Name: Kevin Tighe
Subject: What on Earth to do with Mehti Leaves?
OK, well, i am still experimenting. i put about 1 tsp or dried mehti leaves in a chicken curry i made on sunday. vrinda and jagdish gave me a can of BOLST'S HOT CURRY POWDER from their trip, also. i followed the directions on the can...somewhat i guess. i fried onions in olive oil and butter, and then i added a large peeled potato cut into 1 inch cubes. i put 1 tsp of the curry powder. then a large chicken breast. (still had the bone and skin on,too) the can said to put in a sliced tomato or vinegar. i did not have a fresh tomato, so i put in white vinegar. the vinegar was in a gallon jug, and i splashed more than i wanted into it. i wanted about 1 ounce. i think i splashed in 1/4 cup or more. so, i let that boil down a lot. then i added about 1 1/2 cups of water, covered, and let it simmer for 45 mins or so. abt this time i cut up the chicken breast into small pieces. i tasted it at the end of that time, still quite tart. so i added mehti leaves, abt 1 tsp (vrinda said they were good w/ sour things), some yogurt, abt 1/2 cup or so, and let it simmer some more. still pretty tart and the sauce was rather thin. so, i took out 5 of the potato chunks and mashed them, and added some of the sauce to make a slurry, and then added it to everything in the cast iron skillet. simmered for another 10 mins or so. this thickened it up nicely and also helped to even out the sour taste. by the time i finished, it was 10 pm!! but it tasted ok, tho i didn't want to eat much that late. i took it to work the next day and shared it with my colleague jagdish. he thought it might have been a lemon chicken. i asked if it tasted indian, and he said no. (but very politely!) he said that it did taste like an indian comfort food, tho,and that the potato addition was an excellent idea. he also said that in india the sauce would be thinner (well, there went my quest to thicken up the sauce...on the can they mentioned the word 'gravy', which is thickened) the mehti leaves were overshadowed by the curry powder, even tho the curry taste was quite mild.
if anything, i would have to say that this could go as indo-california cuisine. i probably should have served it with soft corn tortillas, sliced avocado, and fresh arugula to make it truly california. in fact, that sounds pretty good. so, i had a good experience overall. but i did not really put the mehti to good use, i guess. i made a chicken curry that would probably have gotten me laughed out of india. but, hey , i am trying.
i did just recently find the sanjeev kapoor site for indian food. and i found some mehti things there. i haven
t tried them yet, tho i have printed them out. some look rather involved, or require items i know less about than mehti!