The proper browning of onions

While spending time in a lonely country home in upstate New York to escape a hurricane in New Jersey, Devika Kumar discovers something crucial to North Indian cooking. It is a well known secret, and even mentioned in many Indian recipes and cookbooks.It is something though, that impatient people, like me, are apt to do too quickly or stop too soon.

But sometimes, you can’t hurry things up. And if you do, the end dish, the channa masala (chickpea curry) or palak paneer for example, will reveal the truth.

Read the post on the blog, Calcutta Chow

Calcutta Chow

I feel as though I’ve stumbled upon a profound truth.  That the secret to good, north Indian, punjabi-style cooking is the proper browning of onions.  There I’ve said it.

This summer I was leafing through of a copy of Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking that I had found in our rental home.  We were escaping a hurricane in New Jersey, and had found ourselves in an isolated country home on the outskirts of Chatham in upstate New York.  Our nearest source of food, much to my delight, was the Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, that sold cheese and yogurt made from sheep’s milk.

It was late in the evening, and although I have the same book at home, something about the deep silence around the house improved my concentration.  Ordinarily, I would have quickly flipped over the introductory pages and the ‘techniques’ of Indian cooking.  But here I was, sitting at a…

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