India is my travel hurdle. It’s a place that I am so drawn to and yet so terrified of at the same time. I’m not scared of it for any dangers that may await us there, because I know you have to go out of your comfort zone to discover the sights best worth seeing. No, what scares me is the idea that I won’t fall in love with India once I’m there. From the safety of my couch, my fears rest solely on the notions of discomfort, massive crowds, and a case of painful belly issues that the country is known for (my father-in-law can attest to several cases of that). But in the grand scheme of things, those sound like the gripings of a very fortunate, sheltered girl, and one who is prone to complaining at that. But from afar, my idea of India is this magical, mystical, and spiritual place that I’ve fallen completely in love with. I know we’ll get there someday, but as our list of must-see places continues to grow, India gets pushed further down the list. So until then, I’m content with my own version of India, with its incredible food and seductive music. Case in point: two delectable dishes that satiate my Indian travel bug (for now).
Drinking: Wayward Wine Co. 2013 white wine
Listening to: Pandora Modern Desi Music Scene
Indian Butter Chicken
Both the ingredients and the steps to making this butter chicken are super simple; the only spice that you possibly don’t have in your cabinet already is the garam masala.
I don’t love chicken, so it’s unusual that I’d love a meal like this. But really, we use about half the amount of chicken that the recipe calls for, and I slurp up the sauce with the accompanying rice and plenty of naan.
This recipe was our favorite of the two; we actually couldn’t find the Madras curry in our local store, so we substituted regular curry spice and found ourselves very happy with the results.
Be careful frying the paneer! Jesse and I do not have a good frying record, and have the burn marks to prove it. This dish proved no different, and almost ended up in the trash rather than our plates, since we had just a little trouble getting the oil to calm down (thankfully we worked it out, because this baby was worth it). Use caution!
With all of the starchy ingredients, it felt good to have a serving of spinach with this dish (but definitely not enough!).
Am I still dreaming of India? Absolutely. But with a belly full of spices and wine to wash it down, I can hold off just a little bit longer.