Two New Yorkers spend six months 18 months!?! in Bangalore and other places in India.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Four Top Indian Takeaways

Prestige Pressure CookerLast night Don and I were talking over dinner about the ingredients and food ideas that will be easiest to bring back to the United States. And the talk isn't academic -- my visa expires in early July, and Don's job wraps up three weeks later. So it's time to eat those dosas while they're still hot and easily available down the block, and to get a handle on the ideas and ingredients that travel better. Here are our nominations:

  • Fresh lime sodas. Everyone should be making these wherever and whenever limes are cheap. With a handheld juicer, it takes only a little longer to make one than it takes to grab a Coke from the fridge, and it's often a lot more refreshing.
  • Little brown chickpeas, which I think are called kala chana. Before we came, we only knew about the larger yellow ones (called kabuli chana). The little brown and black ones seem much tastier, though they need some serious cooking time to be transformed into something edible. Which brings us to
  • Pressure cookers. Just about every India household with a stove has one or two pressure cookers. Our apartment didn't come with a huge assortment of kitchen stuff, but it did come with two pressure cookers. In addition to saving energy, the intimidating devices also save a lot of time in a place where menus are so focused on lentils and other tough-to-cook ingredients. Don used to use one on occasion back in New York, and I've managed to cook with them a couple times without blowing up the kitchen. They're retro and they're scary -- what could be more fun?
  • Gobi manchurian. Fusion at its best, this Chinese-Indian concoction of deep-fried cauliflower in a tangy, spiced-up sauce has become our default bad-for-you appetizer at so many restaurants around town. We made it at home last night, using a kit from the store. The kit wasn't necessary -- it didn't save any time -- but it did confirm that this delicious dish is also trashy -- one of the ingredients you had to add was a small packet of ketchup.

1 comment:

Swapna said...

Yup.. Gobi Manchurain is the best!!