Friday, March 16, 2012

If Not For the Carrots

I have several dishes from Indian Cooking to report on, and with the exception of a carrot side dish, they were all winners.

My eternal quest for different ways to cook the lowest maintenance seafood in the world (assuming that you buy them debearded, and they don't poison anyone) made it a sure-fire bet that I'd make Goan-Style Mussels (pg 117). This broth is very different from any other mussel recipe I've cooked before, and I loved it. One qualm I have, and this isn't the first of Jaffrey's recipes that's given me this problem, is that she says to make a paste of ginger, garlic, and water in the food processor, which you then cook in oil with other spices, and it becomes the base of your broth. Sounds lovely, except for one thing...
The liquid I produced from using her measurements could not in any way be considered a paste.

This recipe calls for fresh coconut, but that is just not something I feel like dealing with, so I used dried, unsweetened coconut. I was surprised by how much coconut flavor seeped into the broth.
Conclusion: Loved it. The flavors--especially the coconut--worked perfectly with the mussels.

If you can make meatloaf, you can make Jaffrey's Turkey Kebabs (pg 104). Ground turkey, mixed with spices, is formed into hamburger-sized patties, dredged in breadcrumbs, then pan-fried. I would have preferred smaller patties, but the big ones cooked through perfectly according to her timing instructions.
Conclusion: Liked it.

With it, I served Red Kidney Beans (pg 169). Man, these were delicious, but with 2/3 cup of heavy cream and three tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter, which I scored at the organic market), they're a cardiologist's nightmare. Especially because you'd never guess all that fatty goodness was in there. Oh well, it was a delicious treat, which I won't be making often.
Mmmmm. Heart attackey.
Conclusion: Loved it.

And now I come to those carrots. Carrot and Onion Salad (pg 217) didn't sound exceptionally tasty, but I had the ingredients for it, so I gave it a shot. Matt said it tasted like carrots in vinegar, which is an accurate description, despite the absence of vinegar. The dressing is lemon juice, cayenne, salt, pepper, and grated ginger. Neither one of us ate it.
Conclusion: Disliked.

A chai-loving friend came by one morning, so I brewed up Spiced Tea (pg 234). Six teaspoons of sugar for two cups of tea is excessive for my taste. Still good, but I'd use lots less sugar in the future. Scanning the recipe, my friend said, "Wait, you just so happen to have cardamom pods in your pantry? Not cardamom, but cardamom pods?" That made me laugh. It's weird to think that a year ago, I didn't even know cardamom pods existed.

Conclusion: Liked it.


  1. The mussels look delicious! After such a great attempt with Dorie's recipe, I'd be willing to try this one.

  2. Mmmm mussels, one of my favourite foods. They look and sound delicious.

  3. The mussels and kebabs sound like winner. I am not sure I would have been so brave on the carrots :-)