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105degrees, L1/W4/D3: final menu revealed

November 17, 2010

The cat is finally out of the bag! For my final project dinner, I am serving…
a RAW INDIAN FEAST!!
Although I don’t yet have finished versions of some of these items, here is a rough outline of my meal.

FIRST COURSE: Mango lassi.

SECOND COURSE:

(a hopefully-much-improved version of…)

Spinach-cauliflower pakoras…

…with a trio of dipping sauces: mango chutney, cucumber-mint raita, and tamarind syrup.

THIRD COURSE: Vegetable-β€œpaneer” tikka masala…

…with rice pilaf and garlic naan.

My paneer is actually raw tofu (which, of course, isn’t really tofu at all, but yknow what I mean).

The “rice” in my pilaf is made of cauliflower, and my naan is Brazilnut-based.

My masala sauce is a piquant blend of coconut, tomato, spices, and more.

FOURTH COURSE: Gulab jamun and kheer.

The final version of my kheer (rice pudding) will look much prettier than this; I ordered white chia seeds for it, which should arrive in the mail tomorrow.

My gulab jamun, with agave-rosewater syrup and crushed pistachios, may just be the best raw thing I have ever made. They’re like tender, sweet, Indian donut holes!

YAY! Now that you know my Plan, you can watch it truly unfold in these next two days.

As if that weren’t enough excitement for one week, I went this afternoon to Forward Foods, an absolutely adorable little specialty grocer (and cheese store, but no matter) here in Oklahoma City. I went in just intending to browse around, but I walked out with a buttload of awesome stuff!

I’m such a water drinker that I only purchase a bottled drink once or twice a YEAR, so me walking out of this store with no fewer than three beverages is unheard of. But I couldn’t resist picking up this kombucha, a bottle of vanilla bean soda (pop! So unlike me!), and a cool-sounding coconut green tea.

Some more bottled goodies I picked up were rosewater (so I can make gulab jamun syrup at home!), Lyle’s golden syrup (something I’ve always wanted to try, healthy or not), and pomegranate molasses (muhammara, here I come!).

I only bought ONE nut butter – can you believe my restraint? It’s a locally-made Oklahoma peanut butter. Alongside, it, I got a not-anywhere-near-locally-made guava jelly; yum! I’m seeing a PB&GJ sandwich in my future…

Here are two things I’ve needed for a LONG time: harissa paste and pimentΓ³n de la vera (Spanish smoked sweet paprika).

Since I spent just a hair over $40 (oops) on all this, the nice cashier boy at Forward Foods told me I got a free baguette!

This, of course, necessitated that I run back and grab some olive hummus to go with the bread. Oh, and a single vanilla macaron from the cooler by the register…just cuz.

You know what this means, right? Yeah…a gluten bomb went off in my stomach at dinner tonight. My tummy didn’t mind, though – especially with a wholesome ingredient list like this!

You guys all saw my Hail Merry post, right? To clear up some confusion, I’ve actually posted TWO videos on Hail Merry’s Facebook wall. It looks like people have been scrolling all the way down and “liking” the first one, but please feel free to “like” the most recent one near the top of the wall – it’s got a pic of a chair as the video still. Hopefully, though, they’ll add together all the “likes” from both my videos. I still need a good 40-50+ people to “like” my videos to make a win possible. Thank you all so much for your help!

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42 Comments leave one →
  1. gidgetnfroggi permalink
    November 17, 2010 9:24 pm

    wow what a spread!!! looks good!! I made homemade french bread tonight. it was yummy πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 17, 2010 9:30 pm

      Ooh, I love French bread! Especially dipped in herby olive oil πŸ™‚

  2. November 17, 2010 9:32 pm

    I honestly can’t decide what I’m more excited about… the absolute magnificent creativity and deliciousness of your final menu (and woot, I picked the “rice” correctly, although I guessed sushi rice…), or your grocery purchases. I have a deep, deep, depp desperate excited love for seeing little health speciality purchases. I think it’s because places like that always make me feel happy and calm πŸ™‚

    Gosh, have you never tried golden syrup?! Golden syrup is such an Australian thing that I’ve grown up with it. In fact, it’s an integral component in the chocolate caramel slice I”ll be posting soon πŸ™‚

    And yay! Free baguette! Hurrah for something that *might* have brought back memories of your travels!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:45 pm

      Foodie store purchases make me giddy too!

      Nope, golden syrup virgin right here πŸ˜› Ooh yay, I’m so glad to know I’ll have a recipe to use it in soon!

      It’s true – I don’t think I’ve had a baguette since France, in fact. πŸ™‚

  3. November 17, 2010 9:35 pm

    I don’t know where I’ve been (under a rock, perhaps), but somehow I missed the first half of the going off to raw cooking school adventure. Tuning in now is a bit of a shock! You look like a total pro. If those are your trail dishes for the final dinner menu, I can’t even imagine how fantastic the final results will be!!! Good job!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:46 pm

      Well the important thing is that you’re out from under that rock now! Hehe. Thanks for the encouragement on my final project menu! πŸ˜€

  4. Blaine permalink
    November 17, 2010 10:24 pm

    Holy gulab jamun! Indian food is one of those things I miss in the raw world, I’m so excited – I wish I could taste your feast!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:47 pm

      So happy to hear you’re excited for the final cuts of these dishes! I truly wish I could share this meal with you and everyone else. πŸ™‚

  5. November 17, 2010 11:34 pm

    It all looks so great! Indian is one of my favorite cuisines. Nice job!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:47 pm

      Mine too! Probably my #1, in fact.

  6. November 18, 2010 4:12 am

    LOVE eating raw, LOVE Indian food. This is MOUTHWATERING! You’re going to do really amazing things. I am always so impressed by your blog and your talents. You have my heart pitter pattin’ with that gulab jamun talk, girly. πŸ˜‰

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:48 pm

      Thank you Noelle! That’s so sweet of you πŸ™‚ I really take that to heart and appreciate it immensely.

  7. November 18, 2010 6:27 am

    Yummy choice on going with the Indian food! Oh, and your pictures are fantastic in this post! Like I almost want to eat the computer screen. πŸ˜‰

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:48 pm

      Glad you approve! πŸ˜› And thanks for complimenting my photography! I always love to hear that.

  8. November 18, 2010 6:38 am

    raw indian – awesome!! So unique πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see it all pulled together – it’s going to be amazing, I know, because it looks it already!
    And the shopping spree looked like a ton of fun, too. So much interesting things – I’ve never heard of pom. molasses before! I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have bee able to resist that. And a free baguette…I wish every store did that! haha

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:52 pm

      Aw…thank you!

      I’m excited for my pomegranate molasses. It’s a component in muhammara, a Syrian dip I talked about in this post. Can’t wait to make some!

      You’re so right, more stores should give freebies – especially if they’re baguettes πŸ™‚

  9. constance permalink
    November 18, 2010 7:32 am

    I can not find a way to either view or like your video. It says it is private. And there is not “like” button by it.

  10. November 18, 2010 7:57 am

    Oh man that is awesome. . . If only I could go to eat your final project 😦

    Maybe you can come to mine πŸ˜‰

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:53 pm

      I wish you could come eat my final project! And oh man, I’d LOVE to come eat yours when it happens! I bet it’ll be just as awesome. πŸ™‚

  11. November 18, 2010 7:58 am

    Such a great idea! I haven’t had Indian food in a few months, and as if by coincidence I’m going to an Indian restaurant with some friends for lunch. Your meal looks way better than what our local Indian restaurant has though πŸ™‚ I’d much prefer the raw version. And the donut holes? Brilliant!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:54 pm

      How fortuitous that you’re giving your taste buds a refresher course on Indian cuisine this very week πŸ˜› I wish you could try my raw Indian meal!

  12. November 18, 2010 9:24 am

    Oh my Gosh! Amber that is so beautiful. You are sooooo talented. I know you have been having so much fun! Love to read all the things you do, it is so inspiring!

    Keep Rawkin!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:55 pm

      Thank you so much, Angela! You’re always so supportive and encouraging – it means a lot to me πŸ˜€

  13. November 18, 2010 9:25 am

    What a great menu idea! I love it! And you’re really pulling out all the stops. I am impressed already!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:55 pm

      Hehe, thanks! I hope it all goes according to plan!

  14. November 18, 2010 9:40 am

    Wow, everything really looks like the items they recreate. That is going to be a fantastic dinner! Especially excited about that beautiful tikka masala, so vibrant!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:56 pm

      Thank you! I’m excited too! A little nervous, but mostly just excited, heh.

  15. November 18, 2010 11:55 am

    Absolutely astounding.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:56 pm

      Thanks Colleen πŸ™‚

  16. November 18, 2010 2:43 pm

    Yum…I love Indian food! That feast looks and sounds delicious!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:57 pm

      Thank you!

  17. November 18, 2010 4:31 pm

    Yay – I love this! Have been so bummed about the ghee in much Indian food ruining my pleasure of it: the cardamom-rosewater thing is my very favorite of all. Can’t wait to hear more about it.

    Golden syrup is a brit thing – ridiculously sweet and delicious, as I recall, but I couldn’t imagine eating it now.

    love
    Ela

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 5:58 pm

      Ghee is always a bit of a bliss-killer =/ I’m not surprised you like the cardamom and rosewater in my dessert, that sounds right up your alley!

      British desserts are where I first heard of golden syrup – it’s about time I try it, I think. πŸ™‚

  18. November 18, 2010 6:36 pm

    Oh my gosh! How awesome is this food lineup?!?! Indian RAW dinner??? Courses???? Ahhhh! I wish I were taste-testing for you!! It all looks incredible! Hard work but you get to eat it now!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 6:37 pm

      Glad you like the sound of my menu! πŸ˜€ I wish I could invite everyone to come to the tasting tomorrow night!

  19. November 18, 2010 9:12 pm

    your indian dinner looks amazing! wish i could have dinner with you πŸ˜€

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2010 9:30 pm

      Thanks, Rachel! Hehe, I wish you could too!

  20. November 19, 2010 12:46 am

    I love going exploring for new products!

    Cauliflower rice – such a smart concept!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 19, 2010 8:40 am

      Me too πŸ™‚

      Thanks!

  21. November 20, 2010 8:29 am

    Your menu is music to my ears! I’ve found that raw foods are seriously lacking on decent Indian-flavored facsimiles, so I’m excited by how authentic your dishes look. Hate to be that irritating person that always wants recipes, but any chance you’ll be posting… ? πŸ˜‰

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 20, 2010 11:19 am

      There is a chance πŸ˜‰ I don’t know yet what the venue will be, but somehow or another, I do see myself sharing these (and several more from class!) in the very near future…

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