We've been looking forward to this invitation for the last month! This friend of a friend has legendary Diwali parties and is a renowned hostess - and, more importantly, cook.
In anticipation of this Indian banquet, we skipped lunch, having been promised, okra, lamb, smoked eggplant, daal, homemade roti and a Bengali shrimp curry. Our hostess comes from Bombay yet the dishes she presented came from all corners of the Indian subcontinent.
The scene was set - rather beautifully we might add...
The weather cooperated so we could sit outside and smell the herbs and spices charring onto a rack of lamb:
Photos tell the story best, so without further prevarication, here goes.
|The okra was a personal favorite. It was mildly spiced and had a wonderful crunchy texture|
The daal (which is also spelled dahl, dal or even dahl, according to Wikipedia!) included two different types of lentils - one green and one yellow. It was a splendid bright yellow concoction infused with subtle spices and fresh cilantro.
Accompanying the lamb, shrimp curry and vegetable sides was an unforgettable smoked eggplant yoghurt dish; we promise to obtain the recipe for this and share it with you! This yoghurt side would work wonderfully with any grilled meat over the Summer to expect to hear from us soon...
The range of colors, tastes and textures of this meal was just perfect.
If you'd like to try out the shrimp curry for yourself, here's a recipe taken from http://www.allrecipes.com/. You can tweak the chili/spice quantities depending on how hot you take your food.
A last tip from our hostess..she suggests switching out "ghee" (a clarified butter which is a mainstay in all Indian cooking) for olive oil or other unsaturated oil in any recipes you find. This lightens the dish generally and helps cut calories.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 tom1 chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 green chile peppers, seeded and minced
- salt to taste
- 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet, and cook and stir onions until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in tomato and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic paste, turmeric, garam masala, green chile peppers, and salt, and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Reduce heat to low, add the shrimp, and cook and stir over low heat until the shrimp are bright pink on the outside and the meat is no longer transparent in the center, about 8 minutes. Add a small amount of water if needed; the sauce should be thick. Sprinkle with cilantro.