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Cooking Indian Food with Dad

My father has a knack for cooking, especially Indian cuisine. He became passionate about the complex and exciting flavors years ago in the midst of bettering his health. My mother was the main cook for most of my upbringing until she was encouraged to go relax while worldly food experiments took over the kitchen. She didn't mind because he soon became a master chef. Dad took delight in hosting dinner parties for his friends, and mine, dazzling them with dishes they had never tasted before. At one point, some buddies and I tried to convince him to host dinner parties for the public, fantasizing he would became locally famous for his efforts. His humility and fear of it becoming a chore rather than pure joy kept him from achieving fame. I feel lucky to have reaped the benefits of wonderful food and of course have been influenced by his willingness to experiment and make people happy with home cooked meals. Oh, the red nose? Well, he is also a clown. Not really, he bought a giant bag of silly noses to entertain my two year old niece.

Chickpea Tempeh Masala Curry over basmati rice with roasted eggplant.

I'm always looking for ways to add more vegetables to a dish like this-saucy protein over rice-hence the roasted eggplant. We sliced it thin, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with garam masala + salt and roasted it until tender. Curries can be cooked all day but there are hacks to get big flavor in a short amount of time. My dad made a base for the curry earlier in the afternoon from ginger, garlic, chilis, spices and oil and blended it. All you need to do is add a bit of water and simmer until you are ready to add the other ingredients. In this case, we added a can of coconut milk, a can of diced tomatos, chaat masala spice, salt, diced tempeh, peas and cilantro for the topping. The tempeh absorbs the liquids nicely and after simmering for a while, you are left with a rich, wholesome meal.

I will be doing an official recipe for a dish like this in the future so stay tuned!

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