Sep 11, 2007

The great American Oven

What I notice the most in Western cooking in contrast with Indian is the usage of the oven. Almost everything is grilled or baked. There is very little cooking in the pot that goes on. For that matter there is the most minimal amount of grinding too. There is a world beyond salt jars and pepper mills that the westerners havent figured out. But what I appreciate a lot is the variety of herbs and other non-spice ingredients that go into their dishes. And also I like the way they learn to distinguish the different smells of each ingredient. They know the smell of cinnamon from cumin seeds, and this after the dish is cooked. My nose hasnt caught on to this fine art and I am always at a loss for words when I am expected to identify every ingrdient which has gone inside a gravy that was served in an Indian restaurant in a foreign setting and with non Indians for company!
I have a huge oven in my kitchen right now which I havent been brave enough to start using. I am wondering if I should take a couple of recipes from the Food channel and try them out. Ofcourse it does need more patience than going out and ordering your food. So am still toying with the idea. One of the first rules in any art is to understand the audience. And my audience is the rice-rasam variety. Will I get any leeway? The lasagne, breads and cakes are all tearing me away from the regular fare. Do I dare? Watch this space and I will let you know :)

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