My cousins and I got together recently.  Actually, we had an additional two cousins- once-removed join us, as well.  The group is expanding.  Pretty soon we will be an army of cousins.   Or we could start a cousin street gang and all get the same tattoos.  I’ll work on the secret handshake later.  The point is, we will soon conquer the world.  This time around we wanted to conquer Indian food.

The six of us descended upon an Indian restaurant and took up residence at the center table under a ridiculously large and flashy chandelier.  I’m not sure exactly how this fits into Indian decor, but as you can see above, it was something to behold.  My dear Indian friends, perhaps you can shed some light on this matter.  Ugggh, that pun was totally unintentional, but in the spirit of silliness, I will let it stand.  Maybe very large lighting fixtures are the norm in India and I just need to be enlightened.  Ok, that one WAS intended, I must confess.  I’ll hang my head in shame now.

There we were, under said chandelier and the excitement was palpable, though not yet palatable.  Three of us love Indian food and the other three hadn’t had it before.  The tension started to build as we ordered some Vegetable Samosas for the appetizer.  Oh no!  The samosas were deliciously spiced, but the level of hotness could not be denied.  What was somewhat hot for me was going to be too hot for our neophytes.  I could see it in their faces, this was an ominous precursor.

I hoped that this would not sour them on the dishes to come.  I ordered my favorite dish which is Saag Paneer.  I’ve also ordered it as Palak Paneer.  Is there a difference?  Again, I defer to my Indian friends.  Thank goodness I have many and they put up with me, at least so far. The rest of the crew ordered many different chicken dishes, all in red gravy.  Theirs all looked alike.  I decided to go green.  That’s kind of my style anyhow, so it was fitting.  Leave it to me to be different!

I won’t name names to protect the innocent, but for those of you who follow me on Facebook, you can probably figure it out.  Three of us loved it, as we knew we would.  Of the three who had never had Indian food before, one had a “meh” reaction and two were decidedly underwhelmed.  I thought it was adventurous of them to try something they had never had before and I was proud of them.  I just wished they liked it more.  Maybe if they had tried something green.  Maybe, oh so many maybes.  Sigh…If only I hadn’t told them how great it was.  If only I hadn’t raised their expectations.  Yup, there were a lot of “if onlies,” too.  When it comes right down to it, I know it wasn’t my fault.  I blame the samosas.



48 thoughts on “The Madcap Cousins Try Indian Cuisine

        1. Ok, so I lied. My facebook account is under my name Linda Mace. If you add Cornville you will find me. I found you immediately and sent a friend request. I thought for sure if you typed in mainepaperpusher that you would find me. Stupid Facebook!

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  1. Maybe the spice explosion was too much. You know its hard for people who eat bland spieceless American food to grow a taste for dishes riches in spices. That’s just my theory anyway. This is not meant to be racist, but do they eat Mexican or Thai food at all? And by Mexican I mean something more authentic than Taco Bell or Chipotle, lol

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    1. Silly woman, you are not being racist! I think eating Chinese was going out on a limb for my eldest cousin who is in her 80’s. I’m not sure about Mexican or Thai. But Thai doesn’t have to be super spicy. I had Thai tonight before we went to the movies. Mmm Mexican food. Now I’m thinking about chimis and it’s all your fault!

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          1. Minions forever! Don’t hate me but I haven’t even seen the first one. My coworker at work is obsessed with them that’s why I know a tiny bit about them lol

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            1. I would never hate you! I hadn’t seen the first one in its entirety till a couple of nights ago. I stumbled across the second one while channel surfing and thought it was pretty fun. That was a long time ago. When I found out they were having #3 starting today, I went back and found the first one and the second and watched them both. #3 was fun, but I liked 1 and 2 better.

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  2. It’s great to see you had an adventure with your family and Indian cuisine. I’m returning to the US on Monday with a set of spices (different types of seasoning and of course curries). Maybe I can be convinced to come up to Maine and cook some curry dishes.. roti maybe?

    Hi Linda! Very very long time my friend.

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  3. Lighting is perhaps a really important feature in Indian architecture. All mughal courts and forts had beautiful natural lighting arrangments and grand chandeliers in the main areas adorned with jewels and ornaments.

    Saag paneer and palak paneer are just a tad bit different….idk how they serve there but here saag refers to a mashed combination of certain traditional not easily available greens and palak is just spinach…mashrd spinach gravy. So ya both are different. However both look green. I’m so happy to know its your favorite coz its mine too! I love Palak Paneer and you know the best combo with it… Makke ki roti… Its cornflour bread. The earthiness of cornflour bread is amazingly complimented by the creamy palak. It works awesome with saag too.
    Btw next time you go to an indian restaurant…. Ask your cousins who didnt find indian food pleasing, to give Tandoori section a try. Order any dish from the tandoori section and tell me their reaction. No dish in this world can beat tandoori flavors of india. Haha!

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  4. I knew you would give input on this one! So the big chandelier is in keeping with Indian tradition. I had no idea! I learn so much from you!

    I have never had Makke ki roti, but it’s funny you mentioned roti because a Trini friend of mine always talks about roti and he mentioned it to me tonight. I wonder if it’s similar?

    I had no idea you loved Palak Paneer!

    Please mention that recommendation on the facebook post. They will see it there and will know it comes from the source of such a wonderful cuisine.

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    1. Roti are made out of many types of flours. Maybe its similar maybe not. Here in india, roti is everything….you cant imagine a meal without it. Its like flat bread….not like, it is. We eat roti in lunch and dinner, with the curry or whatever is prepared. Roti made out of flour is common…. Out of corn flour is called makke ki roti… Makka means maize. This roti is a tad bit dry so works with saag and palak paneer.

      Ah and the recommendation sure….I would definitely do it.

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        1. Naan is made out of white flour and cooking method of naan is different from a roti. Naan is cooked in a big drum with burning coal on the base and the naan is stuck on the walls of the drum inside.

          Roti on other hand is simply put on a pan and once its partly cooked from either sides its taken and put on direct flames and allowed to air up.

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  5. Yummmmn. Love the lighting jokes😂😂😂 also, from what I know, palak paneer is a simple dish with spinach and paneer. Saag paneer is a dish with lots of different greens. When my mom makes saag, she puts spinach, rapini, broccoli, kale,etc and cooks it for like five hours lolll. Mmmmmmmm now I’m hungry!!

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      1. Maybe it’s just my mom that makes it that way! Hahaha but ya! She adds everything in the garden and it’s SOOOOOO good! She doesn’t add paneer in the saag very often and we eat like corn roti (Chappati) with it and oh man, it is sooooo good. With some pickled lemon and chopped daikon on the side. Add a glass of milk and man, I’m set! One of my favourite indian dishes!!

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        1. Silas was telling me about makke ki roti. It sounds heavenly. I have to say that I’m surprised and very happy to hear that palak and/or saag paneer is loved by my Indian friends. It’s my very favorite and now I know I’m in good company!


    1. And you can’t even see it all! Silas says that lighting is a very important part of Indian architecture. Still, this is massive! It was kind of fun being under it though. It was like were doing theater in the round. Except we weren’t acting and the place was pretty sparsely populated.

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        1. Let me know when you go and I’ll meet you there! We might have to share the utensils though as I don’t think they have more than one set for Giants. However, I think it is customary to use bread to help deliver the food from plate to mouth so I might be ok.

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          1. There’s an Indian restaurant here called Baigain pronounced Bangin. John and I went there for lunch before we went to get our taxes done up the street. when we walked in the place was busy. One of the tax guys asked me, “How are you today?” I said, “Great! We just came from Baigain!” Everyone just stared at us. My life, I Swear…

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  6. Hi, This is ravi here from india. feeling nice to read your blog. The discussion of Samosha, palak paneer in US what a nice thing. I feel proud & special to be an indian. In rainy seson in india the consumption of Samoaha, Onion pakora, Paneer pakora, bread pakora with spicy ‘chatni’ are increase. I suggest you to try once.
    ‘Roti’ is a our traditional food.We can’t imgine a complete meal without this. There a numbers of flavour of ‘Roti’ depending what flour used.

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