Dinners at Anna's

Happy times spent cooking and sharing life at the Beach House

A Sizzling Valentine’s February 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — heatherinsf @ 10:50 pm

My friend Anna and I love to explore new cookbooks and new cuisines, and this Valentine’s Day Anna called me with the enticing offer of an Indian dinner at the Beach House. It was threatening rain all day and the wind off the coast was positively frigid. A spicy night inside with good friends was too good of an offer to pass up.

Her beau had warmed up the sauna earlier that night so I popped in there for a relaxing interlude with a huge bottle of Pelligrino and a gripping mind-candy spy novel while the lamb was marinating for Rogan Josh. I headed upstairs and was greeted with the enticing aroma of browning meat and exotic spices.

The cookbook in use for the night is the gorgeous The Food of India – a journal for food lovers by Murdoch Books.
The book!

Anna had marinated the lamb with garlic and ginger and handfuls of spices earlier in the day, browned the pieces and let them stew gently with additions of yogurt and other seasonings. The final dish was thick and rich and topped with bright cilantro. The scent was intoxicating, as was the perfumed whiffs from the brown basmati rice cooking on the back burner.

The lamb

Brown basmati

We affectionately began to call the dish Josh Rogan (Seth’s younger brother), and thus began many inappropriate comments about dining on Josh. Or maybe it was the wine!

To accompany this savory treat, Anna prepared Punjabi Cabbage, which was to my wimpy palate mind-blowingly spicy, but exceptionally seasoned with whole pods of cardamom and cloves.

A sizzling plate
Despite our counting the number of pods and cloves that went into the dish, we only found two cardamom pods and two cloves. Who ate them? How could we have consumed them unknowingly?

A massive monsoon washed up from the beach, blowing rain uphill, sideways and crossways, followed by hail and thunder. Inside, marveling at the insanity outside, we were more than warm with our sizzling plates, cooled by dishes of straight Strauss yogurt and bottles of Lagunitas IPA. We looked around the table and realized all three of us were in either our pajamas or robes after our bouts in the sauna. It was great to dine so casually. The best part of any meal is the company at the table, and we dined richly that night.

The Aftermath(the aftermath)

I’m looking forward to trying other goodies from this cookbook. Thanks Anna!

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