My friend had come over with some food too. She had been telling me about something called Black Fish. I said I had never heard of it. She was surprised - she is from the Dominican Republic and my dad is from Haiti - much of the food is very similar. They do share the same island, after all. She wanted to come over and make it for me. She came in with her bag of ingredients on Saturday..and then I realized what this Black Fish is...it is smoked herring. She just didn't know the proper name for it. I HATE smoked herring - the smell, the taste..everything about it! Whenever my parents would make this smelly fish, my sister and I would hide in our bedroom with the door closed, waiting for the smell to go away. My parents always had to make something different for us on the days they cooked this. Even if they tried, they would not even have been able to force feed us this! My friend felt so bad, but I told her don't...she had no way of knowing how much I despise this dish. She went ahead and made it for her breakfast Sunday morning, while I ate some leftover oatmeal.
I figured she had gone to all this effort the least I could do is repay the favor and cook a grand dinner for her. I had been so inspired from all the amazing feasts featured in my fellow Blogging Marathoners who chose to do the Indian thali meals. I had seen so many recipes I wanted to try and thought wow I have enough Indian recipes for a year. Instead of them just staying in my bookmarks without me ever looking at them, I decided I would do my own thali, using only one recipe per blog, to highlight as many of my blogger friends' talents as possible.
She had also brought over some veggies that she knows I love, specifically beets and okra. There was some extra leftover staples after she had made the herring - tomatoes, cilantro, etc. that I knew I had all the ingredients to make a mini-thali for dinner. Invite some more friends over for a wonderful Sunday meal!
I came up with this menu for my mini-thali Indian dinner. I wasn't trying to make an authentic thali from a specific region of India, so this is a hodgepodge thali from areas of the whole country.
wonderful appetizer fritters made with chickpea flour (via Pradnya) - I added 6 tablespoons of water to make the batter the perfect consistency. This is actually very similar to something we make in the Caribbean called phulourie, except we make it with ground channa dal (yellow split peas)...her chickpea flour based ones I loved as much as phulourie
Toor Dal Chutney
chutney made from split pigeon peas..a new one for me (via Harini) - I am accustomed to chutney's being smooth and creamy as in coriander chutney or tamarind chutney. This one is coarse and even a little crunchy. I added 6 tablespoons of tamarind extract when I did her recipe.
a wonderful spice powder that I accompanied with brown Basmati rice, cooked in rice cooker with frozen green peas (via Rasi) - I followed her recipe exactly, except I used dried dessicated grated coconut, as I didn't have any fresh.
stir fry made with potatoes and okra (via Vaishalli) - I added more water to this because I like the okra cooked a little softer. I've never cooked okra this way before, stuffing it with a spicy spice paste and it was super delicious!
lamb simmered in a coconut-poppy seed curry (via Priya) - I had to make my own variation of this because I didn't have any more poppy seeds, so I substituted black sesame seeds. I used a regular pot, instead of a pressure cooker. I used leg of lamb meat and her recipe didn't specify black or green cardamom - I used black.
...I still had some leftover Mango Coconut Flan, so that was dessert
the only thing missing was roti and dahl..with the next day's leftover's Missi Roti was added (via Aarthi) - for my detailed methodology for making her roti, see here...next time, I will make a complete thali and include dahl also!
Although not all of these recipes were specifically posted as part of the Thali theme, they became part of my Thali
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