Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No, it isn't!

We already know that Indian cookbooks screw up the translation of "lemon". They really mean lime which is what is actually used.

They also screw up the translation for tej which is frequently translated as cinnamon.

There's only one problem.

What you really get is cassia not true cinnamon. Admittedly, they are related but the distinction is real. In most of the world, what is actually called cinnamon is really cassia (since it's cheaper) so perhaps a relabeling is in order?

Worst of all, what gets translated in Indian cookbooks as "bay leaves" is anything but. If you start using true bay leaves à la Mediterranean in your Indian food, you are doomed.

The etymology gives it away. They are tej patta in Hindi (quite literally: leaves of cassia.) That's what you need. And that's why rice flavored with tej patta is a totally different beast from rice flavored with the bay laurel leaf.

The CC is a fan of all of the above but one must keep the ingredients correctly and precisely defined.

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