Day 175: A rare vegetarian dinner

June 24, 2007


This evening L and I braved our swelteringly hot, air-conditioning-free kitchen to make Indian Tofu and Spinach over Almond Rice. The basmati rice was cooked according to the instructions on the package, and mixed with sliced toasted almonds just before serving. Meanwhile, the tofu was browned with salt and peppper, then set aside. The onion, garlic, ginger, cumin and coriander were sautéed together until the onions were softened. The frozen spinach, which had been defrosted but not particularly drained (and certainly not rolled in a towel until dry) was added to the pan and cooked for a minute or so. A handful of flour was added to the pot, followed by some vegetable stock. When that was bubbling, the chick peas, curry paste, mango chutney and cooked tofu were stirred into the mixture and simmered for ten minutes. Just after I served the meal, I realised that the rice was supposed to go on top of the curry, to stop the rice from going soggy. I don’t think that it was any great hardship to have the curry on top. Surely rice is there to absorb moisture as much as provide sustenance? And surely the moisture in the rice softens the almonds somewhat anyway?

So, moving on, this is a reasonably good meal, although certainly not a fantastically great one. Admittedly it didn’t look too wonderful, there is certainly a lot of sludgy green spinach on the plate. There was a bit of a mushy overall effect, which is presumably to be expected with so much spinach in the dish. The only bite came from the chick peas and the almonds, neither of which were particularly crunchy. Our curry paste is mild, but the mango chutney is hot. The combined affect, rather than being a medium level of spice, was of a mild currry with some occasional hot spots. Some really hot spots. I have to say that I am a big fan of tofu, but I think I really love it when it is deep fried and gets really crispy on the outside and gooey in the center. This tofu was a bit same-y. This meal is fine, but lacking something. L felt it should have been much spicier, I thought maybe it needed a salty element to balance the sweetness of the mango chutney. With some good naan bread and another dish to contrast, this would however make a decent backbone for a vegetarian meal.

Tomorrow we have to finish all our house decisions and finalise everything that needs to be ordered. We are second-guessing almost everything that we already decided, so we just need to be done. There’s a limit to how many nights you can dream about wall tile. Well there’s probably not, but there should be. One of our Scottish cats has to go and have virtually all her teeth pulled out, which I’m sure she’ll appreciate. She’s obviously competing with her sister, who is on medication for the rest of her life, for the title of Most Expensive Cat, Ever. At some point in the day we will have to make Chicken in a Fresh Tomato and Eggplant Sauce with Spaghetti, as the weather hits the mid-nineties. Joy.

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