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Friday, May 20, 2011

Indian Lunch

This was my lunch the other day. So good!! It was adapted from the below cookbook, which is honestly the best Indian cookbook I've discovered so far. There are tons of things for vegetarians to eat, but also meats and desserts; it really runs the gamut! I had always found Indian food to be a bit intimidating, what with all the spices and everything; but trust me, this recipe is pretty easy. Just watch out for oil splatters in the first step!

Simple lentil dal with whole spices, adapted from Indian Home Cooking

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
4 green cardamom pods
1 tsp. cumin seeds (different from ground cumin)

In a medium-sized pot, heat up the oil, and then add the spices. Cover with a screen until you hear them start to pop. Then add:

1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. turmeric
(optional) 1 fresh hot green chile, minced

Cook for a few minutes, until the onion starts to become translucent (you can add a few tablespoons of water if you want to). Then add:

1 cup red lentils, picked over for rocks
3 1/2 c. cold water

Bring to a boil and cook until the lentils are done and fall apart; about 20 minutes. If the lentils seem done but there is still too much water, you can carefully dump out a bit of it into your sink and continue cooking. Skim off any foam that floats on the top. When it is finished cooking, add the juice of 1/2 a lemon, and a handful of chopped cilantro, if you would like. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve with rice- brown or basmati.

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