Suneeta's Indian Cuisine


India Tour Gallery - Tour of India and Ganesh Chaturti September, 2008

When I was in India in September, Mumbai celebrated one of the most important annual festivals in Maharashtra - Ganesh Chaturti- the festival of the elephant god, Ganesh. Recognized by Hindus as the remover of obstacles, Ganesh's blessings are invoked for all important occasions such as the start of a new business, a new job, or a new home. During the 11-day festival, entire communities come together to erect neighborhood mandaps - tented and decorated stages, at the center of which is a huge clay statue of Ganesh accompanied by offerings. People of all faiths come in the hundreds to ask for the blessings of this beloved deity. On the last day of the festival the streets of Mumbai that lead to the ocean, are closed to vehicular traffic to allow throngs of worshippers to carry their idols for immersion in the water. Singing and dancing accompanies the idols as processions wend their way to the water, adding to the gayety.

The Golden Temple in Amritsar in north India is sacred to all Sikhs. It houses the holy book, the Granth Sahib, and my visit to the temple after more than 50 years, accompanied by my family and teenage grandchildren was a truly spiritual journey.

Amritsar is well known for it's 'dhabas' serving some of the greasiest but absolutely delicious Punjabi food. Literally, a dhaba is a truck stop in north India, where the robust Punjabi truck drivers stop to refuel their stomachs. A long established institution, a dhabha is the most basic 1 room structure - the kitchen. A tin roof, 5 or 6 clay burners facing the street, a couple of rickety chairs and a couple of rickety beds with woven coir rope, known as a charpoy on which truck drivers can take a break. Simple food, usually a chicken curry, spicy garbanzos, rice, a vegetable dish and tandoori flatbread are prepared fresh every day in these primitive conditions, but they are the tastiest dishes you can eat. The dhabas of Amritsar are more like chaotic, noisy restaurants, but the food is just as good.



2 – 2 ½ pounds clams
1½ cups frozen grated coconut, thawed
4 inch-piece cinnamon
1½ teaspoons peppercorns
10 cardamom pods, cracked open
8 cloves
4 blades mace (optional)
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Clams In Dynamite Masala   »



Hello Suneeta!!!

I wanted to write and say how much I enjoyed your curry workshop last night at In Good Taste in Portland. It was FANTASTIC!! I have a much richer understanding of Indian spices, regional differences and cooking techniquies. I am very excited to try more dishes at home. The historical information added a real richness to the class.I would love a class on a traditional Indian meal start to finish.

Thank you very much.
Lisa Thum (former Houston resident)

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