Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Easy Vegan Indian Food in 20 minutes or Less (Depending on the Suckitude of Your Stove)

I just moved into a new apartment. It's got everything I want (two bedrooms, hardwood floors, ceiling fans) and one thing I really effing hate: an electric stove. These stoves are crap because they make it overly hard to shift the temperature, or be precise about anything. Also, the burners stay hot long after they get turned off, which is bad for kitty paws that like to hop up when no body is looking. But despite these disadvantages, I was able to cook a pretty quick and delicious Indian dinner for two last night.

I bought two different dishes from separate companies to compare. Trader Joe's Indian Fare "Madras Lentil" and Tasty Bite "Bombay Potatoes." Both are vegan and are about three bucks. The latter was bought at a Giant grocery store, and I assume it can be found in other such places (Meijer, Kroger, Hy-Vee, Safeway, Giant Eagle, etc.). I also bought Trader Joe's White Basmati Rice for around three dollars. You can definitely make Indian dishes with regular rice, but the taste and texture won't be quite as authentic.

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I also recommend Trader Joe's Garlic Naan (for dippin'), though my sheckles are lacking and that was one three dollar purchase too many for this meal...I'm going for meager chic here.

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Okay, now you know what to buy, so here's how it comes together. First get out your/buy your rice cooker and dump the rice plus two cups of water in there with it. 1/3 bag of rice is a filling meal for two. More rice means more water, and I only ever make enough for two, but a good rule of thumb is to just make sure the rice is submerged with a 1/2 inch or so of water above it. So once the rice is in the cooker, it's practically done, and you can ignore it while you prepare the rest. These Indian meals come in handy little foil packets (like space food) and in order to eat them, all you have to do is heat them up in boiling water. Just make sure you lay them as flat as possible in the pot, and that the water is mostly covering them. Due to buoyancy issues, one corner will always stick up out of the water a little bit just to drive you to the brink of insanity, so try to ignore it if you can. Trust me, there is no amount of poking or prodding that will keep it totally under. Then if you're like me you'll wander around the kitchen eating snacks (because you're starving, duh) until the cooker and stove have done their magic. It takes about three minutes for the Indian space packets to be ready, and a little longer for the rice (like 10 minutes-ish) so that's why you should start the rice first. Or do whatever you want, I'm not trying to boss you.

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Once the cooking magic is done, grab the packets out with some kind of tongs, because they are hot and not above burning the shit out of you. Then rip 'em open by the convenient slit at the top, and dump them on the rice I'll assume you already smartly distributed on your plates. Then it'll look like something not wildly beautiful, but pretty fucking delectable (see below).

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The lentil one is on the top and the potato one is on the bottom. The lentil one is much more mild, while the potatoes are spicy spicy, too much for my wimpy palate. Also, if you're into texture, the lentil one is pretty runny, and soaks into the rice right away, while the potato one lingers a bit more in it's chunkiness. All in all, it's a pretty great dinner for two. It's yummy, under 10 bucks, and it'll be cooked in less time than it takes to watch another That 70's Show rerun.


Blake said...

Vegan and yet some poor Ocelot cub died for your watch band.

I jest.

I recently tried a boxed combo meal, for lack of a better description, from Trader Joe's "Indian for Two" or something like that.

Potatoes n Peas (spicy awesome aftertaste, horribly sweet and bitter front-loading tang)

Basmati Rice (the only thing I finished, not that bad at all)

Lentis of slop and gross. The texture was a total turn off.

Although, granted, all of these were in a bag, which usually tuns out fine since they've done wonders for steaming things in bags...

rice. veggies. sauces, etc.

Not too confident in what I've dabbled in, Indian food wise. I'll have to keep dabbling, I'm sure there's something that'll agree with my piss-poor palette :P

Ex-WoW said...

"Developer time is not the limiting resource of game creation."

Well, perhaps if you're a gaming company with unlimited monetary resources AND you don't have to deal with a publisher/distributor giving you a window of time (years) to complete development, then yes, it's not a stipulation commanding some aspect of how the game is developed.

But that's not the way the gaming development world works, at least, not for games that come under companies like EA/Blizzard/Eidos, etc.

I think the post poses some interesting talking points, but does not completely discredit what the quoted text at the beginning is talking about.

The social commentary is opinion at most. Although I do think the ideas about the Mods are well presented, however improbably that any game now or in the future will carry through on an idea like that.

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