Our next door neighbor’s daughter, Isha, just started summer break this week and is about to enter fourth grade. Isha is already bored. Enter her mom, Sreoshi, who decides to host a pizza party for some of Isha’s friends and their parents. Sreoshi invited us over thinking that we would like pizza and pasta, which of course we do. This was my first dinner party here. It was a low-key affair. Sreoshi made everything herself, including the pizza, and the dishes turned out very well.
So, what’s on an Indian pizza? Well, besides the standard dough, sauce, and cheese, last night’s pizza included peppers, tomatoes, and corn. Yes, corn. When Brian and I first saw corn on the ingredients list for a Domino’s pizza, we thought, “No way! Never!” But, last night, when offered homemade pizza with corn, we tried it. I was really surprised how much I liked it. Much like pineapple when I first had it, I might grow to really like corn on pizza.
After the kids had consumed all the pizza, it was time for the adults to eat. The pizza was just the appetizer for us. Because most people at dinner were vegetarian, so were all the dishes. Our dinner was dum aloo (potatoes) with chapatis, vegetable Manchurian with noodles, and pasta. I think I liked the vegetable Manchurian the best. Vegetable balls are covered in a thick, brown, soy-based sauce and served with ramen noodles. If I had not been told that it was vegetarian, I never would have known.
Finally, for dessert, we had Amul and Baskin Robbins ice cream and eggless chocolate cake. In India, many vegetarians do not eat eggs, so sweets like cakes can be a challenge. Many recipes have been adapted to exclude eggs, and this cake turned out quite well.
As we left dinner and thanked Sreoshi, she told me to stop thanking her for everything. She said in India that we do not thank people the way we do in the US. She said it is good enough to know that we enjoyed ourselves. Evidently, it can turn into a “Thank you. You’re welcome.” version of a Goofy Gophers cartoon.