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.
#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.
#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.
#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.