The Biryani Rebuke, as it has come to be known, came on the heels of this disastrous attempt at some sort of curry. OK, it wasn’t a disaster, it was more of a personal failure, a blunder. I had a half of a can of coconut milk and decided to throw it into the mix. What the hell, I thought, this could work…toss ‘er in! It wasn’t bad, I ate it. But it was the raita that helped make it palatable.
When I mentioned to the Royal Indian Mounted Police that I was going to make curry for dinner he spit the mouthful of martini he was drinking across the room before collapsing in hysterical laughter. He then immediately started giving me instructions. Yeah, I just threw everything in a pot and that was that. I have authentic spices…they were his, in fact. And I had a lime leaf and frozen fresh ginger. It turns out that frozen ginger is a lot easier to grate than raw ginger.
It was good. Fortunately I wasn’t serving it to him. I can’t begin to imagine the verbal drubbing I’d have received. But I liked it. The raita was nice too.
I’m not sure what function the lime leaf served I don’t think I could taste it at all but it’s, you know, very Indiany.
I don’t know why I think that this has never been done in the entire history of India. Barbecued vegetables and chicken in curry spices. Eggplant, celery (not really Indian but my mother always put it in her curried beef, which is REALLY not Indian), peppers, onions and tomatoes. It was good but nothing magic.
I’ll stick to the chicken biryani I make that is Indianish. Ashish may sneer at it but I love it. And no need to fire up the grill.
Oh, and skip the Sriracha. It’s completely wrong on curry.
Unfortunately I am holding steady at 5 pounds of lost weight despite the fact that I have been so freaking good (OK there may have been a glass of wine or two consumed but mostly not). Part of what makes it not as hard as it might be is that I like to cook and I love the challenge of making food that’s good and not high in calories or carbs, my sworn enemy. And so I don’t seem to miss the pasta, rice and pasta I used to eat.
I had French class last night and made this curried dip to take along. It’s based on authentic curried vegetable dip that Ashish’s grandmother made for cocktail parties. This is a joke. There is nothing authentic about this. No one in India would make it and Ashish’s grandmother never had a cocktail in her life.
I mixed the stuff all in one container and let it sit overnight. You could use low fat sour cream, but that’s higher in carbs, my sworn enemy (except when I’m not on a diet in which case I love, worship and adore them).
I parboiled carrots and green beens to dip in this (Note the lack of carbs here). And my tip is to parboil them for 5 or 6 minutes, plunge them into ice water and then put them uncovered in the refrigerator for an hour or so, so that they dry off. Otherwise the dip won’t stick.
Ashish’s grandmother’s dip
1 small container of sour cream
2 TB sweet curry powder (or more), gotta make it yellow
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
Mix and let sit overnight to let the flavors meld.
Ashish assures me that there is nothing like this in Indian cuisine. He even went so far as to read to me out of an Indian cook book about the necessity of doing and serving everything exactly the way it’s supposed to be done. Grilling something, and then serving it half-raw would earn you the scorn of Vishnu. Happily I am not so worried about that and though I can feel Ashish’s amusement at my attempts to make Indian food, he is no longer scornful. So when, on the night before he left I invited family and friends for Indian food I had only mild trepidation.
The curried grilled vegetables were a hit. Petit pan squash, red, green, yellow peppers and shallots doused with curry oil (I simmered garlic, ginger, cumin and curry powder in oil and then strained it) and then charred all of it on the grill. (Thank you Sur la Table grill pan.)
Ashish is ok with this kind of thing as long as I don’t call it Indian.