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Post by sulu on Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:11 pm

i don't mind eating cauliflower or cabbage. I eat it if it's cooked by anyone. For years i made cabbage-corn soup when older was a baby and seemed to like it. And i used to make cauliflower coz XH used to like it and buy it often. However, i just hate cooking it, i hate chopping/breaking it even more. I stopped cooking cabbage years ago, and lately i get cauliflower only when i intend to make pav bhaji. XH makes alu gobhi much better, so i would plead him to make it, but in last few years he completely stopped making indian food. As a result, i would have these vegetables barely 5 times a year or so, and i didn't miss its smell.

That changed this month. I began reading their benefits in many stomach related issues. So i got a cabbage first. (wanted to buy green cabbage actually, but settled with regular white one). With that i made a nice salad, alongwith some other veggies.

so now it was cauliflower's turn. Made alu-gobhi-tamatar really well last night for dinner. I had not overcooked it to preserve some crunchiness. Decided to bring it to work for lunch today. Now, i knew about its smell issues, so i debated if i should heat it at home so that it'll be at an ok room temp by the time i eat it. But changed my mind. At lunch time, waited to go to heat it in the break room and went once i was sure no one's there and no one will get there anytime soon, i.e. people who sit close to me.

Heated roti first, and then slid in gobhi. Halfway, looked back to see people enter, some of whom i have seen only in hallways. This was probably their first closer look at me, and what did they get? Gobhi smell! Embarassed coming from my food, there was no mistaking it, it was only me heating food in the breakroom!! The moment it finished, I quickly took it out and closed the lid tight, hoping it will stop the smell to go too far. Nope, it was there, I could smell it strong, and am sure they smelled it too, they were standing pretty close in the room. so now i added daal in, hoping to cover the smell (although that would have had the ghee smell, which i am not sure how many people like), but too late, they were already gone. They had come in only to pick something from the room.

oh well. But i mean, it's fine. If they are educated enough they will atleast know i am unlikely to have stomach ulcers.. ya? Mooli next!

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Post by confuzzled dude on Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:34 am

Are you sure that was gobhi smell not that dry fish that was heated in the same microwave before you heated your gobhi curry?

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Post by sulu on Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:39 am

haha i know what you mean... well, a desi guy, a telugu Brahmin at that (i know coz he wore that janeyu), once told me a trick for it. take a piece of paper towel, get it a little wet and run it in the microwave for a minute. that should take care of the smell and won't transfer to your food. 

and it wasn't 'curry'. it was a dry sabzi (or some may call it bhaaji), cooked in a little oil with spices, and letting steam do the rest of the work. i got not time to make elaborate curries lol.

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Post by smArtha on Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:35 pm

Hang on .. did you hint that being from Northern part of India your family survived by not cooking Cauliflower or Cabbage for years? What did you eat - tomatoes, potatoes and onions for veggies? 

Growing up in South Indian Veg family, we ate bunch of different vegetables each day and almost always never repeated in a week. This included various gourds, pumpkins, plantains, roots - potatoes/sweet potatoes/beetroot/carrots, 3-different kinds of beans, baingan, tindora, karela, half a dozen varieties of leafy vegetables all with different kinds of spice combos (jeera, dhaniya, mustard flavors) or cooking types (steamed, sauteed, stir fried, souped etc). 

But the Punjabi variant of North Indian cuisine had overtaken almost all restaurants that even down south when I travel - all I see is biryanis, alu/gobhi/paneer/mutter/tamatar combos. It is near impossible to find chefs that can make subzis with all those various vegetables I mentioned above. All I can say is whatever is happening to Vegetarian food in India - it is neither good for taste nor health.

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Post by sulu on Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:50 pm

smArtha wrote:Hang on .. did you hint that being from Northern part of India your family survived by not cooking Cauliflower or Cabbage for years? What did you eat - tomatoes, potatoes and onions for veggies? 

no? i said i eat it when someone else made it, but i stopped cooking it myself in last few years.

smArtha wrote:Growing up in South Indian Veg family, we ate bunch of different vegetables each day and almost always never repeated in a week. This included various gourds, pumpkins, plantains, roots - potatoes/sweet potatoes/beetroot/carrots, 3-different kinds of beans, baingan, tindora, karela, half a dozen varieties of leafy vegetables all with different kinds of spice combos (jeera, dhaniya, mustard flavors) or cooking types (steamed, sauteed, stir fried, souped etc). 

same here, except plantains, sweet potatoes, beetroot.

smArtha wrote:But the Punjabi variant of North Indian cuisine had overtaken almost all restaurants that even down south when I travel - all I see is biryanis, alu/gobhi/paneer/mutter/tamatar combos. It is near impossible to find chefs that can make subzis with all those various vegetables I mentioned above. All I can say is whatever is happening to Vegetarian food in India - it is neither good for taste nor health.

i was fussy until high school, but then i began enjoying all vegetables, including the king of them, karela, lol. I have always made veggies of all kinds, and luckily XH grew up under strict training that you eat whatever's cooked, so he would eat it the first time, but wouldn't repeat it. Kids know that atleast once in 2 weeks they will have to eat karela or katola, and once in a while they will have to eat kaddu.

in last few years, i had only cut out gobhi and patta gobhi simply because i didn't enjoy prepping or cooking them. but then i also began having certain health issues, so google aunty sent me back to the grocery stores for them.

the other day i chopped up cabbage and lightly sautéed it with other veggies, and sprinkled amla powder and aloe powder on it. To my horror, I saw XH also filling a plate with it. I was like - you may not like the powders i sprinkled on it. But he said he liked it (even i didn't like the aloe powder lol).

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Post by Kris on Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:48 pm

To Snartha’s point, I have noticed the same tendency I.e. Punjabi-ization of cuisine. However, if you look for it, there are sine authentic regional cuisine promoters as well. In Chennai, I have had chettinad cuisine, veg Thalia’s etc. here at home, there is a place that offers up southern veg Thalia including an Andrea Thali which is quite impressive. The Bay Area, maybe because of the IT guys, seems to a big market for South Indian cuisine. I hope we don’t lose the regional cuisines in zinnia in the name of homogenized commerce.

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Post by confuzzled dude on Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:54 pm

Kris wrote:To Snartha’s point, I have noticed the same tendency I.e. Punjabi-ization of cuisine. However, if you look for it, there are sine authentic regional cuisine promoters as well. In Chennai, I have had chettinad cuisine, veg Thalia’s etc. here at home, there is a place that offers up southern veg Thalia including an Andrea Thali which is quite impressive. The Bay Area, maybe because of the IT guys, seems to a big market for South Indian cuisine. I hope we don’t lose the regional cuisines in zinnia in the name of homogenized commerce.
They are two Chettainad restaurants here in northern Virginia. Their preparation, especially meat dishes, resembles Andhra style, my favorites. Also, most of the Indian restaurants here that mushroomed over the past decade or so are owned by southies, so they do add southern varieties, like Andhra style dal(s), chutneys, veggies, gongura chicken etc., to their menu. Of course, they don't make purely leafy vegetables based curries, for that matter you wont find that many in the restaurants in India either.

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Post by sulu on Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:07 pm

i mean i like veggies, lauki, turai, tinda, etc, etc... regulars at my home and my relatives and friends; but i don't want to have that stuff in restaurants, like i don't make biryani or loaded creamy stuff at home. when xh and i were newly dating and married, i wouldn't even order daal outside, coz i would be like, 'daal is for home, why have it outside'. And he would be like, 'i like daal, why can't i eat it outside too'. and i would be like, 'we are wasting an order on daal, when we could be having something exclusive for the same money'. well, usually he won, and now i order it too, sometimes.

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Post by Kris on Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:15 am

I think in the U.S. especially where there is a big Indian presence
- I am guessing N.Va falls in this category- there is a presence of regional fare. In the bay area a bunch of hyderabadi biryani places have popped up. I am not a big fan of spicy meat dishes, but my wife swears by them. In India, you see more of the trend Snartha was alluding to. I have even seen it off of the highways in the south. There are dhabas and even the regular joints have their share of Punjabi style dishes. The southern niche places I mentioned in my previous post were high end.

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Post by smArtha on Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:20 pm

Actually, even the so called exclusive South Indian Restaurants often have only a few handful authentic south indian varieties - mostly from the dosas, idlis, vadas, poriyal and kootu of the day. Growing up in Andhra Veg household I can list dozen varieties in which Baingan (egg plant) was prepared and not just Gutti Vankaya/Bagara Baingan. Similarly many vegetables have about a minimum of 3 to 6 ways of making the curry itself. And then there are combos of veggies and their sub-regional spice mix variations like coastal style, guntur style, seema and telangana etc. To me a genuine Andhra restaurant would not have place for even a single outside Andhra dish, if only they exploited all that is regionally available. I'm assuming so is the case with other states viz. Karnataka, TN, Kerala. Sadly, this is not the case with most regional restaurants be they in US or India. 

My specific issue with Punjabi/North Indian dishes in the restaurants is that other than alu, ghobi, methi, bhendi, tomato, carrot and peas I find no other subzis. Those regions genuinely never consumed the whole scale of veggies or restaurant chefs are not adept at making the gazillion variations possible at home?

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Post by Propagandhi711 on Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:48 pm

smArtha wrote:Actually, even the so called exclusive South Indian Restaurants often have only a few handful authentic south indian varieties - mostly from the dosas, idlis, vadas, poriyal and kootu of the day. Growing up in Andhra Veg household I can list dozen varieties in which Baingan (egg plant) was prepared and not just Gutti Vankaya/Bagara Baingan. Similarly many vegetables have about a minimum of 3 to 6 ways of making the curry itself. And then there are combos of veggies and their sub-regional spice mix variations like coastal style, guntur style, seema and telangana etc. To me a genuine Andhra restaurant would not have place for even a single outside Andhra dish, if only they exploited all that is regionally available. I'm assuming so is the case with other states viz. Karnataka, TN, Kerala. Sadly, this is not the case with most regional restaurants be they in US or India. 

My specific issue with Punjabi/North Indian dishes in the restaurants is that other than alu, ghobi, methi, bhendi, tomato, carrot and peas I find no other subzis. Those regions genuinely never consumed the whole scale of veggies or restaurant chefs are not adept at making the gazillion variations possible at home?

they just have a poor cuisine, uncreative and derivative.

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Post by smArtha on Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:59 pm

Propagandhi711 wrote:
smArtha wrote:

My specific issue with Punjabi/North Indian dishes in the restaurants is that other than alu, ghobi, methi, bhendi, tomato, carrot and peas I find no other subzis. Those regions genuinely never consumed the whole scale of veggies or restaurant chefs are not adept at making the gazillion variations possible at home?

they just have a poor cuisine, uncreative and derivative.

I used to think so too. But what did they eat say some 500 or so years ago before potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower were first imported to India? Just paneer, bhendi, methi, palak, nuts and dhals?

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Post by Propagandhi711 on Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:16 am

smArtha wrote:
Propagandhi711 wrote:
smArtha wrote:

My specific issue with Punjabi/North Indian dishes in the restaurants is that other than alu, ghobi, methi, bhendi, tomato, carrot and peas I find no other subzis. Those regions genuinely never consumed the whole scale of veggies or restaurant chefs are not adept at making the gazillion variations possible at home?

they just have a poor cuisine, uncreative and derivative.

I used to think so too. But what did they eat say some 500 or so years ago before potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower were first imported to India? Just paneer, bhendi, methi, palak, nuts and dhals?


what they now uphold as north indian cuisine was mostly restricted to the mughal court; the rest just ate rotis with onion, salt and green chilis aka cuisine of current day biharis. not sure the reason but they never developed a rich cuisine...they arent unique in this regard but it is what it is.

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Post by Seva Lamberdar on Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:45 pm

Propagandhi711 wrote:
smArtha wrote:
Propagandhi711 wrote:
smArtha wrote:

My specific issue with Punjabi/North Indian dishes in the restaurants is that other than alu, ghobi, methi, bhendi, tomato, carrot and peas I find no other subzis. Those regions genuinely never consumed the whole scale of veggies or restaurant chefs are not adept at making the gazillion variations possible at home?

they just have a poor cuisine, uncreative and derivative.

I used to think so too. But what did they eat say some 500 or so years ago before potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower were first imported to India? Just paneer, bhendi, methi, palak, nuts and dhals?


what they now uphold as north indian cuisine was mostly restricted to the mughal court; the rest just ate rotis with onion, salt and green chilis aka cuisine of current day biharis. not sure the reason but they never developed a rich cuisine...they arent unique in this regard but it is what it is.
Did Rashmun leave you with his notes?
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