Sunday, July 15, 2007

Happiness is....


Indian Food.

I have been experimenting with cooking Indian food for a couple of years. I have to admit that at first the meals were few and far between. But since January, when I switched workdays from Friday to Tuesday, thus freeing up my Friday afternoons to do a little cooking, I have been experimenting more. Last night's meal was proclaimed the best one yet. I wish that I had pictures, but, alas, I do not.
I started humbly with one recipe book. "Curries Without Worries " by Sudha Koul. Pretty basic. Perfect for the beginning curry cooker. There are a couple of recipes that have become standard with almost every curry meal that I make. One is Orange and Cucumber Raita designed to cool and refresh the palate. And the other is Mahavir Ka Cachumber Ka Salaad, which is basically a simple salad made of cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt. Divine. And such a hit that I make this regularly with some additions like red peppers, grated carrot, chickpeas, basil, and any vegetable that isn't nailed down.
The second book is one that my sister sent from Scotland for Christmas one year. "Madhur Jaffrey's Illutsrated Indian Cookery". This is just a wonderful book full of wonderful recipes. It has a very good recipe for Naan Bread that has also become a staple on my curry nights. I have tried a few other Naan Bread recipes, but this one is the best. Although I did like the grated onion that was in one of the other recipes. Maybe next time I will remember to add it.
The last book is one that I picked up from the library. "The Dance Of Spices-Classic Indian Cooking for Today's Home Kitchen by Laxmi Hiremath." This book's offering on the table last night was Chicken Breasts in Korma Sauce. I thought that it might be a wee bit too hot for some of the more delicate palates in the house, but it was declared a wonderful success. By all. This book is eventually going to end up on my cookbook shelf.
The last item on the table was rice. Plain for those that prefer it, and curry/butter/green onion rice for the rest of us.
One other thing that I have to say about cooking Indian food is that I am amazed at how many dishes I go through. There are so many things to be chopped and set aside, spices to be blended and ground, things to be sliced and marinated. It is also quite time consuming. There are a few things that can be made early and set to chill in the fridge thankfully, and I find that blending all the spices that go into a dish at one time saves a bit of time too, even if it does dirty yet another bowl.
Because I kept up with all of the preparation dishes while I was cooking yesterday, after supper, there were only the eating and serving dishes that needed to be washed. I declare my self done and put a committee of three to work at cleaning up the kitchen while I settle into some cuddle time with Nicole. A wonderful way to end a meal.


DaviMack said...

Have "starred" this post, so that I can know which books to pick up when we get to where we can buy books again.

One thing on the dishes: I was watching Kylie Kwong on TV last night (she's a Chinese Australian chef) and noticed that she uses quite a few of the little cups you'd usually see in Chinese restaurants being used as tea cups. She uses them for her mise en place, and the little saucers, too.

I'm guessing that they're cheap & can be had in bulk, and since that's all you use them for, you'll probably not have used up every single of your other bowls & plates before dinner. :)

Christine said...

I love a good raita! It helps cool down those spicy dishes.

He likes to do dishes, so I tend not to think about the dirty ones. (He's not right in da head I tells ya.)


Kansas A. Lillooet BC said...

Kind of odd, and don't think I'm a nut, but I swear I got the smell of curry while reading your post! I did not like curry as a kid but I sure like it now, curried chicken over rice is one of my favs, you inspired me, I'm going to add it to my shopping list right now! :)