Oh, yeah. About a year and a half ago, I was raving about my new favorite cookbook. Then I got some kind of stomach bug after a holiday filled meals made from the book and I didn’t want to open it up ever again. Until now, that is.
I’ve really been missing Indian food lately, and decided to dive back into experimenting with Keralan cooking. It all started when I discovered some ground beef in our freezer and I was trying to decide what to do with it. I made Beef in Fragrant Coconut Milk and we had it with Turmeric Rice (recipe from my friend Teresa). It was a total meat and potatoes kind of comfort meal. Afterward, I got really excited. I even asked T if he would mind if I made Indian food for dinner the rest of the week. But then things got busy and I didn’t have a lot of time to experiment, so the next meal I made was an old staple (again from Teresa): Spiced Kidney Beans. T made rotis to go with it. Oh, how I wish I could have yogurt! Yesterday I had more time to experiment, so I went back to the Keralan cookbook and made Chickpeas with Onion. I had to substitute regular chickpeas for black chickpeas, and I omitted the coconut slices, but it was still awesome. We served it with Turmeric Rice and rotis.
I think one of the things that makes southern Indian food so different from northern is fresh curry leaves. They give a nutty taste that really can’t be substituted by anything else. There’s a store up by the university that sells them, and I freeze them for future use. They make even the most simple dhal taste exotic. I need to plan my menus for the week, and I’m going to have to include another recipe from this book. I’m officially addicted.