasted any curry better than karahi Chicken with naan, but a lot depends on person making it.

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 4):
what's it called? Hira Mandi or something?

Thats the last place you would wanna go in pakistan!  rotfl   rotfl   rotfl 

Another dish which is extremely famous and comes from lahore is Payaa (Lamb feet) if served with naan it is like being in heaven.  drool   drool 



The Truth is Out There ---- Face It!!!!!
User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2786 times:

Quoting Emirates773ER (Reply 9):
Thats the last place you would wanna go in pakistan!

Why?

Pakistani generals seem to frequent that place.  Smile

In any case, it does have great street food (though not as abundant as that Lahore street market that shuts down in the evening to become a big outdoor food court - some mandi or another). And being a gay man having no interest in what the women had to offer in hira mandi, I even saw a mujra. I felt like I was in Hindi movie!!

I have to admit that after 2 weeks in Pakistan, I really began to miss vegetables. Pakistani food is really heavy on meat, and while it is delicious, I really began hankering for a plain salad, or a simple vegetable dish. In India there are 1000 ways to make okra. And you can have a scotch, a beer, or a glass of wine with your okra any time you want.

What I loved in Pakistan that you don't get in India is green tea. That is delicious.


User currently offlineComorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2769 times:

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 6):
Quoting Comorin (Reply 5):
There is no way you can duplicate the taste of 'Aloo Gobhi' outside of North India - the Cauliflower still has a flavor that has long been bred out in the West.

OK. I'll grant you that one.

As a very special favor, in light of your supremely courageous post on Lebanon (hopefully you still have a job), I will let you in on a secret: Mahesh Lunch Home in Bombay has the best Butter Chicken in the world.

I was supposed to keep this a secret...


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2767 times:

Quoting AirxLiban (Thread starter):
As a side note, I almost started World War III the other day when I asked if somosas were Indian or Pakistani. One of my north Indian friends said that "somosas are a very delhi thing" and the Pakistani guy said "somosas are absolutely Pakistani" and the whole thing erupted into a row. Can anyone tell me for sure?

Suh, I have it on the authority of a gennelmun of impeccable character that that there "Somosa" is quite definitely Nicaraguan and very dead.


 Wink  Wink  Wink


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2765 times:

Quoting Comorin (Reply 5):

1. The oil is necessary not just for frying, but as a solvent for some of the aromatics that are not water-soluble.

Sounds pretty good. Myself, when I've done a pretty good job of carmelizing the onions I take everything and run it through a blender....then back in the pan with the chicken or chickpeas or whatever...it makes a nice smooth sauce.


User currently offlineComorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2762 times:

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 12):
Suh, I have it on the authority of a gennelmun of impeccable character that that there "Somosa" is quite definitely Nicaraguan and very dead.

 rotfl   rotfl   rotfl 


User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4512 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2756 times:

Thanks for all the responses guys and thanks also for the recipe, Comorin. I have Garam Masala and everything else on the list except for cumin seeds and cardimom and pomi. I'm leaving Oxford tomorrow and perhaps I'll make one more trip down to the Pakistani market to see if they have that stuff.

Quoting Comorin (Reply 11):
As a very special favor, in light of your supremely courageous post on Lebanon (hopefully you still have a job), I will let you in on a secret: Mahesh Lunch Home in Bombay has the best Butter Chicken in the world.

What did Jaysit say? Anyone got a link? I've been avoiding the Lebanon threads like the plague for various reasons, including the fact that the opinion of several a.netters on such matters is to be taken with a grain of salt.



PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineComorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2745 times:

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 15):
and everything else on the list except for cumin seeds and cardimom and pomi.

You can use any canned tomatoes - crushed or pureed - Pomi was just a suggestion.

Good luck!


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2741 times:

Quoting Comorin (Reply 11):
Mahesh Lunch Home in Bombay has the best Butter Chicken in the world.

Which one the Town one or the Juhu one.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineRJ111 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2732 times:

Here's my Madra recipe from that "Favorite Indian Dish" thread.

RJMadras

General

Ghee (or cooking oil)
300gms+ diced chicken
1 tomato

Ingredients A

couple of cloves and cardamons
2 Onions (Or 1 spanish onion)
2cm Cubed Ginger
3 Garlic Cloves
2 Small Green Chilis

Ingredients B

3tsp Cumin
2tsp Turmeric
1/2tsp Ground Coriander
2tsp Chilli Powder
2tsp Garlic Powder
2tsp Ginger Powder
1tsp Aesaphotida Powder
1tsp Black Pepper
1/4tsp Paprika

Ingredients C

3tblsp double concentrate tomato puree
2tsp Garam Masala
2tsp Dried Coriander Leaf
2tsp Fenugeek leaf
2tsp White sugar
1tsp Salt

Step 1) Dice onions into small pieces, and fry - initially on a high temperature - in about a tablespoon of ghee (or oil) with the cloves and garlic. Stir thoroughly to avoid burning. After 5 mins turn the temp to about gas mark 3 and add the rest of ingredients A - all chopped up, of course. Stir constantly until onions are translucent, but avoid letting them brown. Then pour into a blender with the tomato and a bit of water (about a 3/4 of a cup), and purify them.

Step 2) Mix ingredients B in a cup with a bit of water to make a paste. Fry this paste at high temp in another spoonful of ghee, but make sure the spices don't burn so add a little water if necessary and stir constantly. After 3 mins add the diced chicken and cook until the outsides turn white. Then add the puree you've just made and leave for 15 mins on about gas mark 3.

Step 3) lob everything else in and leave to simmer for 30mins, or as long as you like really the longer the better, but add more water if it starts drying up.

Step 4) Eat

Hint: If you want to get really fancy, cut a few long crescent shaped bits of onion and avoid purifying them. Then throw them in at step 2. Gives a nice texture.


User currently offlineComorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 19, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2716 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 17):
Which one the Town one or the Juhu one.
regds
MEL

I don't know, MEL - I will ask my Bombayite friend  blush  but I will defer to your judgement in all food and aviation matters!


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2713 times:

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 18):
Step 4) Eat

Into the recipe bank. There are two times when a blast of curry really does the trick for me.

In the summer when it's hot and you think it good to break a sweat, and in the middle of an Iowa winter when the snow's piled up around the cabin door and you need something besides oak logs in the stove to keep you warm.

In either case curry is a sovereign remedy for every ailment known to man, whether biological or otherwise. It strengthens the constitution, cures the common cold, makes the tongue tied speak with authority, brings courage to the faint of heart, and in all known cases can turn the wallflower into a woman of authority and the shy bachelor into a man to be reckoned with.

If one's at peace curry will start a war-if at war, it will settle the matter conclusively to the satisfaction of all present.

and it also makes the house smell pretty good too.

There. I have spoken


User currently offlineLH477 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 584 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 2709 times:

Even in Samosa's...there are two Indian types that I know... the punjabi and the Gujarati. The Punjabi samosa tends to be hotter, whereas Gujarati tends to milder but use more vegetables.

As for Best city for south Asian food, I would have to say Mumbai. Mumbai to me is the essential Indian city becuase of it's ethnic makeup. Mumbai is a mini India. It's residents tend to be from all over India, and the food is represented in that matter. Although I haven't found a great place for Kathavadi Thali yet. Next visit I guress.

Second best, Manchester. The Curry Mile......



Come on you gunners......!!!!!
User currently offlineComorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2703 times:

Quoting Comorin (Reply 19):
Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 17):
Which one the Town one or the Juhu one.
regds
MEL

Ok MEL, my friend has spoken " ...obviously the Town one...going to Juhu would be like going to Queens for a meal..."  duck 


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 23, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2700 times:

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 20):
It strengthens the constitution, cures the common cold

I try Spicy Chicken soup for Common cold Works great.

Quoting Comorin (Reply 22):
obviously the Town one

I've tasted the Stuff there.Quite Good.

Next time You Folks Visit Mumbai,Check out Gazebo at Hillroad Bandra,Dynasty at Santacruz West & Tiffany at Santacruz East  Smile

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineComorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 24, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2680 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 23):
Next time You Folks Visit Mumbai,Check out Gazebo at Hillroad Bandra,Dynasty at Santacruz West & Tiffany at Santacruz East

Only if you join us!


25 Post contains images HAWK21M : Sure.Im always Available for Food,but need to stay fit too.My Job helps be do that regds MEL
26 Post contains links and images CamAir : There is an excellent article called "The Political Economy of the Samosa": http://sar.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/24/1/21 Sorry, only pay access, b
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