May 3, 2009

A Nepalese Lunch

I am so fat and happy right now. Our friends have just left the dishes are done (not that I did them) and I am sitting back pondering the food I can still taste in my mouth. I wanted to cook a special lunch for our friends seeing as they really helped us out when we first moved to Sydney. 
When our stuff was still on its way over to Australia, we arrived in Sydney with as much as we could shove into four suitcases but I am afraid kitchen ware and blankets took a back seat to the Star War toys and other bits and bobs to keep the boys occupied. When CB offered up blankets, sheets, pots, pans and a billy we thought all our Christmases had come at once- not only did they supply us something to cook with and keep us warm but it also got us through our first camping trip to boot!
As you can see I had to put in a good effort and to tell you the truth I was really looking forward to making something I really wanted to eat. Something I didn't know to much about but eager to learn. I brought 'Mangoes and Curry leaves' By Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid a few years ago and I have to say it is one of my favorite books to flip through when I need inspiration or a pick me up for meal time. The stories and photos tell of a life I wished I could of lived but never did- travelling the world discovering wonderful food and places........actually I have done that but not to the extent of Alford and Duguid.
The recipes are written really well and easy to follow. Most of the  time I don't have all the ingredients called for so I sub a lot and it always works beautifully. I think I have made the Nepali chicken dish 4-5 times due to the fact the kids devour it in seconds and it only takes 5 minutes to throw together. For some reason I didn't have coriander seeds in the house so I swapped them for fennel seeds (Nic thought that a very bad idea as fennel would not be found in Nepal but work with what you've got I say!). The end result once we stopped the Weber smoking itself into a stupor was delicious. I complimented it with Mountain Dal (which has a lovely clove/chilli taste that lingers in your mouth) Nepali sesame seed  & green bean salad (just sensational- again I didn't have the right flavours but managed to create a pretty fab second best) Cauliflower Dum and homemade pita bread (I always make it if I have fired up the grill because it compliments any meal).
We stuffed ourselves, told tales, listened to past and up and coming events and more importantly caught up with each others lives, which I find hard to keep on top of these days.

Finishing the meal with polenta and orange cake (which is due to appear on kidspot next week) and homemade custard was a great way to seal the light, flavoursome feast we devoured.
It probably wont happen again for another 3 months but next time we get together you can bet there will be a feast for all to devour.

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