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Bollywood Bash TEST NEST

Indian food is fairly intricate to prepare, there are so many spices and flavors that go into it, but that is what makes it so darn yummy. I was a little overwhelmed by all the chopping for this TN – between the chutney, raita, rice, salad and the quince for the desserts I definitely spent quite a bit of time on all the prep. I’ve definitely got to get me an effective food processor soon. I like the combo blender/food processor unites that recently came out. I need to do some research on them but I’m all for 1 devise that has two purposes, especially in a small NYC apartment.

I didn’t make a mocktail for my September 16 dinner, as I knew I was already biting off a little too much with the menu. Instead I had a selection of drinks and fixings and a few people made their own mocktails with maraschino cherries, limes, lemons, soda, sparkling water, etc… My wonderful testers (Kim Clark, Jason Bond, Malia Poai, Mala Grewal, Eric Peterson, Laura Marostica, and Nat Harward) not only helped me with a task or two as they arrived, but also helped with clean up.

1st Course: Asian Pear and Avocado Salad with Garam Masala Syrup (4 Stars)

I hate it when I forget things and I forgot to put the toasted pumpkin seeds on everyone’s salad, so when one comment suggested that it needed something crunchy and salty I sheepishly had to mention that I forgot the pumpkin seeds which were sitting on the counter. I did have some leftover salad with the pumpkin seeds the next day and it really did make it that much better, so if you make this, remember the pumpkin seeds.

Main Course: Potato Samosas (4 Stars)>

Remember how I mentioned in a previous TN that frying and Amber doesn’t go great together. The filling in these samosas was to die for, I’m being serious, I even put the left over filling on the table and we ate it all gone. Execution of these suckers was a completely different story. Not only was I trying to get it right but also Malia and Jason took over and tried to get them right when they arrived. So maybe I’ll just nix frying out of my cooking repertoire and stick to ordering fried food at restaurants (now any of you who know me know this will not be the case, I can’t give up, I’ve got to find a way to conquer the frying…just might have to humble myself enough to get some lessons or buy a deep fryer).

Chicken Tikka (3.5 stars) with Mango and Red Pepper Chutney (4 Stars) and Mint Raita (3.5 Stars)

I do like it when I have a little bit of leftovers so that I can taste things again after rated and think about the comments. A few testers wanted sauce with their chicken, which would make it Chicken Tikka Masala (Tikka just means that it has been skewered). The recipe really didn’t call for that; it was to be served with the two pairing options. Plus, the match of the rice was perfect, and I’m not sure sauce would have gone well with the rice. That said this is easy to remedy. I feel the reason testers wanted sauce was because the flavor of the chicken wasn’t strong enough. The marinade is very yummy (had to try a lick before marinating) but the spices could be doubled and it would have a stronger kick and it’s easy to save a cup of the marinade to the side and have it available to guests.

Cilantro Coconut Rice (5 Stars)

Mala had me double this recipe and it made a TON of rice…so all my guests took some leftover rice home with them and still had quite a bit left. It definitely was the greatest part of the meal so I was HAPPY to be able to eat the rice for days afterward. My dear friend Mala (who is half Indian) suggested I also add a stick of butter at the end when stirring and fluffing – sounded perfect to me so try it out.

Dessert: Mascarpone Cheesecake with Quince Compote (5 Stars)

This was my first time to ever see, work with and eat Quince (of the apple and pear family), and I’m glad it was a good experience. I learned from my lemon verbena freak out a couple months ago that I better research and make sure I could find it in Manhattan before I commit to preparing it. Anyone who lives in Manhattan should know about and frequent the Chelsea Market…you can get anything there (but you might have to call ahead to make sure). Manhattan Food Exchange had two different colors of Quince (green and red) so I decided to get a mix of both. The red ones soaked up the wince sauce flavor a little stronger than the green. This is a no bake cheesecake and is reminiscent of a panna cotta, and while it wasn’t necessarily a traditional Indian dessert it really was a perfect finale to the meal.

4 Comments (Leave a Reply)

  1. Tango (September 27, 2010)

    oh wow! I want some of that cheesecake. glad to see the quince came to a good end.

  2. malia (November 15, 2010)

    Yeah, that cheesecake was pretty amazing. So was that rice. I keep forgetting that I want to make it! Thanks again for an amazing dinner!!!

  3. Eric (November 16, 2010)

    good times! like my compatriots above, i have to agree… the mascarpone cheesecake was the BOMB

  4. Cincinnatus (November 28, 2010)

    I had some pretty good pies and desserts during Thanksgiving with my family, but fo real yo, that cheesecake was insanely good.

    And I could eat the rice probably every other day for lunch.

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