Picture above: Chicken Tandoori Skewers
Life is gentle in Maine. Maine has slowed me down. I’ve gotten used to it. I hate to admit it but I have come to enjoy the legato tempo of Maine life. But there are days when my heart pines for the chaos and bustle of the sardine-packed city of Mumbai – my original hometown. It doesn’t take much to take me back home. An occasional sniff of basmati rice as it steams on my stove is all it takes. In one of my food fantasies I wish I were devouring at least a half dozen spicy Indian street foods: Piping hot samosas bursting with green peas and cumin-scented mashed potatoes; coriander dusted lamb-sheek kabobs dripping with cayenne-spiked lime juice on slightly charred flatbread or a crisp lentil Indian crepe Masala Dosas with at least three coconut chutneys for dunking. But then I realize that those days are gone. I can no longer just take a walk down the rickshaw-lined streets of Mumbai and scarf down street foods to my heart’s content. The beautiful state of Maine is now my hometown. But the East Indian-city slicker has not checked out of Mumbai. So here I go again cooking up yet another batch of Indian treats right in my Maine kitchen. The nutty aroma of Basmati rice fills the Maine spring air. It’s almost ready for a warm lentil stew to coat those perfect grains. I lean against my warm stove with a cup of steaming chestnut-colored chai laced with spicy ginger chunks ,cardamom, clove and Malabar peppercorns. Wake up Cherie……you have arrived at your destination…..Mumbai IS now in Maine!
Pictured below: Lamb Meatballs with Chutney
Pictured below: Sev Puri Chaat
Chick PeaFlour deep fried crackers with Turmeric-cumin infused Mashed potatoes, whole chick peas and spicy cilantro mint chutney with a dollop of ever- so slightly sweetened whole yogurt. Garnished with Chaat Masala and Spicy Sev. I used to enjoy this sweet-savory snack after school on the 2 mile walk home. I still love foods that crunch (ask my husband – it drives him nuts) layered with flavors of sweet, sour and spicy! Were these ever addictive and took me right back to my favorite street vendor on Hill Road, Bandra, Mumbai.
Thank you Ted Axelrod Photography for the beautiful photography.