A few years ago, I spent several weeks traveling in India on my own. After my very first parantha breakfast, my first thali dinner, I was smittenly blissed out. Why have I not been eating only Indian all my life!?!? I thought to myself. The cardamon-scented biryanis, the rich butter sauces, the ubiquitous lentils, the spicy pickles. And a thali was the perfect way to try a little of everything. I ate at street stands (having been thoroughly warned not to), local hole-in-the-walls, and more upscale Indian-for-tourist type restaurants. But something happened around day ten: I wanted a pizza. I wanted pasta. I wanted a cheeseburger. I wanted anything that did not have a trace of cardamon, garam masala or nutmeg and for God's sake, NO LENTILS.
Yesterday, exactly 17 days in to the November Project, I hit my no lentil point. No more squash, in any of it's lovely variations. No stuffing, no gravy, no root vegetables, nothing gratin. I needed something so completely different, Gegenteil, 180 degrees, several thousand miles and many different languages away from foods that are associated with a cornecopia. And hence, this simple but delicious pad thai recipe, for a change of pace.
(Make no mistake, the November Project will continue apace tomorrow - still have to share the world's best stuffing recipe, port cranberry chutney and spicy harissa carrots with you. And Smash has got a few tricks up her sleeve as well.)
Shrimp Pad Thai by Mtlabor, courtesy of (who else?) Food 52