Cooking Dinner

This blog has veered into book reviews, bridge, travel stories, football, data mining and politics. Pretty much the only one of my interests that hasn't yet been touched on is cooking ...

Today afternoon, the wife was off in her pottery studio, the kids were taking a nap and I was at a loose end, so I decided to cook. Normally, I cook the Thai, Chinese or Western dishes at our house and the wife does the South Indian stuff -- she cooks Indian dishes better than me. But this this time, I decided to cook mostly Indian.

First off, what every South Indian meal ought to have: sambar. I made it with chayote squash. Normal, standard stuff. Even used ready-made sambar powder.

The other thing every South Indian meal has is a vegetable side (called "poriyal"). I did it with sweet potatoes. I modified Mark Bittman's recipe for mashed potatoes, except that instead of milk, I used the broth in which I'd cooked the sweet potatoes. And instead of brown sugar or maple syrup, I added green chilies and mustard seeds fried briefly in a teaspoon of oil.

I then made a Goa-style curry. The recipe is straight out of Camellia Panjabi. We find her curries too watery, so I simply doubled the main items and reduced the water a bit. The recipe calls for fish; I used tofu and shrimp. And oh, that hot-pot (the one with the brown glaze) on which the curry is resting is something the wife made ...

While the curry was cooking, I also made a tabouli salad. This was not for dinner. I'm leaving for Detroit tomorrow morning. For lunch, I need something that I can take through airport security (needs to be dry), tastes good when cold, and does not get soggy after 4 hours. Tabouli fits the bill perfectly.

The whole thing, from starting to chop the vegetables to cleaning up after, took a little over 2 hours. We have enough to last 5 to 6 meals. I can never understand why people think that eating out is faster than cooking.


  1. Man I can smell that cooking from here -- I am just down the road if you ever need a non-Indian food taster to see if the locals will like it (wink wink).

  2. Yum! Would love to try some of your South Indian dishes again. Of course, you might need to have some yogurt handy. :)

  3. TR: Hmm ... maybe we can set up a barter ... photos of some birds in flight in return for dinner?

    Janelle: now that we have two little Sooner fans running around the house, we're have to tone down the spices. You may not need the yoghurt after all! Next time you're in town, pop in for more than a few minutes ... we'll save the yoghurt for V.

  4. Absolutely! That's a great idea.