Here is some of what I got at the store:
4 bottles of Limca soda (which we drank a lot of when we were in India)
2 bags of crunchy Indian snack mixes (Moong Dal - not spicy, and Madras Mix - quite spicy)
4 Pre-made Indian food meals to keep in the pantry for moments of desperation
1 can of jackfruit in syrup - why not!?
I also got 3 different kinds of parathas from their frozen section. They must have had about 70 varieties to pick from! Most of them were vegan too, which is awesome. I picked out : Whole Grain, Filled with Peas, and Flakey! Those flakey parathas were one of my favorite discoveries on our trip to India. Oh, they are GOOD, so I was very excited to see how these frozen ones would turn out.
For appetizers, I served our two Indian crunchy snack mixes, and fresh coconut.
Here is the whole spread (or almost the whole spread) - Aloo Mattar (Potatoes with Peas), Red Lentil Dal, Fresh Peas with Coconut, Green Beans with Cumin and Fennel, Sauteed Plantain, and of course - 4 cold bottles of Limca! I also made a huge pitcher of vegan Mango Lassi... it was so good! All of these recipes are from Madhur Jaffrey's "World Vegetarian" cookbook, except the Dal, which is an old PPK recipe and is one of our all-time favorites. The Mango Lassi was also from the Madhur Jaffrey book, & I just used plain, unsweetened Wildwood soy yogurt. MMM. I've never actually had a lassi before, because they are never vegan, so that was a real treat. Sorry we didn't get a picture!
Here is the 5-star Red Lentil Dal from the PPK. PLEASE do yourself a favor and go make this recipe. It smells and tastes just like all the dal we ate in India... so so so good. This is the most complicated recipe of all, and it only takes about 40 minutes. (Most of which is not any work on your part).
Next up, the Aloo Mattar from "World Vegetarian". Also very good, not very spicy, but a lovely flavor, and especially a good balance with the other dishes. I used 1 1/2 lbs. of potatoes instead of just one pound. Definitely recommended. Other than boiling the potatoes, this is a 15 minute recipe.
Green Beans with Fennel and Cumin from "World Vegetarian." These guys are pretty spicy, and nicely undercooked, so they maintain some crunch. Not my favorite dish of the evening, but a nice addition to the overall offering, & worth making for sure.
Here was my favorite bit! The Green Peas with Coconut from "World Vegetarian" - wow! I used fresh English Peas from the farmers market and even splurged on a fresh coconut. (Any suggestions for what I should do with the rest of my fresh coconut?) It's a lovely, lovely dish. Definitely recommended.
Sauteed Plaintains - also from "World Veg" - although one hardly needs a cookbook. How delicious! I've never actually made these before, but we've got another plaintain in the fruit bowl just waiting to be cooked up. lovely!
Here are the parathas all cooked up - YUMOLA! Clockwise from the top left: 1 whole grain paratha, 2 flakey parathas, and one pea-filled paratha. All delicious, although those flakey ones were a real stand out ... they didn't disappoint at all. Looks like I'll have to go back to Redwood City just to get more of these!
For dessert we each had a small scoop of Sharon's Coconut Sorbet from Trader Joes... and we didn't get around to photodocumenting it. If you live near a TJ, and you haven't tried that stuff - I MUST recommend it HIGHLY!! It's amazing, rich, and vegan. Unbelievably good.
All in all, it was a great dinner party, and a delicious feast. I even dressed up and wore the salwar kameez outfit that I wore practically every day when we were in India. It's so beautiful. I wish I could wear it more often, but it feels too weird & out of context to be a white westerner walking around the streets of Santa Cruz in Indian clothing...
Last night, some of my fellow yoga friends invited Musty and I and our friends K&D over for dinner to celebrate K&D's upcoming marriage. Our hosts won't be able to attend the wedding, so they wanted to do something special. I was honored to be a part of it, and it was a really great evening with friends. Since I love making desserts, I volunteered & this is what I brought!
It's the "Tropical Fruit Gateau" from "Great Good Desserts Naturally" by Fran Costigan. I really love that cookbook - the whole thing is vegan desserts that use no refined sugars. This was delicious!!!! It's an orange cake, sliced in half, and layered with a Lemon-Lime tofu cream and fresh fruit. For the fruits, I used Mango, Cherries, and Strawberries. A wonderful dessert, indeed!
AND!! Last but not least!!
I present you with the newest furbaby in our family: He is a little boy dog, and we adopted him yesterday from our local SPCA. So far we are calling him "Snoopy" because he looks a lot like Snoopy. Now, we already have two great girl dogs - Stevie Wonder & Dottie Bonkers, and a wonderful cat named Yummers... so when I had a dream last month that we had 3 dogs, I was suprised at how I couldn't get it out of my head! In my dream, it was so fun and wonderful, and I just couldn't stop thinking about it. Musty, great guy that he is, was totally up for it - so we got to work looking for a new friend. Our next pet had a lot of personalities to match up with (canine, feline, and human) - and it took us a few outings to find someone that captured our hearts. Snoopy looks like a puppy, but is actually 3 years old. He's still adjusting to his new surroundings, so we don't know his true colors just yet. I'll keep you posted!
Here's a picture of the two of us together. What a cutie he is!