Curry and Rice, together is nice!

As I rushed to enter the lobby of my condo this morning after a short trip to the convenience store, it suddenly dawned on me how cold it’s been lately. Just yesterday I could swear that we had to crank up the air-conditioning in order to get a good night’s sleep. And today, BAM! Summer’s disappeared and we are wrapped in warm clothes piercing the cold winds.

Mixed Vegetable Curry

It’s no surprise that when it’s cold out, you want to come home to warmth and comfort. And what better way to get cozy that with a big pot of curry simmering on the stove. Personally, I love the season of Fall. The warm colours, endless cups of warm frothy coffee, fresh baked pies, and curries. Yes curries!

In my home, it’s a known fact that throughout the months of September and October, you will always find a big pot of rich creamy goodness perched up on my stove-top. Friends know that when they drop by, they will undoubtedly be served rice topped with ladlels of curry glory. Indeed, there is something very soothing about digging into a bowl of rich, spicy gooeyness.

I love playing with the many flavours available and sometimes even surprise myself by trying out something so unconventional that ends up tasting as one of my best creations ever. This dish was one with similar tale to tell. And as I go in for a second helping, I wonder how come I didn’t think of it before.

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Souping it Up

It’s funny how the palette knows of season change even before the mind is ready and willing to accept it. A week ago, I found myself craving for soup. No matter how much I tried talking myself out of it, it only grew stronger. Suddenly visions of warm spicy curry drowned rice began dancing in front of my eyes.

Hot & Sour Chicken Curry

Growing up, I remember coming home to the warm comforting aroma of Mom’s chicken soup simmering on the stove on cold winter evenings. She would throw in a variety of vegetables and serve ladles of it over warm rice. It was a sure shot way to melt away the frozen senses.

The minute I walk in from the wet cold air outside, I can’t help but be overcome with a calmness that’s only characteristic of ambience in my home. As I stroll into my kitchen and look at my stove, as if waiting for some kind of sign for tonight’s dinner, I picture Mom pouring ladles full of warm hearty soup in big bowls around the dining table. That was it then, it had to be done. That was the sign and there would be no ignoring it. We were having soup, that would be hearty enough to double up as curry. I set out my ingredients and got to work.

A couple of minutes later as Hubby Dear walked in through the door, he was greeted with a warm aroma floating in the air. And I couldn’t help but notice the smirk on his face when he walked into the kitchen and saw a big pot of hearty goodness simmering on the stove.

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A Venture in Adventure

Even great cooks don’t eat it all, sometimes! I am a very picky eater. Yes, strange as it may seem to you, it’s true. Up until a while ago, I wasn’t even adventurous with my palate. I would stick to flavours I understood and forgo the rest. Part of my reasoning on whether or not I would enjoy a dish, came from how it looked.

Palak Paneer

Being born and bred in the Arabian Gulf, everyone simply assumes I am the Guru when it comes to Mid-Eastern fare. But, in fact, I’ve only had hummus (and can now gulp down bowls of it!) for about 2-3 years now. In Canada. Yes, strange again, I know, but also true! You see, when we were growing up, hummus was almost a weekly guest at our table. My parents and siblings loved it, and relished every mouthful. I, on the other hand, thought it to be gooey (my husband would scorn with gooey not being a word!), and hence, never dared to give it a try.

But since being with Hubby Dear, the adventurous soul that he is, I’ve begun to mellow down a lot. It was with him that I took my first scoop of hummus, and decided, that though being gooey, I quite liked it. In fact, now it very easily makes it”s way into my kitchen every week!

Ever since I’ve started this blog, I’ve begun cooking things that I normally wouldn’t. I now see my weekly grocery trips as a chance for me to explore and learn. I pick up veggies that I would run away from and try and create new ways of enjoying it.

When we were growing up, spinach was one such vegetable that I would often hide from. I would cry and cry until my Mom got tired enough to allow me to leave it aside. Then I moved to India and was introduced to a dish I can swear by. Till today, it’s one of the few ways I would eat spinach without a gun on my head.

So today, as I was scanning my fridge, thinking of what to make for dinner, my eyes set upon the lonely bunch of spinach lying there, bought only a few days ago. I decided to tackle it head on. And what do you know, the rest as they say, is history!

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Saying Goodbye: Vegetable Fried Noodles

Pic taken from www.hookedonheat.com, visit site for recipe details.

We cramped the whole of summer into the past long weekend. After a cancellation of our camping plans, due to the bad weather that poured on us, we decided to make the most of whatever enthusiasm was left. We took to the city and visited the sights, slept in and went out for a lavish brunch, walked by the lake, read a book in a cafe and took pleasant afternoon naps. And as Tuesday sprung, trying hard to get back into the weekly groove, it suddenly dawned on me that the weekend marked the end of summer.

As a child, the first day of school always marked a drastic end to a wonderfully joyous summer. Suddenly, our trips to the park were cut short because of pending homework that was to be done. Barbeque parties came to an abrupt end since most parents had to shuffle their kids between weekend extra-curricular activities. And the first of all, we had to get yo bed early on Sunday nights and wake up at the break of dawn on Monday mornings.

But as the sun slowly hide behind heavy clouds and the rains became more frequent, I always looked forward to something even better. Rainy day food. Comfort food. Food I can come home to from the cold, wet outdoors, that would instantly bring out the warmth in me and perk me up. Tpday, lounging on my favourite chair with a great book and bowl of warm melt-in-your-mouth goodness, I look out the window and bid a sad farewell to summer. Only to follow it with a warm welcome to my most favourite season of all. The Fall.

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