Nothing better to reduce a week's work stress than to embark on a cooking extravaganza. The conduit was this great book called Rice, Spice and All Things Nice by Reza Mahammad.
None of the recipes are really easy, but they do live up to the book's subtitle of Indian Cuisine with Style.
I went a bit cooking-crazy and produced three different platters along with home made Raita, home made Naan and home made Mango Lassi.
Blog followers are lucky enough to read about this adventure in two parts over two days.
The extravaganza's appetizers were Crispy Okra (page 119). It is an easy recipe where you combine the okra with chat masala powder and gram flour. Given that I had no clue what those were and it was too cold to venture out to Fraser street, I used regular masala powder and regular flour and deep fried them. Crispy, crunchy, yummy.
The real fun began when I approached the Lamb in Black Pepper Sauce (page 93).
This dish starts with cooking the most amazing set of flavour enhancers - onions, black and green cardamom, cloves, garlic, fresh ginger, green chillies, black pepper and garam masala. Just close your eyes and imagine the aromas...
You then add chopped tomatoes and a Tbs of yoghurt, then coat the lamb pieces in this aromatic base.
Water is then added and this dish simmers for a couple of hours until the water separates leaving you with delicious, tender and spicy lamb.
Stress release cooking at its best.
And to be able to dip home made Naan in the lamb sauce.
To get there, I baked Naan from scratch. Using the bread maker, a mixture of flour, yeast, and yoghurt gets you those delicious Naans that bake in less than 10 minutes.
There is more to this cooking extravaganza, but it will have to wait till tomorrow. So tune back then and enjoy the grande finale of Indian Cooking Extravaganza.