Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Miscellaneous Ramblings on Indian Cuisine...

I learned a lot while planning and preparing my Monsoon Wedding curry dinner. For example, I discovered that the turmeric in curry powder will stain everything in your kitchen yellow: cookware, plasticware, wooden utensils, china, countertops, sinks, clothing and even fingernails. So if you're cooking with curry powder or turmeric by itself, wear an apron, avoid using plastic containers of any kind, and rinse or wipe any stray drippings immediately. And if something gets stained with turmeric, you can remove it with a solution of water and household bleach.

I also learned that the Portuguese introduced Vindaloo to India. Meat rations were stored aboard their trading ships in barrels of wine with garlic. When the Portuguese traders arrived in India, they used the native spices to season the meat they had brought with them. They called it Vin d'Ail, which means garlic wine, and the word evolved into the Indian language as Vindaloo.

Chutney Demystified: Chutney is defined in the dictionary as a mixture of chopped fruits or green tomatoes cooked in vinegar and sugar with ginger and spices, which leaves it wide open to individual interpretation. Therefore, chutney can be made with most any kind of fruit or vegetable, but it would seem that authentic chutney should be made with fruits and spices idigenous to India. Once the ingredients are decided, making chutney is unbelievably easy.