I am fresh off a marathon of White Collar and am highly saddened that the series wasn’t renewed. The character that I miss the most is Mozzie, his charismatically sarcastic comebacks and the appreciation of good wine and art. Well the handsomeness of Neal Caffrey wasn’t lost on me either, thought of naming my unborn son Neal. So I am gladly putting lotion on my wounds by drinking some red in fancy glasses and trying to live the life of Neal and Mozzie.
Last week was spent in Kansas City, as traveling from work has started at full speed. The temperatures here were in the 70’s over the Thanksgiving Weekend, so landing and walking out in low 30’s was not a good walk. The closeness and touches by strangers in the rental car bus kept me pretty warm, but prepared I was not to be hit by the cold. As I drove, I was wondering what the difference was in traveling to different states. Sometimes we have made the states like cookie cutters; all have the same kind of layout. The roads are the same; sitting in the traffic doesn’t feel any different in Kansas City than it does in North Carolina. No matter the state we are all hamsters on the wheel trying to make it home.
The trip was not that for touristy so no pictures of monuments and historic sites, though the trip was a lot of fun. When you are away from home and see a familiar face, then home doesn’t seem that far away. I have had some of the best Indian foods at Kulture Kurry, I have pictures to prove, as one of my friends have been saying soon we will be able to taste and take the food off the pictures. We started off with Chicken 1947 a spinoff on Chicken 65, a better version but the chef was just a bit patriotic. You can sense and feel the heat of partition in the dish (for those who are not aware 1947 is when the partition occurred between India and Pakistan). The chicken was crispy and the curry leaves added a good sweet, smoky, nutty flavor to the dish. We also had chicken tandoori lettuce wrap, when I read that I did a mental slap to myself disappointed I didn’t think of it. Sometimes I have a tunnel vision and I only see things one way. That brings me to the dish I tried, it’s not that off the beaten path but a good curve to the normal hummus.
I was happily hosted by a lovely couple in their house, and I tried really hard not to eat up their daughter. If you could see her you would know how much self-control it took to stay away from the cutie. The cheese and wine was delicious, spread laid out and in my opinion nothing beats good company along with the tangy creamy cheese and fruity full bodied wine. I only wish we had classes locally that would allow me to get certified in wine, but that will have to wait currently. Not to mention I also tasted some delicious coffee from Roasterie there the KC blend was so smooth, somewhat carmel and perfect start to the day. Needless to say I stocked up my bag with a few bags to make sure I am covered.
I was going to title this entry as Chole Hummus, and then I felt like an idiot. That is like me ordering Chai Tea at Starbucks, something that always annoys me. As chai and tea is the same thing so is Chole and Hummus, as both are made with chickpeas. I took the normal hummus and added chole and chat masala to the mix and topped it off with fried shallots and cilantro. The seasonings can be easily found in any Indian grocery store, but don’t let these seasoning stop you. There are many in the store that you can experiment with, my next one will be pickles seasoning. I am off on a Criminal Minds marathon now, though the affect the show will have on my mind is yet to be determined. On that note one thing that annoys me with Netflix is asking me to continue watching when I am binging, makes me feel guilty for some reason.
Please pardon the pictures, as my camera has stopped working and I haven’t had time to check it out.
Indian spiced hummus
- 2 cups boiled chickpeas (I soaked mine overnight and boiled them with baking soda, this helps them get super soft and makes the hummus creamy)
- 2 tbsp. Tahini (I have made it in the past and used a bit too much of it and turned out to be bitter, so adjust it accordingly)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 lemon juiced (medium size)
- 2 tbsp. Punjabi chole masala
- 1 tbsp. Chat masala
- 3 shallots (2 sliced and 1 chopped)
- 2 tsp. garlic chopped
- 2 tbsp. Cilantro chopped
- ½ cup EVOO
- Salt – this is per your taste as both chole and chat masala has salt in it
Shallots – take a nonstick pan put the shallots in the pan and add the ½ cup EVOO to the pan and let it heat up. There was a technique shown in one of the food magazines to fry it this way and it was surprisingly easy and less messy. Drain them on paper towel.
Blend the chickpeas, garlic cloves, lemon juice and tahini to a paste. Heat up a pan add some of the leftover oil from frying the onion and sauté the chopped onions along with the garlic and chole seasoning. Once the raw flavor of the garlic is gone and onions have soften add them to the blender. Mix it up, the flavor here is quiet subtle but it’s there, you can easily increase the seasoning if you would like a bit more. Once it’s mixed, top it with fried shallot, some EVOO, and chopped cilantro. Adjust salt accordingly and gobble it up.
You can serve the dish with toasted warm naan or break your teeth crispy pita chips. Also the flavor will deepen once it stays overnight this is the case with most Indian seasoning.
I shall strike again as a serial cooker and blog poster, I say that as I continue my Criminal Minds marathon with a jar of PB, these ppl don’t eat or drink.