Well folks, it’s official. My desi cooking passed the someone-who-is-not-married-to-me-willingly-ate-it test. Whoopee!
To be more specific, I had four good friends over for a craft night at my apartment, and I enticed them into coming by promising them plenty of homemade Indian food. To that end, I spent Wednesday night cooking like a madwoman – specifically, palak tofu (my new favorite) and eggplant chana masala. My husband made aloo gobi and we were all set.
The palak tofu was easy after I had made it once before. I was a little worried when the tofu was softer than I remembered, but it firmed up nicely in the fridge. One of my friends, a self-professed cheese lover who eats Indian food often, wasn’t able to tell that the tofu wasn’t paneer. Score!!
For my second dish, I tried a new recipe – yes, that was ballsy of me, I know. I made the Eggplant Chana Masala recipe from Alicia Silverstone’s vegan cookbook, The Kind Diet. It seemed really easy, considering you throw eggplants, tomatos, chanas (chickpeas), onions and vegetarian chili in a pot and cook for a while. And it was, though I was concerned at first that it was too chunky and there was too much going on in it. I asked my husband to taste it, and he said it was “okay.” I pressed him to find out how to make it better than okay and he said, “Well, it’s not Indian.” Eggplants and chili in chana masala? Okay, I’ll give him that. It’s an Indian-inspired invention, sure. I still think it tasted pretty good.
The Indian food we prepare is always – ALWAYS – 5x better the second day. My mother-in-law says that it has to do with the time spent soaking in the spices. She must be onto something. I woke up yesterday morning to test both dishes and make sure they were presentable and I didn’t have to put in a last-minute call to Baluchi’s for delivery.
My friends arrived with plenty of wine (love them) and we feasted like Mughal queens before knitting, crocheting and planning sewing patterns for four hours. We finished the evening off with Stogo’s mango sorbet, though I might take a crack at making my own. I planned to serve masala tea, but plum forgot and wound up sending some teabags home with them.
Desi dinner party – success! Smile and say yummy!