C’est la vie

No one’s perfect and you can’t win ’em all.  As cliched as they are, these statements are very true.  You know what else is true?  Don’t try to take out your frustrations through cooking, or else you  may be left with the ruins of a failed Indian dish.

One of my all time favorite dishes is Aloo Matar, or as I colloquially call it “potato and pea awesomeness.”  You can find this at any Indian restaurant. I usually order it hot and get that look of terror from the waiter with a “…are you sure?” expression “Yes, I’m sure,” mostly because the Indian hot I’ve had has never come close to Thai hot with the exception of one restaurant, unless I’ve generally been going the wrong kinds of Indian restaurants. Note: I’m not that crazy when it comes to hot food, I just like my food to have some quick to it.  “Medium” for most other ethnic food seems to do the trick.

I found this recipe for Aloo Matar. I didn’t make it past step one without it being a disaster.  I had never heard of asafetida, which a quick Google search described as devil’s dung or stinking gum. Truly, the aroma is much worse than the flavor.” Well, now. Apparently, onion and/or garlic suffices as a substitute, so I used 1/4 teaspoon of each.  I stirred the ginger, green chili and what seemed like the entirety of my spice rack into the pan.  Once the vegetables softened, I sampled it and I could only describe it as how I would imagine lightning struck stand to taste.

Tell me, reader, does this look appetitzing to you? This is everything from step one except green chili. The chunks are ginger.  Next time, I’ll save myself the hassle and I’ll just invest $10 to have someone do it right in a restaurant.  That $10 will also get me naan and iced coffee if I get a lunch special. Mmm naan.

Well, that was a bust.  On the bright side, only about $5 of my grocery trip was spent on ingredients, the other $10 was an empty stomach Sprouts shopping spree.  I cooked the bag of frozen peas and mashed the four potatoes I bought.  The only downside is I now have enough Basmati rice to last me at least the next week.  Looks like I’ll be making a tofu dish soon.  I also baked chipotle sweet potato fries.

There you have it, the Melissa Fossum S.O.S. lunch special: mashed potatoes, frozen peas, chipotle sweet potato fries and basmati rice drizzled with teriyaki sauce.  It goes great with the alcoholic beverage of your choice.

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