Category Archives: Asian Cuisine

Grill’n and Chill’n

GrillnChillnSummer is here, with hot afternoons, bright colors and happy faces. Parties are in full swing with grilled food and chilled drinks. Memorial Day at the end of May is the start of the grilling season.

Grilling is an All-American tradition. It is a method of cooking food at high heat over direct flames. Grilling is different from bar-b-que.  Bar-b-que is cooking marinated foods at temperatures between 200 and 300 degrees F. Grilling is about cooking foods at very high heat, well above 400 degrees F. Most barbeque sauces are tomato and sugar based and will burn if they are used for grilling.

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Fruitfully Yours

tomatoesI have fond memories of my early years in Kanpur, India. Situated on the banks of the Ganges, Kanpur was as fertile as it could be. Our home had crisp green lawns with roses of every hue. My favorite pastime in the summer months was counting the number of tomatoes on the vine, which stretched on to the side walls of the house. I remember admiring the red plump fruit against the faded brown wall. While my dad brought home red juicy apples and healthy bunches of grapes, mom would cut a bowl of fresh tomatoes and sprinkle a little sugar, for us to eat. This was when I fell in love with fruits.

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A Confluence of Cuisines

A few months ago, my good friend, Lakshmi Pratury called me and said, “Praba! I need you!”. She was putting together the entire conference gala for TiEcon 2006. The theme for the Gala was a “Global Bazaar”, with entertainment combining the best of the east and the west. For dinner, Lakshmi said, “Praba, come up with a menu that will blow away the 1200 people who will be at the Gala!”

TiEcon 2006 Gala DecorAs I thought more about it, I told my friend, that this crowd would be hard to please. This was an elite group of well traveled, “been there, done that”, well read, smart Indian Americans. They set a high bar in whatever they did, and were constantly in search of the “next big thing”.

The resident Chef at the venue would turn my menu into the Gala dinner. My challenge was to work with the Chef and his staff, without stepping into their kitchen! Their workers’ union rules would not allow yours truly to get in there!

I got down to work. My first take was a huge menu, that would bring together distinctively different items from all around the world, in keeping with the “Global” Theme!

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