Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Aromatic Memories

The night before our daughter's birth, Pat and I ate dinner at a vegetarian Indian buffet. Everything about this place was the antithesis of what I prefer in my dining out experience. The restaurant is in a sketchy part of town, in a run down strip mall next to a Value City Furniture and an ethnic hair supply shop with bars on the windows. To get the restaurant, you have to walk back a long, dimly lit hallway that is littered with grocery carts from the Indian grocery store, also back the same mysterious hall. As I mentioned, its a buffet. Buffets make me think of those chain restaurants that use words like "corral" in their name, referring to you as herded cattle before you even start over indulging. Besides, I hate the notion of "eating my money's worth." Yet everything about every bite I took that night was SO right! The food was delicious, and I would've savored each bite all the more had I known it was our last night of our frivolous child-free existence.

Late yesterday evening, I came in the back door and the aroma of this soup, still lingering from dinner a few hours before, somehow instantly transplanted me back to that night. I breathed it in deep but didn't savor it long before Pat greeted me with a fussy, gassy baby. Sigh!

Morrocan Lentil Soup

*I cut this recipe in half-ish. (Less lentils and liquid) -- it makes a lot!
*I used vegetable broth in place of most of the water
*Garam Masala can probably be imitated with enough cumin, cinnamon, ginger, etc...
(Although the real stuff, given to us by one of Pat's coworkers, is worth tracking down.)
*I skipped the puree part.

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