More Foodie Stuff

Our region’s only Indian restaurant didn’t survive COVID. It now reopened with different owners. They are sweet, wonderful people. But they are from Nepal and Afghanistan, and the Nepalese side of the family is front of the house. The Afghani part cooks. I’m very interested in Afghan food but when Afghanis do Indian, it’s like me cooking Mexican. It all tastes like I’d rather have some borscht.

They should have totally opened an Afghan restaurant. We are a college town. People would definitely go to a more exotic place.

I’ll still go to the restaurant because Afghan Indian is better than no Indian.

7 thoughts on “More Foodie Stuff

    1. Well, we do have a second one but they achieved an impressive feat of making Indian food taste like cardboard. Completely bland. And it’s all this sad beige color. Locals adore it.


  1. Ever tried Indian MREs?

    They come in pouches that you boil in a big pot once you take the pouches out of the retail boxes.

    One warning: their idea of “servings” and mine are very different.

    One pouch says “two servings” but I usually need four pouches for a full dinner.

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    1. Do you make rice to go with your dish? Basmati is delicious and its easy to prepare; you can probably get by with fewer pouches.


      1. They also have Indian rice MREs, such as vegetable pulao with basmati rice, and the rice MREs are never just plain rice.

        This stuff has been designed to be cooked using the boiling vessel (or BV) in a tank or armoured personnel carrier in the event that there’s no safe place to form a base camp.

        That’s why preparation consists of having a big enough pot to boil several pouches at a time.

        I suggest a three gallon aluminium pot with a vented glass lid at a minimum, mostly so the pouches can float up freely as they’re cooking. That should be good enough for as many as ten pouches if you stack them well before adding water to boil.

        Look for the little A5-sized boxes that are about a centimetre thick in bright colours at an Indian grocery store, there’s usually an entire aisle dedicated to these MREs.

        Don’t expect super-spicy Indian food with these since they’re made to be acceptable to the entire Indian army, even the retail packages available in the US.

        Haldiram’s, Priya, and MTR are some of the major brands.

        If you’ve ever wanted to try some Indian food but have no idea how it should taste and are also afraid you’ll order something pricey in a restaurant that you’re then stuck with, these pouches are usually $2.50 or less.

        The one I like best is the shahi paneer curry from Haldiram’s, and in general I prefer Haldiram’s, but I also have regional Indian food preferences.

        As for expiry dates, don’t worry too much about that if the pouches haven’t burst.

        We’re still cooking up Indian MREs with expiry dates as far back as April 2020.

        We do cook those a lot longer though, and we hate to throw any out since our closest Indian grocery now is roughly 70 miles away.


    2. Had to Google MREs. Interesting! Maybe I should try. I’ve tried cooking Indian food but the flavors are always very meek in my rendering. I just don’t have the personality to do a convincing Indian spice bouquet.


      1. Try the mass market paperback novel-sized boxes near the MREs at the Indian grocery.

        They’re pre-mixed spice blends and have basic directions on the boxes for typical dishes.

        If you can handle spicy fried chicken, check out the Chicken 65 mixes.

        If you like cream curries, check out the chicken korma mixes.

        These are usually $1.50 or less per box, and just follow the directions on the boxes to form a shopping list for whatever else you need.

        My brand preferences for these are National, Shan, Roopak, and Priya, and so some of you may already guess what my regional Indian food preferences are. MTR also makes some of these blends.

        But if the problem is that you want a deeper curry you’re already familiar with, see if the people at the Indian grocery can help you with a “balti curry” blend.

        Penzey’s Spices has one which you can order online, but they don’t call it that, and we use little sprinkles of it on our naan when we cook it.


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