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Old 04-03-2009, 02:45 PM   #1
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Default Indian food?

Does anyone here love Indian cuisine? We have a few places that are open around my work and I have always been curious to try it out. However I was hoping for some guidance or suggestions on what to ease myself into as I have no idea what any of it is!

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Old 04-03-2009, 03:07 PM   #2
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Love Indian. It great especially if you like spicy foods. Since many Indians are vegetarian most restaurants will have a good selection of vegetarian foods. However you will seldom see pork or beef dishes.

I'm still quite new to the dishes but basically you will find several curries (gravies/sauces) cooked with different foods (chicken, seafood, chickpeas, potatoes, vegetables) served with rice that is often flavored with more subtle spices.

Just those simple things create tons of combinations, but there are lots of other dishes also. Most restaurants will serve the dishes spicy but not overly hot. However you can usually get it much hotter if you wish. My Indian friends usually make the food much spicier than the default restaurant level.

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Old 04-03-2009, 03:17 PM   #3
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Absolutely love Indian food. Might be kind of tough recommending what you might try though, as I don't know where your tastes lie. Like lamb? I'd say go for a nice lamb Vindaloo. I had an awesome Shrimp Saag in Artesia, CA a couple years back, but that's got spinach and cream and was probably pretty fattening. I'd kill for some right now! Pea and potato samosas are about as basic and tasty as simple Indian food goes, and should be included in any order, dine-in or take-out. A nice Biryani, a rice and spices/veggies dish, is alway a good side as well. For a simple starter for the first timer, a basic chiken Tandoori or Tikka , both marinated and roasted dishes, are great and not too foreign for the uninitiated.

Hint, don't ask for any spicier than mild unless you're a fan of hot stuff. Me, I love the heat and get mine ordered HOT, but it usually leaves me sweating and with a runny nose from all the pepper.

Damn, I'm hungry now.

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Old 04-03-2009, 03:18 PM   #4
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I love it and know a little about it. Biryani (often with chicken or lamb) is not too out there - kind of like an Indian version of fried rice.

Palak Paneer is a creamy kind of dish made with spinach and paneer which is a cheese like farmer cheese or queso blanco. Eat it with lots of naan (an Indian flatbread).

Samosas are a good appetizer. A seasoned vegetable mix (usually mostly potato with onions, peas, etc.) wrapped in pastry and fried.

Masala Dosa is another good one. Kind of a giant thin pancake wrapped around a seasoned potato and onion filling.

Chicken Tikka Masala is a pretty common dish, but supposedly not really authentic. Pretty much just chunks of chicken in a curry kind of sauce with tomato and usually cream or coconut milk. Beyond that, it varies a lot, but it's generally tasty with nothing strange going on.

Those are available in most Indian restaurants and would give you a decent idea of some of the flavors you might not be familiar with (yellow curry, cardamom, coriander).

Lots of Indian restaurants have a buffet too which is a good way to try a lot of different things. Also, just ask the staff - they're probably used to making recommendations to people who are new to Indian food.

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Old 04-03-2009, 03:23 PM   #5
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We have two, and the closest one to us is vegetarian only it seems. Which doesn't bother me, I think I am going to try 2 the following just have not decided,

Paani Puri - crispy mini puris stuffed with a mixture of potatoes, black channa, then topped with chutney and cilantro. Served with a side of spicy mint puri water for dipping.

Vegetable Korma - mixed vegetables with a hint of cashews and raisins, cooked in a creamy tomato sauce.

Bhindi Masala - Okra fried with onions, tomato, and green bell peppers with Indian spices.

Lunch special comes with 2 and one Daal, basmati rice, naan and dessert.

I have no idea what Daal means, is it some kind of soup?

I'm excited to try something new, I just hope they let me order by number since I don't want to try and pronounce anything.

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Old 04-03-2009, 03:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBBaron View Post
However you will seldom see pork or beef dishes.
Seldom see beef dishes? How about never. Cows are sacred in Indian culture so if you see a beef dish on the menu of an Indian restaurant it must be a Native American Indian restaurant not a Hindu Indian restaurant. Pork is pretty common, although chicken and veggie dishes dominate the menu. I love Indian food and my wife and I have gotten quite proficient at making it at home.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:43 PM   #7
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Seldom see beef dishes? How about never. Cows are sacred in Indian culture so if you see a beef dish on the menu of an Indian restaurant it must be a Native American Indian restaurant not a Hindu Indian restaurant. Pork is pretty common, although chicken and veggie dishes dominate the menu. I love Indian food and my wife and I have gotten quite proficient at making it at home.
Cows are sacred in HINDU culture. HWMBO's mom is good friends with a christian from India that only eats beef. It depends on the religion of the restaurant owners, and you'll occasionally find beef on the menu in Indian restaurants around here.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:57 PM   #8
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ME! A good friend of mine is Indian (dots not feathers). His parents cook some great indian food from time to time and I never miss a chance to crash their dinner table . There is also an awesome Indian buffet place down the street from my office, and they have a KILLER butter chicken dish. Their tandoori chicken is fantastic as well, but I really enjoy the different chutneys they have to offer. I'd like to make a few dishes, but I need to set aside some time on the weekend...and right now between the nice weather and brewing that just aint happenin!

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Old 04-03-2009, 04:06 PM   #9
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The common beef substitute in Indian food is Lamb.

I love Indiana food - the combination of the many flavors is just awesome.

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Old 04-03-2009, 04:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by brrman View Post
The common beef substitute in Indian food is Lamb.

I love Indiana food - the combination of the many flavors is just awesome.
Do you prefer the spicy Northern cuisine of Gary, or the more subtle fare from Bloomington?
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