Monday, October 29, 2007

Indian Food (Southern Indian style)

I grew up eating Indian food. I recalled the day my father left his packed Nasi Kandar at home. He intended it for his lunch at work that day, unfortunately... I was only 9 years old but I devoured the whole pack and left some chicken bones! It was "finger linking good" (KFC?). When he returned home, he asked if he had left his Nasi Kandar behind. I just licked my lips and rubbed my tummy!

Initially, when we arrived in Thailand, April 2006, my children and I had withdrawal symptoms. No, not from drugs. Yes, from Indian food. We would sit around the dinner table discussing our favorite Indian dishes. In Malaysia, it has never been a problem accessing Indian food. Everywhere we go, there are heaps and heaps of Indian restaurants serving delicious Indian cuisines and extremely cheap too. An average meal at our favorite stall would cost RM5.50 (B55). Topped with rice, mutton, vegetables and steaming hot curries.

One of our favorite stall is located at SS3 - Medan Selera, Petaling Jaya. It only serves at lunch time. We have to reach by 12pm if we want the good stuff. He serves between 6-8 types of vegetable or vegetarian dishes. In huge pots. We help ourselves to those, a generous helping most of the time. Unlike many of the other restaurants, their dishes are still very hot. Deep fried fish, mutton curry, chicken curry, prawns, etc. are some of the varieties of meat dishes. Eating with your fingers can be a tricky thing but extremely satisfying. If you eat Indian dishes, you just have to do it the Indian cum KFC style - "Finger licking good".

Eating with fingers is an acquired skill. I have been "practicing" it since I was a young girl. Most Chinese girls don't eat with their fingers. They either use chopsticks or forks and spoons. My sons has now taken after me. Joel who is 11 years old, has acquired the skill. Ethaniel who is 5+ tries to imitate both of us but he gets more rice on the table and floor than his mouth. The rice is all over the palm of his hands! Daddy already finds that the Mom is weird enough and now the sons are taking after her! What next?

Examples of some of my favorites Indian cuisines:

Roti canai
Its a type of pancake made from flour. Its is usually eaten with chicken, fish or dhall curry gravy.

Banana Leave rice
Rice are placed on fresh banana leaves. Its kind of a "all-you-can-eat". You can eat as much rice, vegetables, 'papadum' and pickle as you want. As for meat dishes, you need to purchase it separately.

Its also another version of the pancake but made from grinded rice. My elder son, Joel's favorite is "paper dosei". It is made so thin that its crispy. It is also eaten with dhall, fish, chicken curry or chutney.

Nun (Garlic, Cheese flavor)
This dish is a Northern Indian dish. I love those filled with hot melted cheese, just like the pizzas. You can eat it with a variety of curries e.g. dhall, chicken or fish curry, peppermint and condense milk.

Just 3 days ago, 26 Oct 07, was a memorable day. I am proud to announce that I managed to cook mutton curry, successfully! Thanks to Sheeba for her recipe, Mala Arunagiri for her inspiration and "delicious" encouragements. Mala's mutton curry is the only ones we have tasted whilst in Bangkok. All prepared in her very own kitchen. The rest were the ones we purchased and frozen from Malaysia. She cooks the most delicious vegetarian mung bean curry I have ever tasted!

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