Saturday, February 21, 2009

Indian street food rocks!

When Manisha of Indian Food Rocks! said she was hosting a Stitch 'n' Bitch, I had the best intentions of hauling out my knitting and getting rolling again.

Who am I kidding? I was really there for the food. Indian street food.

When I walked in, the potato patties (or "patis") were sizzling away on the stove. They consist of boiled potatoes mashed with turmeric powder, red chili powder, dash of lemon juice, some chopped cilantro and salt, then rolled in some farina (in this case, Malt-o-Meal).

Manisha was ladling mustard oil with cilantro and sesame seeds on the dhokla, which is a kind of spongy cake made with rice flour and dal (and sometimes the Indian equivalent of Alka Seltzer! That made me laugh).
On the table was a fabulous spread of dishes and condiments:
The patties are covered with a heaping ladleful of ragda made of, in Manisha's words: "dried yellow peas soaked overnight and then pressure cooked with onions sautéed in oil + ginger + garlic + green chillies + cumin powder + turmeric powder + salt."

Atop that you can add a variety of chutneys: sweet tamarind, made with dates or apples, cilantro/lime/mint/green chili, and and red chili/garlic. Plus onions and some crunchy lentil noodles (sev).
To cool the heat of the dish, you can have a bite of sweet yoghurtlike shrikhand. Or you can add to the fire in your mouth with a snack of dal biji (Haldiram's is the best brand).
Then it was time to pull out the stitching.
T. was working on a hat like the one above, J. was considering scrapbooking, and F. showed off the swimsuit she made for her daughter, a champion synchronized swimmer.

(Interesting side note: The swimsuit has to be stretched out as big as possible on a frame before you start sewing decorative elements onto it. Otherwise, the swimmer would never be able to get the suit on, because those beading stitches don't stretch.)

Manisha, meanwhile, was working on her own creative endeavours:
The elements: lipstick, "Bitch" wine and Gorillapods (mine and hers). I slipped in and snapped a shot, too:
There was a lot of talking and laughing but not much actual stitching going on. And the eating wasn't finished, either. Manisha brought out some gulab jamun (dough balls in sweet syrup) and ice cream.
Nom nom!

What a fun time it was! The drive home was a bitch (wet, icy, snowy roads and drivers alternately super-timid and dangerously oblivious) but I was comforted by the bundle of leftovers on the seat next to me.

Thanks, Manisha!


  1. Looks like a wonderful spread. Now, I have to check out Manisha's blog, which I wasn't aware of before. Thnx for the link.

  2. Thank you for coming! You did really good with the food pics! I'm so glad that you got pics of the beehive hat and the swimsuit! I am so proud of all my creative friends!

  3. I see I'm not the only fan of gorillapods and Bitch wine. (Taken out of context, a comment like that could probably get committed for being insane.)

  4. I've never had Indian food. Maybe some day I will try it :)

  5. The foods look great, really mouth watering... hmmmhhh...
    Crafts are enviable!

  6. OMG!!! that spread looks and sounds FABULOUS!!! you are one lucky person to have a friend who can make that amazing food... i'm still drooling!

  7. Oh man, I soooo wanted to be there. Looks like a lot of fun (and a lot of fabulous food). Next time!! xxoo