Friday, January 27, 2017

Where is Maharashtra, India?

So on Sunday afternoon I was just getting ready to embark on the next leg of my culinary travels, when there was a clap of thunder, followed by a lightening bolt, followed by a blackout. Well, I have actually been known to cook in the dark because I have a gas stove, but I wouldn't have been able to manage taking photos in the dark,so I elected to postpone my blog meal in favor of Chinese takeout. I can't say that I wasn't secretly a little grateful to have a night off.

Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Mumbai, India.
Photo by sandeepachetan.
Anyway this was our week of student conferences, plus all the usual Kung Fu lessons, gymnastics classes etc., and then Martin tells me he's invited people over for roast beef on Saturday, and Sunday is my baby boy's seventh birthday ... so squeezing a blog meal in this week was a challenge. I did it, but not in time to get a recipe post online before next week. So for a start, I'll just tell you where we're going next, and you can look for the actual recipes after the weekend.

This week we're in Maharashtra, India, which based on the recipes Martin actually correctly guessed to be in central India. Leave it to a Brit to be able to pinpoint a whole region of India based entirely on the curry.

Anyway, Maharashtra is on the west side of India, bordering the Arabian Sea. It is the wealthiest state in India, contributing nearly one quarter of the nation's GDP and attracting migrants from all over India who come there in search of a higher standard of living. Its capitol is Mumbai, which is the most populous city in India and the ninth most populous urban agglomeration (which is the area encompassing both a city and the populated areas surrounding it) in the world. Mumbai is also home to the world's largest university (by number of graduates).

Maharashtra's cuisine can be mild or spicy, though the recipes I chose were notably on the spicy end of the spectrum. Most meals are served with rice and a flatbread such as chapati, and dal (lentils) are often served alongside. Of course, when I cooked my Maharashtrian meal I tried to cram it in on a weekday and I didn't have time to do dal ... and I also didn't have any rice, so it was lacking a bit in authenticity. Of course, I can't complain too much because it would have been a carb fest if I'd added both those elements, and you know I'm trying to stay away from carb fests because I love them and they're bad for me. But in case you want to do it more correctly than I did ... basmati rice and plain dal are easy accompaniments to help round out the meal.

As it was, I chose two recipes--a spicy chicken dish and a chapati stuffed with curried potatoes. It was tasty, but I had to make a no-heat version for my kids and a spicy version for us adults, so it was some extra work. It was good though, and I might make it again but would not be allowed to use drumstricks because my husband hates having to work for his food, haha.

See you in a few days.

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