The best cook doesn’t need meat to take you to food heaven
Even if I have said it a million times, I’d still say this - Indian cooking has such an intelligent and layered complexity to it. Spices are manipulated across different forms to create a dish. That knowledge of spice is so thorough, so versatile, it reminds me of having a raucous conversation with someone and suddenly in the quiet corner of my mind I go..hmm how intelligent and..sexy!
I recently had vegetarian food at Ganga Cafe, located in Lorong Kurau, Bangsar. Although it has been operational for a bit more than a year now, I’ve not tried the food. I remember shying away from it after learning that they only serve vegetarian food. How dense I was.
Fast forward a few months later, I’m beginning to discover the joys of plant-based food, and visit Ganga I must!
The verdict: Ganga Cafe is The Best vegetarian food because:
It inspired me to be competitive. I cooked chickpea curry not one week, or 3 days after, but the very next day because I was inspired to tweak my recipe and incorporate coriander leaves into it, just like Ganga.
I hated coriander leaves until I had it in my chickpeas at Ganga. It became clear to me how the pungent smell can be manipulated to bring out more flavour in the otherwise very flaccid peas
Ganga’s food made me question why I bother with meat at all, vegetarian’s better!
Use the right spices
When I first started cooking Indian food, I used to buy my spices from supermarkets. And why not, it is convenient, leisurely, air-conditioned - please don’t be a dungu like me. Second grade spices won’t break your dish, but you’d find that your dish will be that much more phenomenal if you use fresh spices.
Enter Little India. I heard that Asokan, in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur sell the best spices, although personally, I have not been there.
But, I did buy my cumin (jeera), coriander and garam masala from Mathavon in Lebuh Queen, Penang. After my heavily curried lunch on Day 1 of my Penang trip, I marched to Mathavon to buy my spices, determined not to miss the opportunity again!
Look at all the rows of spices and dhals, what a beautiful sight.
I’m so glad I bought the powdered spices there because I’ve given my curry a ‘butt injection’, it’s great, why didn’t I do it sooner? I’ve halved my powdered spice consumption and they are only 1/3 the cost of supermarket prices.
If ever there is a chance to visit Penang, and you love cooking Indian food, do consider popping into Mathavon.
If Singapore, drop by the 24-hour Mustafa. The Uncle Cook’s extra hot chilli powder should be labeled as a WMD, although very essential for chilli lovers. That reminds me, I should stop by Mustafa during my weekend trip to Singapore.
#dhal #chickpeas #indianfood #indianvegetarian #ganga #gangacafe #bangsarvegetarian #littleindia #brickfields #LittleIndiaKualaLumpur #LittleIndiaPenang #Mathavon #Asokan #spicesKualaLumpur #Singapore #MustafaSingapore #LittleIndiaSingapore