Appam and Curry Feast Menu

Daring Kitchen Menu

It’s Daring Kitchen time, and this one was an exhilarating trip through Southern India and Sri Lanka. Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish to go with the warm flat bread.

Mary taught us that much of the Indian food that we consume in this country is from the North and Northwest regions, and that a whole world of culinary delights awaited us in the preparation of the cuisine of the south. Boy, did this feast deliver – a fragrant theme of coconut, ginger, cilantro and chilies carried us through the courses served family style. It was the first party I’ve had in a long time where, when the food was finished, I got to sit down and tuck in with my guests. Not to mention the fact that the dishes were perfect for casually prepping with my guests helping in the kitchen. A true delight for which I have Mary to thank 🙂

There are a few dishes on the menu that I’ve not listed recipes for – the naan was simply picked up at our Trader Joe’s and warmed in the oven. And the raita, barely a recipe, was two cups of greek yogurt, half a grated cucumber, salt, pepper and a secret ingredient of a bit of coconut milk to thin it out. The yogurt and the cilantro chutney were the stars of the party, as my guests plied their plates with the stuff as if there was no tomorrow. Next time, I know to make double!

Appam (Sri Lankan Coconut Rice Pancakes)

These pancakes take a little prep work, but are no more fiddly than the Western variety.  Plus, you’ll want these bad boys to sop up all the curry goodness below in lieu of fork and spoon action.

Meatballs with Coconut Curry

Score some curry leaves if you can find them for this one – it’s well worth it.  We may or may not have earned ours after some shady alley dealing.  I figure the intrigue made the curry all the better.

Yogurt Chicken

Stupid easy and people will gush over the tenderness of the chicken.  When in actuality, all you did was let the yogurt beat the chicken into submission overnight while you tended to more important things.  Like clearing your DVR of the glut of junk TV on there.  Mmmmmm, junk TV.

Curried Potatoes and Chickpeas

This side dish is quick to prep and belying all sorts of exotic flavors that remind you that veggies get a bad wrap.  Kick this one up with a jalapeno for extra awesomeness – you’ll thank me later.

Spiced Basmati Rice

I adore basmati in that if you rinse it enough and show it some love before cooking, it’s damn near effortless to make once the flame kisses the pan.  This version is perked up with fragrant spices and a bit of fresh cilantro.

Lazy Green Salad

A good salad is the perfect way to extend a meal for the unexpected masses.  This salad takes a few twirls of olive oil and vinegar and you are off to the races.

Cilantro Chutney

Spicy, aromatic and gorgeous, I get a little kooky when I start eating this stuff.  Kooky like it’s crack and I’m a drug addict.  Not that I know what that’s actually like – I assume that people that love crack love it in the same way that I love this chutney.