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Thursday, November 11, 2010
Cook, Eat, Play
I have a friend who immigrated here to Minnesota from India. I am always amazed by people who choose to pick up their lives and move continents away -- I would never have the courage. But while that feat in and of itself is amazing to me, what's even more amazing is her cooking. Her family feasts on food that most of us can only get at restaurants, or, if we're so lucky, at our gourmet-cooking friend's house.
So last Saturday she invited myself and other friends to her home for an authentic Indian dinner, which we would help her cook and learn along the way. Also, our kids, mostly girls in the same age range, could play during these activities.
I have to be honest, I've never been a huge fan of Indian food. I'm not a terribly adventurous eater, and when I don't know what goes into it a meal I am even more skeptical. So while I'll eat Indian food when presented with it, I typically don't seek it out and rarely if ever crave it. I figured that the more I knew about what went into it the more I would enjoy it.
I was right.
The food was ah-mazing. Incredible. And I had a greater appreciation for it because I knew the work that went into every step and knew every ingredient. Padma takes her cooking to a new level -- many of the ingredients we were putting together you could buy already pre-made for you and then just mix with the other, fresh ingredients. But that's not how Padma cooks. We had spices that had to be shelled from pods to be used, then ground together with other spices. I wish I could remember all the names of the ingredients, they were amazing on their own and even more spectacular when blended with everything else.
At the end of the night I mopped up every bit of food with the homemade chapatis and licked the sauce that had dripped down my chin.
I'm now officially a fan.
What's even more unbelievable is that Padma will cook this food for you -- all you need to do is go to her house to pick it up. Check out her website, Padma's Delights, and try out her cooking. You won't be disappointed.