The Roaming Foodie

Posts Tagged ‘Indian

I came very close to having my first cooking related nervous breakdown last night.

What am I saying? I totally had one.

I decided that I wanted to make dinner using an Indian cookbook that my Mom gave me last Christmas (Indian Food Made Easy by Anand Anjum). Andrew had mentioned how he wanted Indian food earlier this week, so I figured he’d be up for it. I chose chicken in creamy yogurt sauce, northern Indian vegetables, naan, and basmati rice.

In the afternoon, I went grocery shopping for all the ingredients I was able to find (for the life of me, I could not locate unsweetened shredded coconut. I guess next time I’ll have to venture to the farmer’s market, but I was so lazy that I just left it out. It wasn’t much of it anyway), came home, made the naan dough, made the yogurt marinade for the chicken and stuck it in the fridge, then waited for Andrew to arrive to make everything else.

First problem: my pan was not big enough for all the vegetables, so it took forever for the potatoes to cook. Next time, I’m cooking the potatoes first then throwing them in. Maybe it’ll keep them from drying out, too. Other than that, and the missing coconut and curry leaves, I think this dish turned out decent.

Second problem: For the chicken, you dump the chicken and the marinade into a large saucepan (I used a pot) and then cook it on high until the sauce turns creamy instead of watery. I left it on high for too long, and the bottom of the chicken burned to the bottom of the pot. I don’t burn things. Ever. But I burned this. It was humiliating. We ended up eating the top part that wasn’t affected, but still. Humiliating.

Third problem: Apparently, if you turn the broiler in my apartment on, it causes the oven to fill up with smoke. I don’t know what it’s deal is. All I know is that I ended up setting off my smoke alarm for a few minutes, and this is when I started to freak out and cry. Also, since I couldn’t really use my broiler without alerting the fire station, I had to bake the naan, which caused it to be not as light and doughy as it should’ve been. I am going to try it again, with a broiler, to see if I can get that doughy soft bread with little charred bits. But not in this apartment.

The only thing that actually turned out perfect was the basmati rice. Ah well. At least one thing was okay.
I’m not completely giving up on making Indian food. Everything tasted great, so it wasn’t a problem with the recipes, and I’m sure with better equipment I could make it less of a disaster.

But I am taking a break from cooking today (even though I found a recipe for mango slaw that looks amazing, but that doesn’t count as cooking, really…)

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So, at this point in the blog, I’m basically going back to past restaurants I’ve been to and discussing them as I would have then. Or something like that.

Desi Spice is an Indian restaurant (the only one I’ve been able to find so far that wasn’t a “fusion” thing) in Atlanta. It’s next to the Trader Joe’s on Piedmont (?) I don’t remember the street…I only know it’s next to the Trader Joe’s. Way to go me. Anyway, it’s a small little place that plays Bollywood movies on the TV screens, is decorated with lots of colors and string lights, and is just what an Indian restaurant should be. There’s nice patio seating, though I’ve never sat out there due to the winter weather.

When I’ve been, we’ve been seated immediately and have not had to wait once. The food is also brought to the table fairly quickly.

The food is awesome too. When I’ve been, I’ve been with Andrew (my boyfriend), so we order the dinner for two. At a set price (of I think around $25 or something) you get one samosa each, a dish of lamb korma, a dish of chicken kashmiri (though we substituted Chicken Tikka Masala for this), a dish of Vegetable Bhaji, a loaf of naan (again, we order an extra, because naan is the best bread ever) and a dish of basmati rice. The Chicken Tikka Masala is probably my favorite. It is incredibly bright red (like, neon), savory but kind of sweet (I’m pretty sure there’s some coconut in it to sweeten the sauce), and the chicken is always well cooked and tender. Plus the tikka masala sauce is great for dipping naan into. The lamb korma is lamb that’s been cooked in a savory gravy. It’s kind of the salty and meaty dish of the meal. It’s good, but I still prefer chicken over any kind of meat. the vegetables are the spicy component of the meal, although they aren’t so hot that your tastebuds are killed. However, some of the vegetables can be overcooked (the carrots and cauliflower generally aren’t, but some of the green vegetables get a little mushy), though I have noticed most Indian vegetable dishes are very thoroughly cooked. While some may like softer vegetables, I tend to enjoy mine a little less cooked than that.

all in all, Desi Spice is a great place to go in Atlanta to get your fix for Indian food. I highly recommend it.