Last Friday Night! or "Why Deep Frying is Terrifyingly Bad for You"

A few Fridays ago, I decided to cook an Indian-inspired dinner to cheer up my inspiring, female Indian friend.

Here is what was on the menu:
– Tilapia Fillets in Coconut-Tamarind Curry
– Roasted Cauliflower with Garam Masala
– Spiced Bulgar Wheat and Zucchini Salad

My male Indian friend arrived early and brought basmati rice and frozen veggie samosas (Indian filled pastries). I had never prepared samosas before, so he instructed me to deep-fry them.

“But I never deep fry anything! That’s so unhealthy! Plus, it wastes SO much oil,” I exclaimed in protest. He argued and told me that it was how his mom prepares samosas. Since one of my life missions is to learn everyone’s mom’s cooking methods, I obliged.

I felt very skeptical as I emptied the last of my vegetable oil into the pot and turned the heat up to high. “Wow, this is taking forever to heat up,” I thought. So, I proceeded to cover the pot using a glass lid with a metal handle, just like I would when boiling water. Rachael Ray will forever (and obnoxiously) preach to America that “A watched pot never boils — so put a lid on it!” and clearly, she has indoctrinated me.

Many minutes later, I finally glanced at the pot and noticed that the clear glass had turned very brown and was starting to steam. I quickly picked up the lid off of the pot, minus a a pot holder, discovering that the lid was extremely hot. Then, the following happened in a span of about 5 seconds:

– I dropped the lid.
– The lid shattered.
– A fire ignited.

My stove. (Fire reached as high as the “Dream” ornament)

Thankfully, my significant (and emergency-ready) other was present and formerly worked for the fire department. “Umm, sweetheart? Can you come here? There’s a fire…,” I remarked as I gingerly inched away from the fire.

My male Indian friend and I waited outside since my house was quite smoky at this point; I knew deep frying was a terrible idea! As we stood under the stars and filled our lungs with clean air, I proclaimed to my friend (and the general public), “See, America?? Deep frying is so bad for you!!!”

In case you’re wondering, my kitchen didn’t burn down and the food was actually pretty good. Not authentic according to my Indian friends (especially not my tamarind-chutney “drizzle” on those samosas), but very flavorful!

Clockwise from top-left: spiced bulgar wheat salad, naan, coconut-tamarind curry, garam masala cauliflower, stupid samosas for which we almost burned down my kitchen

Funnily enough, when my female Indian friend (who had been assigned dessert) arrived a few minutes after the incident, she had a tub of ice cream in hand and immediately announced, “OH MY GOSH, you’ll never believe what happened — I set my oven on fire and almost burned my kitchen down trying to bake dessert!”

And so here’s a few things that I learned from that night:
– Good friends are “kindred spirits” and wonderful blessings.  Not only do they have the same interests and attitudes, but often go through the same situations. I believe that this is because friends are put in our lives to sympathize with our troubles.
– Don’t hold in your feelings. Just like the oil, your feelings will bubble up and steam when covered up, igniting into a giant fire once someone finally gets you to open up.
– I really do love promoting public health.

Please feel free to comment below with any  recipe requests and/or kitchen disaster stories! 🙂

With love,
Tiffany R. 
Dining at Tiffany’s