Indian food.. the last cuisineAugust 30, 2011
I'd say I'm pretty open to trying new cuisines, especially when they are vegetarian-friendly. Ethnic foods are usually more vegetar...
I'd say I'm pretty open to trying new cuisines, especially when they are vegetarian-friendly. Ethnic foods are usually more vegetarian-friendly than American cuisine, I have found. I love eating all different types of food, whether it's Japanese, Italian, Mediterranean, Thai, Mexican, Chinese, Ethiopian, African, Irish, French, German... But for some reason I never felt inclined to eat Indian food. It smells very strong, and that scared me away at first, and I also could never tell what was on a menu by reading it. I tried using curry powder before and to convince myself I liked it, but I would take one bite and just not take another...
Basically Indian food was like that really pretty and popular girl in your high school with expensive clothes and a nice car and nice hair who everyone knew and loved but who you never had a class with and were never formally introduced to, and so you created imaginary biases against her in your head because everyone made such a big deal about how awesome she was.
Well, upon working with mostly all Gujarati people now, I have finally been formally introduced! My co-workers always talk about this or that dish to one another, and I'll say "What's Naan?" or "What's Paneer?" And they'll all reminisce about the food their moms make for them, and it's clear that food is such an important part of their culture and that it brings people together and makes someone feel comforted or at home. Since most of my coworkers are vegetarian, it was easy for them to suggest I try Indian food sometime, since it doesn't really revolve around meat the way some cultures' cuisines (like American) do.
So while visiting a friend in Brooklyn recently, and searching for a good place nearby for dinner, he suggested Indian food. An Indian food-lover himself, he assured me I would like it and would definitely not be disappointed. So after much hesitation, I conceded and we went to Bombay Masala in Brooklyn. I opened the menu and had no clue what to order. I quickly enlisted the help of one of my co-workers via text. The text read something like "At Indian place for dinner. Need help with this menu asap!" My friend told me to order the chana masala and ask for some bread that the waiter had never heard of (he ended coming back with naan instead). I took one bite and expected to have to choke down the bitter taste that I remember curry having, but this taste didn't come. I waited, and waited... No bad taste! Rather, a good taste! I couldn't believe it! I was eating Indian food and enjoying it at the same time! Success!
Basically, it was like the moment when you realized you could ride a bike. You tried and tried and fell off a hundred times, and swore you would never be able to do it.. until you realized you were doing it!
So following the ppk chana masala recipe, I was able to recreate this food milestone in my life. I showed this picture to my co-workers this morning and they told me it looked the way it's supposed to look. They questioned me about all of my ingredients, and I was able to give satisfactory answers about the way I prepared everything, so my attempt was deemed authentic!
Basically, I dribbled straight down the center, swooped in for the kill, and slam dunked. Check it out.