You may remember recently reading about my first attempt at cooking an Indian-inspired dish (if you haven’t yet, you can check it out here), when I made a recipe from the winner of the Next Food Network Star, Aarti Sequeira. Tonight, I decided to try another one of Aarti’s recipes, after seeing her cook it on her show, called Hot Dogs a la Rose (recipe: here). As is typical of Aarti’s recipes, and of Indian cuisine in general, the spices were not lacking in this recipe. I first prepped my three main spices: turmeric, garam masala, and paprika.
Yes, this is an Indian-inspired dish, but it uses hot dogs! Aarti told a cute story behind this dish – that it was her “mum’s” attempt to create a dish to please her children who were surrounded by English influence growing up (in Dubai) while also staying true to her Indian roots. (I fear my brief summary doesn’t do justice to Aarti’s charming tale!).
In any case, hot dogs were required, and that meant it was time to bust out Flint’s Finest: Koegel’s! Clearly the best hot dogs.
I next prepared my mise en place, so that I could get cookin’! Below you will find diced tomatoes, ketchup(!), garlic, minced fresh ginger, spices, sliced hot dogs, chopped onion, and shredded carrot.
I began by sautéing onion, garlic, carrot, and fresh ginger in oil for several minutes. Man oh man, did that mixture smell GOOD on the stove. I definitely kept leaning in for a whiff! After a few minutes, my spice mixture of garam masala, turmeric, and paprika was added.
Next I stirred in diced tomato and ketchup:
The colors in the below picture are NOT enhanced. Isn’t that crazy? Look at those colors. Red tomatoes, orange carrots, yellow turmeric-dyed onions. To be perfectly honest, I was a little scared at this point. What on EARTH was this going to taste like? It was smelling a bit funky in the kitchen. Can we just go back to the onion/ginger/garlic mix!? I didn’t know what I was getting in to!
But I manned up and served up the mixture in warm pitas, with a side of frozen veggie succotash from Trader Joe’s with seasoning salt.
Conclusions: Once I reached the final product (above) I was bit intimidated and the dish wasn’t really appealing to me. Intimidated by hot dogs!? I know. I KNOW. That’s what is supposed to make the dish UN-intimidating and approachable.
But… once I tried it, it was decent. Overall it was good, and I didn’t not like it, I just didn’t love it. It just wasn’t all that appealing. I kept thinking about that unpleasant yellow chicken that I ate at Shalimar not long ago and really did NOT like! However, I liked it well enough (OR…I was so hungry I didn’t care) that I went back for a second pita, so overall this wasn’t bad. Nothing that a little squirt (read: HUGE dollop) of ketchup couldn’t save.
Lesson learned: I am not a big fan of turmeric. I did love the hint of warm spiciness that the garam masala imparted in the dish - I only wish there were more of that and LESS of the bitter yellow turmeric. I won’t give up on Turmeric though (I mean, I just bought a $4 jar of the stuff…). I’m willing to try it out in another recipe.
As an aside, check out the freebies I got this week from Proctor & Gamble! Score! In exchange for completing a survey regarding my thoughts on these products, I receive a complimentary set to try and keep.
♪♫ Currently listening to: Only Girl (In The World) – Rihanna.