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Monday, September 28, 2009

Another success!!!

I am happy. Tonight was another success with my quest for cooking Indian food! The menu was chicken tikka masala, cashew & sultana (gold raisin) pulaou (rice pilaf), onion bhajis and naan. I'm still not exactly satisfied with the chicken recipe, but it was good enough for now. I will keep tweaking and searching for other recipes. Tomorrow night will be leftover rice, cauliflower (gobi) curry and something with lentils. I'm very pleased with the progress. A funny thought. We have some friends that were missionaries in India, and they had a cook while there. In times like these, I wonder if the need will be the same for us, or if God will help us intigrate seemlessly. Even now, I feel like I've learned all there is to learn. I am but a "young grasshopper". :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Today, I made a tikka masala paste for the first time. Planning on making chicken tikka masala with it for dinner tomorrow. Possibly some onion bhajis and naan. I remember the first time I made Indian food. LOL!!! That was a joke! I was almost tempted to never try again. But I knew that Jesus had called us to the nation, and thus I must conquer my inadequacies. My chicken was too hot, my kheer was undercooked (despite cooking for about 2 hours), and the rice and veggies were just plain unacceptable. For many times after that, my family groaned in fear of my attempts. But, as with all practice, I got better. I actually have some requested family favorites now. It helps to have a few good recipes too! I tried to make naan almost 10 times before I got it right, with the right recipe of course. Tandoori has always been pretty easy, but I have pretty much perfected my own recipe. I've also learned how to cut down some of the cooking time, by prepping everything first. It's hard to go from using basic salt/pepper/garlic salt, to using a whole host of other spices that I really had never heard of. But, I've become pretty well-versed in spices, pulses and various terms that are used in Indian cooking. I'm so thankful God helped my family to have grace on me during my early days. I think it was just a small tangible taste of His grace on my life.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's been a year!

Well, here I am, looking for yet another Indian cooking recipe. This time it's for sweet potato masala. Our local Indian restaurant has this dish, and so I'm in pursuit of finding a recipe to make at home. Of course this could be a big feat, considering that India is so varied in culture that you can almost never have the same taste in a particular "dish" or curry. If you know anything about India, you know that it's made up of a myriad of different regions, which can be affected by religion, region and particular ancesteral family recipes. Each household alone may have it's favorite "masalas" (spice mixtures). This could vary immensley by not just particular spices, but also the measurements. So, I continue to quest to broaden my Indian food horizons.

I suppose I should try to start from the beginning. You probably are saying, "why are you intersted in India?" That's the question most people ask us, because besides our love for Jesus Christ and each other, we are constantly referring to anything Indian. Let's just say that it all started in June 2008. My husband and I had attended an annual bible conference, and God really got ahold of our hearts. We were faced with the fact that God explicitly spoke to our hearts that we should've done something and been prepared to do that something. It was a turning-point in our Christian walks. We were living like most American Christians. My husband and I both had very good jobs, a very nice car (Mazda 6, zoom, zoom :) ), and attended our local church faithfully. But there was something missing. To make a long story short, we both realized we needed to quit playing games, and get serious with God and the destiny He has for us. We came back very excited and definitely with changed hearts. About a month later, my husband was helping one of his customers (at the bank), and the man was of Indian decent. In that moment, God clear-as-day impressed upon my husband's heart the need to "go and reach them for Me". My husband thought, "yeah right God! My wife would never go for that!" But little did he know that God had worked upon my heart, and when the time came for him to tell me, I willingly accepted it. My thoughts raced to the possibility of going to some remote village. Possibly with no running water and no electricity. In the weeks that followed, I constantly thought about my "comforts" and what I may have to give up. Little did I know that India actually has many parts that are very westernized and modern. From that moment on, we've submerged ourselves in anything we can to learn about India. We have learned about various foods, the national language (Hindi), and through various methods (Internet, Library, Bollywood movies, Dance Fests, Local restaurants/stores) we have learned a whole lot! I must continue to learn all I can, and do all I can, to reach all I can for Him. Which all brings me back to the search for that sweet potato masala recipe!