THINGS I ATE: Bites at Badmaash, Rattlesnake at Wurstküche

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There’s not enough Indian food in Los Angeles. We have oodles of Korean restaurants (no complaints here), and there’s a Mexican spot on nearly every corner. Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese are also omnipresent, but alas, when it comes to Indian, our options are few and far between. My go-to place is Crown of India, located in a scenic strip mall often populated with vagrant trannies and the occasional meth head. Half the thrill is wondering if your car will still be there when you emerge from thali paradise.

Therefore, when I heard that Bread & Butter PR would be hosting the launch of their digital division at Badmaash, a new Indian gastropub Downtown, I was totally stoked to go. I’m always on the prowl for Indian food in this city, and even though the party would not promise to be a full-on meal, even just a few tasty hors d’oeuvres could make my evening. And so with my friend Kambra in tow, we headed to Badmaash where I proceeded to take pictures of everything BUT the food. I’m a real pro like that. I guess I’ll just have to go back!

Pics of Badmaash and bonus stuff from Wurstküche after the jump…

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Pico De Gallo vs. Cachumber: A Difference of 3 Ingredients, 9,100 Miles

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Ever since I bought Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking in 2011, I’ve been babbling to whomever would listen (usually no one) about how similar Indian and Mexican cuisines are. Both use large amounts of tomatoes, cilantros, onions, chiles, garlic, and cumin. And yet, the flavors could not be more divergent. It makes sense, really: the countries are 9,100 miles apart. There’s no good reason for them to have any similarities.

A perfect example of how the same ingredients, with just a few tweaks, can yield such massively different flavors is Mexican pico de gallo and Indian cachumber (or kachumber). The former is considered a salsa, the latter a relish. Each have seven ingredients total, but by simply swapping out three simple items, we can go from Mexico to India and vice versa. (Listen, maybe if you were stoned, you’d find this as cool as I do).

After the jump, check out pics of me making both condiments (one from a Jaffrey recipe and one from a Rick Bayless recipe)…

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ADVENTURES IN DOMESTICITY: Indian Ground Beef with Mint Edition

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I’ve been totally slacking on the blog lately; so why not put together an Adventure in Domesticity? This is yet another exciting foray into Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey — one that was initially made because I had had no proteins in the kitchen except some ground beef. I had seen that there was an interesting recipe in the cook book involving ground lamb; so why not attempt it with beef instead? And so my love affair with this recipe began (not to be dramatic). After the jump, check out the dish in all its garam masala glory… Continue reading

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Urban Masala Is A Happy Addition to Hollywood’s Revitalization

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Ever since September, I’ve been on a serious Indian food kick, thanks to having procured a copy of Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey. I was inspired to buy the book partly because I love the cuisine but also because I felt it wasn’t cost effective (or particularly healthy) for me to perpetually order from my go-to Indian restaurant, Crown of India. Don’t get me wrong: Crown is delicious, and it comes with the added cachet of being located a block away from Tranny Central (Highland and Santa Monica, to be specific). However, I can’t be dropping $20 every time I get a craving for Indian food, which is quite often.

That being said, I don’t always want to whip up my own Indian feast at home. Yes, it’s fun and healthier, but it’s not a speedy process. If only there were some middle ground: a cheap, fast, healthy Indian alternative in my life… Enter Urban Masala, a new fast-casual Indian spot right in the heart of Hollywood. In a neighborhood dominated by Mexican and Thai restaurants, it’s nice to see an Indian eatery sprout up (especially given that it’s open until 3 AM on weekends: SWOON!).

But does Urban Masala stack up? Luckily I was invited to a media-comped meal to find out. Pictures after the jump… Continue reading

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ADVENTURES IN DOMESTICITY: Madhur Jaffrey’s Chicken in a Red Sweet Pepper Sauce Edition

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Recently I’ve been craving Indian food for no good reason, and while I’m usually more than happy to simply pick up a hefty order from my favorite local spot (Crown of India — don’t mind the tranny hookers in the parking lot), I’ve decided that this is a cuisine I’d really like to start cooking. I already knew how to whip up a pretty awesome chicken tikka masala thanks to a Cooks Illustrated recipe, but how many times could I make that? Many, as it turns out. But I craved more. And so I decided to look up a recipe for one of my favorite Indian dishes: chicken Korma. Well, thanks to the magic of the internet, I found many recipes for this simple curry. In fact, I found TOO many. I didn’t know which to choose. Do I trust a random blog? Or do I go with the seemingly inauthentic stuff found on Food.com? Clearly, I needed a source I could trust. Enter Madhur Jaffrey.

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