Thursday, May 17, 2012

Curries Across the Subcontinent

From the majestic Himalayas in the north and the deserts and jungles of the center to the tropical southern coastline, each Indian region produces a range of delicious, distinctive dishes.
Kannur Road, Kozhikode;
This is one of the oldest and most highly rated places to sample authentic Malabari cuisine, such as meen moilee (fish in coconut milk) or fish-and-mango curry.
Arca Nova
Fort House Hotel, 2/6A Calvathy Road, Kochi; +91 484 221 7103
This hotel’s peaceful candlelit jetty is a very romantic spot to enjoy meen moilee and other Keralan seafood specialties or more simple grilled fish steaks.

Costa Malabari
Thottada, south of Kannur; +91 484 237 1761 This trio of homestay bungalows, just behind an idyllic strip of coast, can rustle up a mean meen moilee, as well as other home-style Keralan recipes.
The idyllically situated Kashmir Valley, hemmed in by towering Himalayan ranges, has a predominantly Muslim population whose heavily meat-based cuisine, known as wazwan, includes the worldwide favorite rogan josh – meat in a richly spiced tomato sauce.
Juniper Hotel
Lal Chowk, Srinagar; +91 194 247 1031
This popular restaurant is well known for its fine Kashmiri dishes, including rogan josh and syun kaliya, lamb curry with a yogurt and turmeric base.
Mughal Darbar
Residency Road, Srinagar;
This elegantly decorated restaurant within the hotel of the same name is a great place to sample authentic Kashmiri wazwan cuisine; it’s a favorite with locals and visitors alike.
Pahalgam Hotel
Main Bazaar, Pahalgam;
The restaurant at this smart alpine-style hotel is suitably lavish and serves up quality wazwan dishes such as rogan josh, as well as fresh trout from the adjacent Lidder River.
Formerly known as Calcutta, the humid capital of West Bengal is famed for its intellectual prowess. Bengali cuisine is spicy and aromatic, featuring many fish and seafood recipes, such as shrimp malai (“with coconut”) curry.
Bhojohori Manna
18/1A Hindustan Road;
The original branch of a small citywide chain churns out delicious Bengali fish and shrimp favorites as well as some tandoori dishes.
Kewpie’s Kitchen
2 Elgin Lane; +91 33 2475 9880
The best Bengali cuisine you can get aside from home-cooking, perhaps because the restaurant is the annex to a private home. As well as malai curry, you can get malai chingri, shrimp in cream.
6 Ballygunge Place
6 Ballygunge Place; +91 33 2460 3922
Catering to the wealthier sector of Kolkata society, this classy restaurant places as much emphasis on its ambience and decor as on the freshly prepared seafood, including fish wrapped in banana leaf.
Goa is a former Portuguese colony, and the Christian culinary influence is evident in the presence of pork and wine, both rare in India. Fiery vindaloo, derived from the Portuguese carne de vinha d’Alhos (a wine-marinated pork dish) may contain both.
Cafe Xavier
141 Municipal Market, Mapusa; +91 832 226 2229 This is an ideal place for a vindaloo, amid Goa’s biggest market. You can also sample xacuti, meat or fish cooked in another fiery sauce of lemon juice, coconut milk, nuts, and red chili peppers.
George Restaurant & Bar
Church Square, Panaji; +91 944 405 3656
A favorite local hangout that serves authentic Goan-Catholic cuisine, including vindaloo, kingfish curry, and shrimp-stuffed papad (poppadoms).
Ordo Sounsar
North end of beach, Palolem;
This is a top beach-resort restaurant for sampling real Goan food, not dumbed-down for the Western palate. Try vindaloo-hot shrimp balchao, in chili pepper sauce, or shark ambotik, a hot-and-sour preparation.
Hyderabad is south India’s most Islamic city but also the capital of overwhelmingly Hindu Andhra Pradesh. These two influences have combined to produce the biryani, a risottostyle dish of rice with vegetables or meat.
Paradise Persis
Mahatma Gandhi Road, Secunderabad;
This very popular spot in the thick of Hyderabad’s twin city cooks delicious biryanis and other west Asian delights, such as mutton kebabs.
Hotel Shadab
Madina Circle, Patthargatti; +91 40 2456 1648 A highly rated biryani joint situated between the river and the heart of the Muslim Old City, this has added fish and meat tandoori dishes to its menu and has an air-conditioned dining hall.
Taj Krishna Hotel, Banjara Hills; +91 40 6666 2323 Biryanis are just one among many exquisite Indian dishes that you can feast upon in the chandelier-lit opulence of this luxury-class hotel restaurant.
The colorful state of Rajasthan is a tapestry of desert, arable land, and imposing forts and palaces. The arid environment and roving lifestyle of the Rajputs (wealthy landowners) led to the development of a cuisine light on vegetables, such as gatta (dumpling) curry.
First Fort Gate, Jaisalmer
Right by the entrance to the Arabian Nights-style fort, this modest but extremely popular restaurant serves a variety of Rajasthani dishes, including gatta curry and thalis (see pp208–9), as well as tandoori.
Chokhi Dhani 
Tonk Road, near Jaipur;
Dining in this theme-park-style restaurant complex is a unique experience; try the filling Rajasthani thali that includes gatta curry.
Taj Hari Mahal Hotel, Jodhpur; +91 291 243 9700
This is a fine place to treat yourself to luxurious surroundings and the traditional Marwari cuisine of Rajasthan, including gatta di subzi, a vegetable and dumpling combination, and mas, a spicy mutton dish.

Bhel puri Popular form of chaat , made with puri, puffed rice, chopped onions and tomatoes, cilantro
leaves, lime, and various spices.
Biryani Basmati rice cooked with meat, chicken, or vegetables and a seasoning of  garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, bay leaves, ginger, and sometimes cloves.
Chaat Street snacks, usually based on crispy fried puri.
Dosa Rice-flour and lentil pancake.
Garam masala Combination of spices such as ginger, turmeric, cloves, cumin, cardamom, and star anise; varies by region.
Gatta curry Gram-flour dumplings cooked in a yogurt and tomato gravy with garam masala, coriander, chili pepper,turmeric, and fennel.
Gram flour Chickpea flour.
Idli A circular steamed white patty made of ground rice and lentils.
Masala dosa The most popular south Indian pancake, stuffed with sabji and served with sambar and coconut chutney.
Pakora Vegetable fritters.
Paneer Unsalted white cheese.
Prawn malai curry A Bengali dish of shrimp cooked in a sauce of yogurt, cumin, chili peppers, coriander, turmeric, and ground coconut.
Puri Puffed flatbread, usually fried.
Rasam Very thin, yellow, lentil-based sauce, usually including tamarind.
Rogan josh Meat cooked in a rich tomato sauce with garlic, turmeric, coriander, cumin, chili pepper, and garam masala.
Sabji A dry vegetable curry, usually made with potato and onions and seasoned with garlic, turmeric, and chili pepper.
Sambar Spicy sauce with a tomato and lentil base that accompanies many south Indian dishes.
Samosa Triangular fried pastry snack; in India, usually filled with vegetables.
Tandoori Food cooked in a clay oven with a spicy yogurt marinade, tinted red by cayenne or chili pepper.
Thali South Indian rice plate with a set of accompanying vegetable curry dishes and sauces.
Tikka Lightly seasoned barbecued meat, often chicken.
Vada Small doughnut-shaped savory fritter, made from lentil and gram flours.
Vindaloo Meat cooked in a hot sauce of
chili pepper, vinegar, cloves, cardamom,
cinnamon, peppercorns, turmeric, coriander,
and ginger. Potatoes are a Western addition.

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