Friday, October 24, 2008

Indian Food, Part I

As mentioned in an earlier post, I’m smitten with Indian food. Sitar has always been near and dear to our hearts. In fact, Mark and I ate lunch there, just the two of us, on our wedding day. We take lots of out-of-towners, including my oldest niece Kelley, who proved to be a very adventurous eater for a 10 year old. She actually liked it even though the usually pedestrian lunch buffet was extra spicy that day.

My favorite dish is the Chana Sag.

Bottom Left: The chana sag: chickpeas, spinach, tomatoes, ginger, and, I'm certain, a good amount of ghee. In the middle: Garlic Naan, Top Right: Mark's scrambled cheese dish (It's hilarious when he orders it, because the waiter inevitably asks him if he's sure he wants to order that dish. Mark has to assure him that he's had it before).

The sag is almost like a dessert if it’s made mild enough (of course, I order mine spicy). I haven’t come across it on any other menu, but then again, I haven’t been to that many Indian restaurants. We’ve also tried Woodland’s…not memorable or too very exciting. The menu is entirely vegetarian, but I almost always order vegetarian at Indian restaurants and I've found much better elsewhere.

In Portland we had the pleasure of dining at Vindalho. Oh, Vindalho. I wish we hadn’t waited until the night before leaving town to go for the first time. There were so many things I wanted to try, but we’d consistently been ordering too much food everywhere we went and we had no way of storing or reheating leftovers...What we did experience was quite nice, though.

We started with the onion rings with 4 different chutneys.
God love us, Mark and I can’t pass up fried onions (though in hindsight, I wish we'd gone with something more interesting) and dipping sauces. In this case, the dipping sauces are referred to as chutneys and they we're complex and sophisticated. We got a chutney sampler that consisted of fresh peach, tomato, date, and mint. Surprisingly, the date chutney was my favorite. I thought I hated dates.

For an entrée, we shared the Tandoori Flat-Iron Steak with chickpea and mushroom curry (you can’t keep me from the chickpeas). I didn’t realize it would be drizzled with yogurt sauce, but I was a big girl and ate it without complaint anyway. It was wonderfully tender and quite beautifully presented. Sadly, we tore into it without a thought of taking a picture beforehand. When we came to our senses, it looked like this:

Bonus Pic:
This is what happens when you imbibe the curry with wild abandon:

P.S. That's an airbrushed lamb on that t-shirt.

1 comment:

BetteDavisLies said...

MMmm, Sitar! The Bunny and I stopped there on our way back from the Gatlinburg. Of all the Indian food we've had all over this great country--and in Canada, I might add--Sitar is, seriously, our favorite.

Can we divide the world into people who love and people who hate/won't try Indian food? I think it is a greater chasm than the division between Republicans and Democrats.