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Monday, November 8, 2010

My friend Ange: celebrating her birthday in style

My friend Ange had a birthday. And her husband Matt gave her the coolest gift. (And he gave me all of his photos.)

A bunch of her friends together for dinner and an Indian cooking class at Pairings in Winterport, ME. (  They teach cooking classes and provide you with wine or ale to sample along with each course that you prepare.  A lovely woman by the name of Gunjan Gilbert taught us how to make a vegetarian feast of coconut curry, basmati rice, rhaita, chopati bread and samosas.

I'm honestly not sure what was more fun, learning how to cook it, eating it, or being allowed, as mere culinary mortals, to play in their state of the art kitchen.

Matt and his chopati dough.  This is a flatbread made of a non-rising dough that you roll out super flat, cook on a griddle and then over open flame until it puffs up.  Then you rub it with butter. Yum.
In every photo of us, Sandi and I look less like we are having a frolic through the land of Indian cuisine and more like we have a gun to our heads but we did in fact have a great time. 

Samosa filling:
Coconut curry:
The cooking crew:

Now I will have you know that we left there wonderfully satiated and feeling very knowledgeable about Indian cuisine and cooking methods having learned great secrets about spice, how to cook rice and how to bake bread on open flame.  We decided to try out our knowledge on a friend.  Poor friend.  Apparently we needed more practice.

We failed to add curry spice to the curry.  Sandi added CAYENNE instead of turmeric to the basmati rice.  When it didn't turn that pretty yellow, she added MORE. 

This week, however, we redeemed ourselves with a delicious spicy pumpkin curry and a kickin' batch of basmati, made with turmeric this time. Coupled with some Punjabi Naan (coconut) from Taste of Indian and it was a feast.

Thanks for having a birthday Ange, for being born and all of that, and for that fact that we now know just enough to be dangerous when it comes to making Indian food.

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