Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Margy's Indian Hors d'Oeuvres
I wasn't invited to this one. Margy and her buddy G went to Leela in NYC, which Margy described as a hip, urban Indian restaurant. The place is pretty new, and incorporates fusion elements (surprise, surprise) into its Indian repertoire.
They ordered a bunch of appetizers: lentil fritters, chaat (made with those great Indian "crispies"), samosas, and tandoori-roasted Indian cheese (paneer) kabobs. You can barely see the kabobs, but Margy said they were delicious.
Me, for a long time I didn't understand the Indian cheese thing. It just seemed out of place, as in my post-collegiate ignorance (funny how that works) I thought "Asian" and "dairy" were mutually exclusive. But I like to work my way through menus, so I tried paneer eventually, and it was wonderful, closer to firm tofu than cottage cheese in consistency. And its mild flavor makes it the perfect foil for vibrant sauces and chutneys. For the last bunch of years we've been ordering it constantly. The next step is making it myself.