Tag Archives: indian

Pre-GWAR Dinner at Taj Restaurant: Binghamton, NY

30 Dec

Me and Ellen went to see GWAR awhile ago and we wanted to get food before we went, so we found this Indian place on the internet. Indian is pretty much always a safe bet for vegetarian if not vegan food. We pulled up and it was this tiny little place that sold some Indian food and some Mediterranean food and there was this guy in the dining area watching Indian talent shows on the TV and clapping and laughing loudly. I liked that guy a lot.

We ordered two veggie curries which were pretty much our only option, but then the waiter was like, “Want us to make two different curries and then you can share?” Thanks, guy. That’s awesome.

So, let me put this out there. The food was really inexpensive and it was good. It wasn’t the greatest ever but I’m used to paying twice as much as I did for a curry. The food was a little buttery and so it made Ellen sick because she doesn’t really eat stuff with butter. Umm maybe she can write about what she thought because I don’t want to speak for her.

But I really liked the place. The one curry kind of tasted like Campbell’s vegetable soup but the spinach curry they made was really good and you could get samosas for super inexpensive. It was basically cheap but pretty tasty Indian food.


Vegetable Vindaloo at India House: Victor, NY

22 Jul

I’m back from a week of traveling, and boy is my stomach tired. I ate a lot. So much, in fact, that I should maybe lose some weight. I’ve started exercising and paying attention to how much I eat and maybe someday I’ll be skinny again. But anyways, this isn’t a weight loss blog!

When I was in Rochester for a business trip, I found this place called India House near my hotel in Victor. I went there and it was really nice. The dining area was wide open, and get this – the menu had vegetable vindaloo on it. I have only ever seen vindaloo with meat chunks, so I got really excited and ordered it with some guava juice and chapati.

It was mostly cauliflower with some other stuff. Potatoes I think. Anyway, I need to find a recipe for vegetable vindaloo since it had never even occurred to me and I like it so much.

The guava juice was also really, really good. It tasted kind of metallic like it came out of a can, but since I’ve never had guava juice I couldn’t tell you if it’s supposed to taste like that. That wasn’t bad at all, though. It was still tasty.

So yeah, if you know of any good vegetable vindaloo recipes let me know!


Red Lentil and Eggplant Curry

19 Jun

Okay, so I’m thinking this ended up being a cross between a curry and a daal. It had curry type ingredients but the split lentils made it all creamy like daal.

Either way, it was really good.

So, Bret took me to Wegmans the first time I went out there to visit him. Wegmans was the only fond memory I have from my college time in Geneseo. Well, that’s not true. But it’s a very fond memory and I wish they would spread to the Saratoga area but the Golubs have a tight hold on the area with their crappy Price Choppers. Whatever!

Anyway, while we were there I picked up things that I’ve had a hard time finding around here. One of those things was a big bag of split red lentils. But that bag’s been sitting in my kitchen cupboards ever since I bought it. I’m trying to use things that I have hanging around. So I decided on the lentils. I looked through recipes trying to get ideas and settled on making a curry with the lentils. And an eggplant. So here’s what I did.


1 large onion, chopped as big or small as you like

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 1/2 cups water or veggie broth

1 cup (about) red lentils

1 eggplant, peeled and diced

2 Tbsp. red curry paste

salt and other things to taste

1/2 cup (about) coconut milk


Cook the onion and garlic in a little oil or nonstick cooking spray until it’s soft. This is gonna take a rather large pan to fit everything. Once the onions and garlic are cooked, add the water or broth, lentils, curry paste and eggplant. Bring all of that to a boil, then let it simmer uncovered until the lentils are soft and mushy. Stir it around pretty often to make sure that nothing’s sticking and add more water if you need to. I probably didn’t need to, but I did, and I think that’s why it came out a little more like daal than anything else.

Taste it and add seasonings if you need to. I added some salt, a bit of curry powder, and a couple of shakes of cayenne.

Once the lentils are cooked and everything’s seasoned, add in the coconut milk and let it boil for about five minutes or so to thicken up.

Then eat!

I ate it with a little bit of whole wheat couscous, but I could have eaten it out of a bowl with nothing to accompany it. This makes a bunch, you could totally feed 4 – 6 people no problem.

Bret says he wants to learn how to make better curries and I doubt this helped him any but I think he’s pretty good at it already.


Bret and Ellen Eat a Bunch: Saturday Edition!

23 May

So Bret came to visit last weekend, and we planned to have a super time. We were successful. There was plenty of garage sales and scrabble and accordions and movies and awesome times. And of course, food. We love food.

Bret came on Friday night and we made hazelnut scones from Vegan with a Vengeance so we would have breakfast to eat before we went out to garage sales. Bret took a picture of the scones he took home with him. I was too busy eating the ones that I kept.

Mm mm scones!

I assure you that they are one more reason to buy this cookbook. Bret’s been cooking things out of it starting from the beginning, and since I want to make everything in it too, I’m thinking of starting at the back and going forward. Which means dessert first! One of the things I like best about being an adult is that I can eat dessert first if I want to. Sometimes I want to.

Our mid-morning snack was ice cream. On the way back towards Saratoga we stopped at The Ice Cream Man. If this place was a bit closer to me, I would eat ice cream there all the time. It’s slightly better than Farmer’s Daughter, but Farmer’s Daughter is closer. Bret took a picture of his ice cream, but I was too busy eating mine. I had the grasshopper brownie, and the girl scooping was very generous. The brownie pieces were real brownie pieces, like you could tell they were baked in a pan and cut into chunks to be put in the ice cream. Mm!

For dinner that night, I suggested we go to Shalimar, which is my favorite Indian restaurant in the area and one that Bret’s friends had also said was pretty awesome. It didn’t live up to his expectations, but it was a good meal even though the waitress didn’t wrap up our leftovers. Sure, we probably should have specified, but we had a lot of food left and well.. oh, it’s okay. I’ll get over it.

I got us lost getting to the restaurant, so by the time we got there Bret was hungry and cranky. I get cranky when my belly’s empty, too. But the place was pretty empty so we got our food quickly.

We shared the vegetable pakora to start. So greasy, so good.

I ordered the baingan burtha because I love me some eggplants and chickpeas. No bread, and no, that’s not weird. It tasted like butter, but I’m not sure if that was because the eggplant was cooked so long that it got really creamy, or if there was a ton of butter in it. Maybe both. Either way, I was satisfied with it. No matter how unimpressed Bret was, Shalimar still remains a favorite.

We washed down a day of food with a bottle of Spanish wine back at my apartment and listened to our belly’s make the noises that they make when Indian food is put into them.

(I’m gonna let Bret add stuff or edit stuff if he wants because I can’t concentrate)


Okay! I can’t really concentrate either but that’s okay! I’m going to try to make this easy on me and make it, like, a list.

Chickpeas and chutney: When I got there Ellen had cooked some chickpeas up with some chutney and man was that a good idea. It was really tasty and maybe Ellen should do all the cooking from now on whenever we hang out. I’ll just lay around and play Katamari and shout, “Ellen! Ellen! I’m hungry! I’m hungry, Ellen!”

Hazelnut scones: These were tasty, but not the tastiest scones that I’ve made yet. They actually turned out kind of bitter. But that’s okay! Scones can be anything you want them to be. I should tell you sometime about the habanero scones I made.

Ice cream: The cone they gave me at the Ice Cream Man made me crap my pants. Look at the size of this thing!

I ordered two scoops. Does that look like two scoops to you? Holy wow! Anyway, I got malt and cherry cheesecake, which is a funny combination but it was really good.

Shalimar’s: I got palak aloo which is spinach and potatoes for those of you who don’t know the lingo.

It was pretty good. I’ve had friends telling me for years that Shalimar’s was the best Indian in the history of the world ever, so I think I had a skewed perspective that made me not appreciate it as much as I would have otherwise. But I got to eat tasty pakoras and they had a decent bathroom. I think someday I need to take Ellen to Samrat which is my favorite Indian place. I’m not going to make it out to be the best Indian ever but it’s my favorite place. I used to go to Syracuse all the time, and it got to the point where the people there recognized me when I came in. They don’t anymore, though.

I just wrote a whole bunch about Sunday and then realized that this is the SATURDAY EDITION of Bret and Ellen eat a bunch. Even though it’s Friday now. Whoops. I hope we finish these posts before she visits next weekend or otherwise we’re going to be way confused.

At one point over the weekend I fell asleep on Ellen’s knees. That was like the nicest thing. Ok. That has nothing to do with food. I’m going to post this now. I hope Ellen was done writing!


Layered Rice with Eggplant and Coconut (Baingan Biryani)

24 Apr

Jennifer posted the recipe for the biryani in the comments for the post. I’m reposting it here in case you missed it. Thanks Jennifer! Heart-heart! -Bret

Layered Rice with Eggplant and Coconut (Baingan Biryani)

2 cups Coconut Milk
1.25 cups Basmati Rice. (sorted and washed in 3-4 changes of water)
1.75 cups Water
.5 cup Grated Coconut
1-3 Dried Red Chile Peppers
1 Large Clove of Garlic
5 Quarter-size slices of fresh peeled Ginger
1-3 fresh Green Chile Peppers
1 Onion
1 ts ground Coriander
1 ts Garam Masala (+ .25 ts for garnish)
.5 ts ground Turmeric
3 TB Peanut Oil
1 lb of Eggplant (cut into bite size pieces)
1.25 ts salt or whatever
1 large Tomato
2 TB fresh chopped Mint Leaves
.5 cup Fresh Cilantro
2-3 TB Lemon Juice

1. Soak rice in the water for 30 minutes.

2. Place grated coconut and red chiles in skillet and dry-roast until golden and fragrant. 1-2 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to blender and process along with garlic, ginger, green chile peppers and onion until finely ground. Mix in the coriander, garam masala and turmeric and process again. Transfer to large nonstick saucepan. Add 2 TB oil and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat. About 5 minutes.

3. Add the eggplant, half the salt and .5 cup Coconut Milk. Cook over high heat about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pan and cook until eggplant is soft. 15-20 minutes. Remove to a bowl.

4. To the same pan, add 1 TB oil, tomato, mint and cilantro and cook over medium heat until most of the tomato juice evaporates. About 2 minutes. Add the rice and the water it’s soaking in along with remaining salt and coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook until the rice is almost fully cooked, about 10 minutes.

5. To assemble the biryani: Remove about half the rice to a bowl. Spread the cooked eggplant mixture over the rice that remains in the saucepan. Cover the eggplant mixture with the reserved rice. Drizzle the lemon juice over the rice, cover the pan, and cook over the lowest heat setting, 10-15 minutes, to blend the flavors. Sprinkle garam masala on top and serve.

Coconut Eggplant Biryani

22 Apr

I went to visit some friends in New Jersey and they forced me to cook with them. “While you stay with us you earn your keep!” and then they made me chop mint. But seriously it was a lot of fun. I love friends, and I love friends who cook, and I love friends who want to cook food with me! I got to chop things and mince things and when the spicy fumes got to be too much for Jennifer I got to take over stirring.

Russell and Jennifer cook Indian food a lot. It’s inspired me to give it a try again. They had this big huge cookbook full of Indian recipes (I think it was called 1000 Indian Recipes) and this is one they’ve made in the past. It was really great and had a nice heat to it. Jennifer also made some raitha to go on top.

Also check out their badass skelly blanket. We sat and ate and watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre. We had a good time laughing and Leatherfacing!