Cooking For Engineers Forum Index Cooking For Engineers
Analytical cooking discussed.
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Indian cooking - the engineer's nirvana

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Cooking For Engineers Forum Index -> General Food Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 1
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:31 am    Post subject: Indian cooking - the engineer's nirvana Reply with quote

New member speaking, a former (i.e., once an engineer, always an engineer) engineer but now semiretired and househusband for a large family....

I was delighted to discover this site since I cook nearly every day for the family, and also believe that science is important for successful cooking. But I was very surprised to note a paucity of Indian recipes. For many years I have used with great success a cookbook by Madhur Jaffrey called "An Invitation to Indian Cooking". This is mostly North Indian ("Mughal") cookery, and since that was published she has written several others, including one bestseller on Asian vegetarian cookery.

The reason I love this book is that a) most of the recipes are excellent, and b) they all lend themselves to the engineering style of cooking, e.g.,: measure the dry spices; blend a sauce base of garlic, onions and ginger,; fry A, add B, remove B, add C, simmer X minutes, add D, cook down until reaches state Y, and so on. It's nearly foolproof!

Is there some connection between the great aptitude for engineering and programming exhibited by the Chinese and Indians and their wonderful food??

Steve in Japan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually indian cooking is all about feel. Measurements are rarely done and only the most novice of cooks would measure. Indian women while cooking at home just toss in ingredients and spices, using sight as the only measuring tool. And while cooking all adjustments and additions are made based on the smell, look and feel (texture) of the dish being cooked. Even time and temperature are by feel. But once the technique is mastered, one can mix and match, improvise and see how easy indian cooking really is.
Back to top

Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fascinating thing about Indian cooking is that it's traditionally done without tasting! Try a recipe sometime without once sampling, it feels very strange.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:16 pm    Post subject: Question about the book mentioned Reply with quote

I've been on the lookout for a good Indian cookbook, so I was happy to find this discussion! I was curious though as to how much An Invitation to Indian Cooking substitutes more common American ingredients for hard-to-find Indian ones. I live in an area where I can find pretty obscure South Asian products (yay to living in the SF bay area!), so I'd prefer a cookbook which uses the traditional ingredients, or at least states what was substituted for.

Anyone else have a recommended Indian cookbook?
Back to top

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:59 pm    Post subject: Books on Indian food. Reply with quote

Madhur Jaffery's Taste of India is another great book for traditional Indian recipes. As far as I can see, there are hardly any substitutions suggested and all the recipes that I have tried have become family favourites. What I really like about this book is that most recipes are what people cook in their homes on a day to day basis, not the heavy cream generic "indian", so you get the real Taste of India! This book can also clarify that there is no Indian dish really, but every region of the country has its own well defined and developed cuisine.

I have recently discovered some excellent blogs on regional Indian cooking!
Back to top

Joined: 04 Dec 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just got back from a short holiday in Romania. You should try Romanian food. of the greatest i've ever taste. Really! They are little artists in cooking! Big smile
ADA engineer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 07 Jan 2008
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have only recently started venturing into cooking indian food....not eating, I have always loved it. but, like most foods, I thought I could do better at home....I made my own garam marsala the other day (and ruined a mini food processor in the process)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting thread. As a Brit I also find a general malaise in Asian cooking on US websites, I didn't find a decent Indian meal the last time I was in NYC.

Here in the UK many of our major towns & cities have a strong Asian ethnic presence, & their cuisine has been filtering into the general communities for some years now. We now have Indian chefs with two Michelin stars.

I guess most of you know the fondness many Brits have for spending a Friday/Saturday night down the pub with mates. After closing time it's a slow saunter/stagger to the local Indian restaurant/takeaway for our favourite weekend treat. Indian food has long ago overtaken the ubiquitous fish'n'chips of old. We're becoming a nation of experimental cooks, the more exotic the batter, & Indian/Asian is pretty much our favourite.

If any of you would like to visit a fast-moving UK cooking forum, you could do a lot worse than visiting the BBC food messageboards. It's lively, current, posters are very friendly & happy to offer advice if asked.

Which brings me nicely round to say that we have our resident expert on all foods Asian. Her name is Mamta, & she posts regularly on the BBC site. She also hosts her own family-run website (link below) where there is a welter of Asian recipes & also a forum for advice & chat.

Please feel free to pop in & introduce yourselves to Mamta's & the BBC - we dont bite - promise Big smile
Back to top

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clicked too soon Disbelief here's the BBC food messageboard link - hope to see you there.
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Cooking For Engineers Forum Index -> General Food Discussion All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You can post new topics in this forum
You can reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group