Saturday, May 22, 2010

Red Lentils & Yogurt

I'm trying to make more Indian/South Asian food because up here in Yankee Land it's a lot easier to find the ingredients cheaply than it is for my Mexican staples. There are three Indian and Pakistani grocery stores within a three-block radius of mi casa and I've found them to be the best-priced purveyors of bulk spices around town, so I decided that this week I was switching from beans and rice to their South-Asian split-lentil counterpart: dals.
[Side note: I've heard that people in the food scene here don't consider Mexican cuisine to be a viable food trend, which hurt my heart a little... and gave me a serious jonesing for some homemade corn tortillas... and made me think they need to visit Berlin for a little enlightenment.]

On this particular night worknight, I wasn't up for any real effort [like blooming whole spices in oil], so I decided to try a super simple [Americanized?] version of a red lentil recipe I'd printed from the New York Times. I didn't have any sweet potatoes, so I just skipped them and added a whole 15oz can of diced tomatoes (with juice) instead. The ginger in my vegetable bin was, ahem, fuzzy so I doubled the dried ginger. I didn't have a Thai chili so I used a serrano, half-seeded. I actually had a fresh coconut, but didn't feel like splitting it and I also had a jar of dried, unsweetened coconut chips in the pantry [gotta love a well-stocked pantry], and I'd somehow used all my fresh cilantro, so I put a big dollop of unsweetened, fat-free yogurt on top.
Verdict? Tasty, perfectly acceptable alternative to beans, and clearly adaptable to my whims. I served it over brown rice for dinner and ate it swirled with yogurt [2:1] for lunch the next day.*

I do have one Indian cookbook, and though it is the source of my favorite recipe for mattar paneer [spicy peas w/ fresh cheese], I don't really love it for some reason and rarely reference it. If you've got recommendation for a book or blog on the subject, let me know in the comments.

*... actually it was breakfast, but it was great, and it would have been great for lunch, too.

3 comments:

  1. 想像是什麼並不重要,想像能做什麼才重要..................................................

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  2. hmmm.That recipe looks really warm. You really do recipes from different cultures, huh? You're such a great food blogger. Keep it up!

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  3. M, whenever I try lentils they look fine for a while and then always go to mush. What am I doing wrong?

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