Wednesday, September 29, 2010

chana dal

our new housemates came with a big bag of chana dal, aka split yellow peas, so i went to the interwebs to figure out what to do with it. the recipe at was so good i made it (with a few tweaks) twice in one week and finished off the supply. it makes a lot, but having a big jar of dal in the fridge is the best defense against "i'm too hungry to cook let's just get take-out"
soak in copious water for 2-3 hours then rinse and drain:
  • 2 c. chana dal
  • 6 c. water
add the dal and cook on medium about 30 minutes, until the beans are soft enough to smoosh between your fingers. stir it up then add
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
stir it all together. in a small pan, fry over low heat
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seed
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
when the mustard and garlic are fragrant and the oil is hot, dump it in the pot of beans, stir again, cover the pot and cook 2 minutes. uncover and cook another 5 minutes, then serve with rice.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

winter squash soup

the baby ate this soup eagerly, even cold the next day. it's easiness is the payoff for mashing up a big batch of squash one evening. next time i'll double these quantities, this yielded 3 nonhuge servings.

sautee in ghee with generous pinch of salt until onion is translucent
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 inches ginger root, minced
stir in
  • 2 c. pureed winter squash
  • 3 c. chicken stock
  • 1 tsp garam masala
puree with immersion blender, cover, and bring to a simmer. can be served immediately, but i think it gets more delicious if you let it burble away on low while preparing the rest of dinner.
season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Monday, September 13, 2010


well, i did make some buckwheat yesterday, and suppose i should have posted about it.
i sauteed 1 cup of it in canola oil, then poured in 2 c. of nearly boiling water, covered and simmered.  when all that water had evaporated, it still didn't seem done enough so i poured in enough water to fill to the top of the grain and simmered it until that all cooked in.  the baby eats it eagerly.
today i finally made the borscht i'd been meaning to do.
in 1 qt of water i boiled some beef bones and onion ends from when we grilled the other day, and let that do its thing in a covered pot all early afternoon.  when that seemed brothy enough i strained it and added a quart of chicken broth from the fridge.  i chopped
  • 3 medium/large beets
  • 5 small/medium carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1/3 head of cabbage
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill
i put the beets and carrots in the broth to cook, and sauteed the onion.  after about 20min, when i could pierce the beets with a fork, i added the onions and cabbage, half the dill, and 2Tbsp tomato puree.   then brought all that back up to a simmer, and cooked until the cabbage was barely soft, and seasoned to taste with
  • apple cider vinegar (~2Tbsp)
  • salt
  • sugar
serve topped with remaining dill and dollops of sour cream

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

back to bulk foods

we're just settling in to a new apartment, which comes with the feeling of a fresh start. it's the new school year like a fresh pink eraser, its edges still defined by the contours of its factory mold and not yet smudged with mistakes and the indiscriminate mulch from the pit of your backpack. the annual communal rebirth through commerce, the assumption of this year's body, and the inevitable discovery that the past has not in fact let go.
so i went to harvest co-op (among the less cooperative of such institutions), and bought some bulk foods, 1 qt each:
  • short grain brown rice
  • med grain white rice
  • quinoa
  • hulled barley
  • buckwheat groats
  • corn meal
  • chick peas
  • pinto beans
  • adzuki beans
  • falafel mix (~1pt)
  • rolled oats (~3qt)
and tahini, cured olives, sea salt, coffee, bread, milk, baby cereal

i'll post up here when i use these things.
starting later this evening with the buckwheat.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2 vegetarian curries

i made these on different nights in the past week or so, and i think they're both worth remembering. source: synthesis of internet searches.

rajma with mustard greens
4-6 servings
chop and wash
  • 1 lb. mustard greens
boil 2qts of water, lightly salted, in a large pot with lid, dump the greens in and cook 7 minutes, drain and set aside.
  • 1 Tbsp ghee
  • 3 shallots, or half an onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 or 2 green chilies
stir in the greens along with
  • 3 cups cooked kidney beans, drained
  • 28 oz tomatoes, pureed
  • 3 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
simmer 10-15min, then add
  • 1/2 c. yogurt, milk, or cream

tempeh in coconut milk
2-3 servings
this was, how shall i say, not the most visually attractive curry, you might consider adding something pretty like red bell pepper with the spices.
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 green chili pepper, minced
when onion is starting to get translucent add
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
stir to distribute, when it's fragrant add
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 8 oz. tempeh, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
simmer until the sauce thickens, about 15 min.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010


kind of like the unhealthy version of breakfast bars. but i have some leftover coconut from a south indian shrimp curry, and i hatched the plan that i can make junk food, eat a little bit, and give the rest to the upstairs neighbors, as an apology for the baby crying at night.

preheat oven to 350 and grease an 9x13" baking pan.

melt in a 2 qt. saucepan over low heat
  • 3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
allow melted butter to cool then mix in
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
combine, and mix in until smooth
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1 c. chopped bittersweet chocolate
spread evenly in baking pan, and bake for 25 minutes.

Monday, February 8, 2010

breakfast bars

an amalgam of banana bread and oatmeal scone, baked in a 9x13" pan and cut into squares.
next time i think i'll try baking this same dough (with a bit more oil) as cookies.

preheat oven to 350.

whisk together in large bowl
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 c. rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
combine in medium bowl
  • 2 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 c. applesauce
  • 1/4 c. oil
  • 1/2 c. agave nectar and/or honey
mix wet into dry and add
  • 1 c. dried dates, chopped
  • 1 c. pecans, chopped
spread dough in bottom of greased 9x13" pan and bake until edges brown