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Archive for June, 2007

New section on my blog: Food in the News. I’ll post links to articles/podcasts about food that I find interesting! Yay!
Deep Fry and Don’t Forget the Stick is a NYT article that talks about the craze of deep-fried anything (alligator, grapes) and how people like to eat food off of a stick. I feel like I miss out on the fried food on a stick experience because around here, it’s usually chicken-on-a-stick that’s popular. But apparently in Minnesota, I can get fried cheese curds on a stick…

Extensive article on Indian Vegetarian Food in NYC on the NYT.

Russ Parsons, a food writer for the L.A. Times, and author of the book How to Pick a Peach: The Search for Flavor from Farm to Table, spoke on NPR about how fruit is handled in the U.S., where to buy delicious fruit and how to store it. Check it out, here

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I wasn’t too impressed with Kati Roll and an editor from work told me to check out Roomali. Roomali’s wraps were so much better.
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I got a paneer tikka roll, and an aloo/chunna pakora (potato/chickpea fritter) roll. What really makes Roomali stand out is its chutney. It is authentic, wet, fresh coriander chutney with a subtle minty flavor. It’s refreshingly spicy. In addition, Kati Roll’s paneer is too chewy and its parathas are so oily. Roomali’s parathas were fresh, and the paneer was soft. I did like the aloo/chunna pakora roll better than the paneer tikka roll, because the potatoes, which were slightly sour, absorbed the spices better than the paneer. Both rolls, however, were very enjoyable and tasty to eat. I just ate lunch but am craving an aloo roll right now.

After eating, we went across the street and got some delicious Kashmiri chai from Naimat Kada.

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Kashmiri chai is pink…and salty. The first time I tried it, I thought it was really gross. But now I like it. It has a delicate flavor, and a pretty color. I like it despite the crushed pistachios in it – I generally avoid pistachios because their flavor is too much for me, but I guess crushed and mixed into this salty, thick chai, they taste just fine.
Roomali is on 27th and Lex, at 97 Lexington. Naimat Kada is on 124 Lexington, between 28th and 29th streets.

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Scholastic had its banquet dinner for the Art and Writing Awards at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Columbus Circle. This was the vegetarian entree:

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My question/complaint/gripe is this: why must all “vegetarian entrees” at fancy restaurants resort to tofu? Ok, I’m exaggerating, obviously. Not all fancy restaurant fry a piece of tofu, swirl something green on it, and say, Hey, veggies! Too bad you don’t eat meat or you could have gotten some nice, juicy steak just like your neighbor! But, don’t worry! Eat this silky blob of fried tofu- it’s the same size and a similar shape so maybe you won’t notice that they are eating something luxurious and you’re not!

Now I feel better. I guess it wasn’t bad for fried tofu. It had black rice underneath, too, which I had never seen before. It is just annoying that as a vegetarian, I got screwed over at this dinner. I guess it was the veg/vegan dish rolled into one, as there was no dairy. The desserts were delicious, though.

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I finally went to Jackson Heights. Good thing, too, because I’m moving from Queens so soon. Jackson Heights itself was just okay. I guess it wasn’t the little Bombay I had created in my mind. Anyway, we went to Roti Boti. There are two, across the street from each other. We went into one, looked at the buffet offerings, and then walked across the street to the other. I think Waq liked the second one better because of 1. the pile of fish heads with their glassy dead eyes staring us down and 2. he’s been there before. He went with his family, and they got two whole fish. We did nothing so fancy. We got the chole puri, because they are “famous” for it. It was good…

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But very, very oily. Obviously, puris are oily- they are fried. But this puri had a little puddle of oil sitting right in the middle of it. Most people know that I enjoy fatty food and am not a calorie counter (full-fat creamer, anyone?) but just looking at the pool of oil chilling there is a little unappetizing. I ate it though, whatever.

The chole was also oily! But I think that is just the difference between north-Indian and Pakistani cooking and Guju cooking. Since I grew up with Kaachi cooking (kaachi/guju=similar cooking) I much prefer the guju style of cooking compared to the punjabi style. I’m not saying I like sweet Indian food, like most people stereotype Gujarati food as being. I hate sweet Guju food. I like yummy Kaachi food. But what I’m saying is I prefer the less to sparse oil when it is not essential to the taste of the dish- like in Chole. My mom makes such delicious chole and it’s nice and tomato-y (not too tomato-y, and with cumin and green chillies, and ginger, and garlic-) but it is not covered in a not-so-fine film of glossy oil, like this chole was. Even outside of home cooking- at Cream Center in Bombay, which is also known for its Chole Puri- I can get super tasty chole that is not exceedingly oily. I talked to my dad about it later and he said that Punjabis/north Indians/Pakistanis just use more oil in their food. I have had some of Waqas’ mom’s veg. cooking before- it’s always super delicious and spicy, but so oily that it is astonishing. I guess I’m just not used to it.

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A cheese plate at ‘inoteca:

Roasted vegetables and fresh ricotta panini:

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Tulcingo Del Valle is a small deli converted to a restaurant with awesome mole sauce. We were seated after about 10 minutes and we ordered beer. Sandy got a Sol (which tastes just like Corona- is it the same thing?) and I got a Tecate, because in the restaurant window, a large red neon light flashed Tecate! Tecate! Tecate is YUMMY. Anyway, the beers came with little “beer ponchos” on them- to keep your hands from getting wet. They were cute because it really looked like the beer was a little person wearing a mini raincoat.
Anyway, the food was decent, despite the wonderful reviews I had been reading- but the one sauce I tried lived up to the hype. (I asked for salsa about 6 times- it is famous- but we never got any). I got cheese enchiladas with mole sauce:

Unfortunately, these turned out to be CHICKEN enchiladas, not cheese enchiladas, as I had ordered. I was into my fourth bite before I thought to ask my omnivorous dining companions why the cheese looked and felt so funny. I reordered with cheese but the cheese was really gross (think: oily, heavy, thick, NON-MELTY american cheese) so I didn’t eat it. I did lap up all the sauce though. It was chocolately and nutty and savory and so incredibly tasty that I’m sure they put chicken stock or something into it. Maybe beef stock. Whatever, I won’t go back, but I’ll lick my lips to memories…

Tulcingo Del Valle is on 10th avenue, between 46 & 47 streets.

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It really hasn’t been that much. But a couple pictures:

This was our sorry pie. The filling didn’t thicken like it was supposed to. It was still ok.

These were the pizzas we made for Mother’s Day. We used crusts from Trader Joes (time constraints), but we made our own sauce. The pies were a hit with the mommies.

These are Sour-Cream Herb Muffins. They were SO GOOD.

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