I have an old friend I’ll call S.
She lives in NH and I live in MA and we try to get together every so often.
Whenever we meet, I pass a small Indian market en route; every time,
I mention to her “one day we should go there –
you would love the array of spices etc”.
To which she replies: “yes, and then you can come to my house
and show me how to use them”!
We’ve been talking about this for months, but you know how that goes –
reality gets in the way. Yesterday we finally managed to pull it off.
A dinner at S’s house is never for two; between her kids and friends,
it ended up a small feast — just in time for the New Year.
This was a new and welcome challenge for me, but I was nervous!
I used a couple of recipes I’d bookmarked in the past, and a couple I got from newfound bloggers who are also participating in Nupur’s delightful marathon.
I did tone down the heat — my own tolerance has been slowly but steadily acquired, and I didn’t know most of the attendees well enough to gauge how heat would be received!
In restrospect, I would add more chilies. Otherwise very few changes were made; where they were, they are so noted.
Also, the photos aren’t the greatest I’ve ever taken :(
Please do visit these talented ladies for the original recipes and better pics,
and please add all the chilies! ;)
On the menu:
Mathangi’s decadent Dal Makhani ~ the only change here was fewer kidney beans.
If you’re like me and always skimp on the butter in the name of health, I say, try it this way just once. Sometimes it’s healthier to be sinful ;)
dear Sudha’s Veg Biryani ~ I did add a fruit-and-nut garnish which was not exactly ‘sprinkled’, more like tossed on! And it’s obvious there is no turmeric in my version. I have never tried to cook five Indian dishes simultaneously — for a crowd to boot. I suspect turmeric isn’t the only thing I missed last night ;)
Otherwise, this one is completely Sudha’s, and completely delicious!
Palak Paneer from Sandeepa, the best I’ve ever tasted.
This was nothing short of perfect, even though it had no milk — yup, I forgot it.
We did not suffer! :)
Ashwini’s Punjabi Chole, to which I added more tomato than intended ~ hence the reddish tone. I loved the new flavor from the tea bag, Ashwini! :)
Here’s the whole kit and kaboodle:
We also had an assortment of chutneys that S’s friend brought, bottled — I would call them sauces more than chutneys and I think she brought seven kinds! And some hot mango pickle from a jar (could not get to dear ISG’s for this!).
I have seen so many spreads from other blogs over the years — it’s always been a secret desire of mine — to post my own. Thank you all, for sharing your encouragement, inspiration, kindness, and friendship.
Oh, and of course — your wonderful recipes, too! :)
So last but not least, my own little recipe:
Radish and Snap Pea Saute
don’t forget the mustard seed ~ yup, I did! ;)
1 small onion, diced
2 bunches fresh red radishes, scrubbed, trimmed, and quartered
(if the greens are really fresh, you can save them for Anita’s haak
[though I like mine best with kohlrabi greens -- not to mention the fab
sambhar that makes... oh my, for another day!] or add to this dish at the end)
2 handfuls fresh snap peas, washed
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp cumin seed
3-4 slit green chiles
a dozen curry leaves, more if really aromatic
salt to taste
As easy as it sounds:
Heat the oil and do the tadka. Add onion and saute a few minutes, until it begins to brown. Add radishes and saute a few minutes more, until the red starts fading to pink. Toss in the peas and saute a few minutes more, until the peas take on a brighter green color — add a sprinkle of water if necessary to avoid burning.
Cook this to your preference — I like it a bit crunchy — about fifteen minutes all told.
Salt to taste and serve hot.
I have enjoyed this marathon of blogging, especially after a long sojurn.
Thanks, Nupur :)
Of course life unexpectedly gets in the way at all times; the kids’ dad was in a car accident today. While there were no serious injuries, I may be out of the kitchen for a day or two, so… I hope this will be ok to serve as the rest of my marathon recipes. Thank you for all the kind comments — I will be back in short order, visiting all the other marathoners, and cooking up something special in a surprise gift ~ that made my day today! :)
I am wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year!