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Mar 3, 2011 02:42 AM

indian cuisine - angela hartnett gets it! now go to indian zing

i've howled on for years that you want to structure your indian meals around the vegetable dishes and that the true test of any cook is how well they handle those.

there is a huge flavour palette to work with when it comes to vegetables in indian cuisines - meat is relatively dull.

if you want to see what i mean, go get a vegetarian thali at indian zing or even at quilon (lunch).

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  1. While I agree with Hartnett's assessment of Indian vegetarian cuisine, I can't agree with her use of spices in her recipe. It's as if she has chucked every Indian spice she found on the shelf in it. I particularly object to the use of garam masala with curry leaves. And the use of star anise.

    4 Replies
    1. re: medgirl

      is garam masala w/ curry leaves bad? i have a recipe for a cauliflower dish that uses those two together... (no star anise tho) is it not v traditional to combine them?

      1. re: t_g

        it isn't 'bad', but curry leaves are more of a south indian ingredient and garam masala powder is more of a north indian thing. mustard seeds and curry leaves are a more natural pairing. in the recipe howler posted the link to, i would personally leave out the star anise and curry leaves, which would give the recipe a north indian twist. or just ditch the star anise and garam masala, use the curry leaves and crackle a tablespoon of brown mustard seeds in the oil at the beginning, which would make the dish a more south indian one.

      2. re: medgirl

        completely agreed. but she does sheepishly admit trying to create something new, so i give her a pass - even though she created a 'spaghetti bolognese' - the equivalent of a northern sauce over a roman pasta..