curries

Our 3rd Annual Curry Cook-off

If you’ve been a regular reader on my blog, Safari of the Mind, you’ll know that Bert and I host an annual curry cook-off.  I’ve blogged about the previous ones in the past.  What started out as a one time event about 3 years ago, has now become a repeated and anticipated get-together during the winter doldrums.  Our friends host a chili cook-off in the late Fall, so that concept perpetuated and the curry cook off idea was born.

(more…)

A sumptuous Indian Vegetarian feast!

I’ve been blogging for just over a year and a half now and in that time, I’ve come to appreciate fellow bloggers from near and far.  You could be following someone’s blog in Turkey, Spain or Argentina, but also blogs from folks who live on the same continent as yourself.  There are just so many facets that make up the blogging world, but one that I’m most passionate about is continuing to learn about the various cuisines around the world and forging friendships via a common medium.  I’ve come across so many amazing blogs (mine pales in comparison), it definitely is a learning curve when all is said and done.  There are a few favorite Indian bloggers that I follow, and I’ve got to say, whenever a dish strikes my fancy, I bookmark it and try it out.  Today, I’m featuring Indian vegetarian cuisine.

(more…)

An Indian feast with a Spanish twist!

I don’t usually have friends around on weekdays as it gets hectic with work and other gardening chores at this time of year, but isn’t it marvelous when one can just plan an impromptu event and invite a bunch of friends over on a weekday, and  another spontaneous friend walks in with a bottle of wine and wham, boom, bang, we have a party?  It was a wonderful evening of food, friends and laughter, with a subtle aroma of spiciness emanating through the house.  Since the majority of the girlfriends attending were vegetarian and love Indian nosh, that was the menu of choice.  Now Indian cuisine has got to be my favorite, although I cook various types of ethnic dishes, but it is intensely time consuming.  If I happen to be serving Indian cuisine, I usually start planning the dishes and cooking at least 2-3 days in advance.  Curries actually taste a whole lot better if cooked and steeped in those flavorful spices over a day or two.   So here are some of the dishes I cooked for a “weekday girls’ night IN.”

IMG_0291

Setting the table

IMG_0305

My favorite serving dish

IMG_0311

Getting the wine glasses out

IMG_0312

Oddly enough, some of the wine glasses match the serving dishes

IMG_0329

Cauliflower and roasted green peppers doused in olive oil with sizzling cumin, coriander, lime juice, tumeric and mango powder

IMG_0330

Curried chickpeas sauteed in ginger, garlic, onions, garam masala, cumin, coriander, sweet paprika, chilli powder and yellow mustard seeds, with a splash of coconut cream.

IMG_0339

Pulao, or rice pilaf cooked in a seasoned broth with whole cardamom, whole cinnamon, whole cloves, ginger, garlic and topped with sauteed rasins, almonds and fresh cilantro.

IMG_0335

Salmon curry and roti (Indian flatbread).

IMG_0328

Caramel flan

And now for the Spanish twist.  What better way to end a spicy, flavorful meal, but with this decadent, and oh so simple Caramel Flan. There aren’t many ingredients, and when one is slaving over a hot stove for the better part of the day, this is a quick, effortless, dessert to culminate this girls’ evening “IN”.

Since it is also Fiesta Friday time at Amazing Angie’s, I’m bringing the Caramel flan.  http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/fiesta-friday-16/

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 3/4 cup water

1 (14oz) can Eagle Brand Sweetened condensed Milk (not evaporated milk)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350deg.  In heavy skillet or pan, over medium heat, cook sugar, stirring constantly until melted and caramel-colored.  Pour into ungreased 9 inch round layer cake pan, tilting to coat bottom completely.  In medium mixing bowl, beat eggs, stir in water, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt.  Pour into caramelized pan; set in larger pan.  Fill larger pan with 1 inch hot water.  Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool.  Chill thoroughly.  Loosen side of flan with knife; invert onto serving plate with rim.  Garnish as desired.  Refrigerate leftovers.