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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Asian Cooking / Indian staple meals
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    Indian staple meals

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    Annie H
    Fri May 19, 2006 2:04 pm
    Forum Host
    Americans have meatloaf, what do Indians have?

    A friend of mine just came back from a trip to Europe and now I want to make Indian food. Where is a good place to start? Is there more than one flat bread that is commonly used (naan)? What are some of the signature dishes?

    Thanks!
    tigerduck
    Sat May 20, 2006 1:40 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Annie, chappati is another very common Indian bread.

    India is famous for its dal dishes. Whenever my flatmate (who is Indian) cooks, a dal made from red lentils usually is part of it. There are several dal recipes on zaar, so have a look (here is my dal recipe: Easy Dal recipe #153501) .

    Raita is another common Indian dish that comes in many variants. It is usually served cold and it includes yogurt (I think that raita is the hindi word for yogurt, but I'm not entirely sure). The most common raita here in Switzerland is one with cucumber. However, there are so many variants and it doesn't have to be cucumber.
    Here are some raitas I've tried and loved:
    Carrot Raita recipe #29442 (by Chrissyo)
    Mango Raita recipe #9827 (by Bergy)
    Zucchini Raita recipe #167991 (by me)
    Whenever I have guests I always make sure that I serve a raita with an Indian meal. It's lovely to have a cold yogurt based dish with the spicy Indian food.

    Here are some Indian meat dishes I like:
    Vindaloo (Goan-Style Hot and Sour Pork) (by Carla)
    Kolkata Chilli Chicken recipe #147892 (by me)
    The Vindaloo is a very famous dish

    And here are some Vegetarian ones:
    Unforgetable Potato Curry recipe #163118 (by JoyfulCook)
    Courgette and Green Pepper 'sabzi' (Tori Aur Hari Mirch Ki Sabzi recipe #146424 (by me)
    Bengali-Spiced Squash recipe #145020 (by me)
    I have only served the Bengali-Spiced Squash recipe to roasted chicken so far and not as part of an Indian meal. It is lovely with roasted chicken, though.
    There is also an Indian okra recipe that I've posted which should appear soon.

    The vegetables my Indian flatmate cooks most often are eggplants and okra. There is also a quite thin dish called Rasam that he often eats together with rice. As I said, he would nearly always have dal with every meal.

    India is divided into rice eaters and wheat eaters, those that have rice with every meal and those that have bread. The wheat eaters only eat rice on special occasions.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding my recipes or if you look for anything special that you can't find here on zaar. I've got quite a few Indian and Asian cookery books.
    tigerduck
    Sat May 20, 2006 1:42 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Annie H wrote:
    A friend of mine just came back from a trip to Europe and now I want to make Indian food.


    BTW Annie, your friend went to Europe and now you want to make Indian food? I don't see the connection between Europe and Indian food? icon_rolleyes.gif icon_rolleyes.gif icon_rolleyes.gif
    HappyBunny
    Sat May 20, 2006 4:06 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    tigerduck wrote:
    Annie, chappati is another very common Indian bread.

    India is famous for its dal dishes. Whenever my flatmate (who is Indian) cooks, a dal made from red lentils usually is part of it. There are several dal recipes on zaar, so have a look (here is my dal recipe: Easy Dal recipe #153501) .

    Raita is another common Indian dish that comes in many variants. It is usually served cold and it includes yogurt (I think that raita is the hindi word for yogurt, but I'm not entirely sure). The most common raita here in Switzerland is one with cucumber. However, there are so many variants and it doesn't have to be cucumber.
    Here are some raitas I've tried and loved:
    Carrot Raita recipe #29442 (by Chrissyo)
    Mango Raita recipe #9827 (by Bergy)
    Zucchini Raita recipe #167991 (by me)
    Whenever I have guests I always make sure that I serve a raita with an Indian meal. It's lovely to have a cold yogurt based dish with the spicy Indian food.

    Here are some Indian meat dishes I like:
    Vindaloo (Goan-Style Hot and Sour Pork) (by Carla)
    Kolkata Chilli Chicken recipe #147892 (by me)
    The Vindaloo is a very famous dish

    And here are some Vegetarian ones:
    Unforgetable Potato Curry recipe #163118 (by JoyfulCook)
    Courgette and Green Pepper 'sabzi' (Tori Aur Hari Mirch Ki Sabzi recipe #146424 (by me)
    Bengali-Spiced Squash recipe #145020 (by me)
    I have only served the Bengali-Spiced Squash recipe to roasted chicken so far and not as part of an Indian meal. It is lovely with roasted chicken, though.
    There is also an Indian okra recipe that I've posted which should appear soon.

    The vegetables my Indian flatmate cooks most often are eggplants and okra. There is also a quite thin dish called Rasam that he often eats together with rice. As I said, he would nearly always have dal with every meal.

    India is divided into rice eaters and wheat eaters, those that have rice with every meal and those that have bread. The wheat eaters only eat rice on special occasions.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding my recipes or if you look for anything special that you can't find here on zaar. I've got quite a few Indian and Asian cookery books.

    Tigerduck, the hindi word for yoghurt is Dahi, not raita icon_wink.gif
    Annie H
    Sat May 20, 2006 7:41 pm
    Forum Host
    tigerduck wrote:
    Annie H wrote:
    A friend of mine just came back from a trip to Europe and now I want to make Indian food.


    BTW Annie, your friend went to Europe and now you want to make Indian food? I don't see the connection between Europe and Indian food? icon_rolleyes.gif icon_rolleyes.gif icon_rolleyes.gif
    She said that for every little British pub there were two Indian restaurants. Like Mexican food in California. icon_wink.gif
    tigerduck
    Sun May 21, 2006 2:51 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Annie H wrote:
    tigerduck wrote:
    Annie H wrote:
    A friend of mine just came back from a trip to Europe and now I want to make Indian food.


    BTW Annie, your friend went to Europe and now you want to make Indian food? I don't see the connection between Europe and Indian food? icon_rolleyes.gif icon_rolleyes.gif icon_rolleyes.gif
    She said that for every little British pub there were two Indian restaurants. Like Mexican food in California. icon_wink.gif


    That's true. I've spent 9 months near London. The most famous Anglo-Indian dish is Chicken Tikka Masala. I've never cooked it, though. Too bad that I've lent my curry bible to a friend. There is a nice little story concerning that dish in it...
    tigerduck
    Sun May 21, 2006 3:04 am
    Food.com Groupie
    HappyBunny wrote:

    Tigerduck, the hindi word for yoghurt is Dahi, not raita icon_wink.gif


    Thanks Happy Bunny icon_razz.gif . That explains why one dish in Monisha Bharadwaj's book called 'India's Vegetarian Cooking' is called dahi kuchumber and translated as onion and mint raita.

    However, there is also a dish called boondi raita in it which is translated or rather described as tiny gram flour balls in yoghurt. I wonder if raita describes a certain type of dish or if it does translate as yoghurt in one of the many Indian languages. I will have to ask my Indian flatmate, maybe he knows. However, he's currently at his girlfriend's place.
    HappyBunny
    Sun May 21, 2006 6:13 am
    Food.com Groupie
    tigerduck wrote:
    HappyBunny wrote:

    Tigerduck, the hindi word for yoghurt is Dahi, not raita icon_wink.gif


    Thanks Happy Bunny icon_razz.gif . That explains why one dish in Monisha Bharadwaj's book called 'India's Vegetarian Cooking' is called dahi kuchumber and translated as onion and mint raita.

    However, there is also a dish called boondi raita in it which is translated or rather described as tiny gram flour balls in yoghurt. I wonder if raita describes a certain type of dish or if it does translate as yoghurt in one of the many Indian languages. I will have to ask my Indian flatmate, maybe he knows. However, he's currently at his girlfriend's place.

    A raita is a yoghurt based condiment. The two most popular raita are ones with cucumber (kheere ka raita) or gram flour balls (boondi raita). I have a lovely recipe with roasted aubergine, cucumber, roasted cumin and honey yummy.gif
    tigerduck
    Sun May 21, 2006 9:44 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Happy bunny, I know that raita is a yoghurt based condiment. I was just wondering about the name. I assumed it had to do with yoghurt because to my knowledge, raita is always yoghurt-based. But in fact raita originally comes from the hindi word for mustard:

    Raita is a South Asian condiment based on yogurt. The yogurt is seasoned with cilantro, cumin, mint, cayenne pepper, and other herbs and spices. Vegetables such as cucumber and onions are mixed in. A key ingredient in raita is powdered mustard. In fact, the Hindi word for mustard is rai. The mixture is served chilled. Raita has a cooling effect on the palate which makes it a good foil for spicy Indian dishes.

    Southern Indian cuisine, such as that found in the Bangalore region, often uses finely chopped or diced carrots mixed with dahi yogurt.

    BTW Happy Bunny, your raita recipe sounds delicious. You've got a cucumber raita posted, but not the one with eggplants and honey you described in this thread.
    HappyBunny
    Sun May 21, 2006 11:47 am
    Food.com Groupie
    It's not on Zaar but I'll dig it out and post it.

    I'm really sorry if my post seemed condescending. Didn't realise you were asking about the meaning of the word icon_redface.gif
    Sackville
    Wed May 31, 2006 12:38 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Indian food is fantastic and can be very good value -- all that dahl provides maximum flavour and nutrition for minimum money!

    Although this says Nepalese, it is excellent curry icon_smile.gif

    Nepalese Potato and Pea Curry #153915
    Dahl recipe #153866
    Annie H
    Wed May 31, 2006 9:13 am
    Forum Host
    Sweet! Thank you so much for all of the suggestions. So far I've only made a chicken masala and a naan recipe. They both turned out very well. I'm excited to continue this exploration.

    Now I just need to find black mustard seeds.... icon_lol.gif
    Barb R
    Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:18 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Indian food is just great, so spicy and good. I love this recipe by NurseDi:

    Shrimp Vindaloo recipe #92346

    And, you cannot forget Tandoori if you're making Indian cuisine!!! Here's one Emeril LaGasse did that we've made that is really great, though I'm sure there are a million more recipes equally as wonderful.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_16385,00.html

    Naan bread is really good with all Indian foods, too, and very easy to make. Enjoy!
    Dimpi
    Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:57 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I know you've had many excellent replies, Annie but I figured another one couldn't hurt icon_smile.gif

    I'm an Indian living in the US, and so the dishes I cook most often here are not the same ones I'd cook if I were living in India. It depends on the kind of vegetables, ingredients and appliances available.

    I'm from South India and the most common dishes from there are rice, rasam and sambhar along a dry vegetable side dish called "palya" (it could be any veggie and can be made in several different ways). There are scores of other dishes, of course, but those are the everyday ones. Coconut is very popular. It's true that chapati (a wheat flour flat bread) is not as popular as it is in the North but I would say that it's fast changing.
    My husband is from the north eastern part of India and their staple dishes are totally different. The most popular are roti (known as chapati in the south), chicken curry/masala, fish fry, dal, chole, rajma and vegetable "sabzi"s. Dal is more common in the North, but both rasam and sambhar are variations of it. But I've noticed that dal is really popular with Indians living abroad, whether they're from the north or south. Probably because it's really easy to make and the ingredients are easily available.

    The cuisine in India varies very much from region to region, community to community and infact, from family to family.
    Another factor to note is that there are a large number of vegetarians in India. Among the meat eaters, I would say chicken and fish are the most common.

    Was that too long? icon_razz.gif
    Annie H
    Mon Jul 17, 2006 8:01 pm
    Forum Host
    Dimpi, thank you! Excellent advice. icon_biggrin.gif I very much appreciate your post.
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