My husband and I have embarked on a culinary odyssey in of all places, Turlock. We live here and feel that through experiencing local cuisine (or just plain food in some cases) and writing about it we might be able to help people find good food and may discover some hidden gems along the way. Read more about us on our Introduction Page.
Mohini Indian Fusions Offered Twice a Month at Village Fresh Market
Mohini Indian Fusions – This week’s food review is not of a restaurant , nor is it even available everyday; however, it is an opportunity to get good food in Turlock on a Friday evening when you just don’t feel like cooking and might be in the mood for something different.
Mohini Rabine, owner/chef of Indian Fusions, has been catering private dinner parties and giving cooking lessons for quite a few years; now she is offering her delicious meals to the public twice a month.
So this is how it works. On alternate Fridays Mohini provides two dinner entrée options served with rice, salad and dessert. Menus are sent out via e-mail (to be included on the mailing list, e-mail a request to email@example.com). To order reply to her e-mail by Thursday giving your name and your dinner options.
Dinners are prepared in the commercial kitchen at Village Fresh Market on Canal Drive in Turlock where you pick them up 4-6pm and pay for them at the check-out (Word of advice to Village Fresh, make sure ALL of your employees know where to direct people, one guy looked at me as if I was speaking Chinese when I asked about Mohini. I almost left the store in a panic thinking I was in the wrong place). While you wait you are served biscotti and chai. The dinners are packaged cold in individual portions. They are meant to be taken home and heated (I prefer to do mine on the stovetop but a microwave works just fine). I found this to be much better than taking home something hot only to have it sit at room temperature while in transit and have it reheated once at home anyways.
Now here is the scoop on the food. It is Indian food but it is not hard-core Indian food. I like to think of it as ‘Indian Cuisine for Beginners’. I personally love Indian food and enjoy the excess of spice and heat that when combined properly stimulate every taste bud simultaneously. Yet, I know this isn’t for everyone, which is why I think Indian Fusions is a perfect introduction of Indian food to anyone who has never tried it or purposely avoided it. Mohini knows how to use her spice rack but does so with subtlety providing an incredibly flavorful meal that appeals to the masses and not just the Indian food junkies like me.
Last month we tried both the pork (marinated and curried in a thick robust curry sauce) and the prawns (cooked in a coconut curry sauce flavored with tomatoes and cilantro). Both were delicious with little to no heat, flavorful but not overwhelming. The accompaniments included cilantro lime basmati rice (fragrant) and a cucumber salad drizzled in cumin dressing. The salad was crispy but a little light on the dressing. I imagine this was intentional as drowning your salad in dressing tends to make it soggy. The rice pudding was perfect, good flavor and great texture, not pasty like some rice puddings. The only thing missing for me was one of the great Indian breads like naan, (ummm… garlic naan) or chapatti. It would be worthwhile to pick some up while at Village Fresh (if they carry it) and warm it up to have with your meal. I also would have liked to get a thermos full of that chai. Now that was the real deal! The night we ate we actually hosted a take-out dinner party and I can tell you it was the easiest dinner party I have ever had.
Christine and Peter Bacon
Example Menu – This Friday’s (Jan. 29) is as follows:
MENU TWO ENTREE OPTIONS
Prime pork tenderloin chucks marinated and cooked in a thick tomato cream sauce simmered in my special all natural custom spices.
Fresh garbanzo beans prepared in a thick tomato ginger cream sauce using the special vegetarian curry spices.
Basmati rice flavored with caramelized onions, cilantro, lemon and mild curry spice.
Cucumber Salad with light dressing made with lemon juice, olive oil and toasted cumin
Chai spice white wine cake with mango lassi frosting topped with white choc0late shavings (Mohini’s Masterpiece)
As always you will be welcomed by a cup of chai and biscotti!
Please email your dinner orders by Thursday morning.