Saturday, May 03, 2008
The oddest thing that has happened to me in the last few months is that I can now eat spicy foods with ease. Before, I could barely be in the same room as a chili pepper without my tongue burning. But now, 7 months later, I can eat moderately spicy food without a second thought. The only good symptom of being ill is that everything tastes different and I can now enjoy curry.
What I love most about the book 1,000 Indian Recipes is that it not only has recipes for the different dishes, it teaches you how to make the spice mixes from scratch. Which is wonderful for people like me who are on restricted diets because you can modify the recipe to match what you can eat and still have it turn out yummy!
Making everything from scratch is a challenge, but it is also a great deal of fun. I scoured the city for spices and exotic ingredients like mango powder, black salt and ajwain seeds, not to mention a couple of dozen other spices, and set to work.
I made chaat masala spice mix. This involves dry roasting some spices in a pan, grinding them up (in my case by hand), mixing them with other spices, some of which also needed to be ground by hand, or in the case of the black salt, it also required a hammer to get things started. Then put them all in a bowl, mix well, roast again, let cool, store in fridge.
What gets me is just how colourful this all is. I mean, just look at this rich bouquet of colour and flavour. I would love to have yarn like this.
Once it is roasted, it looks like this.
Still quite pretty. Though not as vibrant in colour, the flavour is rich and varied so that each second you have the spice in your mouth, is a new experience. I would say that this has been a spicy success.