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lachoy (1663)


I am actually Chris Winters; I am actually living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; I am actually married and have three cats. (Guess what one of them is named?) I am the "OpenInteract" guy, which could be good or bad.

Journal of lachoy (1663)

Sunday June 02, 2002
12:01 PM

indian food

[ #5370 ]

In happier news, I finally made some of the dishes from my Indian vegetarian cooking class. The first was a ricotta cheese (substituting admirably for paneer) and peas. I fortified it with some chickpeas as well. The second was a simple cucumber raita. Both turned out very well, although the ricotta was a little spicier than I'd planned.

Part of the preparation for this was getting spices, and for this I went to one of the local Indian grocery stores and stocked up on the staples: seeds of coriander, cumin, black mustard, fenugreek, cardamom, etc. Plus some tamarind pulp and frozen coconut, which I'm told lasts forever. But what was shocking was how cheap everything was. Maybe it's just crappy Pittsburgh grocery stores, but herbs (like cilantro/coriander) are difficult to find and expensive. And spices: two bucks got me a big bag of cumin seeds, versus five bucks for a tiny glass container.

Tonight's recipes: an eggplant chutney and some mung bean pancakes.

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  • I think its simply the fact that they are staples of Indian cooking, so the Indian grocer can't get away with high prices.

    Another example is agar, which is a substance derived from seaweed that is quite similar to gelatin, and can be used to make vegetarian pudding/jello/mousse/whatever.

    If you go to a Western store that has it (say, a coop like that one on the East Side in Pittsburgh), it'll cost you a _lot_ of money.

    But in Asia, they make a number of jello-like desserts, and they don't use gelatin, they