Thanks to Arthur Pais for this recipe. Arthur, born and raised in Madras, India, knows his region and certainly knows his food. Madras is known for its fiery food and excellent cuisine, and Arthur says that every home has at least two varieties of chile preserves in the pantry at all times. "Over many front doors hang a string of green chiles to ward off the evil eye," he noted. This is an excellent accompaniment to grilled salmon.
Raitas, or raytas, are India’s version of a salsa or salad that are served as cooling counterpoints to hot and spicy Indian foods. They are yogurt based and contain vegetables that are either raw or cooked, and low fat or whole yogurt. If using whole fat yogurt thin with a little water to produce a smooth texture. Because of the coolness of the yogurt, they are served during hot weather only. Serve with crudities or pieces of Indian bread called naan as an exotic appetizer.
The Moghlai dishes, popular across India, but particularly in Delhi and the neighboring Uttar Pradesh, owe their ancestry to sixteenth and seventeenth century Moghul rulers, Akbar and Shehjehan, who were connoisseurs of music, literature, architecture, and food. Unlike their immediate ancestors, who invaded India, and who were too busy consolidating their empire to pay much attention to cuisine, Akbar and Shehjehan recruited the best chefs in northern India, and encouraged them to create dishes that carried the influence of the ingredients of central Asia and India. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
Our chili chemist, Dr. John Crum, culminated his paper on chili con carne by proposing the following "decent" recipe. He is obviously a "with beans" chili cook; however, he does note that the chili can just be cooked with the bean liquid and the beans can be removed and used "for other purposes."
The technique of soaking a food in a liquid to flavor it—or in the case of meats, to tenderize the cut—was probably brought to the Caribbean by the Spanish. A marinade is easier to use than a paste, and when grilling your jerk meats, the marinade can also be used as a basting sauce. “In Jamaica,” notes food writer Robb Walsh, “like Texas barbecue, jerk is served on butcher paper and eaten with your hands.” Serve this version of jerk with a salad and grilled plantains.