Thursday, September 18, 2008

Midweek Indian Supper

For a quick dinner with tons of flavor and nutrients, look to Indian cuisine.

My plate with yogurt

Masoor dahl (red lentils) is a common dahl variety within a rainbow of lentil dishes.
Saag is a spinach- (or other greens) based dish often combined with other elements such as aloo (potatoes) or paneer (homemade cheese).
The two pair very well for an easy meal; add a generous dollop of yogurt and some flatbread or naan and you'll be stuffed in no time.

Indian cuisine is known for its exquisite spices; the toughest part of preparation is probably obtaining all of them. Once you possess them you can make a myriad of meals. Garam masala is a wonderful spice blend that's delicious with lentils, rice, eggs, or anything else you can come up with.

Best of all, the cooking process for both dishes is identical so you really can make both at the same time, in less than 30 minutes from first chop to serving.

Finished Dal and Saag

I discovered these recipes while reading Happy Herbivore's archives, and I'm so glad I did.

Red Lentil Dahl

1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced1/2 cup red lentils
1/4 cup water
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbs ground ginger
a dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup red lentils
2 cups vegetable broth
1 chopped tomato with its juices
2 heaping Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs fresh cilantro
2 tsp garam masala

In a small bowl, mix all spices together except for the garam masala.

Saute the garlic and onions in the 1/4 cup water until translucent. Add the spice blend and cook 2 minutes, adding extra water if necessary. Add the lentils, broth, tomato paste, tomatoes, and cilantro.
Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 15 minutes or until lentils are done. Add the garam masala and stir. Let stand for 3 minutes, then add salt and pepper to taste and serve.


Spinach Saag

1/2 onion, chopped
3/4 cup water, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch grated fresh ginger
2 tsp fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp sal
a dash of cayenne pepper
2 cups tightly packed fresh spinach
2 tsp garam masala

In a small bowl, mix the ginger, cilantro, turmeric, and cayenne pepper.

Saute onions in 1/4 cup of water until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger-spice mix; saute for 2 minutes. Add the spinach, water, and salt; simmer for 10-15 minutes on low, to wilt the greens. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Using a hand blender, puree greens until smooth (or you can use a food processor). Stir in the garam masala.

Serve with thick yogurt, and some flatbread to scoop up juices if you like.

Ray's plate with yogurt and flatbread

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4 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

I REALLY need to try more Indian dishes - those meals look INSANELY good!!

eileen said...

i am so very glad that i found your blog through the foodie webroll. i adore Indian food but have never quite succeeded in making it from scratch. Here's hoping it tastes as delicious as it looks! You'll definitely be added to my Google Reader; I look forward to more great recipes!

Tina said...

Ooh, I LOVE Dal. I love that there are a million varieties of lentil, a gazillian varieties of dal, and at least one chubby chick who is interested in trying them ALL.

Erica said...

Totally made the spinach pasta tonight- amazing!!