Thursday, March 4, 2010

Onion Bhajis and Babyhawk

It may sound weird, but I think Indian cuisine is the ultimate comfort food. I'm not sure what it is about those spicy blends of cinnamon, curry and ginger, chickpeas and lentils, stewed meats and rich, creamy sauces. It's perfect for the middle of summer, the dead of winter, and as the spring has sprung, I'm craving Indian. So I'm sharing my recipe for onion bhajis, which was created entirely by me, and therefore is by no means authentic. But it was damn tasty! Feed them to your husband, who claims he hates onions. Feed them to your children, who say they don't like Indian food. Call them 'fritters' if you must, but no one can resist the oily, slightly sweet deliciousness of onion bhajis! Adjust seasonings to your taste, if these ones don't suit you and your family. We like things full of flavor at our house.

Onion Bhajis

2 or 3 onions, roughly diced
2 cups besan (chickpea) flour
1/4 cup white flour
3 tsp gram masala
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp fresh ginger, diced and pressed through a garlic press
1 clove crushed garlic
2 pinches baking powder
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup water to your mix, and then keep adding it by the tablespoon until it becomes a sticky batter that holds together.

2.  Fill a roomy pan 3/4 of an inch deep with vegetable oil, and heat to deep frying temp. You'll know it is the right temp when a candy thermometer reaches 370 f, or a little bit of the batter sizzles when you put it in the oil.

3. Drop the batter in by tablespoons full. They shouldn't be too large, smaller than an egg is about the right size. If you put them in and they seem too big you can break them up with a spoon while frying. They'll make those tiny yummy crunchy bits that everyone likes to steal when the big bhajis are gone. Don't put too many in at once. Four or five bhajis per regular sized pan should be sufficient. Even I am guilty of crowding the pan, but this is a big mistake, because it will lower the temp of your oil and cause the batter to absorb the oil. Instead of deep frying, you'll be stuck with a sticky oily mess.

4. Flip the bhajis occasionally, so that they don't burn. You know they're done when they are a deep orange colour. Put them on a plate lined with paper towel. Enjoy!

I also tried to make burfi, but it never set. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I decided to turn it into a tasty ice-coconut thing. It hasn't frozen yet, but I have high hopes for it.

Ender has popped another tooth today. He's such a little trooper. The last few weeks have been rough, but that little tooth gives me such a feeling of accomplishment! All our nights of tossing and turning, drooly sobbing, all of it has lead up to this. The ability to chew. It's no small feat. Despite my prodding, Ender has yet to show any interest in finger foods. The child will bring everything and anything to his mouth except foods. Which makes sense when you have no teeth. But I have high hopes that this one little tooth will change all of that. I will admit I'm going to miss making these gourmet purees, and I dread the idea of having to think of three square meals for this little person, but there's no way around it. My little man is growing up. Soon the milky sweet smell of his breath will be replaced by the smell of Doritos, his perfect baby-powder scented feet will grow and grow and grow until I tear my hair out with frustration at the number of shoes, sitting like nesting dolls, in ascending order, along the wall.

I can't wait.

An update on the Me vs. Babyhawk debacle:
The carrier still hasn't arrived. I stupidly thought that ordering directly from Babyhawk was a good idea. Definitely not. There are Canadian stores which carry Babyhawks and promise DELIVERY within a week. I ordered mine on the 27th of January. It took 12 business days to make, they tell me, and then got shipped, which can take 2 to 3 weeks. When 3 weeks expired, I e-mailed them to find out what the next steps are. Apparently 3 weeks as an outlier estimate means nothing. I was informed that I needed to 'wait'. This confuses me. What is the point of a 3 week time frame except as an indication that there is something wrong with the shipment when it takes longer than that?

The weather is turning nice, and I just want my money back so I can buy a different carrier and get out and enjoy it. The stroller, my 25 lb son, and 2 flights of stairs is too much to cope with, and I need my little man strapped to my back. I am very upset with Babyhawk. I do not recommend them, and I think they have crappy shipping policies and poor customer service. I have been waiting a month and a half, and still no one has apologised. As of Monday, I'm demanding my money back.

Figures that the first thing I ever buy online would turn out this badly. 

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