Going to India Bento

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As much as I would love to announce an impending trip to India, I regretfully disclose that I was only singing the Flaming Lips song while cooking. This bento was a little more labor intensive than I had intended in that when I made the tandoori chicken pictured on the top right, I was not aware that you have to soak wooden skewers before putting them in the oven so they won’t set fire to your kitchen. It seems stupidly obvious and I have many honorary blonde moments as a brunette, so feel free to laugh at me, embrace the schadenfreude, and let us now move on. The tandoori mix was a little marinade packet I picked up from World Market, I believe, and you marinate it with yogurt and chicken. I marinated it all day and after nearly setting my kitchen ablaze, replaced the chicken on some metal skewers I had thankfully already purchased. The yogurt helps the chicken stay moist and it was absolutely delectable. I will definitely use it again.

I cheated and used frozen Baigan Bharta from Trader Joe’s because I needed more supplementary Indian food for this bento. But the white concoction in between the two is some homemade raita! When my mom and I eat Indian food at restaurants, we fight over this stuff. And when I was living with my folks and she would make it, we would also fight over it. Ultimately, she would get the last of it because she made it, but that was not the case today!

To the left are some cucumber slices and freshly cut honey mango. This was a savory, sweet, and spicy bento and I highly recommend that everybody recreate it!

    Raita Recipe

1 Tsp crushed garlic
A wee bit of salt
The juice of .5-1 lemon (I used a whole one but started with half)
1 tbsp mint
Half a cucumber, diced
1 cup NF Greek yogurt (or throw caution to the wind and use the whole fat stuff- it’s also AMAZINGLY delicious)
.5 tsp cumin (this was an afterthought. I used zat’ar because I had it and didn’t know about the cumin until later)
1 tsp Splenda (or the equivalent of your choice of sweetener)

Crush the garlic with the salt and set it aside for a few minutes to allow it to amalgamate. Then stir in the lemon juice. And after that you can kind of just dump all the ingredients in and stir. Around then is where I tasted it and added the rest of the lemon juice for more acidity. Use it with your own tandoori chicken, curries, or burgers!

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