Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Spice Girl

Check out the what one of my office pals, Louisa, brought back for me from her recent trip to India. No, it's not a selection of slides of the Taj Mahal. Nor is it one of those multi-pack of postcards they sell at every major tourist attraction in the world. It's a variety of Indian spices--18 in all! Coriander, star anise, mustard seed, clove, cardamom, fenugreek, cumin, turmeric, "ani" seeds, red "chilly," something called "nutmace"... the list goes on. I was beside myself with curiosity. After lunching with Chris Kimball, founder and editor-in-chief of Cook's Illustrated, at Union Square Cafe that afternoon, I decided I'd find a recipe from Cook's using at least three of the spices in my new spice portfolio. The result: Chicken and Rice with Indian Spices. It called for a cinnamon stick, turmeric, coriander and cumin--all of which were included in my gift.

The result was a piquant, tasty dish. I couldn't distinguish between the turmeric or coriander, though I could detect the cumin. And Fork and I agreed the cinnamon was more present in aroma than taste. All in all, though, a pleasing combo. Who knew when I woke up Tuesday morning that I'd be using a web site I'd never used before, to find a recipe that included ingredients I'd never even considered using?--S

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