Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 1: The Furlough and a Fork World Tour

So I’m on furlough from work this week. Whoop, whoop!

If I had money I’d be jetting off to an exotic locale.

But as a financially challenged journalist, I’ll settle for the next best thing: Eating my way around the world with ethnic cuisine in Nashville.

I began on Saturday night at Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine.

Apparently I’m going to workout a lot on my furlough too.

Woodlands is a Southern Indian restaurant, and I love so many of the elements from that region – coconut, curry leaves, fenugreek, tamarind. We tasted iddly cakes made with rice and lentils; dosa, the crepes with filling such as potato and pea; and spicy rasam soup so loaded and deep with flavor that every spoonful feels like 1,000 stories. I was also intrigued by the coconut chutney. It’s an innocent-looking paste in a pale green shade (the color of buttery mints you find at weddings), but the green color in the chutney comes from chiles.

Overheard from the white dude sitting at the table next to me: “Wow. That green shit is hot. I thought green was the universal color of mild. Red is like, ‘I’m really hot.’ And green is like, ‘Come to me for comfort.’”

Find a recipe for rasam here.

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