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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

We Try Indian Food

I have wanted to take Carolyn out to an Indian restaurant for a while.  I have only been once before, but I found the food to be excellent.

It was while I was visiting my brother the Priest at his parish in Alexandria, Virginia.  Nathaniel, my then-16 year old son was on this trip with me, and for dinner we joined my brother and some of his brother priests at The Bombay Curry Company.  We told the waiter that we had never eaten Indian food before, and so the good folks there picked the menu for us that night.

The food was great, the company was excellent; it made a lasting impression on Nathaniel and me.  The food was spectacular, and we discovered something called Na'an bread, which is like a thick tortilla shell for all the people reading this back home in northern Mexico.  Each entree was delicious, and we used the generous supply of Na'an bread to clean our plates.

In addition to the food, we had the pleasure of hanging out with a bunch of good priests who spent the time talking of theology, the challenges of running a parish, and basically the nuts and bolts of being a Catholic priest.  It was neat to hear priests 'talking shop' as they related some of the mundane tasks which they have to conduct while still being an alter christus for their parishioners.

So, almost two years after that trip, I finally decided that if I could not get to an Indian restaurant, I would at least try to bring the food home for all of my family to try.  I went to the best place I could think of in order to purchase the most authentic Indian cuisine we could make at home.  I went to Target. 

That is not pronounced, Tar-get, as in 'road tar' and 'get out of my way.'  No, the 'g' is softer, sounding more like the 'j' in the word 'Jaguar' as in 'I'll take the silver Jaguar for my birthday, love.'

Say it with me: Tar-jay.

So there, nestled in with the Mexican foods section were some boxes of containing a side dish, a sauce, some basmati rice, and chutney. 

Tikka Masala: "a creamy tomato sauce, basmati rice with spiced potato curry and mango chutney:" 

Red Garlic Curry: "tomato-garlic curry sauce, basmati rice, with tender green lentil stew and mango chutney."  The lentils were really tender; whenever I make lentils, they are either still hard or have turned to mush.

Vindaloo: "spicy onion-ginger curry sauce, basmati rice with spicy potato, peas saute and - you guessed it - mango chutney:"

I knew that some of the children would not try much of this foreign food, so I made the food up with some chicken to go along as the main dish.  I made the rice which came in the boxes, adding a little butter and some Chicken/tomato bullion for flavoring.  Genevieve, my oldest daughter at home, cooked the chicken.  She put curry powder on some of it, and I put a sweet pepper glaze on the rest of it. 

To cover our gastronomical backs even more, we purchased some Na'an bread from that other source of Indian food in our neighborhood - Costco.  One of my sons saw it in the store last week, and so we checked to make sure they still had it.  Thankfully they still had enough for our family. It appeared as if we would have enough food to satisfy my little army, and let them try something new and different.

After looking over the directions, and finding there were no ugly surprises (such as, "soak beans in goat milk for 24 hours before cooking"), I noticed that most of the sauces, curries, and side dishes needed only a little time in the microwave to prepare them.  So while the chicken cooked and the water and rice started to heat up, I poured each part of the meal into a separate bowl and covered them with saran wrap. 

Sauces were in green bowls, and side dishes were in blue bowls.  The diet Coke was mine and I don't know why the apple sauce insisted on getting into the picture.  The Na'an bread is in the background, waiting to hop into the oven for a little warming up.

I used both microwave ovens to heat the bowls up really quickly, and then had it all set on the sideboard.  Here, Nathaniel makes a plate.  He approved of the meal.

Even Bernard liked it, even though my iPhone camera did not focus on him for some reason.

As I expected, there were some children who did not like it.  Some children preferred one dish over another, while a few like Nathaniel and I like everything.  The good thing is that they all tried a little bit, and they all got enough chicken and rice to leave the table satisfied.

Of course, everyone loved the Na'an bread.


Mom of 12 said...

My sweetie absolutely refuses to try Indian food! Once when he was young he had a reaction to curry and that's it...

dadwithnoisykids said...

@Mom of 12 thanks for commenting. I don't let the children eat shellfish after the older boys had a reaction to calamari years ago. God bless you and yours.

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