You could say I have a thing for beans – spicy, flavorful beans – specifically of the lentil and chickpea variety, and especially those flavored with Indian spices. You might even call this an unhealthy obsession, except that the beans themselves are very nutritious and, even so, I make sure to eat other, non-bean foods too. Like saag paneer, or tikka masala.
Before Indian food, I never understood the allure of beans (being from San Diego, refried beans – a burrito necessity – were, of course, an exception). And before moving to San Francisco five years ago, I had never had Indian food. Go ahead and gasp. But, again, being from coastal North County San Diego, we didn’t really, um, have Indians there.
I now recognize this to be a great tragedy – culturally, culinarily, and otherwise. But at the time, I didn’t know better, and so I was more than happy to chomp on the authentic Mexican food served up at Cessy’s and consider myself more “in touch” with and “appreciative” of other cultures than the kids scarfing down animal-style burgers from In-N-Out. Luckily, my post-grad job brought me up to the city, where Mehfil changed my life forever (more…)