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Indian chickpeas and mango lassis

This savory chickpea dish was part of an Indian buffet at a party, but could work nicely as a side dish. Put the finishing touch on an Indian-themed dinner with these mango yogurt smoothies, or whip them up for an afternoon snack.

By The Gourmand Mom / June 4, 2013

A blend of spices flavor these chickpeas and sour cream creates a sauce.

The Gourmand Mom

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We spent last weekend at a rental house in the Catskill mountains with some friends from college and a few of their close friends. Ten adults. Eight little boys ages 6 month to 6 years. An endless supply of good food. Late nights and early mornings. Amazing fun.

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The Gourmand Mom

Amy Deline is a stay at home mom to three little boys. She’s a former early childhood educator with a lifelong passion for home-cooking. Amy is the author and photographer behind The Gourmand Mom, a blog which celebrates food through simple and perfectly seasonal recipes, fit for a gourmet feast among friends or a relaxed family dinner.

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The weather was cold and rainy, but the house was well equipped to keep everyone occupied. We played air hockey and foosball and pool and Settlers of Catan. The kids got lessons in backgammon, dominoes, and the card game, war. On the warmest day, we played bubbles and hopscotch. The kids enjoyed the large outdoor play set and playing T-ball in the yard, which was much more a practice in turn-taking than anything else. There were nature walks, a close call with a tick, and a perfectly freaky encounter with a snake. The jacuzzi went largely unused and the karaoke machine went completely neglected.

Each of the five families prepared a meal during our weekend stay. We ate tender slow-cooked BBQ pork with grilled sweet corn, homemade waffles with ripe strawberries and fresh whipped cream (the sweet result of a multi-person hand-whipping effort), an assortment of four types of bacon, cinnamon roll french toast bakecheddar garlic biscuits, scrambled eggs with applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, and Gruyère, and a taco spread that would make any mouth water. (The lime marinated skirt steak won my heart.)

And though the food was amazing, the home more than comfortable, and the entertainment plentiful, the best part of the weekend, by far, was the people. Over the course of three days, 18 of us lived together, laughing and connecting, enjoying old friendships and beginning new ones.

Likewise, it was the people who made our recent "Temple Run" birthday party such a grand success – the friends and family who traveled from out of town to celebrate with us, the ones who came early to help set up, my brother who chased 20 or so small children through the "Temple Run" obstacle course in a hot gorilla suit, the guests who repeatedly helped me to repair the course with packaging tape every time one of our small runners plowed through the perimeter, and our fun and social guests. The food and the decorations and the theme all set the stage, but the people made the party.

Thankfully, I had help from a friend when it came to our Indian-themed menu. I’m no stranger to Googling recipes when I’m looking to cook something new, (like a full buffet of Indian food) but this time I also had the benefit of an old teaching buddy of mine, who kindly shared the recipe for one of her mom’s signature dishes with me – a dish she fondly recalls from her childhood, as being served with pooris on special occasions and when entertaining visiting family from India.

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