Indian delights: Sweet and sour toor dal

November 3, 2013

Sweet and Sour Toor Dal

Rounding out our Indian meal, we definitely cannot forget to include a dal, or lentil dish, on our plate. Dal is a staple at the South Indian table, bringing a good dose of digestible protein to the vegetarian cuisine. While I’m sure there are millions upon millions of recipes and variations for dal – just the types of lentils alone: toor dal, urid dal, moong dal, masoor dal, and I could go on and on and on, not to mention that every cook has their own unique spice blend – I decided to share this recipe for a sweet and sour toor dal because I found it to be rather unique. When I say sweet and sour, I don’t mean like your local Chinese joint’s chicken; it’s a much more subtle flavor. While I made a special trip to the Indian grocery to pick up kokum, an acidic, dried fruit, upon opening the package it immediately reminded me of pomegranate, which makes a nice substitute in this recipe if you don’t have a local Indian grocer to frequent.

And that’s how this South Indian meal becomes complete. A couple of vegetarian dishes like poriyal, bhindi masala, green bean bhaji, or some masala potatoes, basmati rice, a bit of dal, a little Indian pickle (which you can buy, or I might post my favorite mango pickle here soon) and maybe some raita or yogurt to cool things down, and you have a veritable feast! (more…)

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Indian delights: Green bean poriyal

October 27, 2013

Green Bean Poriyal

If you haven’t caught wind of the theme, this week it’s definitely all about the Indian food as we lead up to Diwali. Earlier this week I shared my all-time favorite Indian recipe, bhindi masala (spiced okra in English). Today, I’m sharing another vegetable dish, green bean poriyal. You may remember, I’m not a big fan of green beans. A couple of years back my local nursery gave me a couple of free green bean plants, and I decided to make a green bean bhaji, which really turned me on to green beans for the first time in …well, ever. Fast forward a couple of years and I’m still growing green beans, and I decided I needed to find a different way to prepare them. So I tried poriyal, which I’ve had at my mother-in-law’s house and really loved. So long as you have some help stringing your beans (something I hate to do), this recipe is really quick and easy. It doesn’t require you to hang around too long sauteing vegetables and doesn’t really have much to chop, other than the beans. (more…)

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Indian delights: Bhindi masala

October 24, 2013

Bhindi Masala

As a kid, the only time I had tried okra was in gumbo, where I admitted it was needed as a thickener but refused to ever actually eat the stuff upon tasting it, and once fried, which I also wasn’t a fan of. So one can imagine when my now husband brought home takeout Indian food, I certainly wasn’t chomping at the bit to try the bhindi masala he picked up for himself. However, I decided to, and it was this dish that made me like okra. Strike that, it made me LOVE okra. The recipe couldn’t be simpler, so I encourage you to give it a try while there’s still okra to be had! (more…)

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An adapted Madd Hatter recipe: Orecchiette with Portobellos and Arugula

October 17, 2013

Portobello and Arugula Pasta

One of my favorite quick go-to pastas has been a beef and arugula pasta with a dijon vinaigrette dressing that I posted a few years back. The first time I made this pasta, I remember my husband saying, “This would be really good with portobellos!”. I was so sure it would that, at the time, I wrote the recipe up with that suggestion for vegetarian-izing (and, incidentally, veganizing) the recipe. A week ago, I had some leftover arugula, so I decided to give this version a go, and what do you know, it was a hit! Still as quick and easy as the original, and still as flavorful. (more…)

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Cheery cherry chai smoothie

September 10, 2013

Cherry Chai Smoothie

I’ve decided to dedicate the month of September to getting some of the yummy posts I’ve made on the daily nosh into recipe form over here in the kitchen. And I think I shall kick off with a smoothie that I’ve become addicted to!

I have to admit, I cannot take credit for coming up with the flavor profile for this smoothie. I stumbled upon it at a local juice bar, and I decided to give it a go at home. Mine comes out a bit more cherry, and every bit as cheery as the original, only now I can have it any time I want it. Well, so long as I keep those cheery cherries in my freezer. (more…)

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