As an Indian I am curious

What are the popular Indian casual dishes find in American restaurants or home



SKK July 10, 2011
Let's all go and have a meet-up, Panfusine!
Panfusine July 10, 2011
looking at those puffed pappadums & the divine 'avial' is simply torturous!, feel like taking the next flight to India!
Burnt O. July 9, 2011
Pauljoseph - I wish some of the wonderful fresh fish and seafood dishes popular in Karala and Goa were more popular here. I had some wonderful seafood there.
SKK July 9, 2011
What an incredible dialogue around your question, Pauljoseph! Thank you and panfusine for answering my question and I have learned so much from each response. I don't want this to end. Also, as always, love your photos pauljoseph!
pauljoseph July 9, 2011
Here I would like to share some of the most beautiful snaps of the Kerala FOOD
pauljoseph July 9, 2011
SKK I agree with Panfusine much easier than making a hotdog
Panfusine July 8, 2011
SKK... it may be because of the complex spice blends used.. but once you get the hang of it, Indian food is waaay more easier than baking a cake! literally a piece of cake!
Panfusine July 8, 2011
The rice use for Idli is marketed as 'idli rice', just pick a bag at any Indian store in the USA. (i believe its parboiled), In places where the idli rice was not available (I remember my mother doing this in the late 70s in Kenya, where the idli rice was not available & one really could not tag along kilos of rice in a sustained manner!) , the acceptable substirute was white maize meal ( fine corn grits. ) in the same proportion as rice (3 cups rice to 1 cup urad lentils), the grits were soaked in water overnight to become soft, & then added to the urad lentils to be ground together).

As paul joseph said, the batter can be used for both idli & dosas ( The idli's are usually made first, and the left over batter is then used for Dosa on subsequent days.)
pauljoseph July 8, 2011
susan g Tips use same batter for idli and dosa you can go many verity of dosa or idli with same batter example masala dosa,paper dosa,egg dosa ,ghee dosa,kheema dosa etc etc
pauljoseph July 8, 2011
Panfusine Can to please tell me the rice variety used to make idli in America
SKK July 8, 2011
Pauljoseph, as an American I am curious. I read about Indian food, I enjoy Indian food and am overwhelmed at the thought of cooking it. Help!
Panfusine July 8, 2011
Don't get me started on this topic.. its an unfortunate fact of life that North Indian Punjabi cuisine in pretty much what is regarded as 'INDIAN' food.. As maverick as it sounds, it is a fact that most other cuisines from other parts of India are relegated to almost secondary status..

Just skimmed the idli references... Although like anytrue filter coffe guzzling south Indian, I have a set of Idli steaming trays, I usually make then in the silicone cupcake molds. the same ones that we use for muffins & cupcakes.. just add the batter, & steam it atop a steamer clamshell thingie for about 10-12 minutes. remove & peel off the molds when cooled.
(the ones pictured have toppings, blue berries, herseys kisses, grape tomatoes & spice powder & fresh thyme), but it works equally well for the plain ones too. (the herseys kiss & blue berries make great kiddie treats!). the hersheys kisses pressed into the raw batter just prior to steaming makes for a lovely chocolate lava idli, which is surprisingly yummy!
pauljoseph July 8, 2011
Thank you all . susan g posting one more market picture just want to show how Indian markets look like...
susan G. July 8, 2011
Many, many Indian restaurants in the US (in my experience) have menus that are almost identical. That seems odd, because there is so much regional food. I think that it is based on what Americans have learned to accept. The dishes mentioned above are the most widely available.
We love dosa, used to go to a restaurant in DC that specialized in it called Paru's (when we lived there, until 1981). On a recent visit we tried to find it and found that it is now in LA! and when we looked for someplace else that serves dosa, found that few do, and we settled for 'mini' dosas -- and not very good. That was a restaurant trying to be more elegant, with more than the 'popular' items on the menu.
A recent fortunate discovery outside Boston serves many varieties of dosa which are (properly, I think) huge, and delicious. They also have Chaat, Uttapam, Pulao, and a wider range of items including some that change daily. It's a very casual place. The quality of what they make stands at the top of any Indian restaurant food I've had in the US -- every item tastes unique; all the flavors and spicing were clear and clean tasting; textures were preserved; they provided chutneys, assorted breads, rice... So much better than the usual experience.
You can see from these answers that people in the largest cities, where there is an Indian community, benefit from access to good food in restaurants and groceries. We who live farther from the cities have a little, and I'm sure most of the US has none.
We're so happy that you have been such a good reporter and photographer for food52!
Bevi July 8, 2011
Pakoras also show up on Indian restaurant menus.
Sadassa_Ulna July 8, 2011
In addition to others' suggestions, I'd add murgh makhni (often called butter chicken here), channa masala, various tandoori, aloo gobi, various parathas, lassis, pakoras ... now I am hungry!
beyondcelery July 8, 2011
I think I've seen the idli pans around here in Seattle. I was just trying to avoid getting yet another special kitchen pan! Thanks. =)
ChefJune July 8, 2011
I've seen those at Kalustyan's here in New York.

I've noticed a big difference in the food that is offered in casual restaurants in Indian neighborhoods versus what is offered in Wall Street.
AntoniaJames July 8, 2011
Syronai, I've seen idli pans in the larger Indian groceries in the SF Bay Area. Perhaps there are some in the groceries near you? You could call around . . . or perhaps post to Chowhound in your area. ;o)
pauljoseph July 8, 2011
AntoniaJames thank you for your vanilla beans my wife Nimmy loved that. pleas scan and Email .Our Chef friend from New York searching Indian steel plates,Iddly molds in in Cochin
AntoniaJames July 8, 2011
Baingan bharta and palak paneer both seem to be on every casual Indian dining menu I've seen in recent years. Stuffed naan (with cashews and spices, with potatoes and aromatics, with extra garlic, etc.) is also very popular here. I'd be happy to pick up a few take-out menus, scan and send them to you via email, if you like. I suspect that the casual restaurants in the East Bay are fairly similar to those in many larger U.S. cities. ;o)
pauljoseph July 8, 2011
Syronai our friend took this simple iddly mold to New york from India she make lots of iddly ,I can send one it's very cheap less than 2 us$
beyondcelery July 8, 2011
That looks amazing! I've found saag paneer and malai kofta to be popular on most restaurant menus. Lately, it's easier to find dosa and idli as well. Pauljoseph, do you know if there's a good way to make idli without the special pan?
sdebrango July 8, 2011
That looks wonderful pauljoseph just like chefjune said it doesn't even vaguely resemble what you get at most Indian restaurants at least here in nyc/brooklyn. Really want that recipe.Love tikka masala
ChefJune July 8, 2011
that looks so good, pauljoseph! not at all like the aberration served up in so many restaurants around here.

One of my favorite hot weather dishes is Goanese Roast Pork. I'm planning to make one next week.
pauljoseph July 8, 2011
Yes I will We have just made a simple chicken tikka masala without adding any artificial ingredients .WILLl post this curry recipe soon
sexyLAMBCHOPx July 8, 2011
Naan! I agree Chicken Tikka and Paneer. Please share if you can any of your recipes.
phyllis July 8, 2011
I think the fine dining Indian restaurants, at least in the New York City area, use fresher ingredients and use single spices and herbs to make their mixtures. Everything is fresher, and you can find different dishes, as well, depending on whether it's a northern or southern Indian restaurant or just a mixture of everything thought to be Indian. And some of the freshly made breads are amazing!!

I have been cooking my adaptation of M Jaffrey's Mulligatawny soup for a few decades. I'll certainly try yours. Thank you!!
ChefJune July 8, 2011
Chicken Tikka Masala has become ubiquitous in American Indian restaurants, and you can find it frozen in supermarket cases. I wonder how "real" it is. Seems always to be full of some red stuff that looks artificial and stains ones hands.

I love Samosas, stuffed with potato and peas. I live near an Indian neighborhood and there is a really good place to get them.;)

In casual restaurants, dosas seem to be featured. They are inexpensive, adaptable and tasty. Many of them have names like "Dosa Hut," Dosa House, Dosa Cafe, etc. although they serve other things besides dosas.
sdebrango July 8, 2011
Will look for that recipe have always wanted a good one for mulligatawny soup. Thank you. In my opinion the difference between and non casual is the restaurant itself. Anywhere no matter where you are there are local more home style restaurants and then there are the fine dining priceier places. Usually the dishes that come out of fine dining places are visually different, possibly more developed and then there are the real casual where the food would be more like what you would get at home. Hard to explain really hope I am making sense,
pauljoseph July 8, 2011
YES I will one more question what is the DIFFERENT between casual and non casual dishes?.Hope you found my new recipe MULLIGATAWNY SOUP
sdebrango July 8, 2011
Yes agree with phyllis on the additional dishes and that we would love it if you would share casual Indian dishes with us.
phyllis July 8, 2011
In addition to sdebrango's list, there are vindaloos, biryanis, grilled meats and vegetables. Perhaps you could share some of your favorite casual dishes with us, and recipes, if you have. Thanks.
sdebrango July 8, 2011
In most Indian restaurants here that is not fine dining you find your assortment of curries using meat, fish or vegetables, Korma's, Chicken Tikka, appetizers samosa's are very popuar
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