Saturday, November 5, 2011

In India - Do like the Hindu. Aka - Recipes 12, Indian Blowout with Un-Celebrity Chef #2- Vicki Fuqua

Our spread
It was Indian day in Hebron.   Let's call it, and Indian Thanksgiving of sorts... we even celebrated with a little Kundalini yoga before we started cooking!

Now that I look at our spread, we could have really used some naan..but we had alot going on and only two of us in the kitchen.
Let's start backwards, like I did
I started with rasgulla.. which un-vegan is cheese balls in a sweet fragrant rose/cardamom syrup.  Well, I had to shape my 'cheese' in balls.   I used tofu for cheese, because it seemed like the best thing..   Well, they started out as perfect balls of 'cheese' just ready to boil in a sugar/water mixture! 
Vegan "Rasgulla" balls.

Well, that worked out ok, until I had to boil them for half an hour!   My rasgulla balls split into pieces... however, even though they looked a bit weird, they still tasted pretty good.  Nice sweetness with a hint of perfuminess with the rose water.  "I" liked it.  My sister said it was good... my mom, it's hard to tell with her because she's mom and doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.. but she said she liked it.   SO I guess the rasgulla was a success.  To my knowledge.  I did bring the leftover rasgulla home.. I plan to snack on it at some point.

my sister looks questionable.
As I was making the rasgulla, my sister was making traditional Indian vegetable bhaji.. which was freakin' hot as fire, but tasted absolutly fantastic.  This is a vegan dish all on it's own.  You could smell the spice as she made this.. and I swear the onions that we used today - were enough to burn enough eyes.  Let me tell you.  I'm surprised she wasn't still crying as I shot this picture.   The other stuff you see on the stove is my rasgulla cooking (top) and my coconut creamed spinach on it's way to a lovely boil.   Mom didn't have any vegetable bhaji because my mother is sensitive to lots of spice, but both my sister and I had it and as I said - absolutely fantistic.  A+ from both of us!  (This is not in my recipes.. this was hers.)

I don't have a picture of it, but while Un-Celebrity chef Vicki was working on her vegah bhaji, I was working on my coconut creamed spinach.   The thing called for frozen spinach, but if I make it again, I'll use fresh.  There's something about frozen spinach that just makes everything 'fishy' and I don't know what it is, but I digress.. it wasn't a real big hit.  I had some, mom had some.. Vicki, not somuch..  it was 'good'.. but not 'good enough' to want more.. so I pitched it.  :P bleh.
Spicy Chicken Curry

On to my un-celebrity chef's next feat - the very UN-VEGAN spicy chicken curry - which did smell divine.. but since she was the only one that had it - all we have is her word.  And since this IS a vegan blog - her word on this makes no difference.. so there.  (J/K)  She did say it was good.. it was spicy like she likes and it smelled pretty indian restaraunty to me, so I guess she had success here.   But while she was making this, I was moving on to the one thing I miss more than anything.   There was a little Indian place by my office that closed YEARS ago, but served Mushroom Matar (no other indian place in this area serves it!!)  So, this is what I wanted for myself.. so that is what I started to make!

chix curry to the right, mushroom matar to the left
I want to say - this was good.  Even mom liked it.  I also want to say, it's 10 times better (and tastes like the little indian place, matar) after it's been made into leftovers and re-heated.   Yum.  Yum.. and Yum some more.  The only thing is, I added some stuff to it rather than what was in the original recipe.   I started tossing stuff in like a grandma who's been cooking it all her life.. I measured nothing.. I just started tossing.. so my recipe is probably going to be 'a pinch here' 'a toss there'  when I do write it out.   lol.   Mushroom Matar = success!! :)

 So we boiled some basmati rice to put our yumminess over.. and sat the table.  Then my sister started the tea for traditional indian chocolate chai, then we sat down and started to

Vegan rasgulla and vegan chocolate chai
So,  we talked, we laughed, we ate.   We were surprised mom actually wanted to eat with us (because she's not all that adventurous in the un-american food world).  But it was good.. it was alot.  We were stuffed.  I think my sister spent more time at the teapot stirring her spices into her chai, but all in all we enjoyed the time we spent and the time we ate and we felt very indian afterwards!   And the rasgulla paired with the chai for dessert was a lil bit weird, but even so it was still good.  Sweet and spicy.   Yum.  All in all I think our un-celebrity vegan chef/indian blowout day was a success.
Why?  Why would I say that? 
Well, because I'm already having seconds for dinner!!!

mmm leftovers!

And right now I'm stuffed to the gills.. which means I have to start typing out my recipes and planning next week's food so that I can digest, to finish the rest of my daily Kundalini practice for the night.. I've got two hours.  I doubt it'll take that long!  lol.

Anyway, I would like to thank this week's un-celebrity vegan/un-vegan chef, my sister Vicki.. for the use of her kitchen, her cleaning abilities, her dirty stove (which I made dirty), her dishes, and anything else we used her for to make this lovely lunch.  :)  It was awesome!  I'm kinda bummed I didn't get any video, but we were so busy running back and forth looking for tumeric and garam masala that there just wasn't time to video.. next time I'll get her though! 

Stay tuned for next week's veganization.   A tribute to a very german, very not-so-nice Mr. Augustus Kroll.. and seriously, if any of you know an Augustus Kroll who died in 1874.. holler.. because I think I need to talk to you before my next veganization.

Music enjoyed while cooking and writing this blog:
Some show on the cooking channel
Hoarding, buried alive
Entertainment tonight.

Current Craving:
Nothing - ohmygoodness I'm stuffed!

Current Motivation:
Family Time!

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