Indian Chef similar to Ming Tsai & Mario Batali?

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MojoJojo

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May 19, 2002, 12:10:16 AM5/19/02
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Does anyone know of an Indian chef who knows the cuisines of the
different regions of India, similar to how Mario Batali goes over the
regions of Italy in Molto Mario, and Ming Tsai from time to time
discusses the various Asian cuisines in East Meets West? Is America
ready for prime-time Indian food?

PS Padma Laxmi does not count; she focuses more on an "east meets
west" type thing, but never seems to demonstrate an understanding of
regional cuisine during her Melting Pot shows. Besides, what can you
say about someone whose response to everything under the sun is
"MMMM... SMELLS WONDERFUL!"

Canuck@rogers.com Jamie Canuck

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May 19, 2002, 1:48:39 AM5/19/02
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"MojoJojo" <Mojo...@PPuff.Com> wrote in message
news:j29eeugkmjsls7h4r...@4ax.com...

How about Madhur Jaffray (sp?).. she seems quite knowledgeable, and her cook
books are excellent (the 2 I have anyway). She had a BBC cooking show and
I've seen her on M Stewart.

Jamie


@hotmail.com xhingus

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May 19, 2002, 10:52:26 AM5/19/02
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she talks...hmmm never noticed
know what i mean
:-)

"Jamie Canuck" <Jamie Can...@rogers.com> wrote in message
news:X0HF8.53911$t8_....@news01.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com...

Shankar Bhattacharyya

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May 19, 2002, 11:46:57 AM5/19/02
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MojoJojo <Mojo...@PPuff.Com> wrote in
news:j29eeugkmjsls7h4r...@4ax.com:

> Does anyone know of an Indian chef who knows the cuisines of the
> different regions of India, similar to how Mario Batali goes over
> the regions of Italy in Molto Mario, and Ming Tsai from time to
> time discusses the various Asian cuisines in East Meets West? Is
> America ready for prime-time Indian food?

I have seen Ming Tsai's show from time to time and I like what he
does but I don't claim any understanding of his expertise or breadth
of knowledge. My impression is that he concentrates on heavily
Asian-derived American fusion cooking. I don't think he is presenting
himself as an authority on pan-Asian food. Mario Bataglia (or however
his name is spelt) deals with Italian food.

You are asking for far wider range than the latter provides and for
something to which I don't think Tsai aspires. I mean no disrespect
for either show. Molto Mario deals with Italian food and Italy is a
small country. You could roll up all of Italy and put it in a
medium-sized Indian state.

In an occidental context, what you are asking for is approximately
like asking if there is someone on the occidental stage who covers
the foods of Europe. Indian food is as diverse as the foods of all of
Europe, allowing for the possible exclusion of the boil-and-serve
cuisines. If you took a single large Indian state you would have
about as much diversity as you have in Italian food.

I am from Bengal. The dinky little Indian state of West Bengal and
the country of Bangladesh add up to something like 150 million
Bengalis, not counting several million of us who live outside those
areas. East Bengalis and West Bengalis, separated by the river Padma,
cook in moderately different ways. There are significant differences
between districts within the combined territory, indeed, even on a
single side of the river. Our food shares some basic spirit with that
of the neighbouring state of Orissa but that is it. Go anywhere else
and the food is substantially different. I understand the food of
Bengal and, to some extent, that of Maharashtra, where I grew up. If
I were to attempt to generalize about any more than that I would get
my knee-caps bashed in. Indeed, even to generalize about just that I
use knee-pads, just in case.

Of course, a professional food writer may reasonably be expected to
have much wider range and depth. Even so, you are asking a lot.

I like Madhur Jaffrey's books. In particular, in "A Taste of India"
she takes recipes directly from regional traditional sources. For the
two cuisines about whose food I know a little, her recipes seem
authentic, allowing for what "authentic" means to an Indian. That
predisposes me to accept the rest as as authentic in the same sort of
way. Her further contribution to the book is a sort of framework for
looking at the individual cuisines, with some reference to what
characterizes them. That seems credible, too, in general. I'm not
competent to judge further. "A Taste of India" also has the merit of
grouping food by region, so it is possible to capture the flavour of
an individual Indian cuisine without much organizational effort on
the part of the reader. Oh, yes, in her book I do not see the
unnecessary flourishes I see in lots of other books. As something of
an essentialist I like that.

As disclosure I should mention that while I don't know Mrs. Jaffrey
personally, I have eaten at Dawat, the restaurant in New York in
which she has a role of which I know no details. I was there in the
company of my brother-in-law, who, as far as I know, also does not
know her personally but his mother went to school with Mrs. Jaffrey a
few decades ago. At her request I once tracked down a number for her
old friend. I imagine I may meet her at some time.

My fondness for her book pre-dates my knowledge of the tenuous
connection.

I am a simple fellow. Give me a cookbook with credible recipes for
Bengali-style potatoes with poppy seeds, shrimp with Indian mustard
in the Bengali style and potatoes, cauliflower and possibly peas with
kadi leaves in the Maharashtrian style and you have my vote.

Incidentally, a few years ago I heard of a restaurant in New York,
called the Bay Leaf, which served thoroughly credible-sounding
Bengali food cooked by a chef with the unlikely name of D'Souza. If
anyone has eaten there I would not mind an opinion. There's a likely
cosmopolitan Indian cook in there. I find that worth investigating.

- Shankar

MojoJojo

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May 19, 2002, 12:04:21 PM5/19/02
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Hmm... is she as entertaining as the Mario & Ming?

Brian Connors

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May 19, 2002, 11:11:39 PM5/19/02
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In article <ueff1cq...@corp.supernews.com>,

"xhingus" <xhingus @ hotmail.com> wrote:

> she talks...hmmm never noticed
> know what i mean

Well, let's face it: Padma has two things going for her: she seems to
know how to cook and she's very easy on the eyes. That said, I'd rather
look at pictures. She can be very irritating to watch.

/Brian

Shivaji

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May 20, 2002, 11:16:22 AM5/20/02
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MojoJojo <Mojo...@PPuff.Com> wrote in message news:<j29eeugkmjsls7h4r...@4ax.com>...
SNIP
> PS Padma Laxmi does not count; she focuses more on an "east meets

I agree. On the one and ONLY show I watched she demonstrated Rice
Pudding south Indian style and claimed that powdered cinnamon is
regularly used to in sweet dishes in South India. I am no expert in
South Indian cooking, but I can bet my last dollar that no
self-respecting South Indian ( or any Indian for that matter ) will
use Cinnamon. Cardamom always, saffron if you can afford it and nutmeg
in a few dishes in some parts of the country. But Cinnamon is NEVER
used in sweet dishes in India.

There is Sanjeev Kapoor whose shows are very popular on the cable
networks in India. His website - sanjeevkapoor.com -lists several
hundred recipes from all parts of the country. However, for a
non-Indian the site may be complex / difficult to understand. If
someone comes across a recipe they like and have questions about the
ingredients/methods etc, you can always post here as well as on
soc.culture.indian.

HTH

Shivaji

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May 20, 2002, 11:17:55 AM5/20/02
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From: shivchh...@yahoo.com (Shivaji)
Newsgroups: alt.tv.food-network,rec.food.cooking,soc.culture.indian
Subject: Re: Indian Chef similar to Ming Tsai & Mario Batali?
References: <j29eeugkmjsls7h4r...@4ax.com>
NNTP-Posting-Host: 216.158.25.156
Message-ID: <c2eade3c.0205...@posting.google.com>

MojoJojo <Mojo...@PPuff.Com> wrote in message news:<j29eeugkmjsls7h4r...@4ax.com>...
SNIP

> PS Padma Laxmi does not count; she focuses more on an "east meets

I agree. On the one and ONLY show I watched she demonstrated Rice


Pudding south Indian style and claimed that powdered cinnamon is
regularly used to in sweet dishes in South India. I am no expert in
South Indian cooking, but I can bet my last dollar that no
self-respecting South Indian ( or any Indian for that matter ) will

use Cinnamon in Rice Pudding or other sweets . Cardamom always,

Michael Sierchio

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May 20, 2002, 11:51:29 AM5/20/02
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Shivaji wrote:

> I agree. On the one and ONLY show I watched she demonstrated Rice
> Pudding south Indian style and claimed that powdered cinnamon is
> regularly used to in sweet dishes in South India. I am no expert in
> South Indian cooking, but I can bet my last dollar that no
> self-respecting South Indian ( or any Indian for that matter ) will
> use Cinnamon. Cardamom always, saffron if you can afford it and nutmeg
> in a few dishes in some parts of the country. But Cinnamon is NEVER
> used in sweet dishes in India.

Hmm... it depends what you mean by sweet dishes. There are coconut
milk stews in Kerala which are decidedly sweet, and which contain
cinnamon. I suppose you mean those dishes in the category which
most of us think of as "dessert?"

4cuji

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May 20, 2002, 11:29:52 PM5/20/02
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> Hmm... it depends what you mean by sweet dishes. There are coconut
> milk stews in Kerala which are decidedly sweet, and which contain
> cinnamon. I suppose you mean those dishes in the category which
> most of us think of as "dessert?"

sounds like a food poisoning remedy; vomit inducing recipe for the
toughest...
please, we are talking fine cuisine here, not schlop-to-literally-die-over.
spare us your 'recipes' next time you post ok? thanks.


Michael Sierchio

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May 20, 2002, 11:41:13 PM5/20/02
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Hey, anonymous asswipe shit-for-brains -- any idea where Kerala is? Can you
find your own ass in a dark room with both hands? I didn't think so. I've
probably logged more time in Cochin than you've spent being a fucking
Oxygen bandit. Back under your rock now, I think I hear your mommie calling.

4cuji

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May 20, 2002, 11:50:06 PM5/20/02
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"Shankar Bhattacharyya" <sbha...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:Xns9213781ABE747...@204.127.36.1...

> MojoJojo <Mojo...@PPuff.Com> wrote in
> news:j29eeugkmjsls7h4r...@4ax.com:
>
Mario Bataglia (or however
> his name is spelt)

shows how cultured you really are, Shank....

> Molto Mario deals with Italian food and Italy is a
> small country. You could roll up all of Italy and put it in a
> medium-sized Indian state.

Maybe so, but it would be the MOST appealing and diversified state in India,
and not just from a cuisine standpoint....
Jesus-H!, spare us the insanity... every 20 kms in Italy represents a new
dialect, culture and cuisine. Do not generalize like this, you obviously
have never traveled through Italy.
It may be physically/geographically smaller than India, but has a grandeur
wrt cuisine, culture and history matched next to none!


> I am from Bengal.

Ok, this explains it, you are forgiven.

4cuji

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May 21, 2002, 12:04:35 AM5/21/02
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"Michael Sierchio" <ku...@tenebras.com> wrote in message
news:3CE9C1D9...@tenebras.com...

>asswipe shit-for-brains

yes, I heard that is a famous Cochin main course dish, must explain your
venomous hostility . It's ok, I understand.


4cuji

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May 21, 2002, 12:15:37 AM5/21/02
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"Michael Sierchio" <ku...@tenebras.com> wrote in message
news:3CE9C1D9...@tenebras.com...


> Back under your rock now

thanks, I'd much rather be under a rock anywhere, than in Kerala, India,
being force fed a "coconut milk stew with cinamon" BLEAH

>Can you
find your own ass in a dark room with both hands?

too clever.....careful (or "KA-Fill" if you're an Emeril fan too), you're
displaying your immaturity and borderline (60) IQ here......


Hope Munro Smith

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May 29, 2002, 9:13:33 PM5/29/02
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In article <ueff1cq...@corp.supernews.com>, "xhingus" <xhingus @
hotmail.com> wrote:

> she talks...hmmm never noticed
> know what i mean
> :-)

Isn't Salman Rushdie her boyfriend?

harriswest

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May 29, 2002, 9:42:28 PM5/29/02
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> PS Padma Laxmi does not count; she focuses more on an "east meets
> west" type thing, but never seems to demonstrate an understanding of
> regional cuisine during her Melting Pot shows. Besides, what can you
> say about someone whose response to everything under the sun is
> "MMMM... SMELLS WONDERFUL!"

Well, Padma sure is easy on the eyes, but as my grandpappy used to say,
"Cookin' lasts, kissin' don't."
--
Mike Harris
Austin, TX

miss...@cheerful.com

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Jun 1, 2002, 12:25:43 AM6/1/02
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On Thu, 30 May 2002 01:13:33 GMT, hop...@mail.utexas.edu (Hope Munro
Smith) wrote:

>In article <ueff1cq...@corp.supernews.com>, "xhingus" <xhingus @
>hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>> she talks...hmmm never noticed
>> know what i mean
>> :-)
>
>Isn't Salman Rushdie her boyfriend?

I believe he moved to New York to be with her. I guess that's *LOVE*.

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