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Saturday, February 19, 2011

A taste of India, oh yea!

    Early last week, my sister suggested we try this Indian restaurant she'd heard about,  I wasn't sure because I'd eaten much Indian food during my first marriage (he was Pakistani) and all I could remember was how spicey it was most of the time and I don't care much for spicey food.   I got in touch with her Friday to confirm, but she said she had a migraine and couldn't go, so I  deduced I would stay home with the kids and watch t.v..  After a couple of hours passed I decided I wanted to go "unwind"  but wasn't sure where, I thought of the restaurant my sister mentioned, looked it up, got the address and after a half hour of contemplating decided "I'm going to eat Indian food tonight", the kids were on board so dinner and a movie became the theme for Friday.  As I drove to "A taste of India" (the restaurant) I became unsure again, I remembered the heat the food could contain and thought I wouldn't enjoy it much and I like to get the most for my money, I don't like to pay for food I won't enjoy, I almost turned back but my daughters really wanted to try it so I managed to get us there withouth further doubts.

   Once there we almost immediately felt at home, the ambiance was so calm and welcoming, unlike anything I've ever felt in any restaurant I've ever patronized.   There was a large flat screen t.v. hanging from the cieling and the familiar scene of man and woman falling in love to an Indian song playing, I was back in 1990 with my first husband watching t.v. in his living room, drinking tea, while reading the subtitles and feeling in love, then quickly returned to reality.   There were little gold toned tea sets sitting neatly arranged on litle tables and  rich, earthy toned  walls and table settings.  We were greeted at the door and seating came soon thereafter, we were given a booth set with bottled water, large goblets and traditional Indian design dishes.  I found myself impatient to order all of a sudden, I wanted to eat Indian food now!

    The waiter came over and asked if we wanted bottled water I said yes and he filled our goblets, our first order was a mango lassi, lassi is a drink made with yogurt and fruit or spices.  It was heavenly, the taste of mango was in perfect balance with the yogurt and it wasn't very sweet, very easy on the palate.  Shortly after tasting the lassi I was a pro on Indian food, remembering what was good, the wonderful things I'd eaten while in the company of my ex-husband, the wonderful things he'd cooked. I reminisced with my kids about the good food I ate and that looking back it wasn't all highly spicey, there were times my ex would cook without chili specifically for me, so I could really enjoy the food after I mentioned that, my older daughter asked me if I miss him (in sarcastic tone), "no" I said "I'm just remembering the good stuff".  I forewent the appetizers and went straight for the entrees, I ordered  the
chicken tikka, which is chunks of chicken marinated in yogurt and spices, cooked in a tandoor oven.  When the waiter brought it to us I thought there was a mistake, it didn't look how I remembered it, I tried to explain it to him, but he didn't speak english and just kept saying "chicken tikka, yes" another
 waiter noticed what was going on and came over, he assured me it was correct and literally put a piece of chicken on my plate and watched as I tried it, it was great! yum! 

    My oldest daughter ordered the "balti gosht" a lamb stew if you will with medium spice, quite tollerable for me and delicious.  The entrees were served with basmati rice and lentils and I ordered naan (a flatbread), I showed my girls how to eat, told them they didn't need a fork per say, as most Indians enjoy simply cutting off a piece of naan, gathering the rice and meat with it, enclosing it and into your mouth it goes, I found myself having a great time, my girls and I were laughing, conversing and just feeling great.  In between our meal, I craved the tea I used to have after meals with my ex, it was basically a tea bag boiled with milk and cardamom seed, if you've never had this I strongly suggest it, after a couple of sips, I felt even more happy, no , I think it's called giddy.  I joked and laughed heartily with my kids, I even ordered a second round of naan, honestly I had a great time, but mostly I had fun. 

   To finalize our meal I had to have the dessert I used to have back in the day, I knew my kids would love it and enjoy it as I did.  It's called "rasmalai" and it's basically a cottage cheese mixed with condensed milk also known as a milk sweet.  It's refreshing and sweet and exotic tasting, as we finished eating the "rasmalai" I started feeling a bit sad, I know it sounds funny, but I wanted the fun to continue, I wanted to stay a few more hours and eat more Indian food, however, I remembered we were going to see a movie (I am number four) and that I have a limited budget so I  paid the check.  A memorable experience is all I can say, take your family there, it's awesome.  The movie however, left something to be desired and will possibly have sequels.  I continued feeling giddy and knew something we ate had to have the ability to make one "euphoric", I thought it might have been the cardamom in the tea, I looked it up on the internet when we got home and yes, cardomom can give the effect of euphoria, but who cares it's great!  Thank you so much for reading, take care, I have another post coming soon, "Chalthe hai" !

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