Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Indian Meal: Whoa. High Praise, Indeed

Well, that went well.

We were going to get together with Ebru and Fuzail on Sunday and Fuzail said he wanted Indian food. I realized that I had never cooked Indian for him and, him being Pakistani, raised on the stuff and a great cook in his own right, I wanted his input.

In reviewing posts over the past few days, I also noticed that I hadn't had a clean success with the Saag Panir yet and this would give me an opportunity to give it one more try. Likewise, I hadn't enjoyed a success with my own Aloo Paratha either and I wanted to try out my new griddle that I got for Christmas. So, I invited them to come over instead of going out.

The menu was:
Aloo Paratha
Murgh Saag (Chicken with Spinach - Broccoli used here)
Bengali Red Lentil Dal
Saag Panir
Spiced Rice

This menu hit a good balance. We had representation of meat, lentils, green vegetables and starch. Channing would eat the chicken and spinach dishes, so his tastes was covered. It would have been a full meal for a vegetarian as well, going with the spinach and the dal.

Ebru and Fuzail both seemed impressed. Ebru was happy to see the spinach and broccoli, as she hadn't had vegetables yet that day. Fuzail was pleased to see the dal.

But the capper for me was when he said that he thought the spinach was better than his mother's. Honestly? I thought it was my best effort with that recipe yet. I followed the regular recipe and used packaged frozen fried panir, rather than frying it myself (which seriously adds to the oil/fat content). Personally, it was a touch watery and bitter. Gift horses, right? I think I'm going to look for a new recipe, though.

The Paratha went pretty well. I think that I did over-knead the dough a bit, making it a bit tough (I noticed this when rolling). Also, I should have wrapped the dough directly when chilling it, instead of covering the bowl. The top of the dough ball dried out a bit and I had to mix that back into the dough to re-hydrate it. I also need a bit more practice regulating the temperature on the burners under the griddle. It's one of those large two-burner deals and, like most nice newer stoves, all of my burners have different BTU/heat outputs. So, getting an even heat across the surface will take some practice.

No comments: