On Sunday afternoon, a couple of friends came over to our house with a young man from Pakistan who is currently staying with them while he is a student at Bemidji State University. They came in hauling bags of groceries — meat, fruit, vegetables and several bags of a variety of spices.
The young man from Pakistan came prepared to teach us how to prepare a few authentic Pakistani dishes.
He gave us our assignments and, in great detail, told us exactly how to carry out our specific tasks. After a couple hours of chopping, stirring, simmering and seasoning, we were ready to sit down together to eat three delicious dishes — a very spicy daal made with yellow lentils, chicken biryani, and another dish made with chicken thighs that I still need to get the name of.
For dessert, we had a bowl of mixed fresh fruit. Our young teacher made sure I write down the formula for the seasoning mixture he sprinkled over the fruit.
Yesterday for lunch I made my own fruit salad with sweet, juicy organic oranges that I’ve been buying at the food co-op and slices of creamy avocado. I sprinkled the fruit with the special Pakistani spice mixture — equal parts of red chili powder, sugar and garam masala. My jar of Garam Masala comes from Penzey’s Spices, a blend of coriander, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and a few other baking spices. The blend of spices and sugar provides a sweet and tart flavor that is refreshing, especially after a spicy meal.
I’m planning to share the recipe for daal (that was my assignment) as well as a few pictures from our afternoon of cooking Pakistani dishes soon.
In the meantime, this salad of rounds of peeled oranges and avocado slices sprinkled with the special Pakistani fruit will excite your taste buds.