So the next day, on the 2nd September, I felt I could invite ppl over for an Indian meal. I hadn't really thought the whole thing through, but because oliver was SO excited by the idea, we decided to invite people for dinner and see how many were ready. In the mean time, I realized I had better not screw this up or else I'd be in a really funny situation tonight when everyone's puking on the horrible food! I asked oliver what I should make, but he didn't give me anything specific, so I decided to read through the recipes on Quick Indian cooking blog and see what was the easiest, to make and I had most of the ingredients for. I picked paneer butter masala, because I would only need to buy coriander powder and kasoori methi. Then I called my mom on skype and asked if she could give me something else that was a really easy recipe and some pointers and help on this particular one.
One of my specific questions was whether she knew what exactly is Greek yogurt and how can I not screw up my recipe while using regular yogurt from the store. I had googled Greek yogurt, and found a page that explained how greek yogurt is a thicker and creamier yogurt as compared to regular yogurt, and that recipes that call for greek yogurt will fail miserably if u use regular yogurt. I had also read the comments on Mallika's blog post about straining the regular yogurt in a cheese cloth, and suggestion of whipping it up nicely, but this particular page had really scared me. So my mom started explaining how I could make good yogurt from scratch, and I had to stop and tell her I don't have that kind of time! After we put that aside, I asked her what her recipe was, and she went on and on about how she makes it. And I now start to admire and appreciate, for the first time, the time and effort she puts into these preparations. I write down the most of it, but I decide I want to mix and match the recipes and do what's convenient for me.
We (or rather she) also talked about making jeera rice, umm... that's Rice with Cumin seeds for you guys who don't speak Hindi. Even though I wasn't really sure I also wanted to make rice for tonight, it would really depend on the number of people that show up. We had serious issues here, because her method was for cooking in a pressure cooker, and I didn't have one, and couldn't really see how this was going to apply to the 'steamer' I had. So she said, you can just make the rice first, then throw it in a frying pan with some oil and cumin seeds. That sounds like something I can do! And I also wanted to ask her about making wadas, because I have some wada mix and sambar mix. I want to have that for breakfast some day. And what she told me was really helpful but that's for another day!
Oliver told me only rob was the one who's gonna come tonight and that he'd go pick him up right now and be at my place soon, which meant I had to get ready! So, right when I was in the middle of getting directions to the grocery store and writing down the method I'd use to cook paneer butter masala, Oliver showed up, so I just grabbed the print-out from Google maps and ran. Unfortunately, pooja grocers was closed! I didn't even have the name or directions of the other Indian grocery store that was around that place. I asked the lady who worked at subway about it, but she didn't know. I remembered that there was Organic Garden next to the Indian store, so I asked her about that. She pointed us in a direction, but it wasn't really clear. But I remembered that I had read kerr street on the forum where I found out about it, and on Google maps. So I asked oliver to just drive back down, till we see kerr street again. And as soon as we saw the big O sign of organic garden, we knew we WERE gonna have Indian food tonight!
After I got back, I first heated up the oven to reheat the samosas that we got, and after we were done munching on the samosas, I started cooking which can be seen in this timelapse video that I made.
Did I mention I'd never done this before? Not the timelapse, I have made a bunch of them, but I had never cooked any Indian food from scratch, all by myself before. Well, technically, I didn't do it all by myself, I had oliver helping out, but this time, I was not the one BEING supervised. I was the head chef! Everything was under my command. And the pressure was intense.
But thankfully both of them liked the food. Infact, even I thought it was pretty good! Vironica came home and even she tasted it, she liked it a lot too! I felt like it was all worth it. I hope I can say the same about this blog post, I noticed its gotten really long, and I haven't even touched the part AFTER the dinner which was just as great! Maybe some other time!
Yeah, Big happy birthday to my sister Divya! She turned 18 today!