Govinda's Catering had a wonderful reception on our first day at a Saturday Market in Carrboro. One of the patrons told me that it was actually quite slow for a Saturday, on account of the holiday. I was really okay with having less traffic because I had so much difficulty trying to keep up with the table as it was. There were samples to put out, questions to answer, money to take, emails to collect... you all get the idea. If I had had another two arms, I probably would have been good. At any rate, it was super fun and we have several new folks joining us here in Newsletter Land.
So yes, the newsletter is a full 24 hours late this week... I could blame it on having gone to the market on Saturday, but that was not the trouble. Yesterday morning I had a family crisis that was more annoying than tragic, except for the fact that it is enormously time-consuming. For a person like me the diversion of time, my most scarce resource, is a tragedy.
I had intended to write a review for you all of two local Indian food establishments, Raaga, in Chapel Hill and Suman's Catering in Durham. I will put the reviews on the docket for next week (barring any new and unforseen crises...) and send this menu out to you all asap.
This Week's Menu:
Entree #1 - Creamy Curry Pumpkin Soup It's that time, oh yeah! Oh yeah! C'mon y'all, do the happy dance! It has been over a full year since I last made this seasonal, amazing, yummy cream-fest of a soup. As promised a couple of weeks ago, your wait for the return of the Great Pumpkin (soup, that is) is finally over. Those of you who are new here might be wondering what all the fuss is about. This here soup is made with real live ugly pumpkins, which are way tastier than "showing" pumpkins. The addition of almond milk, coconut milk, apples, and some spice magic, has made this dish a favorite of our customers for millennia. (A little hyperbole never hurt anyone, right?) *GF, soy-free
Entree #2 - Butter Bean Soup with Wild Rice & Mushrooms I had promised to make the Pumpkin Soup for you as soon as the season arrived. The following recipe, the Chole, is also the result of a customer request. This recipe's addition to the menu is a result of "Hmm, what can we do with the ingredients in the pantry?" I realized that we still have quite a few butter beans and lima beans from the farm. I also had overbought the cute little mushrooms (in biggish boxes) from Costco last week. So when I went looking through my mushroom + bean files, I came up with this lovely autumnal entree. Mildly spiced with green herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme, this hearty stew can be enjoyed by folks of all ages (meaning it should be kid-friendly). *GF, soy-free
Entree #3 - Punjabi Chole This week's menu actually started right here. When I was at the Farmers' Market on Saturday, I received a special request for this dish. A regular customer asked when we would make it again. When I realized it had been two months since we made it last, I had no good reason to keep holding back! Naturally then my creative juices started churning, trying to come up with the perfect complements for the rest of the menu. I was sure that I wanted something veggie-based, since chole is, as you can see, pretty much just chickpeas. Where the first two entrees are mild, this Chole is bold and spicy. Where the other entrees are creamy, this one has a thin, tangy, tomato gravy that perfectly marinades and envelopes the chickpeas. Like the idea of spicy chickpeas, but nervous about your heat tolerance? No problem, just specify in your order that you would like the mild version. *GF, soy-free
Black Rice Salad - $3.50/serving (1 cup) When I was picturing the solid, creamy, orange appearance of the pumpkin soup, I was looking for a rice that would be flavorful, as well as visually compatible. I remembered the stellar beauty of black rice. I also wanted to make something a little more flashy than just plain black rice, so I did a quick Google search and immediately found this recipe! How beautiful, right? I can't wait to try it out. All those fresh veggies are paired with walnuts and a lemon vinaigrette dressing to make this dish a true delight! *GF, soy-free
Veggie Cutlets - $2.50 ea. or 2/$4. These little savories are another Govinda's favorite. Their inclusion in the menu goes along with the "Let's use up what we have in stock" theme. Although they look a little unassuming, these savories are deceptively delicious. They are made with brown rice, chopped veggies, Indian spices and then lightly fried, so that they are crisp on the outside and yummy chewy on the inside - a perfect hand-held on-the-go kind of snack. Oh, and aside from the deep-fried factor, they are way healthier than most snacks out there. :-) *GF, soy-free
Cinnamon Walnut Blondies - $3/ea. or 2 for $5. We have made very few desserts that I didn't like. Actually I am not sure if I have ever been unhappy with one of our dessert recipes. Somehow I think sugar has that effect - its presence in something automatically creates such an endorphin rush that you have to work much harder to make sweet things taste bad than you would salties. That being said, this recipe was one of the upper echelon of recipes that was not just predictably good, but O.M.G!, drool-on-your-neighbors good. What's even more exciting about these blondies than their luscious flavor, is that they are completely flour-free, being made instead from chickpeas, oats, and nut butter. Guilt be gone; your body will love these babies! *GF, soy-free