My Writings

Tikka in No time — Washington Post, January 24, 2007

To make authentic tandoori chicken, first you have to get your hands on a traditional beehive-shaped oven. Besides carefully measuring and grinding a good dozen spices to achieve the right balance for the marinade, you have to maneuver the chicken into the hot tandoor without burning yourself.

Want to make the South Indian crepes called dosas? Soak lentils and rice overnight, then grind them, then let them ferment — again overnight. Twelve hours later, if the temperature is right and the batter has risen, you can finally heat up your skillet.

No wonder students in my Indian cooking classes tell me they’re afraid to try the cuisine at home. Indian cooking is all about alluring flavors that reflect the nation’s diverse landscape, climate and cultures, but with its long lists of ingredients, involved techniques and from-scratch spice mixes, batters and marinades, "Indian cooking can at times be pretty cumbersome," says Balraj Bhasin, owner of the Indian restaurant Bombay Curry Co. in


. Creating everything from scratch yields sumptuous rewards, but it also requires time, patience and detailed knowledge of techniques.

Read more — here

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