So I told you my phupi (dad’s sister) and her family were in town and were going to visit us last night. I was really looking forward to it — it’s fun to have my relatives come and visit me at my house, since I always enjoyed visiting them.
Anyway, I think I went a little crazy with dinner last night, but it turned out pretty well in the end. Thankfully I started cooking some of it Monday and Tuesday so that yesterday I just had to do the rice, dal, and salad and reheat the other stuff I’d made. I miss having our cleaners, but I think Mr. Spice and I did a serviceable job of cleaning up. That is definitely something we’ll have to start up again once I find a new job.
I took pictures of everything but the rice and salad, since I did those after they got to our house. These were taken just before they got here, so they aren’t in their final prettied up version. Here’s what we ate last night:
Chicken and Potatoes cooked in Whole Spices — this is a variation of the White Chicken Curry recipe I posted a while back. No fresh green chilies though. And I added green cardamom, black/brown cardamom, bay leaves, a cinnamon stick, and dried red chilies. I tossed in some garam masala powder and some Kitchen King Masala powder just for kicks.
Salmon in Caramelized Onion Sauce — this is a recipe from Ajanta: Regional Feasts of India, by Lachu Moorjani. I’ve already tweaked it a little and hope to do some more before I feel comfortable posting it. I do feel that this is a keeper in my dishes to impress arsenal. It’s sweet, hot, and a little tangy and I feel that salmon goes with it perfectly.
Lemon Moong Dal — I posted a variation of this a while back too, except that version had garlic and spinach and used masoor dal instead. Very simple, very good.
I’m unofficially calling these my “I don’t remember what I put into these but they’re damn good” kababs. This was one of those instances where I just pulled out a bunch of spices and went to town. I actually do remember most of what went into these, but I’d rather develop a more reliable recipe before I post it. Just trust me, these were good. My two cousins kept saying they liked them and the younger one said they were just like restaurant kababs! The dish looked much better when I served it — I garnished it with red onion slices, some green onion slices and a few sprigs of parsley. Cilantro would be traditional, but I cannot stand it, especially when it’s fresh.
Oh there’s more.
I even did breakfast for this morning. I really had to restrain myself from going all out, but I did it. They needed to get going this morning so they could get to Memphis for the wedding this weekend. We’re driving up tomorrow. Anyway, I did a lighter version of a traditional Bengali breakfast, which would normally include omelets, parathas (flaky breads), and what I’m calling Bengali-style hash browns (aloo bhaji), among other items. I just did the omelets and aloo bhaji and pan-toasted some tortillas to stand in for the heavier parathas.
The omelets were simple — sliced onion, sliced green chilies, salt, and pepper. We do our omelets on the well-done side. I think I finally mastered aloo bhaji. This is one of my favorite Bengali breakfast dishes, it goes so well with parathas, or pooris (deep-fried breads), and even tortillas. Instead of laboriously shredding potatoes, I use frozen shredded hash browns, like most people I know. At it’s simplest, it’s just browned onions, a whole green chili if you want, the potatoes, and salt and pepper. And the teeniest bit of turmeric for color. I upped it a bit and put in some nigella seeds, which I put in hot oil after the onions started browning. Very subtly flavored, but oh so good.
Confession: I totally staged this plate for a photo after they left. Mr. Spice very happily ate this after I was done taking pictures. I think he secretly likes me being home and being a good little Bengali housewife. 😛
Anyway, now I have to finish packing for the wedding this weekend. If I don’t post again this weekend, have a good one!