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friends who cook

I’m hella busy. Hella. Too busy to cook, shower, whatever. But I’m a lucky lucky girl. I have friends who are not only willing to feed me, but are stellar cooks to boot. Last Friday my dear Manisha invited some ladies over to feast on her homestyle Indian cooking.

she made idlis

Idlis are little pillows of steamed fermented batter made from rice, lentils, and water. Manisha piled them into a large serving dish – delicate and soft. I wanted to dive right into the bowl and take a nap. Here’s what the batter looks like.

see the bubbles?

Manisha had sambar (vegetable and lentil stew) simmering on the burner and Nichole brought a batch of her homemade aloo masala. The aromas in that kitchen were heady.

nichole ladles the sambar

heavenly aloo masala

I can’t recall what the chutneys were other than amazing. I have a problem with Manisha’s cooking… I get so excited and overwhelmed with all of the newness and flavors that it’s all I can do to photograph the food and eat it. I’ll shoot one dish and see her stirring fried spices into a chutney out of the corner of my eye – I can’t keep up. She promises me a lesson in proper Indian cooking when my schedule eases. I cannae wait.

chutney, chutney, idlis

What I learned that day was something utterly wonderful: that the batter for idlis is the same batter base for making dosas. DOSAS?! I am crazy for dosas. I had two dosas and if I hadn’t been sampling every other fantastic dish (along with two fabulous virgin mojitos courtesy of my dear Kitt) I probably would have stuffed myself with a couple more dosas before blissfully passing out on a plate of idlis – soft pillows, you know.

the dosas are crack

My brain was mush. I was exhausted. But I was well fed and feeling drunk on the love and laughter of my dear friends if only for a couple of hours. Priceless. (Thank you, Manisha! xo)

15 nibbles at “friends who cook”

  1. Recipe for Delicious says:

    We FINALLY got an Indian restaurant in our little tiny town. It’s made it possible to stay here a few more years for me. I’m taking Indian cooking lessons from a local woman in the fall! When your schedule permits, and you’re learning from your talented friend, I would love to know what she does about things that are traditionally made in a tandoor oven. Gorgeou pics!

  2. Rosa says:

    What gorgeous food! It is great when friends cook for you!



  3. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Aww, what a lovely shout out to a sweet friend! Jen, I’m nuts for dosa, too! Manisha’s look wonderful!

  4. Wei Wei says:

    Indian food…! Manisha looks lovely, and it’s always fun to cook and eat with friends.

    Wei Wei

  5. Bing Chou says:

    Love the colors. Mmmmm…

  6. JelliDonut says:

    Glorious! Thanks for the wonderful photos. I LOVE Indian food.

  7. M @ Betty Crapper says:

    When you learn how to make this stuff you have to post the recipes. You are teasing me!!! I would love that lentil stew and wow those chutneys.

  8. Manisha says:

    β™₯ you right back! I am so glad I have all you fabulous women in my life!

    I just posted the recipes for the two chutneys in case anyone is interested and I remembered that I have a recipe for sambar, too.

    As for that question about the tandoor, well, I put it in my oven and call it faux tandoor :-D

  9. Cookware Hampshire says:

    In more or less every food blog I visit, the photography is brilliant. Your blog is no different! There’s something about the combination of food and great photography that makes me want to get into the kitchen and make something completely different! I also love Indian cooking so if you could post any recipes you come across… That’d be fantastic. I look forward to your future posts!


  10. Masala…. « Subliminal aesthetics says:

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  11. fotographiafoodie says:

    That looks lovely. I also like when my friends from different cultures cook for me – there’s so much to learn! I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  12. Mrs ErgΓΌl says:

    This looks great! My husband loves Indian Vegetarian food!!

  13. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) says:

    Oh yumm!! I’m Indian, living in India, and all that food still has me craving it bad! Off to tell my cook to make this tomorrow! It looks really good.

  14. Grace Boyle says:

    Ah, this looks beautiful. Manisha’s cooking looks wholesome, so beautiful and I just want to eat your pictures!

  15. Sharon says:

    Oh shoot! I’m SO jealous. I just ate a cherry, but the taste in my mouth is of sambar and dosas. SO JEALOUS! I need to get me some idli pans! Can’t wait for you to put up recipes, so I can stop using boxed dosa mix!

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