In an effort to save money and avoid going to the Indian buffet so often they don't have to ask for our drink order (that may or may not currently be the case), I decided to make Indian food at home. Yay!
The idea originally did not come to fruition because we could not seem to get the flavors right when we tried various recipes. Have you ever curry that just wasn't quite right? It's not appetizing. Trust me. After a couple botched attempts, we gave up.
That all changed when we went to the local farmer's market. It is such a magical place. Some people are put off by the giant signs out front that advertise it as the Mexican grocery. Not me. I heard they had bananas for 15cents a pound and I was there. And it was true! 15 cents a pound. They had me.
I have been frequenting the Mexican grocery/farmer's market ever since.
I even took my parents last time they visited me. It wasn't even my idea. My mom was looking through the Sunday paper and happened upon their weekly flyer. Wouldn't you know it - 15cent bananas! That was all it took for her to want to go.
She fell in love. She got so excited by all the cheap produce. And we even found bags of pasta for 25cents. 25 cents!
Of course, it's Mexican pasta, which I'm okay with. MB - not so much. He went into a whole tirade yesterday about the evils of Mexican spaghetti and how we can afford to buy regular spaghetti and should never ever have to eat Mexican spaghetti. It's why we went out to eat. He refused to let me cook the Mexican spaghetti. Refused.
Whatever. More for me.
Anyway, the farmer's market has been the inspiration for a few meals around our household. When I was shopping with my parents, I noticed the sweet potatoes.
I have never in my life seen sweet potatoes that were so big. They were the size of melons (giggity)! I wanted to buy them so badly because I was mesmerized by their girth (giggity) but I ended up with the little ones instead. You see, there is just something wrong about buying such a phallic item of produce when shopping with Dad. It makes me blush. I just can't do it.
So, I had to bite my tongue in order to keep all the 14 year old boy jokes from coming out and just pretend I had wandered over there because I truly wanted sweet potatoes. Not because I couldn't resist their massiveness. My shame was the reason we had creamy sweet potato soup with curried toasted pecans, which was super delicious btw (email me for the recipe).
Anyway, back to the farmer's market and the inspiration for Indian food a la GirlyBitz.
MB and I were there one day and noticed that there was an entire back section. How did we never notice the back room?
Don't worry, it's not the same kind of back room you might encounter in the video store. You don't have to wear sunglasses and a disguise to go in there. And you can touch things without having to immediately hand sanitize. If things are sticky back there, it's for purely non pornographic reasons.
MB and I decided to check it out and we instantly fell in love. There was a whole room full of spices, flours, cake decorations, nut mixes, dried fruit and all kinds of cool stuff that Acme just doesn't care enough to stock.
And then we found the Indian food aisles. Rows of spice mixes and different kinds of lentils and all kinds of delish stuff. We got one of the package mixes for Chicken Tikka Masala, figuring it's only a dollar so how could we go wrong. It was yummy! I made it with a lentil and vegetable dish from Fat Club magazine (email me for the recipe). Mmmm. That was the best little meal I've made all week.
Next time we go back, we are going to venture even farther into the back room. Not too far, though. Last time I ventured too far back at the video store, I almost ended up as a mail order bride/sex slave for some guy named Yuri (shudder).