Sunday, April 29, 2007
Our Indian feast
HS and a friend came over Saturday for my first official attempt at real Indian cooking. I made lentil spinach cakes, cauliflower/potato/pea/chickpea curry, brown rice, raita (this was the only non-vegan part, as I used dairy yogurt), and bought prepared garlic naan and mango chutney.
The verdict? Thumbs up on the curry and raita. The curry is a Cook's Illustrated recipe. Often those recipes are very complicated and involve huge amounts of butterfat. This one was not too bad. There are a lot of steps and ingredients, but I would make it again. The raita was simple and tasty, enriched with mint from my new balcony herb garden.
The lentil-spinach cakes, on the other hand...HS has left 2 comments in these pages asking, yea begging, for me to make the cakes. And they sound kind of good, right? Well, don't let the word cake mislead you. This recipe was very time-consuming, and HS wouldn't have touched them at all if I hadn't shamed him into trying a bite. I can see why, though. I only ate half of one myself. The problem seems to be that they call for way too much spinach, and you feel like you're eating pan-fried balls of spinach. One of the steps in the recipe calls for pureeing the spinach in a food processor until it reaches a "pesto-like" consistency. I have one of them expensive Cuisinarts and the spinach was clearly determined to stay semi-fibrous. The cakes did not look like the picture above, so I'm not sure what went wrong. It's probably for the best, though. When HS arrived on Saturday afternoon, I said "I hope you don't like the lentil spinach cakes, because they're a real pain to make."