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My Birthday din-din

Because we had a Labor Day Barbecue to attend on Monday, my parents treated me to a birthday dinner Sunday night. Hey, I was born in England, so technically, it was my birthday at the exact time we celebrated… Not that I didn’t celebrate on Monday as well. Two birthdays are better than one.

Tell me if any of you have this problem: You’re such a good cook that you don’t normally like to eat out, because the entire time, you’re sitting there thinking, “I could make this better.”  When I do eat out, I try to go to places that offer food I can’t easily make myself, such as Indian (like this past Sunday’s dinner) or Korean (think Hangawi in NYC) or Ethiopian, like my vegan Ethiopian post of a few years ago.

This weekend, we decided to try a new restaurant, called Clay Pit. Well it’s not really new, but it’s new to us. They have a separate section specifically for vegetarian items, so I was a happy camper. Plus, when I called ahead of time (to ensure that the vegetarian items could be made with oil, not butter), the manager told me that they can even change some of their non-vegan dishes to accommodate my needs if I so desire, such as leaving the cream out of the dahl. A lovely offer, but I didn’t even need to take advantage of it, as there were plenty of already-vegan options at my disposal. Sometimes it’s actually simpler if there aren’t; it’s easier to decide! That night, I went with Aloo Ghobi, a traditional Indian cauliflower-potato dish. However, since I’m not the biggest potato freak (I think they’re mushy and bland), I asked for mixed-veggie Aloo Ghobi instead.

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Above, my no-potato Aloo Ghobi, alongside an order of roti bread. This was so good! You bet your socks I licked the dish clean (when no one was watching, of course). The whole-wheat roti bread was a perfect accompaniment for the saucy curry. Ingredients: whole wheat flour, oil, water, and salt. That’s it. Oh, it was so soft and flavorful… I must learn how to make this!

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Curry close up. The veggies were cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, peas, and broccoli.

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Published on September 7, 2010

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70 Comments

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  1. Bianca- Vegan Crunk says

    Happy birthday!!!!!! I didn’t check blogs yesterday so I missed it …. but it looks like you had a great time. Indian food is my fave for eating out!

  2. Caitlin says

    Birthday dinners are the best! I am a little late, but I still want to wish you a Happy Birthday! Your blog is such a joy to read, and you deserve every bit of birthday excitement that comes your way. Also, Indian food = great birthday dinner choice.

  3. Sagojyou says

    Happy late birthday! Two is better than one 😉
    You sure like Indian food, don’t you? Because I don’t go out to eat often, it’s really interesting and fun for me to see what Indian food are out there!

  4. MoniMeals says

    Glad you had such a great birthday Katie! That is great the new restaurant was a hit, I just love when that happens. Glad it was not the “hmmm, I could make this at home much better,” kind of place! 🙂

  5. Katie says

    Happy (late) birthday!! I’m glad you got to go out and enjoy it!

    I also suffer from “I could make this better” syndrome at restaurants. I’ve never put it together until now, but I think that’s why I also like to go to Indian/Thai/Asian restaurants…I can’t make that kind of food (yet!)

    Hope your birthday WEEK is fabulous!

  6. Nicole says

    Katie,
    I just watched a cooking show yesterday with a recipe for Roti. The woman is Indian and makes it in her own unique way, for more health benefits. If I’m remembering right, she used lentils (cooked) and spinach and one or two more ingredients and rolled them out and cooked them on a cast iron skillet. I DVR’d the episode, so if you’re interested let me know and I’ll watch it again and send you the exact recipe. Nicole

    • Mary @ Bites and Bliss says

      Oh my goodness, didn’t mean to send that so quickly! Anyway, back to waht I was saying..yes, curry’s the best. It’s possibly one of my favorite dishes (besides sushi!) You’re birthday dinner looks fabulous- glad it wasd a big hit!

      And I’m the same way when eating out. Except maybe not that “I could have made this so much better” part..but at least “I could have made this so much healthier and still as good” 😛 So whenever I do eat out, it has to be something I’d never ever cook for myself…or at least rarely would.

  7. kristensweetly says

    That looks delightful. If only I could convince my parents to ever venture into Indian food. It’s ok, though. Italian with them for birthdays will do just fine. 🙂 Twice the celebration sounds like something we should all enforce.

  8. spoonfulofsugarfree says

    Once again, Happy Birthday!!!! You lucky girl! Two back to back days of celebration! (That dinner looks fabulous by the way!)

  9. Alexis says

    Happy belated birthday, Katie! I admire your vegan-ordering skills. You always seem to know how to figure things out to suit your social life and eating preferances!
    Indian food is the best 🙂 You have great taste.

  10. Vanilla says

    Oh no I didn’t send you birthday wishes…:(

    …I was too busy eating your Bug-A-Boo bulgur pilaf, will this be an acceptable excuse???

    *Happy Birthday* <3 <3

  11. Ilana says

    Happy birthday to my beautiful friend (albeit a couple days late)! May this year be the BEST ONE YET, because you totally deserve it!!

    Indian food is almost always a good idea for vegan dining – it’s the one thing my boyfriend and I agree on when we go out to eat! There are so many vegetarian and vegan Indian food places here in the city that I can always talk him into it 😉

  12. Marianne says

    If cooked correctly (as in not over done), potatoes shouldn’t be mushy, and should be seasoned correctly as to not be bland 😉 Not that your curry doesn’t look delicious…I’m just sayin’. Glad you had a great dinner out for your birthday!

  13. Justine says

    I tried to make Aloo Ghobi once, and I think I just didn’t get the spices right or something because it just wasn’t all that great. Maybe it was the potatoes….? 🙂

    I love that you are more celebrating a birth-week rather than a birth-day; there’s nothing wrong with that! 🙂

  14. Helen Kopp says

    So, that huge plate of curry made me crave curry! So I made my first Indian curry dish last night! Also, having just found your blog, I added chocolate chips to my steel cut oatmeal with blueberries yesterday morning. It was like dessert for breakfast! Happy Late Birthday!

  15. Samantha says

    Happy belated birthday!

    This has been bothering me for a while so I thought I should share…aloo is hindi for potato and gobi is hindi for cauliflower. So when you exchanged the potatoes for other veggies you changed the dish from aloo gobi (meaning literally potatoes and cauliflower) to sabji (pronounced sub-gee). Sorry but I feel better now.

  16. Katie says

    FIRST OFF HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im sorry Im late on the happy birthday, I have been away and soooooooooooooooooooooo crazy busy! I love ya girl and it looks like you had a great birthday for sure!!!!!

    The pic of you and your dad is so nice! U are so beautiful Katie! Just love that pic!

    love you! xoxo

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