Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Family Feasts: Indian Style

For my first post here, I thought I would begin with a home-cooked meal I made for my family: my partners Omega, (my co-author here, and author of Fashion Adjacent) and Anastasia, Mz Anime (Omega's 15y/o daughter) and Tactical Baby (Omega and my 17m/o baby girl). Tactical Baby gets her name from my other blog, Apocalypse Equipped, check it out of that takes your fancy. We have a large household, with two housemates, and one night a week my other daughter, Triceratops Girl (4y/o) so between them, and frequent other visitors (like Anastasia) I like to have a variety of ingredients I can put a meal together out of and tailor for taste and number of mouths, on the fly. This is one such meal:

This is a red lentil dahhl that I put together by simply simmering dry lentils in a pan with water, adding more as it cooked, with a dash of a mixed Indian spice packet a colleague gifted me (it's in Hindi, so I can;t really tell you much about it, but I added it "to-taste" and kept it at the mild end of flavorsome. Once it was mostly cooked, I added dollops of "Smashed Cheese" dip we had gotten from the Oasis Bakery. I let it simmer further, till the cheese heated up, and served it sizzling in the pan.

The second dish was roughly chopped broccoli (stalks included, because I think they are quite tasty, and always try to use all available components of food). I braised this in a pan with rendered bacon fat, and once mostly cooked through, topped with the remains of the fabulous bacon-jam that friends of ours gifted us a while back, and we had been rationing. Tossing the broccoli through the jam coated it, and following deglazing the pan, I returned the brownings to the bowl for added crunchy flavours.

 The purple rice comes in a mix which included regular long-grain rice, split peas and "purple sticky rice" which I treat like wild rice, and generally cook in the microwave, at a 1 cup rice-mix to 3 cups of water ratio. It is a delightful, hearty, sticky dish, slightly sweet, and subtly flavoured. Perfect accompaniment for this meal, I thought.

Lastly, was the pre-marinated Tandoori mix butterflied chicken, (from Safeway), which I grilled. Before grilling, I also re-spiced this with a dry Tandoor spice mix that my same colleague had gifted me, to add to the flavour, and vary it from simply a "store-bought" meal. Butterflying the chicken makes it much easier to cook, I find, especially when getting a bunch of components together at once, whilst not wanting to run the oven. I also like grilling, because of the slight charring you can get to the edges and skin, which harkens back to the authenticity of cooking in a tandoor oven.

We had a lovely meal, no complaints from fussy teenager, and Tactical Baby ate with gusto.


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