Saturday, August 24, 2013

Parippu, South Indian Spiced Red Lentil And An Important Announcement

First I must apologise for the lack of post update for the past 2 weeks and I promise I'll make it up to you in the days ahead.

Growing up with many Indians friends resulted in me being very familiar with this everyday Indian dish. "An Indian meal is somehow incomplete without a dish with some kind os pulses in it" (or words to that effect), as many of my Indian friends have proclaimed over the years, so it is only fitting that I conclude our very brief culinary trip to Indian with this delicious lentil dish.

It isn't much of a looker but the wonderful aromas and the distinctive south Indian flavours of curry leaves, coconut milk, mustard seeds and cumin will have you coming back for more.

Before I proceed to the recipe, I have an important announcement to make - I officially left my previous job on the 10th of August 2013 having spent almost 10 months cooking the food that I know and love best. Unfortunately the lack of support from skilled staff and the management's direction (or the lack of it)  for the restaurant have made my position untenable and it was time for me to move on.

Life is a lot less stressful now as my new job does not required me to work on nights or weekends and it is only a 10 minute bike ride from home, leaving me plenty of time to read, write, make arts,  cook and  blog regularly again!

serves 4 to 6 as part of Indian meal
you'll need;
250 g of red lentils, washed and drained well
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 cup of coconut milk
2 green chillies, chopped
1/2 tsp of cumin powder
1/2 tsp of coriander powder
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder

for the tarka (final seasoning);
2 tbs of oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp of black mustard seeds
1 onion finely chopped
12 curry leaves

Prepare the ingredients and set aside.

Ingredients for the tarka - onion, curry leaves, black mustard seeds and cumin seeds.

Place the red lentils in a pot with 2 cups of water and add in the rest of the ingredients (except those for tarka) and stil to mix well. 

When it comes to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook slowly for 20 to 25 minutes or until the lentils are turned into a soft mush. 

Next prepare the tarka or final seasoning - heat oil in a pan over low heat, add mustard and cumin seeds, cover and allow the seeds to pop. Remove lid and add in the onion and curry leaves, fry over low heat until the onion is golden brown.

Pour the tarka into the pot of lentil and mix well. Season well with sea salt and cook for a further 5 minutes before serving.

Serve as part of an Indian meal with plenty of steamed basmati rice or roti.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Punjabi Spiced Cabbage

We continue our culinary journey through India; from the deep south to the far north state of Punjub.

Not much I can say about this popular everyday punjabi vegetarian dish except it is so delicious I serve it with all my Indian meals at home.

It makes a great side dish to go with any meat or fish dishes, or you might want to team it up with a few other vegetarian dishes and have a very satisfying vegetarian feast instead.

recipe from The Food Of India
serves 4 to 6 as part of an Indian meal
you'll need;
1/2 an onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, bashed
3 cm knob of ginger, roughly chopped
2 green chillies, seeded and chopped
4 tbs of oil
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
hafl a cabbage (~500g), finely shredded
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp of cumin powder
1/4 tsp of chili powder
20 g unsalted butter

Finely shred the cabbage and set aside.

Finely blend onion, garlic, ginger and chili in a food processor.

Heat up the oil in a wok and saute the blended ingredients over low heat until soften, be careful not to burn or brown the mixture, add the cumin seeds and turmeric powder and continue to saute for a further minute.

Mix in the cabbage and stir thoroughly until cabbage is well coated with the yellow mixture.

Season with salt and pepper, cumin powder, coriander powder, and chili powder, stir to mix and cook for 10 minutes with the wok partially covered, stirring from time to time until the cabbage is soft. If the cabbage becomes too dry, sprinkle a little water. Finally stir the butter through and check for seasonings.

Serve the simple but delicious dish as part of an Indian meal.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Spicy Kerela Eggplant

I am a doer not a talker, so I really resent wasting my time with endless, meaningless chats or meetings. I say let the action do the talking, instead of sitting around idly waiting for the elusive pot of gold or in this case a beautiful pot of eggplant to appear.... no it won't!

After my opening rant, I am not going to write a long post about this favourite vegetarian dish of ours except it is bloody delicious! If you are an eggplant lover, you might want to try making it at this very moment.

Happy cooking and have a marvelous Sunday!

recipe adapted from The Food Of India
serves 4 to 6 as part of an Indian meal
you'll need;
2 large eggplants (~1kg), cut into wedges
400g tin chopped tomatoes
4 cm knob of ginger, chopped
8 garlic cloves
1.5 tsp of fennel seeds
1/2 tsp of nigella seeds
1 tbs of coriander powder
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp of chili powder
1/2 tsp of crushed black pepper
salt to taste
oil for frying

Soak eggplant for 20 minutes and drain well.

Blend ginger and garlic with half of the chopped tomatoes until fine.

Nigella seeds and fennel seeds. Crush the fennel seeds lightly if you are not a fan of bitting into whole spice.

Fry eggplant in batches until golden brown, remove and drain off excess oil.

Add 4 tbs of oil to a large pan or pot and add in the whole seeds. Cover and allow the seeds to pop for a few seconds. Add the blended ingredients, the rest of the chopped tomatoes and spices and cook until the mixture becomes thick and oil starts to 'split'.

Return the fried eggplant to the pot and gently mix through the sauce, cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Season well with sea salt before serving.

I served this beautiful dish with chicken masala, punjabi cabbage (recipe up next) and plenty of steamed basmati rice on the side.

press me

3 hungry tummies

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melbourne, victoria, Australia