Delicious Dal

February 28, 2009 § 1 Comment

I used to really dislike Indian foods, but it was only because I hadn’t really had anything good to start with. Moving to Atlanta changed that, as there’s a pretty good sized population here and a plethora of choices in nearby Decatur. After having a version of this at a local Bangladeshi restaurant, I knew I wanted to make my own.

There are a lot of masoor dal (red lentil) soup recipes out there, but I’ve adapted this one to use the Turkish brown lentils that I buy in bulk from the farmer’s market, along with subs for fresh ingredients in case I haven’t made it to the store. With this recipe, I always have the ingredients on hand to make a delicious hearty meal in a pinch.

Dal Soup
(recipe adjusted from Renjna’s Masoor Dal soup recipe)

  • 2 cups dried whole Masoor dal or other lentils (I use whole brown Turkish lentils instead of masoor)
  • water to cover
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (you can remove seeds if too spicy, or sub 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalepenos)
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (I use Better Than Bouillon Reduced Sodium Vegetable base)
  • juice of 1/2 fresh lime (or 1 tbsp. of lazy lime)
  • additional salt to taste
  • Dal

    Sort and wash the dal until the water runs clear. Place the dal in a soup pot and add water to cover by about 2 inches. Add the turmeric and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes, until the dal is soft and beginning to fall apart. Once dal gets very thick, add the vegetable stock and lime juice.

    Dal soup

    Heat the oil in a frying pan. Mince the garlic, coarsely chop the jalapenos (remove the seeds if you don’t want the dal to be very hot). Add the garlic and jalapenos to the oil, along with the cumin, garam masala and salt. Saute for a few minutes, until the garlic begins to brown. Add this mixture to the dal. Mix well (you may need to add a little dal to the frying pan and pour this back into the pot to get all the spices out of the pan). Simmer for another 20 minutes or so to blend all the flavors well. Adjust salt, if desired.

    Serve hot with toasted nan on the side.

Magnets rule

February 27, 2009 § 4 Comments

Magnets rule

I have purchased about 3 of these easy magnetic strips (from Paper Source) for the office, work, and home. They have short and longer versions, and they basically have double-sided tape and stick to any surface, anywhere. So much nicer than a bunch of post-it notes!

This week I finally realized that I needed one for the kitchen. We have a very nice fancy cookbook stand that folds up for storage, but this is the perfect solution for holding up recipes that I’ve clipped or printed out. And no more food splatters on my recipes!

Denied. Again.

July 31, 2008 § 1 Comment

The moons must be aligned just.so. because in 2 days, I’ve managed to be denied.

Yesterday Mr. and Mrs. P’body, the Mr., Dave, and myself were going to do a Junior’s reunion of sorts after work. There we were, getting ready to grab our baskets and wave chicken tenders in the air, until we found out that Junior’s closes after lunch because of summer hours. Yeah, the Tech grads and Tech employee didn’t remember that. Doh! It was fine, though, and we continued our fest over at (where else) Rocky Mountain, where we had buffalo pizza and electric blue colored shots before throngs of undergrads swarmed the place. We had grand plans of hitting the Highlander afterward, but grease + beers + colored shots in plastic cups did me in, and I was the sensible adult who went home and packed for her flight. Whose old?!

Today we wanted to have our last cuban with Kool Korner, only to realize that the previous sign saying that it was staying open until July 31st no longer applied. SIGH. We then had a memorial lunch of fried chicken and cornbread at Bobby & June’s.

I hope they don’t plan on going anywhere, either.

The blues

July 24, 2008 § 6 Comments

So yeah, summertime and the beach go hand in hand, but while I’m daydreaming about my trip back to Florida next week, I’m stuck in here in hot smoggy Atlanta dealing with what I’ve got. Blueberries. TONS of them.


(image via dr. superfoods)

Blueberries practically scream summer to me, and I’m pretty sure I eat more than any human should consume. My fridge at work always has at least one pint of them, as I throw them in my lame no-sugar added instant oatmeal. I pop in a few more after lunch/ before leaving, and next thing you know I’ve eaten 4 pints in two days. Ooops. Thankfully they’re really healthy and good for you. Imagine that, me eating something healthy… on purpose.

But if healthy isn’t your thing, you must try this fantastic Mama’s Blueberry Buckle recipe that I snagged out of CL a few years ago. This is always a winner, especially for summer grills and get-togethers with friends. It’s also a perfect excuse to have ice cream. Oh, and a pint of blueberries is currently only $2.50 at Whole Foods… GO!

Wah

June 25, 2008 § 2 Comments

I don’t know what the deal is with me, but I’ve been feeling like ass all week. I thought it was a sinus infection, but now my whole body hurts. I don’t do sick well. Bitch moan, bitch moan, whine. I just hope my head doesn’t feel like exploding when I get on a plane this weekend. POP!

It’s times like this when I really just want to curl up in bed with a good book, then stuff my face full of comfort food before taking a long nap. Last night we made another one of our new favorites – a spicy meatloaf (with a recipe snagged off of Weight Watchers, of all places). It’s such a simple recipe, low-fat using a binder of oatmeal instead of bread crumbs, yet it’s so satisfying. Probably one of the best meat loafs I’ve had (my dad is probably rolling over in his grave – sorry!).

Spicy Meatloaf

1 sprays cooking spray
1 1/2 pound uncooked lean ground beef – 7% fat
1 cup rolled oats (I accidentally used steel cut oats and it worked out fine, so I’m not changing it)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 oz canned jalapeno peppers, diced (you can use mild chilies if preferred, wuss)
1 large egg
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
8 oz canned tomato sauce, divided

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients, except half of tomato sauce, in a large mixing bowl; set remaining tomato sauce aside. Spoon meatloaf mixture into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake for 60 minutes; spoon remaining sauce over meatloaf and cook 5 minutes more. Slice into eight pieces (if you’re on WW, this is 4 points per piece).

“Who had the fish?”

June 22, 2008 § 4 Comments

I have to admit I was pretty excited about our second foodie group outing. We were meeting at Machu Picchu, a Peruvian restaurant that I’ve enjoyed dining at before. Wow, were we in for a surprise.

The only thing I noticed that was different in the dining room was that 1. the furniture had been moved around and 2. I was greeted by someone who was definitely not Peruvian. Fine, I thought, no problem. Then I ordered a Cristal beer, to which the server started laughing and asked if I was with P. Diddy’s group. Wha? I informed him that it was a very popular Peruvian beer, one that I have had in this very restaurant, and was told that they no longer carried it but I could order a Corona. Another person in our party ordered a glass of red wine, which came out in a goblet over ice. Hmm…

I then asked for a menu (since we weren’t given one even after we got our drinks). We were given one and told to share since they were running short of them (there were only 2 other tables seated in the restaurant), then instructed to order by number since the server was new and wasn’t fluent in Spanish. Totally fine, no problem, in fact that made things easier on us. WRONG.

The food came out and the shit hit the fan. Some of us actually got what we ordered, then the rest of us sat there trying to figure out what they were bringing out. The server kept asking “who had the fish”, and was enraged when we couldn’t answer him. Um, 80% of our table ordered fish dishes! He then proceeded to YELL at us while we were trying to laugh it off. I’m not normally bothered by inept people enough to do anything about it, but it just couldn’t be helped and I had to tell him to calm the fuck down. The owner/manager tried to smooth things over and sent him away, but honestly I would have sent him home at that point. He gave a measly apology before we left, which I discount because he took the opportunity to lay blame instead of responsibility. Lame.

Seriously, it was a totally unreal experience. Never mind the fact that our server was completely ignorant about food service (any service, really) and had the audacity to blame us for his retardedness, but food was sub par and nothing like the wonderful dinner I had on a previous trip. I’m pretty embarrassed at the fact that I’ve ever recommended this restaurant, but hey, that’s the chance you take when you dine outside of the norm. It’s too bad, since my previous experience was so great and exactly what Atlanta needs in Peruvian cuisine. Also bad is that this had to happen to a table of no less than 10 local bloggers and Yelpers.

BUT, the one awesome thing that happened was that I finally got to try leche de tigre “milk of the tiger,” which is basically a shot of all the juices from the ceviche dishes. Drew and I got our drink on.

1 Bite 7 Days

June 18, 2008 § 1 Comment

While jealously reading about the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, I stumbled across the 1 Bite 7 Days site. 1 Bite 7 Days is a “documentary and tasting experience based on a Japanese proverb that says for every new food we eat, we gain seven days of life.”

I simply love this idea. I really don’t understand people who don’t try new foods. I can totally understand people not liking certain food (like raw tomatoes – blech), but to not even venture to TRY something? Closed minded people, I tell you. I can’t believe people would miss out on so much good food out there. Guess they won’t be making my next dish (a favorite, very addicting snack!).

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