This past Sunday I had a delightful lunch with fellow vegans and vegetarians.. We went to an Indian restaurant. When I first walked in, the place was divided into a store and then the restaurant. The store sold a variety of things from Jewelry, pillows, blankets, incense, frames, clothes, etc.. I was told that everything in the store came from India. The colors were so exotic in detail on practically everything they sold. And the detail on the items were impressive. Then off to the restaurant side where you could choose to have the buffet or pick from the menu. I was very hungry when I arrived and was very happy to learn that a good portion of the buffet was vegan. You had a choice to have the buffet or items from the menu. On the menu they kindly wrote next to the item if it was vegan. But there were plenty of vegan items already prepared to be eaten right away!! So buffet it was and it was good.. There was enough spice to make me drink plenty of water but I enjoyed it. I do not like things too hot but this was just right.. They did have signs that would tell you if a particular food was on the very hot side. I will do the best I can to remember what I had. There were vegetables sauteed in a delicious sauce, rice, chutney, chickpeas with spinach and tomato , spinach soup, a pancake type food with some sort of vegetables on top and salad with a very tasty dressing. The restaurant was very nice to make us a vegan bread... A wonderful dining experience I would do again.. I do like to use spices such as curry, turmeric, and garam masala. As I have developed a love for cooking I have become more open to exploring new things. What I have learned is that creating a nice balance of spices to the food being prepared can be a wonderful dining experience. And you do not always need many spices to make a dish work, just the right ones.. Some recipes may only call for a few spices and some a column full. But the fun is in the creating and taking the spices you enjoy and making that dish your own.. Last year some time there was a recipe I tried with chickpeas, spinach, tomato, turmeric, and garam masala.(I was reminded of this flavor combo with the chickpea and spinach dish in the restaurant) That is when I went looking for garam masala and found it.. You did not need too much and the flavor was a unique taste in a good way. Here is the link to the recipe which is on the Rachel Ray website:
Do not be afraid to explore new food choices including the spices which add such a uniqueness to foods. You might create a dish that you find yourself craving...
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