Sunday, April 16, 2006

Gujerati Cabbage and Carrots with Red Lentil Dal

Dear daughter and I have been hankering for some Indian food for a while, so tonight I made a simple meal. First I made the cabbage and carrots from a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey and let it sit at room temperature while DD made the Lebanese style rice and I made the dal.

About the rice - I don't have a real recipe for this - I just do what my mother-in-law did. She was a really fantastic Lebanese cook. All you really do is to replace some rice with pasta, either broken angel hair or fideos. Melt about a tablespoon of butter or margerine in a pan, toss in the pasta and saute until it turns golden brown. Be careful because you don't want it to burn at all. Then add the long grain rice and stir for a minute until each grain is coated with the margerine as if you were making risotto. Then add the water and salt, cover and cook as usual. This is pretty much the only way we eat rice - we never eat plain rice anymore.

Madhur Jaffrey's Gujerati Cabbage and Carrots

3/4 lb cabbage, shredded
3/4 lb carrots, shredded
1 fresh green chili, julienned or 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
2 Tbs vegetable oil (not olive)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs mustard seeds
1 whole dried red chili
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
4 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbs lemon juice

Heat oil in a 10" skillet that has a cover. Add garlic and red chili, then the mustard seeds, and stir to coat. Cover the skillet until the mustard seeds have mostly stopped popping. Uncover, add the cabbage and carrots and green chili (or red chili flakes), reduce heat to medium, and stir fry until tender-crisp. Add the salt, sugar and cilantro, stir well, and finally, add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Let sit for half an hour to combine flavors. This is good hot, room temperature, or cold.

Red Lentil Dal

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 med bay leaf
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 inch of ginger, peeled and grated or minced
1 tsp salt
1 C red lentils
3 C water

In saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic for a minute or two, then add everything except the lentils and water, and saute until the onions are translucent and fragrant with the spices. Add the lentils and stir to mix well so that all the lentils are coated with the onions and spices. Add the water, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes until the lentils are soft and beginning to melt. Stir vigorously to help them melt a bit more. Taste for salt. Serve over rice.

Notes: I didn't use a grater for my carrots - I used a plain old vegetable peeler to peel strips of carrot. I think it made for a more attractive presentation, and it helped to keep the carrot nicely crunchy. I recently bought a tube of pureed ginger and used that in lentils. I think that this is an ok product in that it cuts down on spoilage, but it certainly doesn't have the fragrance, flavor or heat the fresh ginger does. I ended up using about 2 heaping tablespoons of the stuff. In future, I'll leave this product at the grocery store and take my chances with fresh ginger which tends to become shriveled in my vegetable drawer before I use it all. Even with that, I think that fresh ginger is a better deal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This sounds absolutely delicious! I'm going to try it tonight!