Falling in Love with Indian Food
This week, Michelle Collins, author of the blog TheEconomicalEater guest-blogs on OneLifeToEat. Michelle contacted me when I invited guest posts from bloggers on Twitter and I was humbled that a professional writer would want to guest-blog at OLTE. Michelle shares a truly romantic and really sweet account of how she fell in love with Indian Food. This is one post I am sure a lot of you may relate to.
My introduction to Indian food came at a turning point in my life. Years before that first meal, I went through some serious phases of growing up – and had just made a silent pact with myself to better my life, for me. Part of this “new beginning” welcomed new experiences – as well as a new relationship that was completely unplanned, yet perfectly timed.
Growing up, my family of six ate affordable, army-sized American and Irish meals. Indian food was completely foreign to our family – and the thought of it, even in my early twenties, freaked me out a little bit. I thought Indian cuisine meant nothing but goat brains and lamb guts.
But then I met Zach. Although I’m an omnivorous food writer, I still managed to fall in love with a vegetarian – who just so happened to have studied abroad in India during college. Soon after we met, I was handed an assignment for my local newspaper to review a new Indian restaurant downtown – and Zach and I dined there on our first date.
Zach was and still is incredibly knowledgeable about Indian cuisine, and described just about every flavor, origin and texture of each dish on the menu. I was in foodie paradise, and all of my initial fears of Indian food quickly melted away. We ordered a variety of dishes that night, the most memorable being warm, airy Naan with several spicy chutneys, as well as lamb curry (for me), which also happened to be the first time I tried lamb. I immediately fell in love with the juicy, moist, rich lamb mixed with the smoky, back-of-your-throat spicy curry – not realizing I was also falling in love with the guy across the table.
Our meals were delicious that evening, despite the sickly sweet gulab jamun we split for dessert – a dish that I will never take a liking to, thanks to my nonexistent sweet tooth. However, I will never forget that first Indian meal I ate. The flavors, aromas, and seasonings made me want to kick myself for waiting so long to try them. That first Indian meal was also how Zach and I first got to know one another, which is why eating and cooking Indian food now compels me to reminisce about our first date – and the start of my new beginning.
Michelle Collins is a freelance food writer based out of Arlington, Massachusetts. She has her own money conscious food blog called The Economical Eater, and is also the Boston Budget Wine Examiner for Examiner.com. Michelle’s work has also been featured in The Boston Globe, The Nashua Telegraph, Edible White Mountains Magazine, and Local in Season.