Category Archives: Indian food

Coconut and Curried Lentil Dahl

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I modified this recipe VERY little from that of “The Happy Pear” recipe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1G3J-nvAUI).  It is so easy to make, and very filling. You could use any number of greens in place of the bok choy (i.e., baby spinach, arugula, chard).  Also, if you wanted to speed up the cooking process, you could use yellow lentils as they cook much faster than green lentils.

I started off with a few tablespoons of EVOO in a stockpot, and added one whole chopped purple onion, two medium-sized chopped zucchinis, a grated carrot, and about 2 tsp. sea salt.  I stirred that over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes, while I chopped up the sweet potato.  It was organic, so I washed it well, but I did not peel it.  A lot of the nutrients from root vegetables are found in the skin (only use if organic, though).  Then, I added about 2 heaping tbsp. of a high-quality yellow curry, 1 heaping tbsp. each ground cumin, coriander, sweet paprika.  I continued to stir constantly over medium-high heat for another 5 minutes before adding the chopped sweet potato.  I stirred and mixed all ingredients very well so all vegetables were well coated with the spices.  At that point, I added one carton of Pomi strained tomatoes (26 oz.), and one 13 oz. Thai Kitchen unsweetened coconut milk.  Stirred all very well, then added one 16-oz package of dried green lentils that I had washed and drained thoroughly.  I mixed all this together, then added about 1.5 liters of water (enough to make it soup-like because the lentils and the sweet potato need a lot of water to absorb).  I also added a heaping tsp. of organic dried vegetable bouillon for extra flavor since I was going to add a very large bok choy later on after the vegetables and lentils had cooked for about 40 minutes.

After 40 to 45 minutes on simmer, stirring regularly and keeping an eye on the liquid level to be sure it was adequate, I added about a tbsp. of soy sauce, and one whole fresh-squeezed lime.  Then, I added the roughly chopped bok choy.  Stirred and simmer for another 10 minutes, or so before serving with some garnish of fresh cilantro.  On the side, I served couscous, but the dahl was plenty enough on its own.  It made a huge pot of dahl, so I’ll be freezing a lot of it today.

Thanks to “The Happy Pear” for their usual inspiration.  They’re on Instagram and other social media sites (I follow them on Instagram, and then watch their great YouTube videos.).

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Curried Cauliflower Soup

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The absolutely most savory and tasty soup ever! It was so simple to make, that I am just going to describe how I made it because I didn’t use a recipe, and it was a taste-as-you-go kind of effort.

I had a whole cauliflower that I washed and broke into small florets. Meanwhile, I sautéed over medium heat in a heavy soup pot about 3 tbsp. EVOO, one large yellow chopped onion, three chopped celery stalks, three finely chopped carrots, a fresh and finely chopped large tomato, about 5 finely chopped garlic cloves. After a few minutes, I added a generous amount of high quality yellow curry (about 3 tbsp), about 1 tbsp each of sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and ground cumin. Stirred, and then grated about 3 tbsp each of fresh turmeric and ginger, and added that to the mix, along with the cauliflower florets. I stirred all ingredients well, and let sauté for a few more minutes before adding about 6 cups of fresh filtered water. Brought it all to a boil, then simmered until the cauliflower was tender (about 25 minutes). Before serving, I added some baby bok choy, chopped, and some chopped cilantro. I garnished each dish with a little whole baby bok choy, and some fresh parsley and cilantro, as well as some freshly-squeezed lime and a little Tamari.

All of this can (and should) be modified to your own taste. The main thing is to use the different ingredients, all organic, and maybe modify the measurements according to what you really like. It’s all about experimentation. This one turned out very well, and I just loved it (and still have leftovers).

Curried Cauliflower with Garbanzo Beans

CurriedCauliflowerWithGarbanzos

I posted this recipe last week when I made it. It appears to be one of the favorite Instagram food photos on my new account, so it deserves some recognition here! I love cauliflower, and I’m always looking for new and creative ways of preparing it. This dish was hearty enough to stand on its own; I added garbanzo beans to it, and of course a host of other ingredients that made the flavor of the dish pop like a weasel. So, here it is!

INGREDIENTS

1 large head of cauliflower, washed and cut into bite-sized florets
1 16-oz can garbanzo beans, washed and drained well
1 medium-sized tomato, deseeded and finely chopped
1 handful of fresh cilantro, washed and finely chopped
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
5 cloves of finely chopped garlic (or less, if you’re worried about your breath)
2 tbsp yellow curry
1 tsp Garam Masala (an Indian spice for those of you unfamiliar with it)
1/2 cup water (or vegetable broth)
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of half a lime, plus a wedge for the plate

METHOD

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy skillet. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and turn the heat down to low. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the curry powder and Garam Masala, and mix well. Continue cooking over low heat to let all the flavors blend for another 3-5 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and mix well so that they are coated with the curry mixture. Turn the heat up to medium-high and stir-fry for about a minute or two before adding the water (or vegetable broth). Add the garbanzo beans, stir well, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover and let cook for about 10 minutes. Remove the lid to test the cauliflower for doneness. Depending on how well you like your cauliflower cooked, you can cook a few minutes longer with the lid on. Remove the lid, and if there is still liquid, let it evaporate by cooking a few minutes longer. When all liquid has evaporated, add the tomato and the cilantro, stir well and cover. Turn the heat off and let it sit for a few minutes. Test for salt and pepper. Plate into bowls, squeeze a little lime juice over each bowl, and garnish with a wedge of lime on the side.

Vegan Pulao

Vegan Pulao

I’ve made pulao with chicken before, and it was great. I followed an Indian recipe to a tee. I was looking for a vegan version with a variation of spices, not necessarily Indian spices (though I love them). I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos lately about how to make it, and this is what I came up with. It’s a variation of all the recipes I saw, but two important things about making any pulao are a) you must rinse the rice until the water is absolutely clear, and b) soak it before cooking. If you omit these steps, your rice will likely be too starchy, sticky, and it will break.

I just made this last night, so I have to hurry and write down the ingredients before I forget! Next time, I would add peas and cabbage (two ingredients I didn’t have on hand). I think cooking a little broken vermicelli and adding that to the mixture at the end would add to this recipe as well.

INGREDIENTS

2 c long-grain basmati rice, rinsed until water comes out clear, and soaked for 20 minutes before cooking
1 large onion, thin-sliced lengthwise
2 red bell peppers, diced very finely
2 carrots, grated
About 24 fresh organic green beans, chopped very finely
2 cloves minced garlic
3 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp garam masala (an aromatic blend of spices often used in Indian cooking)
2 tbsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped green onion for garnish (could also use cilantro as well, or instead)

METHOD

The usual ratio of 1 to 2 (rice to water) should be 1 to 2.5 when making pulao. Also, do not cook the rice until it is completely done; reduce cooking time by about 5 minutes. Set aside. Meanwhile, have all your vegetables chopped and ready to add to the hot non-stick wok or large non-stick frying pan because you will cook everything on high heat, and it will not take long. Plus, you will need to be stirring the mixture constantly. Heat the oil in the wok/frying pan over high heat and add the onions and garam masala. Stir constantly until the onions begin to darken and the mixture becomes very fragrant. Add the garlic, beans, bell pepper, carrots, and continue stirring until all the vegetables are mixed well. Add the salt and pepper to taste (go light on the salt if you’re going to use soy sauce after you add the rice to the mixture, or you may want to omit the soy sauce altogether). Turn the heat down to low, and let the flavors blend for a few minutes before adding the rice.

Your rice is cooked and set aside. When you are ready to add it to your cooked vegetables, fluff it up very gently to separate the rice grains, trying not to break them. Add 4 cups of the cooked, fluffed rice to your mixture and very carefully fold it in. Add soy sauce (if you choose to use it) and blend in evenly using a soft spatula. Slightly cover and turn off the heat. Let sit for a few minutes for all the flavors to meld together.

Serve on a platter and garnish with chopped green onion.