#70: India

It’s officially fall here!

It’s been a real cool down here, basically overnight we went from Indian summer to full on fall. It’s a pleasant change of pace actually, I for one love the fall. It’s my favorite time of year. We had the Hot Chocolate race this weekend and it was just so much fun to break out the boots and sweaters from their hibernation places where they have been chilling for the past year. I missed my old friends.

THE DINNER: Speaking of Indian Summer….we traveled to the subcontinent of India for our country this week. What a timely journey 🙂 I love love LOVE Indian food. I would be happy as a clam eating this several days a week. I love samosas, naan, curries and vindaloo. I love masalas and I have warmed up to the idea of chai. I think there are few things more delightful than the Indian use of saffron and their obsession with rice. As a vegetarian, it’s one of the easiest ethnic foods to keep away from meat, which makes it a go to for me.

We picked Jaipuri Chicken Curry, which, it turns our is a little bit a of misnomer. It’s not actually a “curry”, in fact, there is no curry in sight in this ingredient list. Perhaps we were intrigued about the whole red peppers in the recipe… we love the heat. Bring it on. We also prepared our own chai for this country too, because when in India, drink like the Indian people drink. The curry was actually pretty easy and though it has chicken, one could easily substitute potatoes or chickpeas or even eggplant (which would be my weapon of choice) to make it veggie.

Indian Chai Recipe: http://www.aspicyperspective.com/how-to-make-chai-tea/
Jaipuri Chicken Recipe: http://lifescoops.blogspot.com/2011/09/jaipuri-chicken-curry.html?m=1

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NOW FOR THE CHICKEN!!!

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OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: TWO STAR out of five this meal!
For all the hype surrounding curry making, this one was pretty painless. I mean, as I did mention, it’s not “exactly” curry, but still. The ingredient list was a little more tricky because of the spices we needed to aquire for both the Chai and the Jaipuri. All that aside though, who knew making your own chai was that simple? I always figured it was tricky, but it was really smooth sailing. The hardest part of the Jaipuri seemed to be the timing of everything. A whole lot happening at once.

Best dish of all time scale: FOUR and A HALF STARS out of five for Meal!!
I think we all really wanted a five here, but allow me to explain myself. I loved the Jaipuri! It was a five! Except, there were whole spices in the curry and, I don’t know about you all, but if you’ve ever bit into a whole cardamom pod, you’ll never really be able to forget it. Even after several days, I still have a sad twinge when I look back on the meal, so I couldn’t give it a full five stars (or rather my taste bud memory couldn’t). Apart from that, it was wonderful and creamy and not as spicy as one might think. You immediately think, “spicyyyyy” when you think curry and Indian cuisine, but that was not the case here. I also really enjoyed the Chai and I’m not one to be keen on milk in my tea. So that’s really saying something. Overall, India aimed to please and dressed to impress. I wouldn’t hesitate to make either one of these recipes again, especially because they were so easy.

For country #71 we are taking a little trip from India to the Middle East to hit up The Republic of Georgia for some eats. It’s going to be an interesting one because till recently, this nation was not a country, so who knows what their culinary landscape looks like now that they are independent of Russia!

Enjoy the Fall colors!
– L & K

 

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