Monday, March 30, 2009

Rainy Day Potluck and Raw Indian Food. YUM.

Oh, wow. Another delicious potluck was had. And another kick in my bum for staying away from my blog. Perhaps it has to do partly with the fact that I'm the world's worst potluck photographer. I get so amped up about the gorgeous dishes that I forget to snap any pics until the food has been half eaten. Though no less delicious, I really do need to take photos of food before we descend upon it.

That said, this past Saturday's potluck was a wonderful, mellow gathering of great people. The rain fell steadily outside and provided a great reason to stay inside...along with the incredible food and good company. :)

I tried my hand at something I've long wanted to...Indian food. It is the one cuisine I have always assumed I would not want to give up. Until now. I made raw palak paneer. And it was so good, I can still taste it. I can also still smell the spices in my kitchen, which makes me want to make it all over again.

I promise to post the soon as I figure it out. As always, I am so deeply involved with the food that I forget to write down what I'm doing. My friend Jenny is borrowing my Indian cookbook, which is where I got the general idea of how to make it. For those of you not familiar, palak paneer is one of many Indian dishes using a cubed cheese (paneer) that has a soft consistency and a mild flavor. This dish uses spinach, and is traditionally cooked down with ghee, spices and other ingredients. Because ghee is not on the raw menu (it's clarified butter), I made do with coconut oil and olive oil. I really winged the whole thing, relying on my taste buds to tell me when I had achieved the taste of my favorite Indian dish. Here's a picture of the last remaining portion:

Along with that I made the raw version of gulab juman, which is an Indian dessert that is essentially fried balls of dough in a sweet, rose water-infused syrup. My version involved almonds, soaked overnight, ground into a fine mush, mixed in with coconut creme, rose water, vanilla bean seeds, honey and ginger, and then balled up, and finally drenched in a diluted honey and set in the fridge. YUM. All of the balls were devoured before I had time to snap a picture. Oh, dear. That really reads like it should go in a totally different blog.

The table began to pile up with deliciousness.

The fantastic food brought by everyone else included things like almond butter cookies with chocolate icing, pesto pasta, potato salad made with jicama, incredible salads, spicy guacamole, and more. It's so wonderful to hang out with folks that are into raw, and just goes to prove that surrounding yourself with like-minded people makes this lifestyle that much easier.

I promise, I'll get the recipe posted for the paneer. Love to you all.


Joyce Holsten said...

Wow, your raw Indian food photos are great! Indian food is another area of raw food I would like to try! And I look forward to your paneer recipe. That looks so delicious!

You have a great blog and I also enjoyed the Valentine's day potluck and the recipes you made. Wow! You are quite a raw food chef!

Have a nice weekend,
Joyce (from RFC)

Joyce Holsten said...

Wow, I love the photos of your Indian food. The paneer looks so delicious! I want to start exploring raw Indian recipes. And I look forward to your paneer recipe :-)

I also enjoyed your Valentine's day potluck post and your amazing recipes for lasagna and tiramisu! You are quite a raw food chef!

Have a great weekend!

Joyce (from RFC)

Wendy said...

YUM! Palak Paneer is one of my favorites! I can't WAIT to try the recipe!

HolliL1 said...

Did you ever post the recipe?
I'm new to raw, and palak paneer is my all-time favorite Indian dish!