We also had a very good friend from Sri Lanka named Indi. The weekend of President's Day, Archana and I visited Indi's home in Charlotte, NC. Indi's mom cooked for us and while I had been eating Archana's Indian cooking, she did not eat her food as spicy as many Indians. Indi's mom cooked spicy and I mean spicy! It was the first time I had real Ceylon tea...her family would send her tea directly from Sri Lanka. And, it was the first time I had kala chana or black chickpeas. These little jewels are like the chickpeas or garbanzo beans we typically see except they are smaller and have a thick outer skin that's typically brown. She made these with salmon. I loved it! Plus, the black chickpeas made it almost bearable to eat the salmon that was so spicy it burned my mouth.
I loved them so much that Indi's mom sent the rest of what she had home with me. Apparently, the rest of Indi's family wasn't too keen on the black chickpeas. I wish Indi's mom had spoke better English...I think I could have learned lots about cooking yummy foods from her.
That was almost eleven years ago. In February, I saw those yummy little black chickpeas in a little Indian store at Pike's Place. I had to buy a bag. Tonight, I finally got around to cooking them.
Why is it that we forget how good simple food can be? I made salmon...although in no way near as spicy as Indi's mom and the black chickpeas. What a wonderful memory and a wonderful taste. While, I haven't done a good job of keeping in contact with my friends...haven't spoke to Indi since I came home from NC, tonight's dinner took me right back to that great weekend and my wonderful friends. What meal takes you back to a fond memory?