Last week I decided I was going to go on a mainly vegetarian diet,
and mainly Indian dishes. Don’t ask what made me think this was a good
idea–it had something to do with increasing my intake of vegetables and
I found a copy of Madhur Jaffrey’s (she lives in Brooklyn! but of course! though I may have made that up) Eastern Vegetarian Cooking at
one of our local used bookshops. I marked the recipes that sounded most
appealing, and bought the (very few) spices I didn’t already have. On
Sunday afternoon, after a long stint of chopping and preparing my mise
en place, I knocked out her very spicy chickpeas
and some cauliflower/potato concoction. Then I realized that the next
evening I was supposed to eat in Madhur’s restaurant, Dawat, on the
Upper East Side.
Dinner there on Monday was delicious. I said it’s one of the best
Indian restaurants in New York, and believe me, I’ve sampled a few. The
best dish we had was a whole roasted leg of lamb, “braised with ginger
and whole spices, then roasted in the tandoor oven until it is crisp
outside and meltingly tender inside.” It was exactly as advertised, and I
couldn’t stop eating it. Most highly recommended.
Tonight: chickpea leftovers, not quite as good as the Dawat dishes.
I am reading (on the subway) an interesting book called Fearless Creating,
by Eric Maisel, about the process of making art. Today I learned I am
supposed to be “hushed,” “wild,” learn how to hold things, and how to
unstall. It sounds quite wacky when I describe it here, but it actually
has plenty of stimulating and thoughtful things to say about the
creative life. Have you read it?