When blogs collide
Light and dark; hot and cold; matter and anti-matter; pasta and antipasta.
Last night I collaborated on a meal with that suppin' simian, Kitchen Monkey. He's probably still sleeping off that meal, but keep an eye out, he'll probably have pictures soon. Neither of us know much about Indian cooking, although we've dabbled here and there. While he took on the task of a main course--a red curry with chicken, basmati rice, and naan--I took care of some sides--mango chutney, lemon pickle, papadams, paneer, and mint lassi. It worked out pretty well this way, as the meal seemed fairly well rounded and, had only one person tried to prepare all of that, it would have been a far greater undertaking. With the exception of the lassi, I prepared all of the sides beforehand at my place.
I'd made the lemon pickle and the paneer once before. I think back on those fondly, as neither came out as well this time. Still, both were passable, tasty even. But again, this was only my second attempt at either. Despite longtime family friend and chutney master Phillilp Simmons loaning me Yamuna Devi's _Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking_, my paneer and pickle recipes came from an episode of Oliver's Twist. One British source for another I guess (Phillip, not Yamuna). For the mango chutney, I did follow Phillilp's recipe, which I'm not sure I'm allowed to make public. Not that I really have a 'recipe,' anyway. It's more of a list of ingredients with some loose procedure. The papadams were premade, I simply fried them in some vegetable oil.
For the lassi, I did turn to Devi's doorstop of a cookbook, as I wanted to try to make this favorite of mine correctly. Also, I'm always looking for ways to chip away at my bottle of rosewater. This version of the traditional Indian yogurt cooler included vanilla yogurt, sour cream, fresh mint, toasted and ground fennel seeds, superfine sugar (I just pulsed regular sugar in a food processor), rose water, cracked ice, and a little water. I think I followed the proportions on the recipe the first time, but after that I just eyeballed it. Really, just whiz it all in a blender.
Of the five things I prepared, I think I'm happiest with the chutney and the lassi. I would consider making both of them again, soon. See KM for his side of the story.