Wednesday, August 23, 2006

indian intermission

Enough with reno talk for just a sec. Last week Kev and I, not having seen one another in awhile, were making plans to do drinks and/or supper. I suggested we do Indian (knowing it is one of Kev's favs and having no other friends who like Indian food in S'toon). Kev was excited, as was I. Until Kev assured me the only real place to go was the Taj. Ouch - I wanted to eat Indian but I wasn't really wanting to shell out that kind of cash without some kind of special occasion. While trying to think of acceptable options, Kev suggested we make supper ourselves. Done! We took a cooking class together about a year ago, and Kev also took classes while traveling through India so we even had many choices of things we could cook. Kev choose our menu from his cooking classes - we would have spinach paneer, dal, and chapatis.

I arrived ready to cook, fresh ingredients bought from the farmer's market in hand. Side note - check out Lakeview's farmer's market on Tuesdays if you have a chance, cheap and delicious! After touring Kev's new townhouse we got done to business. We would make the paneer first. Technically Kev had already started - the evening prior he took it upon himself to make cheese. Yes, that's right, Kev made cheese to make our supper that much better. With Kev directing, I boiled spinach and then pureed it, pureed some tomato, and prepared the onions and spices. While I was doing the paneer oriented stuff, Kev did whatever it was he did for the dal (lentils).

I finished first, and was set to the task of making chapatis. Chapati happens to be one of my favorite Indian words (and foods actually). Say it, it makes you happy. Chapati! See, if you could taste them as well you'd be even more happy. There were a few issues with the dough (Kev also premade this) seeing as it was incredibly sticky for no apparent reason. I prevailed and soon was attempting to cook said chapatis on the BBQ. This took an unnaturally long time. Kev came to the rescue with some delicious wine that was provided by a friend we have in the Queen city. They were still taking a long time, but sipping on wine, enjoying the awesome weather and french screaming from the kids next door made it not matter so much. In the end we realised when Kev instructed "Not thin like crepes, but more thin like pancakes" he really meant "Thin like crepes." He also produced some kind of neat crispy seasoned bread wafer that we fried up.

While I was busy with the chapatis, Kev finished up the dal, added the cheese to the spinach paneer and set the table. Time to eat! Holy man, if that hadn't take us so long, we could certainly go into business (if only to have 3 menu items...). There was some serious goodness going on. The spinach paneer is now my favorite Indian food to date. I say to date cause there's most likely lots of things I haven't tried. It was the perfect amount of spicy as that I could eat it, and the cheese held together and added just a bit of mild. It was so good I didn't even pick out the onions. That's pretty darn good if you know me. The dal was also wonderful and best eaten with the crispy bread.

For dessert I sliced up some farmer's market peaches - heaven! I'm thinking this should maybe be a weekly occurrence from now on, Kev tells me the Austrian (his newly arrived gf) is also a big Indian food fan, so I don't see why there would be any objections.

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