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My husband is screaming at the television. Football is not good for…

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My husband is screaming at the television.

Football is not good for his blood pressure.

Hey there my lovelies. How goes it?

I continue to be MIA but, as always you are in my heart. Case in point -

I was teasing my husband - a favorite pass time of mine - when the remote control fell off the back of my sofa and hit me on the head.

Mr. Tart - Ha, and god smites you. You have been smited. Smited? Smote? Smoted?

TTT - Smut?

Mr. Tart - Smut? You've been smut?

TTT - Yeah that will be much funnier when I retell this to my flist later.


A friend gave me the audio versions of the HP books - British Versions. Happiness is a friend who's just as obsessive as you are.


Speaking of my dear Harry, I stumbled upon a pair of refrigerator magnets for Slytherin and Gryffindor. Anyone know where I might find Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw? I've been on the hunt for HP paraphernalia in various bookstores for many months now. I can't tell you what I'm looking for, just the sort of odds and ends only someone like me - an probably you - can appreciate. Anyone else find themselves doing that? If so, where do you browse? I tried Ebay but since I'm not looking for anything in particular (except the magnets which I already tried looking for BTW) - browsing on Ebay can be taxing.


I have a very odd request - Does anyone eat Indian food regularly? Can you give me pointers? What are some different dishes? How should things be eaten? When should I ask for chutney? What is chutney? What are some of your favorite dishes? Some friends want me to take them to a local Indian restaurant and are expecting me to take the lead in ordering and I have no clue. As always, I count on you to save me.
  • but surely Mr. Tart is a pats fan?

    i've had similar convos regarding smited/smote/smut. my rl mates are not amused.

    i eat/cook indian food regularly. i'd be glad to give you some pointers. some apps, entrees and the stuff? meat or veg? also, in indian restaurants chutneys tend to be served automatically and are usually used as dipping sauces for apps. we're in the same neck of the woods i think and i've eaten at hundreds of indian restuarants in the area. do you know where you're going?
    • Oh, he is very much a Pats fan. He also has a lot of love for Mr. Moss and no love for the commentators so Sundays are very interesting around here.

      I was going to go to Kabob & Curry in Providence. Do you have a favorite place?

      Meat and vegetarian dishes. I'm not fond of curries. Friends is glutton (wheat) intolerant.

      Are there different types of dipping sauces? Are some sweeter? Spicier? What about the yogurt sauces? When is is best to use these? I've seen a mango drink - do you know what that is? What about different types of pickles? Another friend said I might like them?
      • yeah, the commenters annoy me too but it was certainly a decent game.

        I've been to kabob and curry several times but i'm in boston so tend to eat more in that area.

        However, here's my thoughts. I'd start with a couple of apps. Samosas are always a good thing. I'm a big fan of pakoras myself which are chopped veggies coated in chickpea flour and deep fried. In deference to your mate you might want to go with their prawn starter. I can't remember the details but it's totally delish.

        Most restaurants serve papadum which is a crisp "bread/cracker" usually made out of lentil flour. There's plenty of breads available but I have to admit I only ever eat naan or rice.

        If you're not a fan of curries, tandoori is a very safe choice. Tandoori food refers to the way it's cooked in a tandoor, a clay oven. It's well spiced and usually quite moist and flavourful. You could have a mixed grill of meats and veggies. In looking at the menu, I seem to recall that the chicken Xacuti was very flavourful.

        Veggies are a must and I'd suggest getting a few different kinds for the table to share. A dal dish (lentils and beans) is always good and I'd recommend saag, a light and tasty spinach dish. If you like orka the K&C's Bhindi Masala is delish.

        You could also consider a biryani dish which is spiced rice with your choice of meat or veg.

        As for dessert, I don't eat many indian deserts but gulab jamun dumplings are good but served in rose water syrup so rather sweet. I tend to go for the mango ice-cream if they have it.

        Now to answer your questions....
        Most restaurants give three standard chutneys. A red one made of onions that is a bit spicy. A green one which is coriander and cooling. The brown one is tamarind sauce which i think is a pleasant combination of sweet and tart. The yogurt dish you're talking about is raita; it is yogurt with garlic and cucumbers. A nice accompaniment to meal, especially tandoori in my opinion. I think the mango drink you refer to is mango lassi, one of my favourites. It's made with yogurt, rose water and something else. I think it's super yummy.

        As for pickles i'm obsessed with them. They're veggies that are chopped, spiced and marinated in oil. Most restaurants don't serve them but you might luck out. Mango and lime pickle are particularly delish, imo.

        And, I've written a novel and made myself hungry. ;)

        • This is really fantastic. I feel a bit better prepared to answer her questions and talk my way around a menu.

          I can't thank you enough.

          And now I'm hungry too. :oD
  • Indian food... yum! I highly recommend naan - that's the flatbread cooked in the special clay pots - and samosas are usually good - those are appetizers, little pastries filled with veggies, usually.
    Tandoori chicken or chicken tikka masala are a couple of the most well-known dishes. Tandoori chicken marinated in yogurt and spices and then cooked in a clay oven, and chicken tikka masala has a different sort of sauce. Curries are a different thing altogether, and most Indian restaurants will adjust the 'heat' of the spiciness if you request it. Oh, and the gulab jamun for dessert? YUM.
    • I love naan and samosas. Not a fan of yellow curries. Do you know what red curry is or how it tastes?

      What is gulab jamun?
    • I don't know a lot about the different types of curries - I'm not a huge curry fan, though I do like some of the milder ones. I prefer the tandoori or masala personally.

      They're sweet dough balls that are made of milk/cheese and flour, in a sugar syrup flavored with cardamom seeds and rosewater or saffron. It may not sound very good, but I promise you - they're wonderful.
    • I seem to remember that the red curry is tomatoey.
  • Hi! On the Indian food front, remember that India is a huge country, with a lot of different ethnic/religious traditions represented, so there's no one kind of Indian food - and if you end up going to a vegetarian restaurant, you have a different set of choices, although, to be honest, the vegetarian stuff is some of the best parts of Indian cuisine.

    Having said that: You're going to want to have rice and/or some kind of bread on the table (we usually end up with both) - and there's a variety of each, including bread so crispy and spiced it might as well be called a cracker.) Dal (made from lentils and other beans, made in a variety of ways) is great, to be eaten with rice or with chapatis (think "pita bread' sort of)

    Are you going with a big group? If so, you'll want to share. A few vegetable dishes, maybe (spinach/palak, cauliflower/phool gobi, tomatoes/tamatar, peas/matar, potatoes/aloo, okra/bhindi...all good) and one meat: lamb (masala?) or chicken (tandoori?) only [if beef or pork is on the menu...well, let's just say I've never been in an Indian restaurant that served either] and/or one fish based dish. Don't have all of them be heavily sauced, and remember that you can say how hot you want things to be ('not very' is the best bet for people who aren't used to Indian cooking *g*)

    You'll be given silverware, but it's more fun (and more traditional) to eat with your hands. Take a piece of bread (chapati or naan) and fold it over some food, eating that way. Or, you know...use a fork. :)

    Oh, and if you guys drink, find out beforehand if they have alcohol on the menu. If not, many Indian restaurants let you bring a bottle in, but some don't even allow that.

    As for desserts...I'm not a big fan of Indian desserts, so somebody else will have to give you guidance there.

    • Thank you!!!

      This is incredibly helpful.

      How are you BTW?

      • I'm good! (of course, now I'm very, very hungry *g*)

        What's your current email address? We should talk for real!
        • I'm -


          very easy, no. :o)

          I think about you all the time. One of my favorite memories of The Witching Hour is our conversation. Free free to email me with reckless abandon.

  • (no subject) -
    • Perfect!

      Thank you?

      I never really realized that there would be different types of Indian food (North v. South) but, of course, it makes perfect sense. How can you tell? This will make me sound so smart. :o)

      Anything you'd avoid?

  • Try the HotTopic website for magnets, maybe?

    Indian-food wise, well...personally I pretty much hate...spices. So I have a hard time in such restaurants. If you have any friends similarly afflicted, I recommend the lamb-and-pea dumplings. I forget the official name, but yeah. Dumplings.
    • Hot Topic!!!!!! Of course. I never think of that place. I always feel to old and too lacking in black clothing to visit the local store.

      Viva the internet!

      How are you? I think about you a lot. How have you been feeling?
      • I have good days and bad...*shrug* We have a fairly good theory about the cause of the dizziness, but we're having trouble getting in to a specialist about it.

        In some ways I have a lot to be grateful for...mostly it doesn't make me feel sick, just like I'm falling over. So I can still function so long as I don't drive and have something to hold on to. I try to stress the positive. *G*
        • I know how hard it is to think positive when you feel like crap.

          I'll admit that there are times that I just want to wallow in my sadness. Just for a bit. I think that we (meaning society) really under estimates the therapeutic benefits of a good cry. The trick is getting up afterward, of course. That isn't always easy.

          I hope you find your answers and I hope those answers give you peace. If you ever just want to vent, just want someone to talk to who isn't going to give you advice but who will just listen you can call me. Or I'll call you - I have free long distance. :o)
          • Lydia! You made me cry. *hugs* Thank you, my darling. There are times it helps immeasurably to remember I have you and your like in my life.
  • Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my favorites. The rub is just so nice at it's always grilled so perfectly. I love it.

    I did see that curries aren't your favorite, but if you're willing to experiment, there's a lovely eggplant dish that doesn't taste like 'curry' with the saffron flavor. Baingan Masala. It's a richer, deeper taste perhaps a bit like barbeque rather than saffron curry.

    Cheese Nan. Flatbread stuffed with cheeses and spices and then dip it in the greenish sauce they often put on the table. It's maybe basil, lemon, and chilli? Heaven. Absolute heaven.

    Oh dear. Now I crave. CRAVE!! Must get Indian food!!!!
  • My husband is 31, and I just know that he is going to give himself a heart attack screaming at football on Saturdays. All. Day. Long.
  • Mmmm, samosas!

    If you have friends who are not into the super spicy, one thing that the places I've gone to have that works is butter chicken. It's chicken with sort of a tomato-y, creamy, buttery sauce, and you can ask for it mild, and my coworker who doesn't do spicy food at all had some and loved it.
  • The best way to get acquainted with Indian Food is going out for Chaat - delicious Indian snacks packed with the main flavours found in Indian food. I recommend the Vegteable Pakoras with tamarind sauce :) You cannot go wrong with Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan, and Vegtable Shai Korma is phenomenal!
  • On the subject of sports, never come between a man and the TV when the game is on. Only bad things can happen. Rest assured, you will be smut many times.

    Yeah, that's way funnier when told to a fic writer.

    I don't know much about HP magnets, but patches are fairly easy to find on eBay. And you can sew patches into capes. Isn't that WAY better than magnets?

    Being Indian, yes, I have eaten Indian food regularly.

    Spice is typically the thing people most fear. And it's always bad to ask an Indian if something is spicy or not, as I can eat whole peppers.

    So, the first real question, other than spice is North Indian or South Indian.

    If the place doesn't specify, it's probably North Indian. South Indian food in the US is typically vegetarian stuff. The main dishes are Doshas, which are basically very very crisp pancakes that come with potato stuffing. You usually get a vegetable soup called Sambar as a side dish, or maybe Idli, which are rice balls.

    For your standard North Indian fare, the main question is veg or non-veg.

    Non-veg fare is basically with gravy or without. Without gravy or sauce is your typical Tandori Chicken type stuff that comes on the sizzling platter with onions, or other kabobs. If you prefer boneless chicken, go for chicken tikka kabob (highly recommended). If you like lamb, go for Seekh Kabob, or Boti Kabob (I prefer Boti Kabob, but most places only have Seekh). For gravy and sauces, most people's favorite is Chicken Makhni (Butter Chicken). It's a cream sauce (gee, wonder why it's popular). If you don't mind spicy, Chicken or Lamb Vindaloo is quite nice, it's a spicy tomato sauce with potatos.

    Vegetarian dishes come in all varieties. Paneer is India's answer to tofu, except it's made from cheese. Vegetables can be prepared in more varieties than I know how to count. Eggplant is quite popular, and potato is a major staple. Read the menu and see what sounds yummy. You probably won't go wrong.

    Also, bread or rice. Most places will serve Naan, flatbread. Very popular. If you like Pitas and Falafal, you'll like Naan. Basmati Rice is (in my humble opinion) far better than Jasmine Rice. If you really like your rice, you can try a Biryani, which is kinda like an Indian Jambalaya. It's a personal favorite of mine.

    If you like fried food, try vegetable pakoras as an appetizer. Think of the Awesome Blossom at Chillis. They come with chutney (by the way, chutney is just dipping sauce. It pretty much comes with anything that you're supposed to dip. You usually don't have to ask for it). Some places might serve Papad instead of bread. It's like a giant chip that you dip in a mint sauce.

    Try a Lassi while you're at it. It's a milkshake made with yogurt. Mango is the most popular variety. You might find places that serve Kheer for desert too, it's a rice pudding that people who like tapioca usually enjoy. Most other Indian deserts are very sweet, like Ladoo.

    Alternatively, just order lots of alchohol until everyone is too drunk to know whether they like what they get or not. Either way works.
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