It’s Day 4.
Cloudy, dribbly BC-style. But there’s just something about this cloudy-dribbly day. I hate to say it. It’s beautiful.
So it’s brunch time. When it’s cold out, I crave for hot. Hankering for some wild Indian spices, we sped off to D.C. (Dosa Corner). Lamb curry X-TRA spicy was highly recommended by daughter #2. But once we scanned the menu, we were torn. The menu in this hole-in-the wall was extensive. Lots of South Indian goodies. No way the two of us could sample them all at one go. Can’t overeat. Can’t “ta -pau.” In other words, take-outs were hard to do when we’re constantly on the road. Without question, a second trip to D.C. (Dosa Corner) would be warranted.
By the time we got seated, D.C. was full house. People were from diverse backgrounds. We started off with our favorite hors d’oeuvers. I caught sight of an colorful platter of shrimp pakoras fly by our table. Soon, we had a platter all to ourselves. 🙂
These crunchy crispy pakoras came with two different dips: Savory hot tomato chutney and sweet, peppery tamarind sauce. As good as the dipping sauces were, I couldn’t have cared less. Like a pakora purist, I chomped on them as is — tail and all.
See the bits and pieces of whole spices in the batter? That’s the way Tiger Mom used to make prawn fritters. And that’s the way I like it. 🙂
Next came the potato and peas samosas. Although I’m not really into deep-fried stuff, I thought I’ll give it a go.
The pastry was nice and crispy. Golden brown in color. The potato and pea filling was mildly-spiced but tasty. (By now I was already hankering for a cup of hot Malaysian White Coffee.) So there you go. Perfect choice for those who like a not too spicy, deep-fried pastry. The entrée we settled for was lamb curry.
The deep amber color of the curry took me back to Tiger Mom and the little home by the sea. The aroma of the gravy smelled like home. Then came the “uh-oh” moment.
We had totally forgotten to tell the waitress a key detail. Lamb curry X-TRA spicy! That was a big blow to us chili worshippers <ouch!>
Ah well. There’s a saying in Malay which goes “Esok masih ada” which means “There’s always a tomorrow.”
Anyway, the milder-than-mild curry came with a small serving of white basmathi rice cooked al-denté and a quartered Indian flat bread. The curry was tomatoey and delightfully well-spiced Southern Indian style. Just that the lack of “chili punch” deprived us from experiencing the “high” we’d been hoping for. As for the lamb meat? It was good. Well, we’re huge fans of Colorado lamb though, so High Five, Colorado!
As we left Dosa Corner, we knew that it had made our must-return list. I kept dreaming of the dosa which winked at me at the table next to mine whereas Mr. Chi-Town was mumbling incessantly about the shrimp biryani which had waved at him as it strutted by our table.
Feeling full to the brim, we had time to “burn,” so we decided to check out that fancy schmancy Walmart Supercenter — remember that big “W” I talked about in my previous post? To recap, here’s a pic.
The Wholefoods in the Great Plains looks exactly like it. I took this Walmart for granted. But boy, was I in for a surprise.
First of all, the shopping baskets we picked up at the entrance of Walmart had fancy rollers. I had no problem dragging this baskerolly around the store. But for Mr. 6′ 3″, it seemed like he was having a little issue.
See what I mean?
Let’s see. The first thing that went into the baskerolley was the green-capped sambal oelek (remember what happened at Fisherman’s Terrace?).
In the meantime, a strong, familiar, pungent odor wafting around in the store made me smile. The culprit?
You can hide roses but you can never hide durians. One of my colleagues once told me that durians smell like “stinky socks pudding.” Guess what? Tiger Mom was so fond of them she’d eat them with dosa or Indian rice pancakes. My Malay neighbors in East Malaysia used to spread the ooey gooey goodness on slices of bread that came from the old school Chinese bakery. Chinese restaurants like Koi Palace in California serve durian pastries. Malaysians love durians; I love durians. The aroma is nothing short of heavenly! In fact, I’d take durians anytime over roses. By the way, do you know that durians don’t need to be harvested? They fall from the trees when they are ripe and ready. My neighbors in Malaysia used to tell my parents “If you want your grown-up children and grandchildren to visit regularly, plant durian trees.”
Okay, back to my Walmart waffles. Hey, this place was unbelievable! The Walmarts I know of do not carry these full scale, multi-ethnic grocery lines. They do carry Mexican and Asian stuff but not to this extent. Certain items like Shan can only be found in Indian grocery stores. Does anyone know where “National” comes from?
Got another short story about Shan, you guys. Daughter #1 was once known as the “Shan Queen.” While attending college, she used to have a pantry with an array of all kinds of Shan mixes. I was proud that she shunned junk food. Today, she whips up killer biryanis and curries from scratch like nobody’s business. (I’m so proud of her!)
We also found these. Believe it or not, you lucky Canadian people, Walmarts in the Great Plains do not carry these. Say a word of Thanks. Of course, there is an aisle in our Walmart, but only part of the aisle is allocated for Asian and Mexican food.
This Walmart was very United Nations. Clearly, it catered to the varied demands of diverse locals. I hope some day the trend will begin all over the U.S.
That’s all for Day 4. I know it took me a while to get back to my blog. As you already know, I lost my four-legged best friend recently when Hurricane Harvey was barreling through Houston. I’m still torn, twisted, and broken. As it Cooks brings me joy. It makes me smile. It brings back sweet memories of my Ingerwulf sleeping and resting on his fluffy baby blanket/comforter as I tapped on my keys. The Great Plains has become so quiet it’s palpable. Why wouldn’t it? He was a 10 1/2 year gift. A wonderful friend of mine shared this quote with me “Hay más tiempo que vida.” (There’s more time than life.) If you have a furry friend, give him or her a hug and a scratch on the head for me.
Thank you for visiting. I love you, Houstoners. Today, as Hurricane Irma hits Florida, my heart goes out to all you Floridans and others in the Caribbean. Hang in there. Take care of yourselves and each other. You and I… we’ll get through these very difficult times. New “normal” is here to stay. Let time do the hard work.
Until then, keep an eye for Part 5: Tee’s Trip to the Pacific Northwest.