Red Masoor Lentil – “Hyderabadi Red Dal”

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Red Masoor Lentil- “Dal”- Serves 4 This recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s famous cookbook, Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian .This one requires only a few ingredients and really brings out the flavor of the lentils. I am such a big fan of this recipe that it almost didn’t make it to the dinner table on account of all the bowlfuls I “sampled” during preparation! I did eventually manage to save some however and served it up as a side dish to my Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani. Enjoy! Ingredients: 1 cup red Masoor lentil 3 tablespoons (for tempering) plus 2 tablespoons for boiling the lentil 2 dried red Kashmiri chillies 3 garlic cloves, peeled and whole 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds “Rai” . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Black Daal or “Kaali Daal”

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“Kaali Daal”- Serves 6 Black “daal” or “Mah ki daal” or “Kaali Daal” is a creamy, tasty lentil preparation that goes well with Indian bread and other rice preparations as well. Made with whole black gram, fresh ginger, red chilly powder, fresh garlic paste, cumin seeds, cream (I use 2% milk instead) and fresh cilantro. The longer you let the lentils cook the better – usually 3+ hours. Ingredients: 1 cup whole black gram “urad dal” 3 medium tomatoes grated 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon oil (I use canola cooking oil) 1/2 cup milk or cream 1 heaped tablespoon of fresh chopped ginegr salt to taste Tempering the lentil 2 tablespoons of butter 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 green . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Quinoa Salad with Arugula

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“California Pizza Kitchen” is our favorite restaurant and we visit it at least once a week to enjoy their amazing salads and pizzas. Last weekend, I tried out their new salad, quinoa with arugula, red onions, sun dried tomatoes, asparagus and a sprinkle of feta cheese and was completely blown away by the flavors that I had to recreate it at home as it looked fairly simple. Just cook the quinoa ahead of time, and keep in the refrigerator. This salad tastes best when all the ingredients are cold. I made just a few changes by substituting the asparagus for french beans and made a white wine vinaigrette (using Ina Garten’s vinaigrette recipe). Needless to say, it’s a hot favorite . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Homemade Green Chutney

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I always have a batch of green chutney made and frozen in little ziploc containers. It goes well with almost everything I prepare. It only requires a few ingredients but is packed with flavor because the ingredients used are all fresh. Fresh herbs like cilantro and mint are used along with green chillies, garlic and cumin making this chutney so delectable. Much better than the store bought version which usually has preservatives and lacks the punch of it’s homemade counterpart. Wash the cilantro well before using. Take a big clear glass bowl and fill it with cold water. Throw the cilantro in and then run some more cold water from the tap over it and gently run your fingers through . . . CLICK TO READ MORE