The City No Longer Forsaken

"They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted." ~Isaiah 62:12

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Father's Day Indian Feast

I got a book for my birthday called "Classic Indian Cooking". It was recommended by my cousin--at least, I hope it was. She couldn't remember the title, but this book seemed to fit her description. I'm excited about it...I've dabbled a little in making curry with recipes from, but wanted to learn how to do it really well.

<--Step One: Mixing spices, roasting them in the oven, and grinding them to make the spice mix garam masala. This is a close-up of the spices before roasting.

Since I got the cookbook, my dad and I have been planning to cook together. The project would take two days...we planned to go all out...making as many ingredients from scratch as possible. And, it turned out that the two of us (with help from Becc and Mom as they were willing and needed) cooked all through Father's Day...we started around 2:30 and got dinner on the table by 8:30. (much earlier than our mid-cooking estimates of 11pm ;-)

The day before, my dad and I boiled milk to make homemade Indian cheese (paneer). -->
It was fascinating. You boil the milk and then dump in some lemon juice and the curds form almost immediately. You rinse all the lemon out of the cheese curds, squeeze them in cheese cloth, hang them to dry for a couple hours, squish them under a pot of water for a couple more hours, and then cut them into chunks, as in the picture.

This was the main curry I made
<--(matar paneer) and Becc graciously joined me when things got tricky. It's a tomato based sauce with cheese and peas...and lots of spices, of course!

In the end, we realized we wanted lassis! -->
(sweet yogurt drinks) My sister is the queen of smoothies, and quickly took over the project. Even though we had no mango,
these were maybe the best lassis I've ever had.

My dad is an amazing cook. I keep telling him that his next job should be owning his own restaurant...I can imagine him having a blast talking to all kinds of neighborhood people and unveiling his new masterpieces every day. He's the kind of guy who will make an eight course Indian meal--never having made any of the eight courses before--and invites 24 people to our house to eat it. He started cooking Indian at my urging sometime around when I graduated from college. I think he's come to really love it too. He keeps telling me he doesn't want to be this crazy everyday, though...I guess he likes being a pastor. ;-)

These are my dad's four dishes he made. (over achiever!!!) He made a dal (lentil dish), an egg curry, a rice pilaf, and plain basmati rice. Oh...and also chai for after dinner. Yum!


jsincj said...

Wow, It looks Amazing! You looking to put Sultans out of business? You both are over achievers!!! But I wont make fun of it at all! It looks great! I wish I could have tried it. It looks like you had fun making it as well!

Rachel Koniar said...

That was indeed the book I was trying to remember! I'm so glad you tried it out. Here is Chris and my favorite from the book: Gobhi Matar Rasedar or Cauliflower, green peas, and potatoes in spicy herb sauce. It's on page 256.