This week’s guest chef is a blogger I enjoy and a writerwoman I admire.
Somehow Monica seems to juggle it all *and* keep things creative in the kitchen AND make time to share her wisdom with us MizFits.
I aspire to a mere portion of what she does (and to the lentil dal below).
I was a pretty lucky kid. Every Sunday afternoon, my family would take us out for Indian food at the local curry house. I would marvel at the little silver bowls filled with delicious flavors that were so heavenly and mysterious that I never thought I could reproduce them at home. In recent years, however, I’ve been fortunate to meet several lovely women from India who taught me a few tricks and these days, I generally prefer my own curries to anything I can get at a restaurant.
Unlike most restaurant indian food, home-cooked curries are anything but a grease-fest. In fact, most dishes are highly nutritious and provide a great source of protein, especially for vegetarians. To demonstrate, I bring you my go-to recipe for Indian Lentil Dal. It’s easy to make and tastes better than most dals I’ve had at restaurants. You should be able to find most ingredients at the grocery store, though you may need to find an Indian grocer for the curry leaves (it’s worth the effort, trust me). This dal is great with basmati rice, but if you’re trying to cut carbs, try it with some raw shredded cabbage and a squeeze of lemon juice.
INDIAN LENTIL DAL
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cumin seed
1 Tbsp mustard seed
10 curry leaves (optional)
1-inch knob of ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 cups dry red lentils, washed
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 handful of spinach, finely chopped
salt to taste
1. Heat the oil in large saucepan. Add the cumin seed, mustard seed
and curry leaves and fry on medium heat until the seeds start to pop.
2. Add onion, garlic and ginger and cook until onion is soft (not
3. Add tomato, lentils, turmeric and enough water to cover. Simmer
until the lentils fall apart into a mush, adding more water if
4. Add the spinach and salt and cook until the spinach is wilted.
Thanks Monica! I appreciate you making time for us and shall return the favor by (waitforit) entering my kitchen and attempting to emulate you.
Anyone else up for the challenge?