Saturday, June 5, 2010

curry extravaganza

Well I am exhausted. I invited the "Ladies who Lunch" mob to a curry class, as my contribution after the fabulous pasta class. (Yes I dropped a big wad of cash on a pasta machine and yes I use it weekly.)
Here is the menu:

Cucumber, yogurt and mint riata
Cucumber, red onion, tomato and fresh coriander riata
Carrot salad

Punjabi cabbage
Goan beef
Lamb Rogan Josh
Spicy grilled chicken

Gulab jamun

I made three different meat curries (sorry Theresa) as a demonstration of the ease and versatility of this wonderful cuisine. One with raw spices and coconut based, one with raw spices and yogurt based, and one with all spices roasted and made into a paste for marinade. Two of these needed to be prepared the night before to develop the flavors. So after work yesterday I came home and rolled up my sleeves and made the two marinades (toasted and raw spices) then the two desserts I had chosen. I am not a dessert person and this was the biggest challenge. Also, I have not eaten the two desserts, so I don't know what I am doing.

The gulal jamun are like an Indian tim bit, soaked in rose flavoured syrup. The weird part is that they are mostly skim milk powder. BoaB tackled these. He made the mixture to the recipe, and the mix was sloppy. so he added more skim milk powder, and it became uber stiff and even a strong guy was challenged to stir it up. Then he made perfect little balls and I deep fried them, then put them into the rose flavoured sugar syrup I had made.

Next was the pyasam.
This is a picture stolen from the interwebs, mine was nicer.
It was daunting, and by now it was late and all I had time to eat for supper was toast and hummus. Lucky for me my local Chinese grocery is fabulous, and they had helped me source the ingredients, including an already toasted vermicelli which saved me a whole step. This involved boiling tapioca, rinsing it, boiling the toasted vermicelli in milk, frying off the raisins and almonds, the combining and cooking everything to a thick pudding. The end result was very beautiful. I made a dozen cups of it and garnished with more fried nuts and raisins, and shredded coconut, then bunged them into the fridge and tumbled into bed. 4.5 hours of cooking after a long day.

Saturday morning was the usual 5:30 start to the coffee ride, then a quick java and home to do a final spit and polish, make all the veggie things, and get ready to greet the ladies AT 11 am.

To settle everyone in and welcome them I made chai tea. My own invention based on what I like:

600 ml water
600 ml low fat milk
3 tbs sugar
2 star anise
5 whole cloves
one cinnamon stick
half a teaspoon cardamom seeds
2 tsps black tea

bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly to prevent boilover and make a nice foam for a few minutes (allowing tea to steep). pour into a coffee plunger and plunge to serve.

one more recipe by request, the carrot salad:
peel and coarsely grate 6 carrots, sprinkling as you go with the juice of one lemon or lime to prevent the carrots from oxidizing and turning dark.
Add chopped fresh coriander (about half a bunch from Woolies, stems and all)

In a small fry pan, add
3 tblsp vegetable oil
1 teaspn mustard seeds (I used black ones)
1 teaspn cumin seeds
a half tspn of ground tumeric

put a lid on the pan and heat on medium until the seeds just start to pop, like popcorn.
remove from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes.
stir in a tablespoon sugar, pour over vegetables and mix well. Allow to stand for at least a half hour before serving.

We ate a huge lunch, drank champagne and enjoyed each others company. It is so nice to have such lovely people in my life. Thanks ladies. Don't know what the next cooking adventure will be, but it should be fun.

Bouquets and kisses to Boab for being the best cooking partner ever. I bet the Ladies are jealous.


Bluenoser said...

You folks are blessed Dee.


Dee said...

And slightly plump!