My baby sister turned 20 this year (!) We celebrated ludicrous amounts: probably just because among our friends and family, summer is just a really great time to have an excuse to have a great deal of celebrating. Lots of food, obvi.
The evening of Malindi’s birthday began with Sheila’s celebration. Ahh, bags.
And, of course, tissue paper. Birthdays are always fun for cats.
Nice for the humans, too.
We sort of had a series of misadventures but fortunately it all worked out: Malindi had been craving Indian food for practically eons, so it seemed a logical place for her birthday dinner. We went to our go-to place, Punjab Dhaba, and then looked in to see its tables gone and random tools scattered throughout. Oh dear. Renovating or totally shuttered?
Hilariously, the one time my mom’s Crackberry would be useful (she has it for work and it’s a point of contention for me), it was out of battery. So, we went old school and called information. They led us to Raaga. Very excellent choice!
I was randomly kind of cold, and also nursing a cold (which I later went on to infect both my mother and boyfriend with) so I started the evening with wonderful hot chai, brewed with cardamom pods.
We started the evening with a plethora of delicious appetizers:
Above average samosas, with your choice of the spicy mint or sweet plummy dipping sauce (Steve, who adorably joined us, had never had samosas! Man oh man, missing out); Ragda patties (made with potatoes, on a bed of unbelievably delicious chickpeas); and paneer (cheese) all crispy and awesome.
Having had a stressful (read: snacky) day, and knowing those appetizers would fill me up, I just got soup for dinner: mulligatawney, baby!
It arrived pureed, rather than chunky as I’ve sometimes had it. The lemon on the side was ESSENTIAL. Very delicious.
Plus it came with naan, YAY! I live for naan.
Steve got biryani. Also known as fried rice, hahaha. Fried rice is its own food group for Steve. It was quite delicious, and gargantuan in portion.
Also had tastes (we all shared) of Malindi’s paneer in a wonderful masala sauce…
And my mom’s ethereal bhaigan bartha (Velvetlicious eggplant! I really need my own tandoori oven).