All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012
I am completely in love with India Sweet & Spices. It is an Indian grocery store attached to a pretty ghetto cafeteria-style restaurant bakery – in the Atwater area of Los Angeles. I wish I thought about this blog while I was there & took better photographs because these will not do it justice. The grocery store is huge & overwhelming with its selection of rices & spices & pre-made (frozen, canned, packaged) Indian food. This image is blurred but I think it gets the point across:
Sorta. Then there are the little details you only seem to find in family owned ethnic markets like the (also blurred) image of the second-from-the-bottom-left cumin with the label changed by hand with a Sharpie. Or – the more interesting METHI SEEDS next to the cumin with the bizarre generic label. My eye saw METH seeds when I first walked by so you can imagine my amusement.
The produce is limited but unusual & I saw these baby eggplants & just had to buy some!
Attached to the grocery store is the restaurant. They have a large bakery case filled with sweets which all look supremely unappetizing to me and I neglected to photograph them. I will next time & provide an update. The food they offer is all vegetarian-vegan. This picture – also nothing more than perfunctory – explains how that part is set up:
So – you step up to the counter, select the combination you want & they ladle it all up for you. I cold live on their yogurt raita & mint chutney & often go there just to buy these to items in quart containers to go. You can also buy catering-sized portions of everything and at very reasonable prices. This is a very good option to feed a lot of people on a budget. The dining room seems more like a Tijuana border holding area & Bollywood music videos blare from TV’s everywhere – so – I recommend getting any food you get here to go.
Once home with my cutie little eggplants – I tried to think of something to do with them. I had one pizza worth of dough leftover & some feta that needed using….so – this pizza was born. The ingredients are only approximates. I think everyone accepts that pizza is no science – but an art. Look how cute these tiny eggplants are!
Grilled Indian Eggplant Pizza with Feta, Tomatoes & Black Olives
2 Indian eggplants, sliced, dipped in an oil-based dressing (I used a homemade Greek one) & grilled.
2 Little tomatoes – diced
Feta cheese to taste
Other grated cheese – to taste
Tomato sauce of your choice
Sliced black olives
Chopped fresh basil
PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 450
Roll out the dough on a floured surface & place onto greased cooking sheet. Top with sauce & grated cheese. Arrange your eggplant seductively & top with feta, chopped tomatoes & sliced black olives. Bake about 10-15 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned. Remove it from the oven & sprinkle with the chopped fresh basil. And there you have it! This is a very light & relatively healthy pizza – if you go easy on the cheese.