Monday, January 31, 2011

Get together

On Saturday we had a get together for some friends in Paris. Considering that many of the Indians studying with A. are suffering through cafeteria food and live in rooms without cooking facilities I decided to help them out and cook something Indian. But then there are also several Brazilians in similar situations and, well... I wanted to please them too. That's a hard task though as Brazilians eat bland food, which obviously does not go down well for Indians. And the Indians coming to the party were all vegetarians, which makes it hard to please them as well as meat-eating Brazilians. Another crucial difference is that Indians see rice as the main dish, while Brazilians have a hard time considering it more than a side. This explains why Brazilians also have such a hard time with Indian spicy curries, in that they tend to pile up on the curries and put some rice on the side, refusing to eat rice with curry and insisting on curry with rice!

So I made up a vegetarian Indo-Brazilian dinner. And what would that be? Having been in Spain recently and enjoying all the tapas and montaditos they had there served as good inspiration.
Montaditos in Spain.

Why not have some veg curries served on top of nice fresh baguette? I know... almost blasphemous for Indians, but it could be a step towards integration. So off we went to the grocery shop...

Doesn't A. look French? :P

Considering our "huge" kitchen comprised of a sink and a 2 burner electric stove right next to it, I must say I was very pleased with my accomplishments. Since we have only 2 small pots and 1 small pan, cooking anything for 10 people was impossible. The alternative was to do many smaller quantities. Gobi curry and Andhra style brinjal curry were the spiciest. Aloo gobi and an innovative zucchini curry were mild. And a tomato chutney topped it off without burning anyone's tong. At the end I decided to be nice to the Indians and make some rice.

Needless to say, the evening was a huge success. Food disappeared and wine flowed freely. Actually, a bit too freely (how could that not be when a good wine bottle costs €3??) and Sunday was spent recovering (and then flying back to Oslo). Not a bad weekend at all!


  1. Funny that we both blogged about food today huh?

    Swiss like their food bland too, with so many years in India I became a master in the art of fusion food, when I cook continental I generally compromise by adding more pepper or a pinch of chili powder to a dish, or making sure I use a lot of aromatic herbs. Like brazilian swiss consider rice or even bread (chapati count as bread) as a side dish, and I noticed most Indians liek their food "wet" meaning sinking in gravies, while Swiss prefer it textured and dry.
    When I have a veg/non-veg party I generally cook a dish in gravy or cream, add paneer or tofu to the vegetarian version, then in another wok I make the chicken version, that way it's really just cooking one gravy base, chopping chicken and tofu isn't what takes the longest anyway :)

  2. You are such a wonderful person with an awesome heart. A is lucky!



    PS: Make sure he reads this comment. ;)

  3. Hi Cyn,
    Funny I prefer wet food and A. is always for the dry. I agree on same gravy for both veg and non-veg dishes but usually A. convinces me to go veg as he eats mostly veg too.

    Hi Machu,
    Thanks for the comment. Made me blush :)