Growing up, I was fortunate enough to enjoy many different types of cuisine, and ingredients. I was also raised to believe that eating spicy food, and consuming large quantities of food were admirable qualities in a human being. I met this challenge by eating plate after plate at the Old Country Buffet, but also by treating spicy foods like a dare. Only the best people ate spicy food. Those that didn't were weak, lesser than. For a tiny blip in my memory, it was just my mother and I in an apartment in Albuquerque, NM. My mom loved to cook with ginger, and shiitake mushrooms (still a food I despise), and these little chiles that she grew in a small clay pot, and then hung to dry. When she'd dry the chiles, my eyes would burn for a bit upon entering our home. With these fabulous chiles she made my favorite dish, Shining Noodle Soup. I don't remember the other ingredients, but I remember the noodles. I now realize they were shiny because they were rice noodles, and I remember those wonderful chiles that I now know as Tien Tsin Chili Peppers (based on images I found on the internet). What did I love about this dish? The broth ran down my face and made my chin numb, and I felt so cool!!!
This is my long-winded way of saying that I ate magical things growing up, things other kids would turn their noses at, but were truly missing out. That said, until my Sophomore year of college in New Brunswick, New Jersey, I had never experienced the joy of Indian curry. R U crying yet?
Top-left clockwise - Butter Chicken, Goat Curry, and Paneer w/ Peas over Basmati Rice
I think that restaurant is still there, Bombay Grill. What I know for certain is that I ordered a veggie based curry dish, and by the end of the meal I felt like I had been drinking (alcohol). I was in the throws of a spice-high. If you have never experienced a spice-high, you should seek it out. When you get the right spice mixture, your body releases endorphins and you experience true food happiness.
Since moving to Washington I have been treated to some amazing Indian restaurants, now my favorite cuisine. I've been trying to find a restaurant that is equally as pleasing as that first bite, and I think I finally found it, unassuming, next to a 7-11, in the part of Everett I was warned against living in, but I did (holy run-on sentence). I have found the perfect Indian cuisine in the Everett area. Ding, ding, ding! The winner is Curries!
Look at that feast! I love it all. My husband thinks that curries don't photograph well, and he may be correct when it comes to my photos, but I don't care. It tastes so good! The lunch-tray at the beginning of this blog is exactly that, my Wednesday lunch. I loved it so much I took my family back the following Saturday and took the dimly lit photos I'm subjecting you to for the rest of this entry.
Do you like Samosas? Wait, scratch that. Do you like carbs? Try carbs smothered in the delicious endorphin inducing spices I mentioned earlier. That accurately describes the Samosa Chat, pictured above.
From Top to Bottom - The Malai Kofta (basically shredded veggie balls, seriously yum!) and below that, the Curries' Speical Curry (the house special). Both were ordered at a level 4 spice. The Malai Kofta was less spicy. There may be more tomato present in the overall sauce. The special was especially spicy and wonderful. I think I have a new favorite dish, and a new favorite lunch spot. The only sadness I feel is that this restaurant opened after I moved away from W. Casino Rd. It would have been within walking distance...
I'm a not-for-profit worker that loves food, both healthy and indulgent. I've eaten the 12 egg omelette at Beth's Cafe: toast, hash browns, and all. Take that Adam Richman!