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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Indian food by a white girl

If I had to pick a favorite cuisine, I couldn't, but if I had to name one of my very favorites, it would be Indian. Curries incorporate some of the most complex tastes and flavours on earth. For my birthday my mom gave me Vij's latest cookbook. If you are not familiar with Vikram Vij, he and his wife Meeru Dhalwala run two restaurants in Vancouver, Vij's and Rangoli. Both are delicious and affordable (Rangoli more so than Vij's) and not to be missed. If you're visiting, or you live here, you should go.

I love seafood probably more than is healthy, so for the first recipe I would make out of this beautiful book, I chose prawns in pomegranate curry. It seemed fairly simple, although if you are cooking for one or two you should half or third his recipes, they are for large crowds, which you kinda gotta love.

Prawns in Pomegranate Curry

12-24 prawns, fresh is best
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 red onion
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon chopped jalepeno pepper (fresh)
1/2 tablespoon fresh chopped and peeled ginger
1/4 cup fresh pomegranate juice
1/4 chopped cilantro

Pour the oil in a skillet and heat on medium high. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for 45 seconds. Add the finely chopped onion and cook for a few minutes until completely browned with dark edges.

Reduce the heat to medium and add turmeric, salt, cayenne, stir, saute for 1 minute, add the jalepeno and ginger and saute for 1 minute more. Add pomegranate juice and bring to a boil, add prawns and stir gently, cook prawns for 4 minutes, remove from heat and add cilantro. Serve with bread or over rice.

I have always had curry with rice so this time I tried it with toast, and it was an interesting alternative, but I like rice better. This dish is ridiculous. It's salty and sweet and spicy like good curry should be. All in all it took me about 20 minutes and was completely worth it. Try it!

And speaking of spicy, the girls of the Eastern Bloc recently indulged in one of our favourite rituals: turning the communal area cat calendar page at the beginning of each new month. And this month the kitties are:

These two cute scrappy little Scottish folds mixed with something! I want to eat their faces. The little one looks like he's saying "you mad? 'Cause you look mad".

Of course, we had to reenact it:

Carri and Nads did an excellent job portraying Grey Biggie and Blonde Tiny. Go Carri! Go Nads! (see what I did there?)

(recipe courtesy of "Vij's At Home Relax, Honey" cookbook)


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