After just couple posts here you can probably tell that we're not a canned fruit cocktail and cocktail weenie kind of family. My sons' favorite restaurant is a dimly lit Moroccan joint we stumbled upon in Savannah, Georgia. Since the boys were 5 and 3 at the time, I'm pretty sure the belly dancers cavorting around the table next to us had anything to do with this. I can't say the same for my husband. And I'm pretty sure if we go back there in their teenage years there might be some blushing cheeks all around. At this restaurant we sat upon wobbly little leather poofs and ate with our fingers. What's not to enthrall a child? And the food was spectacular.
We like to expose our kids to all sorts of food (just not the weird animal parts and high fructose corn syrup variety). I'm Indian, which makes my sons half Indian. What better way to get intimate with a culture than through its food? Preparing Indian cuisine is a bit labor intensive; it's not something one just whips up. I reserve my spice toasting and dal soaking for special friends and occasions. Now I'm pretty sure I've just offended some friends for whom I have yet to feed a proper Indian meal. If that's the case, leave a comment here, and we'll make a date, mkay?
The lack of time to cook doesn't mean the craving doesn't strike in between. When my mom visits (which is not often enough...ahem), I beg her to cook Indian fare and she does so willingly. Indian mothers show their love through food, as is the case in so many cultures. We mothers feed off of feeding our young I suppose. My mom mixes up what she makes for us, but her roasted eggplant is a staple (my husband's favorite). She does a magical fish curry and a simple yellow dal that I have yet to replicate.
When Mom's not here and I don't have time to cook a full blown thali of Indian food, we head out. The Triangle boasts a robust Indian community, which naturally means the restaurants are the real deal. Here are some places we hit when nothing but vindaloo firing up our tastebuds will do:
स्वादिष्ट खाना (Svādiṣṭ khānā).
That's Bon Appetit in Hindi.
Ilina Ewen writes about food every Wednesday on Go Ask Mom. But you can always find her on her blog Dirt & Noise.