Tuesday, May 23, 2006

tiny Indian banquet

We recently prepared a tiny Indian banquet solely as an excuse to make an Indian dessert we'd been longing to try: carrot halwa. The Chairwoman spent a semester in India in her undergrad years and does not recall eating it, perhaps because it appears to be a Pakistani & Punjabi dish; Punjab is in the northwest and the Chairwoman was mostly in the northeast. Anyhoo, we love cardamom and we love unusual desserts, and we *really* love desserts that are served warm, so we were curious about the recipe we'd clipped from the Nov. 2001 Saveur. As we suspected, we loved it. The amount of cardamom is just right, and the texture is pudding-ish in the best possible sense; there are raisins and two kinds of nuts - chopped cashews and sliced almonds - to keep it from being too mushy.

carrot halwa

The rest of the tiny Indian banquet consisted of slightly-burnt pappadums, chicken vindaloo, and basmati rice.

The pappadums were purchased from our beloved local Indian grocer, Dowel, located on 1st Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets, and are not hard to prepare without burning if the cook is paying attention (i.e., not a tiny bit drunk).

The vindaloo sauce was also purchased, and that's unusual for us. The Committee does not merely frown upon processed food, it glares at it. With complete disdain. Surely there will be at least a few contemptuous posts about it here in the future. In the meantime, it is probably not fair of us to categorize this particular vindaloo sauce that we tried — Maya Kaimal Indian Vindaloo Simmer Sauce — as "processed food." It hasn't got preservatives in it and it doesn't seem to have been through any creepy process of being taken apart and put back together again in an effort to get as much corn syrup into it as possible.

Maya Kaimal Vindaloo Simmer Sauce
The taste was quite good, although in the future we think we'd prefer it with chickpeas rather than chicken, and we'll have some thick yogurt to stir in at the end.

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