Well hello there blogosphere! It’s been a while and my absence whenever it comes along is usually due to work being crazy. I feel like work is always getting crazy at some point during the month. Keep your fingers crossed that something that stopped working earlier this week is back and going full speed by early next sometime this week! So on that note, I will stop worrying about work and tell you about this food that we made a couple of weeks ago. Since we are having October cookbook club tonight scratch that it was Friday, boy am I a lazy blogger (Pioneer Woman Cookbook of course!) I thought I would finally force myself to sit down and write this post! Last month was hosted at my house and I chose Indian food. I have a bunch of wonderful Indian coworkers. One of them is Cynthia and she has made impromptu Indian rice dishes for us for lunch a couple of times over the past month. We loveeeee them, so I thought it would be nice to get her advice and cook some real Indian food! I also enlisted Roopa’s help to pick a cookbook and she told me that this author was great. I found Modern Spice at the Frederick library and so we went with that. When I initially looked at this cookbook I thought the recipes looked to simplistic for me (well you realize I do cook verrrry simply every night when I do cook for myself, but for cookbook club I like to pull out all the stops!) But as we started going, the recipes were not too simple, they were just right and they produced some amazing food.

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This is me stirring my crab masala sauce in my beautiful christmas present I bought for myself! Gosh I love that pot and gosh I love this dish!

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Here are three out of the five us in in cookbook club and boy do we have a good time when we are together. Check out my lovely kitchen in the evening light.. so beautiful!

And you know who else is so beautiful??? Colette Vie! I was holding her and Renee her sweet mommy snapped the shot. That child is perfect, just perfect.

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So click on down and see some more pictures of our Indian cooking that night!

This is some candy, candy coated fennel candy to be exact. It is commonly used as a palate cleanser. They just looked so pretty! We didn’t actually use the candy as intended… I gave the remains of the bag to another coworker!

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Ah black mustard seeds. Very crucial to some recipes. And I got a pretty big bag for like 2 dollars! Gotta love local ethnic markets!

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And rice, delicious pure white rice. I tried something different and boiled these babies. Usually I do a 1 cup rice to 2 cups water thing and cook it on low for exactly 20 minutes (after bringing it to a boil of course…). But Cynthia says she just boils her rice… so I loaded up my biggest pot with tons of water and threw in 2 cups. I probably boiled it for like 10 minutes, until the texture tasted correct to me. It was faster, but I felt like I had to watch it the whole time to make sure to not overcook it. I think I’ll stick to my 20 minutes approach next time.

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Ah the mango spiked drink. This recipe was in the cookbook and I made it for our first fun drink of the evening. You can see some more drinks below. I boiled some chopped up mangoes and smushed them with a potato masher. (why does writing smush make me think of the snooki monster! smoosh smoosh! haaaaa) Well then I strained my smushed stuff with it’s water (from the boiling process) and added some sugar and mint and put it over ice. Deelish.

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Then the girl’s came and they got right to work! Alayne made a shrimp dish and here are the shrimpies. Gosh I love shrimpies.

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She added some red onions… Love that beautiful sunlight in my kitchen!

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This concoction was part of Joanne’s appetizer. Very tasty corn mixture.

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And some baby love just cause its cute.

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Another mixture Joanne made went into some wonton wrappers and then into the fryer!

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Oh baby they were good! And so were the corn fritters.

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And I got some French wine. I went into the quaint wine store, Viniferous,  in Frederick across from Volt and got some really reasonably priced wines. I went for some sweeter ones to offset the spicy Indian food. The owner Bob was really helpful and I could not believe what great a deal I got for three bottles of wine!

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So here was our second course made by Alayne. A creamy flavorful sauce atop some freshly cooked shrimp.

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Then we got to the entree. Made by me! A spiced rice and…..

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a crab masala! The spiced rice was tooooo spicy for me when I tried to eat it as leftovers. You see, the recipe called for 10 curry leaves. I had never seen nor used curry leaves before and did not know about their strong power! When I threw them into the hot oiled pan, Joanne and I instantly started furiously hacking a lung. Never before was something as powerful as this was cooked in my kitchen! We could not breathe for a whole minute! But then the vapors subsided and I could continue cooking, but next time I’m going to use like 2 curry leaves! ah!

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This crab masala was so good, I am reposting the recipe below. Definitely a winner in my book and when I brought in the leftovers to get Cynthia to try she was super impressed by my mad white girl cooking Indian food skills! Very proud of myself and glad I picked this cookbook!

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Renee made rice pudding with pieces of mango. The recipe did not make as much rice as it said it would, but boy was that some hella good dessert!

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Renee being the overachiever (I mean seriously, she has two children now! One of them who is a handful, a cute handful and the other who is a newborn! and cooking two desserts??! You crazy lady!)  made coconut macaroons. (Not to be confused with macarons my dear readers). I would not touch those cookies with a ten foot pole, but they sure did look tasty!

So last month was super tasty and October was just as good! Stay tuned for that post!

Crab Masala

Ingredients:

2 tbsps vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of finely grated ginger+garlic on a microplane grater
2 small serrano chilies, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 cup water
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat, fresh b**ches! this is maryland for gosh sakes!
salt, to taste
fresh cilantro

Directions:

1. Heat the oil over medium heat. When it starts to shimmer add the cinnamon stick and cumin seeds. When those begin to sizzle, add the onion and ginger+garlic paste. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion becomes translucent.
2. Add the green chilis and tomato. Cook for another 12 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and the oil begins to separate from the mixture.
3. Add the coriander, turmeric and chili powder. Mix well and add the water and cook until the water evaporates, 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Add the crab and salt. Cook until the crab is heated through, 3 to 5 minutes.
5. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot!

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