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New from Austria

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi, am a new member from Austria - actually transplanted from MN via NYC living in Austria. I stumbled across the forums while researching kitchen knives. (I ended up with Tojiro DPs - a 21mm gyuto and 15mm petty)

But I am also enjoying many of the other topics and threads. Most of the cooking I do is Indian cooking. I've become a nut with it, learning from Julie Sahni's book "classic Indian Cooking". Just recently I purchased "660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer" - I got the idea from my podcast of "the splendid table." I am a recipe follower generally, not quite trusting myself to improvise my own creations - any hints on how i might start branching off on my own without creating a disaster?

Also, sometimes I need some american comfort food - I'll do some baking with recipes from Mom for any type of brownies or pies, sometimes even a nice BBQ ribs. One of the things that I miss a lot here, is packed brown sugar. It's impossible to find in Austria. I usually have every guest visiting from the states bring me a couple of jumbo packages, but it would be great to find a source here. Any ideas?

Looking forward to lots of ideas and inspirations on the forums!
post #2 of 3
Hello AMM and welcome to Chef Talk. You sound like a very adventurous cook! I'm sure you have little or no trouble finding Indian ingredients in Europe (unless you're in a very small or remote place, I'm sure), but American ingredients are harder to find. If chili's on your comfort food list, for example good luck! You'll probably have to compose your own chili powder blend. Tortillas??? Good luck finding them or masa to make your own. I should say this is based on my own experience, which is at least seven years old. Perhaps things are better now.

I'm sorry I can't help you with the brown sugar, but I wonder if there's a way to use muscovado sugar? Or palm sugar?

How did you get your love of cooking? Did a mentor in your family or elsewhere give you the spark?

I hope you visit often and enjoy being part of the community. Let us know if you have questions about the board. There's a lot here, so don't miss the blogs, cooking articles, photos, etc.!

Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the welcome

Thank you for the welcome!

I stock up on chili powder in the states when I visit.

There are a number of Indian stores in Vienna, but I live up in the mountains. So, every time I go to Vienna, I stock up. I'm growing my own coriander to have fresh herbs anytime i need them, I'm a bit frustrated with my inability to get fresh curry leaves. I love them to make a tadka, a perfumed oil to go on top of my curries. Thinking of planting my own, but my indian grocer said that they are very delicate plants and I don't have a lot of gardening skills, i dunno...

My girlfriend was on tour in India this past spring and brought back some indian Masalas, and curry powders. She also brought some fresh indian ginger back with her. We used most of it, but saved a little. It was much milder than regular ginger, not as much bite to it. Was darker in color and a bit richer in taste. I planted about a 2 inch piece a month ago, and now it has sprouted a plant. Hopefully next year I might be able to use a bit of it in my cooking. We'll see...

Palm sugar, huh? I have and I use Jaggery, do you think I could substitute that for brown sugar. I also have a good source for Maple syrup, but can't find Molasses.

As far as family members who are cooks.... my mother is a great baker, and my father (an austrian) does all the cooking at home. Mainly Chinese Stir fry, and now thai food. But he is a fantastic cook. A really picky eater, but i suppose that makes for a discerning cook. I really don't cook a lot of austrian cuisine, but enjoy eating it.

Well, i'm looking forward to learning alot on the site...

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