Saturday, June 14, 2014

Asiana Indian Cuisine & Gandhi Bazar - Austin, TX

We have a favorite Indian restaurant we like to visit in Austin.
We're about 80 miles from Asiana Indian Cuisine on W. William Cannon right off of I-35. 

Our last visit was on April 30 which was a Wednesday. 
This is what was on their awesome buffet that day!

I have to apologize my the quality of my pics, but I was using my iPhone (as I almost always do) and I was in such a hurry because I was so hungry!  I'm lucky I got anything at all in the way of photos.  
Usually I take a pic of my plate...but not that day!

Coconut, Onion, Tamarind & Mint Chutneys to the left
Raita at the back. Dhai Wada - chickpea fritters in yogurt

 Starting from left to right - back to front
Aloo Baingan - Eggplant cooked with Potato and Masala,
Black eye Peas Masala, Naan,
Tandoori Chicken,
Chicken Mappas, Chili Chicken &
Chicken Tikka Masala

Rasam & Sambar

Rasam & Sambar
Vada - Chick pea flour donuts & Onion Fritters
two kinds of rice - plain & Rice Pilaf
Idly -fermented steamed rice cake & Gobi Masala - Chick Peas
Saag Paneer - Creamed Spinach & Cheese cubes (Totally YUM at Asiana)!

 And dessert!

I didn't get a picture of it, but also included in the $9.95 buffet price is 
Dosa Masala - which is a very thin, crispy lentil pancake stuffed with a potato and green peas mixture!  Delicious!  I like to dip this in the mint chutney and also the coconut chutney...

After lunch, we went to the Gandhi Bazar also on W. William Cannon to begin to build and refresh my collection of Indian Spices! There are several locations for this store and they have a restaurant and a food truck...more places to explore.

 Look! I got an Idly Steamer!
(And I can get steamer pans to make dhokla)

A bag of Sona Masoori Rice that the owner of the store recommended we try - it's a very short grain rice compared to the very long Basmati rice we like - but it has a really good flavor and cooks up very nicely! And a bag of Kasoori Methi - these are dried Fenugreek leaves. I haven't tried them yet.

Calonji/Kalongi - Reshampatti Chilli Powder (Hot) - Paprika - (Mildest)
Garam Masala - which is a mixture of spices - Kashmiri Chilli Powder(Mild)

 Black Salt - Anardana Powder (Pomegranite) - Eno Salt which is a sort of baking powder and in the white jar - Aesofetida - which is an resin powder that aids in digestion... aka Hing, much easier to pronounce.

 And a brand of Basmati rice we've never tried before
 but I am here to tell you ... it's really good!

 Here is the Kasoori Methi and Black salt again along with 
Indian Bay Leaves - aka Cinnamon Leaf or Tej Patta - 
very unlike our Bay leaves here which are from the Bay Laurel tree.

Now, remember... the pages at the top of my blog will help you find out just what all of these delicious looking items are and I'll be working on what they are used for and various properties assigned to them as this blog continues... and be sure to ask me any questions you may have... I'll do my best to answer them, okay?

And oh, how I loved this! On the counter, ready to go... Indian street food! Potato and Pea Samosas in the white containers and Dhokla in the clear container! (Dhokla is a steamed spongy cake-like snack made with a fermented batter of rice and chickpeas and tempered with mustard seeds)  Also, some fresh curry leaves, fresh green chiles, paneer & a made-in-the-store idly and/or dosa batter in the tall white container!

The young lady that who works there was very friendly and helpful as was the store owner.  
I really recommend that you try them out.

I have to confess that the paneer and the idly batter are in the freezer. 
I've had way too much going on the last few weeks to do anything with them.

We went to East Texas and also to Chicago for the National Restaurant Association Food Show for 6 days!  It was awesome and especially so because our son who lives in New Jersey and works in Manhattan flew in for the whole visit!  Oh, we had so much fun!

And ate so much food!

Friday, June 13, 2014

An Introduction...

This is a post I've been meaning to write for a few months now... My intention for this blog is to tell the story about how I became interested in ethnic cooking and what I do about it! I also will be posting reviews of restaurants we visit.

  I'm a southerner in the United States, being born in Louisiana and spending most of my life living in Texas with short stints in Nebraska and even four months in Germany in the early 70's; some city and since 1999 - deep in the countryside of Central Texas.  

Many times I've found myself craving a particular kind of food with no way of getting it besides cooking it myself or traveling 100 miles or so...really not a spur of the moment kind of thing I like to do.  I'm going to include links to our favorite restaurants in this blog as well and maybe some links of places to avoid...

So, I'm in the process of setting up my kitchen to practically and easily locate all the essential ingredients & equipment needed to construct various ethnic cuisines:


and more to be added as I become interested in them.

I am also interested in fermentation and have fermented my own kefir and Korean kimchi in the past.  

I have a Magic Mill grinder and grind my own wheat out of white and red wheat berries.  I also grind popcorn to make my own corn meal... it's the best!

We have chickens and while we don't eat them, they just die of an old age or are picked off by (we think) hawks very occasionally...  We do eat their eggs and they are delicious!  So, we also pickle some of the eggs in various ways.

I have included pages that are specific lists of ingredients for the various cuisines I cook, starting with Indian food.  This is really a favorite of mine and so....we begin!

Oh, one other thing...our daughter is vegetarian, so when she comes over, I begin to throw lots of dishes together using ideas I get from the internet and other bloggers.  So, I'm going to include a blog-roll of those cooks whose blogs I follow... and when I make something inspired by a post I've read,  I'm going to call it, "In the Style of..." because I'm unable to follow a recipe exactly... it's just who I am...