The Spice Of Life

July 13, 2008

It’s Restaurant Week here in Charlotte and Karen treated us to dinner a Copper , a modern Indian restaurant! We liked the restaurant a lot – the presentation was amazing – but some of the items were a little strange (Karen’s "slab" – see below) and the portions were quite small, which was fine overall, but despite 3 courses, I went home feeling a little "hungry."

The Pre-Fix Menu Choices (my choices are bolded)

First course (choice of one)

  • Curry Leaf Scented Vichyssoise — Chilled Potato-Leek Soup, Curry Leaf Oil, Fresh Herbs
  • Badami Hariyali Kabab – Almond-Crusted Vegetable-Paneer Kababs, Mint-Peanut Chutney, Watermelon-Gigande Bean Salad
  • Coriander-Coconut Shrimp — Mustard-Black Pepper Glaze, Masala Acorn Squash, Ginger-Beet Puree
  • Sheekh Kabab "Meat Balls" — Karavali Masala, Eggplant-Poblano Chutney, Crispy Leeks, Mango-Avocado Salad

Main course (choice of one)

  • Garam Masala Roasted Salmon – Wild Sockeye Salmon, "Fry Masala," Shalgam-Gajar Mash, Parsnip-Olive Crรจme
  • Malai Chicken – Roasted Ashley Farms Chicken Breast, Spiced Tapioca "Pilaf," Cauliflower-Cardamom Sauce
  • Masala Duck Leg Confit — Kundapur Spices, Chopped Seasonal Vegetables, Pomegranate-Syrah Jus
  • Khoya-Prune "Kofta" — Milk Solids Dumpling, Prune-Chili-Ginger Filling, Seviyan ka Upma, Mirchi ka Salan "Sauce"

Dessert (choice of one)

  • Mango-Gajrela "Puff" — Mango-Carrot Pudding Encased in Puff Pastry, Rabdi Ice Cream, Bourbon Soaked Cherries
  • Pistachio-Date "Halwa" — White Pepper-Vanilla "Jhaag," Sweet Poori, Berry "Paint"

On the way there, we found ourselves in a monsoon! It was quite scary, but we made it.


I started with a glass of Reisling. I probably should have skipped alcohol tonight since I had some last night and have a big week coming up and plans for a drink almost everyday this week, but it the moment I ordered it, and it was good.


We did a LOT of sharing, so I’ll do my best to recap what I actually put in my mouth.

First Course

I chose the Vegetable Kebabs for my appetizer. I ate the 3 watermelon stacks and about 3/4 of one of the patties. They weren’t that great..


The husband got the shrimp and I had 2 bites –


And Karen ordered the meatballs – perhaps the best dish of the night! The sauce was like a spicier version of Happy Herbivore’s Red Lentil Dal ! I had 2 small bites.


Main Course

I ordered the salmon . It was a little disappointing because I’m not a huge fan of sockeye and the sides were kind of small, but I found a patch of rare salmon in the middle and that was good. I ate about half of the piece.


The husband’s Duke Confit – I had 2 bites. The green sauce on top was amazing!


And Karen’s Prune-Ginger Dumplings – fried but A-mazing! Note the "slab" underneath. We still don’t know what it was. Maybe some kind of gelled corn or flour thing? I had half a dumpling and 2 bites of slab.



I ordered the Mango-Carrot Puff with ice cream. Ate it all!



But Karen’s Pistachio-Date "Halwa" (whatever that is!?) was like a LaraBar and SOOO good!! I had one small bite.


Not a great photo, but the husband insisted I put it up –


I’m in a BIG munchy mood tonight. I could eat the kitchen in dry cereal. I recognize this (and think it’s lack of chew from dinner!) and am having a cup of tea . I’ve also told the husband if he hears me in the kitchen to come tackle me back out.

Oh yeah! I told the husband he had a chore to do today: clean out his junk drawer. Next thing I knew at 3:30 pm he was cracking open a beer . When I asked him what he was doing with a beer on a Sunday afternoon he replied "If you’re going to make me clean this drawer, I get to have a beer to make it more fun." (I laughed out loud).


Off to fold laundry, then read! I decided to read 1,000 Splendid Suns because I have it already in my possession. It’s actually very intriguing thus far! I kept a list of all of your book recommendations and plan to take it to the library soon!

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hil July 13, 2008 at 7:41 pm

Sounds like you had an interesting dinner, and I love the picture of Matt cleaning out the drawer. :-)

I was a little confused why you left so much food on your plate even though the portions were small and you were still hungry when you went home. Was it just a matter of not liking the food very much?


2 Kath July 13, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Hil ,
I didn’t leave the food – my companions ate it all up!! Forks were flying around sharing bites of this and that, and as I mentioned, I had at least 2 bites of each of their dishes as well. I think we all left a little hungry though.



3 Hil July 13, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Ha…that explains it. My family and I are massive food sharers, so that possibility should have occured to me.


4 yaz July 13, 2008 at 7:57 pm

The pic of Matt on the floor reminds me of pictures people take of their babies on the floor playing with toys. Anyways nosy question (just out of curiosity) K, was M a cute babe? Do you have any pics you’d be willing to share with us?

You’re guys’ dessert looks mouth-watering.


5 yaz July 13, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Another question, what is a monsoon? I live in Los Angeles and all we have, weather wise is hot scortching days. :( Wait i think that’s good… we do have earthquakes if that counts for something.


6 Sarah July 13, 2008 at 8:03 pm

haha i loved the description of the mystery “slab”.

I’m one post late, but you MUST read Souvenir by Therese Fowler. I got the recommendation off of Jenna’s blog and it was fantastic! I seriously couldn’t put it down, and then I made my mom read it and it was all we could talk about for days. I absolutely loved it. I’d say it was the best book I’ve read since Harry Potter ; )


7 haya July 13, 2008 at 8:08 pm

it’s prix fixe (fixed price)

kinda funny that you went through a monsoon on your way out of an indian restaurant ๐Ÿ˜‰

halwa (or halawa or halva) is a middle eastern sweet made from sesame seed paste (tahini). it’s much lighter in colour though so i don’t know if the indian version is something entirely different. usually it has pistachios in it and the texture of it is fairly firm (you can slice it) but still sort of soft/melt in your mouth crumbly.


8 Katie July 13, 2008 at 8:11 pm

Hey! Halwa is usually made with tahini and pistachios, but there are other variations. I worked at a middle Eastern restaurant when I was in high school and they sold it there. It is pretty good:)


9 Karen July 13, 2008 at 8:18 pm

1,000 Splendid Suns is an amazing book. I’m sure you’ll be captivated and finish in a day or two.


10 Erin July 13, 2008 at 8:31 pm

I know you have a ton of book recommendations already, but I have to put in a plug for my favorite book of all time “She’s Come Undone”, by Wally Lamb. It’s not the most cheerful book, but very good.

Dinner looked interesting, but very small. I think it is hard to feel full when the food is so tiny, even if you are.


11 Julie July 13, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Hi Kath,
Have you ever been to Ocracoke? I’m going for the week of Labor Day…I’ve never been anywhere in the Outer Banks so I’m really looking forward to this trip! I was curious if you’ve been, if you had any tips or favorite restaurant items, things to do, etc? I know there’s not a lot there which is why I’m looking forward to it :)
I love your blog!!
Love the floppy hat too in your pool post yesterday! I need to find one like that for my trip.


12 Nick July 13, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Food looks great! I just came back from a great restaurant in NYC, apparently one of the top 20. It’s a Chinese place called Buddakan, but it’s much more than traditional Chinese cuisine. I can’t begin to describe it, but let’s just say it was nothing short of amazing.

He only had to clean out that one drawer? and needed a beer to do it? I think he won that round.


13 Katrina July 13, 2008 at 8:50 pm

It’s your new Onion Hatin’ Pal, Katrina, just been reading lots of recipes and things on your blog. By the way, love your site! And just wanted you to know that I’ve discovered we have two things in common–the dislike, no–hate for onions AND I LOVE bananas! I have to eat at least one a day. I usually have it before I go for my morning run at 6 a.m. Do you eat something before you run? Do you go early in the morning or do you eat breakfast first? Just wondering.
I’m excited to keep reading your blog. Thanks for sharing.
(I’ve been doing the Biggest Loser online since Sept. and have lost 41 pounds. 19 more to go. Been at a plateau for about 2 months. How long did it take you to lose your 30 and did you do a “diet” or eating like you post about?


14 yadi July 13, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Maybe your your tummy was waiting for your whole grains and hearty veggies you are used to eating. I’m still at work tonight and my colleagues have bought a ton of junk food and gigantic baked goods from a wholesale store, yuK! I’m glad I broght my dinner. I’ve lost 6 lbs in the last 8 weeks. I’m almost at my pre-baby weight. So happy, but the I’m going to have to do like you and have someone keep me accountable to keep out of stuff around here!


15 Kelly L. July 13, 2008 at 8:57 pm

I would have laughed at the dessert. The ice cream was the size of the cherry on top. What kind of dessert is that? :) LOL!


16 Sweetsandsweats July 13, 2008 at 9:06 pm

You weren’t kidding about the presentation. It definitely gets points for plating! You motivated me to go look up DC’s restaurant week. Not until August, but I do adore restaurant week.

Also, can you update how 1,000 Splendid Suns is? I am supposed to be reading it for my book club and I haven’t motivated myself to go buy it. So if I hear it is great, then maybe i’ll get myself to the store.


17 Jen July 13, 2008 at 9:13 pm

I wouldn’t have enjoyed your dinner – I hate those places where they put more emphasis on presentation than taste/quantity. I do love the pic of you and the husband, though – you both look cute and very natural in it!


18 Abby July 13, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Wow, Kath, you and your husband are such neat/clean people…that was his junk drawer, and it looked pretty clean to me as was! There were only a few things in it (judging from the picture)! :-)

I was wondering, for such small portions, and what I take as not the best meal of your life, how much did this place cost you guys to go to? Looks like it might have been a little expensive considering…


19 BethT July 13, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Erin, I LOVE She’s Come Undone!


20 Saima July 13, 2008 at 10:25 pm

Despite being Indian I don’t know what halwa stands for….its usually kinda dry-ish…..a recommendation for ya’ll– gajar (carrot) ka halwa and besan (gram flour) ka halwa!! Its sooo gooodd!! gosh, i’m craving some!! *grrrrrr*


21 Bev July 13, 2008 at 11:03 pm

That picture of you and husband. He is very photogenic.


22 tiedtogetherwithasmile July 13, 2008 at 11:47 pm

The food presentation looks so great! I think that always makes a dinner experience better when the food looks nice, it makes it seem so much fancier!


23 Julz July 14, 2008 at 12:46 am

WOW! What neat presentations :) I always appreciate a good paintbrush stroke on the plate! Seriously, I love it when they do that and I love the way Mr. Kath’s appetizer + especially SAUCE (SO COOL!!) were plated! Food is so much about presentation, but at the same time, if it doesn’t taste great, it’s not worth the thought. But cool presentations definitely get my endorphins goin! :)

-PS- I love how you always have to have Mr.Kath prepare for munching-tackle-mode! Quite adorable and way smoothe :) Girlfriend’s got game, I see ๐Ÿ˜‰


24 Andrea July 14, 2008 at 1:28 am

LOVE your blog! Have you read “Good in Bed” by Jennifer Weiner? She also wrote “In Her Shoes” that was made into a movie a few years ago. GIB is by far one of most well written “chick lit” books I have ever read. If you’ve already read it, then the sequel to it is out and it’s titled “Certain Girls.” I’m dying to read it myself, but have way to many books already in my queue!


25 Ansley July 14, 2008 at 4:36 am

Ginger Prune Dumplings. Genious.

And good choice on the novel. [:


26 Kath July 14, 2008 at 7:10 am

yaz ,
I don’t think i Have any digital photos of him when we were young, but I do have a segment on our wedding DVD of baby photos of the two of us that I might be able to upload. I’ll check!

Monsoon (loosely) = seasonal heavy downpours.

yadi ,
Congrats on the weight loss!

Katrina ,
Have you read the FAQ and Weight Loss pages? They might answer some of your questions. I used to always eat something before my early morning workouts, but now I only do if I’m really hungry. We learned in Sports Nutrition that a snack before a workout MAY delay fatigue in endurance athletes, but it isn’t likely to increase energy or give any ergogenic effects to those exercising less than 90 minutes. So a snack is totally optional and dependent on if you personally need/want one or not. I figured since I didn’t need one that I’d just save the calories for breakfast.

Floppy hat from Target! I’ve been to Okrakoke, but it was years and years ago so I don’t have any recs. If you do get the chance to be up near Kitty Hawk, DO try to go to Jockey’s Ridge, a giant sand dune that is amazing to climb up and run down.

Sweetsandsweats ,
The first 5 pages were hard to understand and then BAM it got good. I’m about 40 pages in and am liking it thus far.

Yes, we’re very neat people. All of the restaurant week menus are $30 per person.

Julz ,



27 Erin July 14, 2008 at 9:25 am

That book is incredible. Prepare for an intense journey!


28 Leigh Ann July 14, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Haha! That picture of Matt cleaning out the drawer with the beer made my day :)! I definitely laughed when I saw it!!


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