Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bento Meets Indian

As promised Monday and Tuesday this week had some Indian elements.  The Indian spices are fairly pungent; especially when cooked on a high heat.  So springtime with the windows open is a plus in our small kitchen that is open to the living and dining area.

Monday eased into India.  The small compartment is a sushi roll with smoked salmon, asparagus, and avocado; a cornichon, and the fruit mix - blackberries and strawberries.  The large compartment is sauteed red bell pepper with sesame seeds, two olives, mung bean sprouts quick fried with a little soy sauce, and kale with ginger and green chilies {the Indian part}.  For the kale cut a small piece of fresh ginger into thin slivers, cook over high heat with vegetable oil until the ginger starts to brown,  add  the kale and a chopped hot green chili, open the windows, cook until the kale has wilted, add salt, garam masala, sugar, and cayenne, stir and cook another five minutes.  Pretty tasty.  The mung bean sprouts also had a nice crunch.

Tuesday I dived on in.  The main dish in the large compartment is shrimp with garlic and chilies.  The shrimp is peeled and deveined, washed and sprinkled/rubbed with tumeric and cayenne.  Put a little vegetable oil in a large frying pan over high heat, add mustard seeds and as soon as they begin to pop {very quickly} add the garlic.  Once the garlic turns golden add hot green chili, add the shrimp, and cook 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle with cilantro and add to the rice.  {Plus turn on the fans, open the windows, and break out the hankerchiefs.}  The shrimp were chopped into large pieces {these were shrimps on steroids} before adding to the rice.   A good bento although it may have been better while hot rather than the next day room temperature. 

In the small comparment is stir-fried green cabbage with fennel seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, onion rings, cayenne, lemon juice, garam masala, and salt.  Very tasty.  Plus asparagus with fresh mozzarella, and the fruit mix {strawberries and apple}.

All the Indian recipes are from Madhur Jaffrey's "Quick & Easy Indian Cooking."  Highly reccomended by the Baltimore Bento Man.   There's also a nice article in this past Sunday's {March 14} New York Times travel section on Goa and Indian food in Goa.

Tomorrow's bento includes a dish by a guest chef, actually the head chef in my world {head critic also}.  Check back on the weekend for the results.

Cheers, Gary

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