Indian Feast

I love to learn about other cultures and their food traditions. And I love Indian food! Our good friends, Sumantra (from Calcutta) and Indrani (from Delhi), threw a big Indian feast on Friday night. We were celebrating Sumantra’s son, Sourav, heading off to Oxford for a year abroad of studying economics and Sumantra’s mom, who has been visiting for the past 6 months, returning to Calcutta this coming week. Her name is Manisha.

When Indrani invited us, I naturally asked if I could bring anything and she’s so sweet, she said, no it was a working day for me so I shouldn’t be bothered about bringing anything, just bring myself and my husband. Ha! It was a working day for her too. She came home at 2 pm and here’s the spread she had ready at 7 pm. Isn’t it gorgeous?Indian feast - homemade with roasted goat, shrimp, paneer and vegetable patties.So from the top, going clockwise, we have an amazing roasted goat dish using Manisha’s recipe, a bean dish with wonderful complex layered flavors, terrific vegetable patties, dal, a delicious paneer, boxes of dessert cheese balls waiting for their presentation time, homemade chutney with dates, a shrimp dish and rice and peas in the middle.

Manisha Sen.

Manisha – she told me she likes big bindi dots!

Indrani is a great cook and she has often remarked about how Manisha is a really wonderful cook. So we were the lucky beneficiaries of both on Friday. Indrani used Manisha’s recipe for the goat, which was wicked good. And you can tell that Indrani instinctively cooks with LOVE, as everything was so delicious and their apartment was brimming with all good feelings. I ate more than I should have, but I’m not sorry!

Indian food is layered with complex flavors. Sometimes the spice kicks in on the back end. The ingredient list for any of the recipes is always long, yet the flavor payoff is great. And as Indrani says, the best part about cooking Indian food is that you can make everything ahead of time and just keep it warm in the oven until ready to serve.

This was quite a celebration of all good things and a wonderful party. A great time was had by all. But I forgot to take a picture of Indrani, Sumantra and Sourav. 🙁 Next time!!