Indian as Apple Pie: Sambhar & (mock) Keema / by Alice Zhao

This past week's taste-testing session brought us some yummy Sambhar and (mock) Keema from Anupy of Indian as Apple Pie. These two are totally new dishes to me since I tend to usually eat Indian food at... don't laugh... an Indian buffet! Seriously, how else can I try 20 different Indian dishes all in one meal!
Sambhar as I have found out is a South Indian dish cooked with lentils and lots of delicious vegetables. While we were picking up the dishes, Anupy explained to us that she also cooked the dish with fresh curry leaves. She gave us some leaves to smell and it was mild yet so aromatically intoxicating.
With the tamarind paste, this dish was a little bit sweet and a tiny bit sour but all in all really good and comforting. That's all I ask for in a good soup!
Behold, the curry leaf! (sorry they were a little dry by the time we got to photographing it!)

Sambhar
The next dish up for tasting was mock Keema. Typically this dish is made of minced meat, usually lamb. Anupy decided to swap out the lamb for a vegetarian meat alternative, Quorn. I'd have to say as a total meat eater, this alternative doesn't fool me. However, I can say that it does come pretty close to tasting like meat. The peas added a great texture to the dish and the flavors as always were deep and delicious. A good friend of mine who grew up on Keema told me that his mom would get creative and make tacos out of Keema. Not a bad idea!

(mock) Keema
(mock) Keema, up close and personal!