July 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
I cooked for the second time this summer! My lovely friend invited me over to her spacious kitchen so we could actually make a home cooked meal. Last time we threw together a veggie pasta dish – this time we decided to attempt an Indian curry. We were a bit more adventurous this time and bought a package of raw chicken breasts instead of using precooked chicken, but we compromised by using a pre-made curry simmer sauce and frozen cauliflower. But hey, within an hour of leaving for the grocery store we had dinner ready, so overall it was quite successful.
First we cut up the three chicken breasts into cubes (I didn’t have a part in this because I don’t like dealing with raw meat), and cooked it in the pan with some oil. We also threw in some sliced onions. Then we poured in about three fourths of the jar of simmer sauce, and at the very end dumped in the pack of frozen cauliflower. We let the whole thing cook for a bit over low heat to let the flavor of the sauce soak into the rest of the dish.
One more shortcut – we bought naan from Whole Foods which we threw into the microwave to warm up for a bit. In the end, quite a satisfying meal, and it is always good to get some more veggies in! We randomly ate some raw baby carrots in the side, contributing to the veggie intake. Next time I would use fresh cauliflower – the frozen kind turned out a bit soggy with a spongy texture.
This was my first venture into Indian food, and I’m sure glad for the existence of pre made sauces. A lot of the recipes online for curry call for various spices, and we definitely did not have most of them on hand. I’m sure one day I’ll attempt a genuine, made-from-scratch Indian curry, but for the college-level standard cooking I am very pleased with how this turned out.
July 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
On Sunday night I met a group of new friends for dinner in Georgetown. I had suggested that we try out Taj of India, a mid-price restaurant on M street, so I was crossing my fingers that it would be a pleasurable experience for all.
The menu was quite extensive, with lots of curries, vegetarian, beef, lamb, etc., as well as a large assortment of breads such as naan and roti. I was not feeling a heavy meal, as I woke up later on Sunday and therefore had eaten not long before dinner. I was craving naan so I got an order of the original naan (they also have stuffed naan and garlic naan!) as well as a bowl of the tomato soup.
We had a group of 10 so I think the wait for our orders was reasonable, about 20-30 minutes. They put 3 of our orders of naan in one basket, shown below. The lighting was dim, so I apologize for the dark photos. The naan was absolutely terrific. It was hot, soft and chewy, and definitely fulfilled my carb craving.
I dipped my naan into the tomato soup. It was actually a pretty large bowl, even though they told me it was appetizer-sized. The soup was smooth, light, and had a faint sweet tomato and onion flavor. It actually tasted delicious with pieces of naan – a bit of an odd combination, but it worked! It seemed like all the other people enjoyed their dishes too.
The prices were pretty reasonable. Most of the entree curries were between $10 and $20. Unfortunately the naan was not complimentary – it was $2.50 per order. All the entrees came with basmati rice, so the amount of naan was definitely enough. The waitstaff were great at dealing with our large group. They allowed us to split up the check and gave us all separate receipts, thereby preventing a nightmare of figuring out how much each individual owed.
I’m still craving the naan (Trader Joe’s whole wheat pitas are good but do not compare!) so I may have to make a trip back if I ever have the opportunity.