As I had written in my earlier post – Love and the holi mess – Partner and I went for a dinner to this nice couple’s home last night. Partner had told me that the boys had decided it would be a curry-cook-off between the ladies.
Given that our host’s have a four-month old baby and being Aussies do not usually cook ‘Indian’ food, our hostess had made some really nice butter chicken. They had made some real effort to make the dinner ‘authentic’ and had ordered some naan – which they called ‘naan bread’, very cute – and raita from their local Indian restaurant.
I had made the JB special lamb curry and Arundati’s baked banana ice-cream. While I will be immodest enough to say the lamb curry was bloody good, the ice cream was a different story. And not because there's anything wrong with the recipe! I miscalculated the time needed for the ice cream to set properly and put more cinnamon than I intended to and so we ended up having suspicious banana pudding-with-some-frozen-bits that tasted more cinnamon than banana!
Moral of the story: It is a stupid idea to try a dish for the first time and make unsuspecting guests your guinea pigs. The guests however were gracious enough to finish the confused-pudding-masquerading-as-ice-cream that was served. I was gracious enough (ahem) to serve only two tablespoonfuls.
On our way to their house, Partner wanted to pick up some wine. Now liquor shops in Oz are called ‘bottle shops’ and are more sophisticated than the Indian ‘wine and beer’ shops. For one, you can drive-in and pick your liquor while sitting in your car and no one stares at you (if you’re a woman) when you’re buying booze. However, bottle shops in Australia are like grocery stores in India: You’ll find one at every street corner. And then they complain about rising alcoholism?!
Anyway, Partner walked in and asked for a wine that goes well with Indian food. The result was us discovering the UK-made Bangla beer and the Australian, proud-to-be-Punjabi, ‘Nazaaray’ wine. I don’t drink beer – very un-Aussie I’m told – so cannot give you feedback on the beer and will update on the wine once I have tasted it.
The highlight of the evening though – if you excuse the banana-disaster – was that I got to hold the baby. So tiny, so bloody cute and such a good baby. He did not cry at all and in fact I am quite proud to announce that I was the first 'Indian' the baby laid eyes on. And I daresay he quite liked what he saw. There's another Aussie conquered. Ha, ha.
Here’s the recipe for the lamb curry; it takes patience with this one, but the effort is bloody well worth it.
If you’re curious about Bangla beer and Nazaaray wine, read these two articles: