Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy Cooking

So yesterday, I had the great opportunity to have an authentic cooking lesson in East Indian food. And I mean AUTHENTIC. None of this Indian food crap that I've tasted here in Manitoba-the real deal.

I went to visit my friend Michelle and her husband Alendro, who is originally from India. Michelle and I have known each other since we were probably 13 or so-so we go wayyyyyyy back. I told Michelle that if Alendro would be willing, I would make the trip out to Brandon in a heartbeat to see a real food lesson.

So, the menu? Butter chicken, Korma, Daal, and Papadom.

First of all, I love food, and consider myself quite the cook and baker. I've taught Home Ec. And I knew that food was art, but never really got to see others in their "element", and should see Alendro.

No measuring and all confidence. Don't get mad at me for saying this Michelle but I've always said that if a man can cook a meal, it's the quickest way to impress a girl...and boy, did he impress me.

So butter chicken....yummy...for those of you who don't know, it's like chicken in a cream sauce. Within the pot, there were probably about 4 onions sliced, oil, cinnamon sticks (this was a shocker to me), crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, turmeric, cumin, garlic, ginger, cream, chicken (previously cooked in a curry paste), and a few other things. It was just the most beautiful art form to see the food start from one thing of onions cooking in oil to end up in a beautiful cream sauce that emitted the most enticing smell.

Korma, is a vegetable dish in a type of sauce made with a paste of coconut milk and crushed cashews (brought back from India). This had more garlic, onions, fresh tomatoes, and spices. yummy!!!

Daal, a lentil dish, was so yummy...again, lentils, tomatoes, garlic, spices, onions, etc. So yummy. I learned that cumin breaks down the compounds that cause gas from lentils (who knew?).

Papapdom-premade tortilla like looking round lentil flats, that you fry and to me, taste like cumin...

Put it all together...

And oh my goodness, I've died and gone to heaven. The smells, the texture, the colors, the taste!

According to my mother, I stunk, but my mother is a meat and potatoes lady. My mom isn't into other types of food...I took it as a compliment...I worked hard, and I ate hard...

So now, I'm defintly ready to do a bit of my own cooking with Indian food, but I only have one recipe which I'm going to try if anybody has really good ones that they wanna share, please share!!!


  1. oh, i love when friends of mine have blogs that stay up to date. :) i started a photo blog a little while ago but, sadly, it doesn't get updated as much as i'd like it to (i've linked to it here). i hope you're doing well, julie, and i look forward to reading more. :)