Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Indian Feast

As the weather returns to normal (or even warmer than normal), you will probably notice a dramatic drop in the number and length of our blog posts. We are enjoying a run of days in the 50s and 60s and may even get up to 70 later in the week. So, most days for me and weekends for Jim will be spent outside clearing more pasture land. It's a lovely time of year to work since the bugs haven't emerged and the hated vines aren't yet growing faster than we can cut them down. 

We did, however, take a break last Saturday to cook a big Indian feast for friends. One friend in particular had an aversion to Indian food based on a bad experience long ago but was willing to give it another try. We put our inexpert but enthusiastic Indian cooking skills to work in hopes of winning a convert to one of our favorite cuisines. Here's the menu--all vegetarian:

Mango lassi
Poppadoms with assorted chutneys (all of these came from the store)
Palak paneer (spinach with Indian cheese)
Pistachio korma (tofu taking the place of chicken)
Mixed dried fruit curry
Potatoes, cauliflower, and cashews in a butter curry sauce (made by our guests)
Snowshoe bread (a great stand-in for naan, also made by our guests)

In case our friend didn't like the meal, we made a decadent non-Indian dessert so she'd end the meal with at least one very positive association: Meyer lemon curd with espresso ganache pie (recipe courtesy of White on Rice Couple's blog). Since Jim can't eat the pie due to the eggs in the curd, he got his own special treat of brown butter brownies with walnuts and cacao nibs (recipe adapted from Bon Appetit). 

By all accounts, the meal was a success. While I don't think our friend will be cooking Indian every night, she at least now has a good experience to counter the negative one. I think she'll be willing to try it again. Next time maybe I can go all-Indian and whip up a mango kulfi for dessert tho' I'm not at all unhappy to be eating leftover pie this week.


  1. This sounds awesome! There's nothing better than homemade Indian food. We have been experimenting with substituting tofu for paneer with great results.

  2. It all sounds spectacular~especially the Pistachio Korma. I'll have to try that!

  3. That Indian meal sounds so very good.

    I am interested and fascinated by your water buffaloes. My grandfather had them in his farm besides cows. It is a prolific milk producer and the milk is very fatty lending itself beautifully to make gulab jamuns (I bet you already know- the milk is boiled till it solidifies and deep fried). These days they are slowly disappearing from most independently owned farms from the parts of my home country.

    I come from the south of India (TamilNadu). One thing though we never called them water buffaloes just buffaloes but now I think of it they did love to loll in the creeks and canals.

    Sorry for the long comment.

  4. @Indosungod: Thanks so much for your comment (never too long!). I can't wait 'til we're milking the buffs so I can try making gulab jamuns. I wonder why the buffaloes aren't being kept as much by Indian farmers these days. It used to be that every small farm here had a milk cow for home use but with the advent of cheap milk available at grocery stores, people didn't want to bother with keeping their own cow. Too bad.