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Worst Words and Good Foods

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ben Zimmer, the New York Times magazine’s “On Language” columnist, discusses the worst words of this past year—and we invite you to call in with your candidates. Then, Academy Award-winning writer/director Sofia Coppola tells us about her latest film, “Somewhere.” Also, chef and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich shares stories of the Christmases she used to celebrate in Italy. And we’ll explore the diversity of Indian cuisine with cookbook author Madhur Jaffrey and chef Suvir Saran.

Ben Zimmer on the Worst Words of 2010

Ben Zimmer, New York Times magazine’s “On Language” columnist and executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus, discusses the worst words of 2010—from “enhanced pat down” to “anchor baby” to “mama grizzly.” We’ll be speaking with listeners about the words they hope disappear with the year’s end.

Leave a comment to share your nominations for the worst words of the year!

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Sofia Coppola on "Somewhere"

Academy Award-winning writer/director Sofia Coppola discusses her new film, “Somewhere.” The story looks into the life of an actor living at the Chateau Marmont hotel in Hollywood, who has a Ferrari and enjoys a constant stream of girls and drugs. When his 11-year-old daughter arrives unexpectedly, it causes him to rethink what he’s doing with his life. “Somewhere” opens December 22 at the Angelika and the Lincoln Plaza cinemas.

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Lidia Bastianich on Christmas Traditions

Chef and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich shares the story of the Christmases she used to celebrate in Italy. When Lidia was a child, she spent Christmas with her grandparents, where she learned to cook with her Nonna Rosa, and Nonna Tell Me a Story is a picture book about her Christmas traditions, delicious recipes, and decorating ideas.

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Indian Home Cooking

Madhur Jaffrey and Suvir Saran, chef of Devi, talk about the fundamentals of Indian cooking and how to make it at home. Madhur Jaffrey’s new cookbook At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, deconstructs age-old techniques to help make Indian dishes part of our everyday cooking. And Suvir Savan talks about India Cookbook, the first comprehensive guide to Indian cooking, with over 1,000 recipes covering every aspect of India's rich and colorful culinary heritage.

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Coconut Rice Pudding from India Cookbook

Find out how to make Coconut Rice Pudding from India: The Cookbook

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Chicken with Fenugreek Leaves from India Cookbook

Make your own Chicken with Fenugreek Leaves from India: The Cookbook.

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Deep-fried Spare Ribs from India Cookbook

Learn how to make your own Deep-fried Spare Ribs, Ribbed Gourd with Chana Dal, and Raw Tamarind Chutney from India: The Cookbook.

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Pressed Rice with Vegetables from India Cookbook

Make your own Pressed Rice with Vegetables and Sesame Seed and Coconut Balls, from India: The Cookbook

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Rice Pilaf with Almonds and Raisins from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey

Pilafs may be served at everyday meals but are grand enough for entertaining as well. If you like, you could add a generous pinch of saffron threads to the rice just before you cover it and let it simmer. You could also use chicken stock instead of the 2 2/3 cup water. serves 4–6
 
2 cups basmati rice
3 tablespoons olive or canola oil or ghee
One 2-inch cinnamon stick
1/2 medium onion, sliced into fine half Rings
2 tablespoons slivered blanched almonds
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1 teaspoon salt
 
Put the rice in a bowl. Wash in several changes of water. Drain. Let the rice soak in water that covers it generously for 30 minutes. Drain through a sieve and leave in the sieve suspended over a bowl to drip. Pour the oil into a heavy, medium pan (that has a tight-fitting lid) and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the cinnamon. Let it sizzle for 10 seconds. Put in the onions. Stir and fry the onions until they start to brown. Add the almonds. Stir until they are golden. Add the raisins. Stir until they are plump, just a few seconds. Add the drained rice and salt. Stir very gently to mix. Add 2 2/3 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, turn heat to very, very low, and simmer gently for 25 minutes


Excerpted from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey by Madhur Jaffrey Copyright © 2010 by Madhur Jaffrey. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Eggplants in a North-South Sauce from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey

This is one of our most beloved family dishes. It is very much in the Hyderabadi style, where North Indian and South Indian seasonings are combined. Over the years, I have simplified the recipe. Here, you may use the long, tender Japanese eggplants or the purple “baby” Italian eggplants or even the striated purple and white ones that are about the same size as the baby Italian ones. Once cut, what you are aiming for are 1-inch chunks with as much skin on them as possible so they do not fall apart.
Serve this hot with meat or vegetable curries, rice, and dal or serve it cold, as a salad, with cold meats, Indian (see Chicken Karhai with Mint) or Western. I love it with slices of ham. serves 4–6
 
4 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1/8 teaspoon ground asafetida
1/2 teaspoon skinned urad dal or yellow split peas
1/2  teaspoon whole mustard seeds
1/2  teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/2  teaspoon whole nigella seeds (kalonji)
1/2  teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5 pounds slim Japanese eggplants, cut crossways into 1-inch segments, or “baby” Italian eggplants cut in half lengthways and then crossways, into 1-inch segments
2 medium tomatoes, grated (see page 289), about 1.25 cups
1 cup chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon salt
¼-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
 
Pour the oil into a very large frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the asafetida and the urad dal. As soon as the dal turns a shade darker, add the mustard, cumin, nigella, and fennel seeds, in that order. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, a matter of seconds, add the onions. Stir and fry for a minute. Add the garlic and the eggplant. Stir and fry for 4–5 minutes or until the onions are a bit browned. Add the grated tomatoes, stock, salt, and cayenne. Stir to mix and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low, and cook about 20 minutes or until the eggplants are tender, stirring now and then.

Excerpted from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey by Madhur Jaffrey Copyright © 2010 by Madhur Jaffrey. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Salmon in a Bengali Mustard Sauce from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey

Eat this with plain rice and make the sauce as hot as you like. In Bengal, the mustard seeds are ground at home, but to make matters simpler I have used commercial ground mustard, also sold as mustard powder. You may also use halibut instead of the
salmon. This very traditional dish is best served with Plain Basmati Rice, along with My Everyday Moong Dal, if you like, and a green vegetable. serves 2–3
 
To rub on the fish:
3/4 pound skinless salmon fillet
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
 
You also need:
1 tablespoon ground mustard
¼-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4  teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4  teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons mustard oil (use extra virgin olive oil as a substitute)
1/4  teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds
1/4  teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
2 fresh hot green and/or red chilies (bird’s-eye is best), slit slightly
 
Cut the fish into pieces that are about 2" x 1" and rub them evenly with the salt, turmeric, and cayenne. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes–10 hours. Put the mustard powder, cayenne, turmeric, and salt in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water and mix thoroughly. Add another 7 tablespoons water and mix. Set aside.
 
Pour the oil into a medium frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the mustard seeds. As soon as they start to pop, a matter of seconds, add the cumin and fennel seeds. Stir once and quickly pour in the mustard paste. Add the green chilies, stir, and bring to a gentle simmer. Place the fish pieces in the sauce in a single layer. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through, spooning the sauce over the fish all the time.


Excerpted from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey by Madhur Jaffrey Copyright © 2010 by Madhur Jaffrey. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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