Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Raw garlic: Too strong to handle?

Over the past few months, I have been exploring Mediterranean cuisine. One difference I find between it and Indian cuisine is the way garlic is used. Often in Mediterranean dishes, garlic is used raw. For instance, in gazpacho, garlic is blended into a soup that is itself uncooked. Also, in a classic cucumber dip, finely chopped raw garlic, along with mint, gives the dish its distinctive flavor.

In Indian cuisine, on the other hand, garlic is generally not used uncooked except perhaps in pickles. Raw garlic can smell pungent to many Indian diners. Bengali cooks, for instance, think that even quickly sautéing helps to temper the sharp flavor. Frying or roasting, of course, imparts a nutty fragrance to the condiment.

How do you like your garlic, dear reader? Cooked or uncooked?

12 comments:

Simran said...

I usually cook my garlic. But for a few days every year (right now), you get fresh green garlic. It's delightful even when raw. Just made a mint and raw garlic chutney in fact.

Angshuman said...

Simran, thanks for your post. I in turn visited your blog.

Angshuman

ka said...

have you tried "salmorejo" or "porra antequerana"?, they're thick variations of gazpacho. And "ajoblanco"? without tomatoes.

Angshuman said...

ka, no I haven't tried the two dishes you mention. They are Spanish, I suppose?

Angshuman

ka said...

yes, from the south: Andalucia

Amira said...

cooked for sure.. my tummy cannot handle the raw garlic

Daniela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniela said...

I am originally from Bulgaira, but live in the US.
In my country garlic is used in a lot of dishes raw. It is also much healthier when used raw. It's known as natural antibiotic. People there consume a lot of raw garlic during winter and flu season.
Last year I spent 3 months in India (my husband was there on business) and love the food :). I learned to make some dishes myself :).

Ashika said...

Once my Italian college mate 'cooked' salad (if I may call it so) and during the latter part of the 'cooking' she added several pods of whole garlic. So, when we ate, along with the soft leaves and veggies, there were crunchy garlic pods and it was simply superb! I think Indian garlic is a lot more pungent and strong than others (I used to live in the UK). When my mom makes prawn masala (Tamil Nadu style), I pick out the cooked garlic (now coated with masala) and relish it! So, I guess, I like it both ways!!

Malar Gandhi said...

Dear Angshuman Das, I bumped into your site thro' inmamaskitchen.com.

You blog is incredible, you have awesome collection!!! I felt so happy to see unique recipes. Love it. Will slowly browse your site. All the best, keep up your good work!

Angshuman said...

Thanks, Malar. I will update my blog shortly.

Angshuman

Vanessa said...

Hi Angshu! Your blog is good. Naturally I don’t like garlic but some times I like it in cook.