An Indian Feast

An Indian Feast

I have a very dear girlfriend whom I met in Boston many years ago, and we immediately bonded over food and cooking.  She is Indian, and I’ve always loved to cook Indian food, so we have built a now long tradition of cooking mostly Northern Indian food every so often.  Neither of us seems to be able to cook for fewer than 8 people (you should see the overflowing amounts of food when it’s just the two of us trying a new recipe!), so we began doing Indian Feasts and inviting lots of friends and family.  We hosted our most recent feast last Saturday for 9 people.

Here was our menu:

Appetizers:
Samosas in phyllo dough (flaky pastry triangles filled with spiced potatoes and peas, then baked)
Pappadum
Served with Cilantro Chutney

Main Courses:
Methi Chicken (a dish made with yogurt and dried fenugreek leaves (methi))
Chana Masala (chickpeas in a masala–tomato sauce)

Side dishes:
Green beans with coconut and chili peppers
Okra in yogurt sauce
Rice with pearl onions, spices and peas

We put a ton of chili peppers in everything, so people who eat with us need to have a high heat tolerance…no wimps! Everything was a hit with the crowd, and there wasn’t a morsel of chicken left over.   We had a variety of great wines too — the best pairing was with Gewürztraminer and Riesling.  Much fun was had by all, and the next Indian Feast is happening in mid-August.  I don’t know what we were thinking, but this time we’re cooking for three culinary professionals (two restaurateurs and a cookbook author)!  The heat is on!!

For your enjoyment (and experimentation), here is my Cilantro Chutney recipe:

Ingredients:
1 small bunch of cilantro, washed and roughly chopped (including stems)
1/2 small bunch of mint, washed and roughly chopped (leaves only)
1/2 small bunch of parsley, washed and roughly chopped (leaves only)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 a white onion, coarsely chopped
2-4 chili peppers (serrano, thai bird, jalapeno, Indian or other pepper of choice — use qty to taste)
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Juice of 1 lime

Instructions:
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.  Consistency should be thick enough to serve as a dip with pappadum or samosas, but thin enough to pour off a spoon.  Add more coconut milk to reach desired consistency, and adjust seasonings (cumin, salt, sugar, lime and chili peppers) as you like.   Use that day, or refrigerate and use within 3-4 days.  Makes approximately 1 1/4 cups of chutney

Bon appetit!

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