Wednesday, 25 May 2011

National Vegetarian Week: Day 3: Dahl and rice

 Yum yum skiddidily yum yum - IF you like pulses, gentle curry and spinach - victim HATES all of these things - after the ... OK I'll try it if you pick the slimy bits out... it's vile... blah ... what else is there?  - I actually extracted a "compliment" .. and I quote " it tastes really nice, no really nice - but the texture's a bit, well, blah... where are the chunks of stuff?". Hey ho!  I was quite pleased.  The victim had suffered an exam at mid-day, so to destress we went for a Pizza lunch (I had fiorentina in order to keep with National Veggie Week, J had a chicken'y thing - they were OK, but not great - but as outside oven is due on Friday was interested in watching chefs at work, and analysing menu).  Anyways up - ideas yup - but we can do better.  So, when we got home I wasn't hungry but J, who doesn't really like pizza (go figure!) was - so had nuked leftovers of one of her faves.

Dahl - boiled up some yellow split peas in a fair old volume of water for a bit (20mins ish... timings really not important in this "recipe").  At the same time fried sliced onion until browned, added crushed cloves of garlic (2), rated ginger (1 tsp
?),  ground cumin (1/2 tspish),urad dhal (optional - well all spices etc are optional - the urad dhal add a level of nuttiness, but really, not essential), fennel seeds, grated ginger (tsp?),  a shake of tumeric and decent shake of mixed herbs.  (by the way - drawback of open plan kitchen / dining room - splutters from TV watchers getting roasting spices in the back of their throats).  Fry until aromas bursting out (ask TV watchers!) - take off heat.  Add spicy mixture to cooking split peas, tsp garam masal, and some chopped green beans (or whatever you fancy, or not.. I just had some around).

Add oniony/spicy mixture to peas - stir in a tsp of marmite/vegimite - or other savoury condiment.  Simmer again until everything is a bit of a delicious mush - I would say about 15 mins (depends on age of split peas etc). Cook - simmer/ bung in oven - chuck in slow cooker for half a day... (45 mins simmering should really be loads, if you are busy and have chucked it in an oven (medium/180C... ) it could happily sit there for hours. About 5 mins before serving shuck in good handfuls of spinach.  As soon as it has wilted enough to be stirred in - jobs a good 'un.

Victim winced - well - she hates cooked spinach, lentils, curry without meat (what can you do???!)... so also made the cheese and cracker platter with instant apple chutney (matchsticks of onion; apple and  half a red chili, grate of ginger, squirt of limejuice, salt) cheshire cheese, baby plum tomatoes, pickled onions (not my choice!), crackers and fresh herbs. This got much more of a thumbs up.

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