The Spread

Not only am I done cooking, but we are also done eating.  There are plenty of leftovers, so technically speaking, we are not totally done eating.  But for tonite, we are sufficiently sick.  I got almost everything done that I wanted to accomplish, minus the cookies for a dessert alternative. No worries.  All the children in attendance (6, including my own) loved cheesecake.

There wasn’t much time for posed shots.  Everything was just cook and click.  But here are the results:  

#1)  Salad consisted of romaine lettuce, roasted beats, roasted Asian pears, toasted pecans and a lemon/maple/olive oil dressing.

#2)  Dry potato sabji with fresh basil will be the perfect leftover to eat tomorrow on our fast day from grains and beans.

#3)  In honor of our guest’s famed “Mediterranean Chipped Rice” which he used to annually prepare for the Panihati festival in upstate New York, I made “Mediterranean Stuffed Okra.”  The filling was paneer, kalamata olives, toasted pine nuts and sun dried tomatoes. My husband said it was his least favorite item on the menu. I’m okay with that.

#4)  Khandvi.  This is the first prep I started in on because it requires utter devotion of time and attention. I was not satisfied with the results the first time so I trashed it (shhh…it’s not good to waste!) and made a second batch.  This threw me off time-wise, but I couldn’t handle the slight imperfection of the first batch. It was undercooked by about 40 seconds. In khandvi lingo, that is death!!!  So death it was to batch #1.

#5)  This wasn’t on the original list but I thought to add it anyway since my husband has been talking about it.  Gluten in a satay sauce.  

#6)  The problem with Indian sabjis is the more delicious they are, the more difficult theya re to photograph. This was the case with the Makhan Paneer Sabji with Cauliflower. This is one of my favorite sabjis to make and has a deliciously fatty and fragrant tomato gravy.  It is heavy on the ginger, garam masala, curry leaves, cream cheese and buter.  Oh, the huge chunks of fried paneer don’t hurt, either.

#7)  Chaunce rice consisted of brown steamed basmati mixed with fried mustard seed, urad dal, cumin seed, curry leaf, sesame seed, almonds and salt.  Some of the kids were afraid of it.

#8, 9, 10)  Last minute, right under the wire.  Chapatis (which ended up being flamed and buttered by one or our dinner guests), palak paneer (yum yum YUMMMM….sak was pureed…paneer left unfried…fresh and creamy) and dal, which I almost forgot about and threw together the very last moment but was so good that seconds were requested.

#11  & #12)  Dessert was the cheesecake–a delicious success.  Also served out was my Chili Pickle–which, apparently, was the real reason this couple invited themselves over for dinner.
And I thought it was for my charming conversation.


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4 responses to “The Spread

  1. Padi

    I’m so glad that you listed what everything was. I was trying to make a mental list of it all this morning, but much to my dismay, I didn’t know what the yellow rolled things were called (khandvi – which, by the way, my little Deva loved and ate several of). I wanted to tell my sister about it, but she probably wouldn’t have believed me! Now I’m sending her the link…Oh, and that was BY FAR the most amazing meal I have ever had in my life. With such elaborate and tasty dishes, I suppose for your husband to say that the okra was his least favourite is still a compliment. I thought it was excellent. I want to say more, but for now I’ll just say this: thank you.

  2. Devadeva Mirel

    your family was a pleasure to cook for! thsnk you for coming over..and thanks for the cookbook (and bubbly!)…just found the book in the kitchen now.we must do it again sometime…but wit braja cooking! 😉

  3. Jahnavi

    Hmmm, I’d invite myself over, were there not the small matter of several thousand miles…

  4. Gopal Nandini aka ginger

    ditto to Jahnavi (except several hundred miles. . . )

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