First stop was an Indian grocery store on Drum Hill in Chelmsford. This was the second time I went into Palika Bazaar and while it didn't look like anything exciting I was amazed at what I walked away with for less than $10. Not only that, but the gentleman that was working there didn't charge me for the serrano chiles and gave me a couple of tips for what I was cooking that night.
The haul from Palika Bazaar
The recipes I chose for last night's dinner were Mixed Vegetables with Coconut Sauce, Stir-fry Peas with Rice, and Fried Onions (which the peas & rice called for as a garnish). While I was at Trader Joe's, I had picked up some garlic naan bread as well.
I tried to cook in shifts, making the rice first and then while the rice was cooking I cut up the vegetables and made the coconut "paste" for the veggie dish. The naan I wrapped in foil and kept in the oven (heated at "warm") the whole time I was cooking to get it nice and toasty warm for dinner. I cooked all of the dishes to recipe with a slight exception of the rice & peas. The tip I got from the man at the Indian grocery was to add tumeric for flavor & color so I did that once I added the water for absorbtion. It made the rice a beautiful yellow color.
I forgot to take a picture of the vegetables after I got them all mixed up, but there were carrots, potatoes, green beans, and plantains in the batch. The "sauce" ended up being not very saucy at all and more of a coating. If I were to make this again, I might increase the amount of yogurt to a full cup instead of the half-cup it called for to make it a bit more "saucy". That said - the flavors on the vegetables were wonderful.
Rice on the left, veggies on the right, fried onions to garnish
Overall the meal was quite good. The fried onions made a great garnish and added just the right amount of extra flavor. We did need to add salt to bring out some of the flavors of the dish (the recipe said "table salt to taste" - which was about right!). Steve went back for seconds and thirds which is usually a good indicator of how good it is. Also - it made a ton of food, so I have leftovers which isn't a bad thing. It was a great experience to cook these dishes, and I'm looking forward to trying to cook more things out of this book!