luckyfatima's Profile

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Does DFW Metroplex have full service thali restaurant? a lot of restaurants have a meal option labeled thali that is really like a sampler or combo plate. Some people set out a buffet and make fresh flat bread for you and call it thali. I am not looking for this. It's not that this is necessarily bad, but I can get this kind of thing everywhere.

A thali literally just means a plate.

But if you go to a restaurant that does full service thali, you sit and the food comes to you in a sequence of courses. Waiters bring serving vessels and spoon small amounts on your plate. Fresh flat breads (sometimes several varieties) are brought to your table. After the course of foods eaten with flat bread, they bring out a course to be eaten with rice. The specifics depend on the region of the food being served. It's a really fun experience, sort of like going for dim sum with the carts.

There isn't a lot of full service thali in the US. Houston has the *amazing* Maharaja Bhog which serves a Rajasthani-Gujarati thali. I was hoping Dallas area had one. I cannot visit Houston without going there for a meal.

Saravana Bhavan is one of my favorite restaurants ever in the whole universe but I've only eaten at branches in India and the UAE. I've been afraid to try the North American locations of this franchise because they have a mediocre reputation that usually disappoints those who are fans of the older branches. (People say the Silicon Valley ones suck, the Atlanta one sucks...) This is the first I'm hearing Dallas has one. It must have just opened in the past few years. They have a thali lunch in Dubai. I'll have to check out their menu. I'm not so into South Indian thali but I love love love Saravana Bhavan dosas...onion rava sada, I love their chutneys. Now that I know about this I am def. going to check it out.

about 2 hours ago
luckyfatima in Dallas - Fort Worth

Onions in Indian Cooking

Yep the Asian grocery store shallot or purple onions are similar to the dry and non-sweet onions in India. I'm in Northern VA and here I get them at the Korean owned international hypermarkets (Lottes, Global Foods) but they are also in Indian stores.

Jun 28, 2015
luckyfatima in Home Cooking

Onions in Indian Cooking

I use the larger shallots or the small purple onions from the Asian grocery store. They turn pink and then white as they cook, then as the moisture cooks out of them, they become translucent, then golden, then brown. A lot of other varieties of onion are too sweet for the style of Indo-Pak food that I cook (mainly northwest subcontinent Muslim cuisines). I use yellow onion in a pinch, but that is not preferred. The yellow onions have more water in them and take much longer to fry to the desired state.

Here are some pics of onion vendors in India, check out the color. The pics represent a variety of locations. I'm surprised that a special kind is used in Gujarat. I've never noticed Gujarati friends seeking out any special onion, but I will inquire about this. Anyway, pics:

The other type of onion I am familiar with is the tiny baby South Indian onion that is put in sambhar.

Jun 28, 2015
luckyfatima in Home Cooking

A Dish From Every Mexican State

White beans aren't strange. Seeing them as a garnish on a meat taco is unusual for me.

Jun 27, 2015
luckyfatima in General Topics

A Dish From Every Mexican State

I was wondering about the beans, or what looks like beans, because I have never seen a taco like that with white beans on it and because there is no mention of beans in the description.

Jun 27, 2015
luckyfatima in General Topics

A Dish From Every Mexican State

In the Michoacán pic it says:

"Cachitos de cerdo fritos con limón, salsa, cebolla, cilantro y tortilla. Aventúrate a probar la nana, el buche y el cuerito."

My attempted translation: Bits of fried pork with lime, salsa, onion, cilantro, and tortilla. Be adventurous and try the uterus, stomach, and skin.

(Presumably pickled skin?)

It looks like the tacos also contain white beans, too.

Jun 24, 2015
luckyfatima in General Topics

What chicken curry recipe should I try next?

This is a great recipe from Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi. I make a similar chicken curry, the only difference is that I let the onions color a little bit longer (turning golden but not browning):

Friday CH lunch at Aldeerah

Yep, def. not the place to go if one is expecting Lebanese food.

Friday CH lunch at Aldeerah

Seven of us met for a Friday lunch in Vienna at the only Saudi Arabian restaurant in the United States, Aldeerah. We unanimously liked the meal.

We started out with the falafel salad appetizer. This was a mixed green salad topped with grape size falafel bites and a handful of french fries. It came with a tahini dressing on the side. The falafel bites and dressing were good, falafel crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, but I probably wouldn't get that salad again unless I was in the mood for one of the healthiest items on the menu. It was a very basic salad.

Potato kibbeh was one of the appetizers we tried. The potato kibbeh was a tender mashed potato ball stuffed with ground meat, deep fried until crispy and golden. Three pieces per order. Very enjoyable.

We also ordered cheese sambosa, also three pieces per order, which was a thin wheat flour triangle wrapping stuffed with a soft spreadable type white cheese and deep fried. It reminded me of a crab rangoon.

A collectively loved item was the lamb-oatmeal soup. Much thinner than an American breakfast oatmeal, it had a lot of oats in it, but was clearly a soupy consistency, was full of body from a tomatoey broth, and contained little shreds of tender lamb.

We selected 3 entrees: chicken mathlootha, lamb mandi, and lamb marqooq.

The mathlootha is a triple layer dish topped with roasted chicken. The layers from bottom to top consist first of jireesh, a soft wheat-lamb porridge, second of qursan, which is shredded crepe-like wheat bread soaked in tomato sauce, and then basmati rice. The chicken was basic roast chicken, but the dish was interesting. I liked the way the rice was moistened by the layers beneath.

The lamb mandi was oven roasted lamb on top of basmati rice. This dish was uninteresting to me, but the lamb itself was tender and well cooked. There was the option to get it topped with fried onions and raisins, which would have added more textures and flavors, but I didn't notice that until I read the menu more carefully after the meal.

My favorite dish was the marqooq, which is the special of the day on Fridays. This is very thin flat bread soaked in a tomatoey lamb stock till very soft, and topped with stewed lamb and vegetables. I like carby comfort food type dishes, and this falls into that grouping for me.

The food is all lightly seasoned with a garam masala flavor profile with hints of bay leaves, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, etc., and robust from the use of rich meat stocks. It was all well salted, which I like.

Nothing we ate had chile heat, but Saudis eat their food with a Tabasco Sauce-like condiment called shatta (literally red chile pepper) on the table and add the chile heat to their liking with dashes of this stuff. Aldeerah has an in-house shatta served in a tiny condiment bowl.

Another typical Saudi condiment, dakkous, which is similar to a Mexican tomato salsa cocida, was also served on the side of the meal.

I ordered a cucumber-yoghurt sauce to have with the mandi, because I find it dry otherwise (always, not just at this restaurant). The dakkous also serves the purpose of adding moisture and flavor to the rice.

We topped off the meal with dried Saudi dates and Gulf style Arabic coffee, which is more of a saffron and cardamon flavored coffee infused tisane. This is served from a thermal carafe and poured into tiny sake cups. Not everybody liked this, finding it a bit perfumey and not coffee-like enough. I happen to love this stuff, though. The dates were also a bit exotic for some of the diners, as they were whole (date stone inside) and dried to a caramel candy consistency. They tasted good to me, though.

Distinct from the regional Arabic cuisines more commonly on offer in the DMV area, Saudi cuisine has much in common with the cuisines of the other countries of the Arabian Peninsula. Though I have never been to Saudi, I am familiar with this food, so it was a nostalgic experience for me. All of the food was well prepared, and similar to what I had in the homes of Gulf nationals during my years in the region.

For other diners, it was a new and positive experience. Service was attentive and friendly, and the heavy Arabic decor of the place lends to its charm. The food served at Aldeerah represents Saudi cuisine very well.

Have you seen this rice cake omelet?

It's a Teo Chew style rice cake omelet famously served at Tan Tan is Houston.

Have you seen this at any local restaurant? Is there any restaurant where this is known as one of their specialties?


Does DFW Metroplex have full service thali restaurant?

I'm sure there are dozens of Indian places with a thali plate on the menu, but I am looking for a restaurant specializes in proper full service thali. Do you know of any?

Any Chinatown-ish Little Saigon-ish area?

Great to know! Thanks again, twinwillow.

Italian in Reston-Herndon-Sterling-Ashburn-Leesburg?

Thanks, knitone. I'll check it out.

Any Chinatown-ish Little Saigon-ish area?

kinks in posting, sorry for double post.

Any Chinatown-ish Little Saigon-ish area?

Thanks, Twinwillow. Now I have some names and more specific locales to explore! Much appreciated.

First Chinese BBQ is one of my favorite restos in Austin! I'll have to check out their original Dallas locale.

I have actually been to the area a couple of times some years ago and ate at Bistro B in (our right near) Richardson, which I know many people think is mediocre, but the crispy deep fried thin eggroll wrapper rolled into a cigar shape and stuffed inside of a shrimp cake goi cuon was awesome, and I recall liking the grilled meats with banh hoi or for goi cuon. AFAIK they are also one of the restos in the area that serve banh khot, so I'll be stopping by there.

What do you rec at Yao Fuzi? What about at Jeng Chi?

Any Chinatown-ish Little Saigon-ish area?

I'm planning to visit DFW this summer. Taking the kids to Grapevine Legoland and Aquarium. Wondering if there is a recommended area in the DFW metroplex (doesn't have to be near Grapevine, but hopefully not on the opposite end of the metroplex or anything) where there is a dense amount of Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants similar to Houston's Bellaire area. I'd like to stay nearby and have meals there during our visit. Yelp is directing me towards Arlington. Does that sound right?

If there is no specific area, what are some great restos to try? The style of Chinese resto I prefer is Cantonese that also has a lot of VN customers or is owned by Chinese from Vietnam like what one finds in Houston and Austin.

Freezing a yogurt marinade

This will work well as long as you were planning to bake/grill/pan sear the meat and were not expecting the yoghurt to contribute to any gravy because the gravy would end up curdled.

May 25, 2015
luckyfatima in Home Cooking

Italian in Reston-Herndon-Sterling-Ashburn-Leesburg?

Reston-Herndon-Sterling-Ashburn-Leesburg is my acceptable driving radius on a regular day. I am not very familiar with Italian food, but I'd like to get to know it better. Is there any decent restaurant that serves any style of Italian food (regional?) that you would recommend. What should I try? I don't eat pork, just FYI.

Yelp is suggesting lots of Italian-American delis and pizzerias or "red sauce" looking places. Is that all there is around this area?

Back from Austin & in search of "pink cake" recipe - moved from Austin board

I love love love Joe's Bakery. Abanicos de hojaldre dipped in chocolate are a fave of mine there.

I haven't tried these recipes, just googled, look legit, tho. Look to the comments in this pin:


May 23, 2015
luckyfatima in Home Cooking

Ways to eat Menudo (the soup)?

Sprinkle the tortilla with salt and fold or roll it and take bites of it in between slurps of menudo.

May 23, 2015
luckyfatima in General Topics

Is there a taste difference between chilles from China India and Mexico?

There are many kinds of chiles in Mexico and India. I am not so familiar with Chinese regional cuisines but I can only imagine that it's the same there. The chile varieties within one country do not taste the same, so why would they taste the same from country to country? Some chiles you find in India or MX you cannot find anywhere else in the world except when imported from those specific places. And even chiles which are close cousin varieties taste different in different countries. I think mainly it is because they are long diverged varieties of chiles, but also due to terroir.

May 11, 2015
luckyfatima in General Topics

JR's Tacos - the Exxon at Metric and Cedar Bend Dr.

I tried this place when I was last in Austin. Very enjoyable.

I felt I recognized the owner from a food truck (antojitos based menu) that used to be on Peyton Gin across from the Target, I think in the parking lot of a laundromat.

Apr 18, 2015
luckyfatima in Austin

Seeking Viet Namese

I think the Rutland and Lamar place is gone.

If you want extensive menu VN food try Sea Dragon diagonally across the way from the Target. The owners are Chinese from Vietnam and they have a range of choices of Vietnamese and Chinese-Vietnamese dishes (and also American Chinese dishes). Stay away from the buffet. Order off of the menu only.

I highly rec the seafood pan fried wide flat rice noodle I think it is pho ap chao do bien on the menu. Their website no longer exists and the online menus I could find don't have it.

Apr 18, 2015
luckyfatima in Austin

Good Chinese in Virginia

Golden King in Sterling has really great food from the menu but decent to mediocre dim sum. It's a Cantonese restaurant with tanks for live seafood. I like the roast duck, seafood and lotus root stir fry, 3 kinds of mushroom with bean curd, and pan fried seafood noodle as fave dishes.

If you are willing to drive out to Ashburn, go to Yen's Café. They have Taiwanese dishes. I like the pipa tofu, 3 cups chicken, and fried tofu with king oyster mushroom and Chinese dry chili.

You have a lot of great options if you head towards Falls Church/Arlington, but these are places to check out if you are going to Sterling/Ashburn.

Bob's Shanghai in Rockville- Report

I loved the beef with rice cakes and the duck best.

I saw a picture of that tofu dish mentioned by Hamster (below) on Yelp and I forgot to ask if you guys wanted to try it when we were there. Darn. Next time!

Surrey, VA Lamb ham (hamb?) in the area?

Is this available anywhere in the DMV?

freezing curry leaves

My poor curry plant died this year. I have killed it before and it always come back. But not this time. A friend of mine has a giant curry tree that she keeps outdoors during the summer and then culls and takes inside for the winter. She gave me two giant bags of curry leaves and I froze most of them.

Right now there is a curry leaf shortage at the local markets, so I am glad to have a frozen supply. But the scent and flavor is definitely affected by freezing.

Mar 07, 2015
luckyfatima in General Topics

India chicken

This thread might interest you.

Feb 24, 2015
luckyfatima in General Topics

Mando Rayo's top 10 picks for classic ATX Tex-Mex

I've only been to Amaya's from this list. I really should get down south more often.

Feb 19, 2015
luckyfatima in Austin

And God Made Nihari

I guess donkey meat is just a meat like any other, yet I can't help but find that disturbing. Ironically, in most cases a nihari restaurant's reputation would be ruined by the confirmation of an accusation that donkey meat had been served there.

Feb 09, 2015
luckyfatima in General Topics