We were out looking at possible wedding venues a few months ago, and were at what has turned out to be our choice location: The Sheraton Parkview. Like many venues, they deal with The Host, a popular Indian caterer in the Toronto area and, as luck would have it, The Host has a restaurant location directly below the Sheraton in an underground mall. A perfect chance to “test” some wedding menu options!
One of our meal picks was a tawa paneer dish – paneer pan-fried with peppers and onion. It was good, and seemed simple enough to make at home. I gave it a few whirls and had quality results each time (it also works well with mushrooms) but I got the idea to build a sauce base for it as well, thinking I was inventing a brand new curry. I wasn’t – what I was actually doing is making a jalfrezi-style curry.
Kashmiri Chili Powder
For one thing, it’s the subject of some heated internet debate. However, that does little to distinguish it from stain removal tips, the best restaurants in the East End, and LOLcats. Much of the debate, though, centers around the crucial question: what is a Kashmiri chili pepper? The problem is Kashmir grows many kinds of peppers, so the naming convention can be misleading since the powder labelled “Kashmiri” is typically one specific type of pepper. The other thing is that the pepper typically used for Kashmiri chili powder isn’t even from Kashmir.
While this may send some cooks into fits of shock and horror, what does this mean for you, the young, intrepid amateur in Toronto? Not a whole lot.
Hot Chili-Coconut Masala
You like your food spicy? Then this is the masala for you. Dried chilies and toasted coconut provide the main flavour punch, while a myriad other spices provide texture and colour. This is a western Indian-style spice blend, and is not for the faint of tongue. It’s hot, and I say that as someone who likes my food fairly spicy compared to the norm. It’s quite hot. You’ve been warned.