Monday, April 18, 2005

Curry On!

I love Indian food.

All those warm, savory spices... the variety of vegetables... luscious sauces... happy little samosas with chutney... spiced tea...

Oh, excuse me, am I making you hungry?

Unfortunately, the closest Indian restaurant is about 45 minutes away, and while it's worth the drive, I don't get there very often. Which is why I'm so glad I've got an Indian cookbook and have been practicing my Indian cooking for a number of years now.

Friday after work, the lovely Phoenix came by to help prepare the Indian feast we laid out for the fair Titania's visit: samosas (made last week), fresh cilantro chutney, shahi paneer (actually with tofu instead of paneer), and a spinach/pine nut/saffron pulao (rice). (That's not including the wonderful cheeses we had for appetizers.)

Phoenix is improving greatly with her knife-handling and vegetable prep skills, so I left most of that work to her (chopping tomatoes and onions and spinach and cilantro) while I set out the mise en place (I love having lots of little dishes for spices and such) and filled in the other tasks. It took us about two hours to get the meal cooked (brown basmati rice takes a while), but as we had the fair Titania regaling us with stories and her delightful conversation... as well as sunshine and sweet breezes streaming through the kitchen... the time flew by.

Prep work and conversation flowed neatly into dinner and more conversation, which then flowed into our after-dinner chai and post-prandial dandelion wine... and more conversation, of course. It's always a delight to spend time with these two as their enthusiasm and joy in living is infectious and inspiring. (And it certainly doesn't hurt that they both have a proper and deep affection for good food.)

Flavorful Indian food and good friends... can you think of a better way to end the week?

Me neither.

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