Flavorista Tracey was craving Indian. We made a collaborative effort that involved ingenuity, great spices and as always, exceptional ingredients.
I made a pot of creamy red lentils. Tracey made a channa dahl from Indian Cooking by Madahur Jaffrey. Improvising with beautiful new potatoes from the farmers market in Saugatuck and fresh yellow and green beans, I made an Indian inspired potato salad with a yogurt dressing. We also had Indian spiced chicken. I used a dried rub of cumin, salt, cinnamon, salt pepper and turmeric. The lamb was marinated in a jar of Indian Simmer Sauce from Seeds of Change that Tracey found in the back of her cupboard. It made a great marinade for the lamb kabobs.
In retrospect it would have been great to have a can of diced fire roasted tomato with green chilies from Muir Glen. I love this product. With just a diced onion and some fresh ginger you can make a very quick and easy sauce. I would have allowed the kabobs to rest on the sauce so that the juices accumulated and sprinkled fresh cilantro over the top before serving. Adding a tablespoon of toasted black nustard seeds would adds a nice element as well. But alas that was not to happen because we had no tomatoes and my black mustard seeds were back in Boulder.
We still had a great meal. I was particularly proud of the red lentils. Inspired by Beckie at The Organic Dish, I’m sure my lentils had 3 times the calories of hers which are one of my favorite items on her menu, but man was it good!
2 Tbsp. ghee
2 cups red lentils
1 can coconut milk
4 cups water
1 large white onion (yellow will do)
2 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
1/2 jalapeno, diced
2 curry leaves
salt and pepper
pinch asafoedita (In my opinion a pinch of this made the dish. A little goes a long way).
In a large sauce pan, heat some ghee (aka clarified butter). Saute the diced onions, ginger until soft. Add the jalapeno and freshly grated ginger. Cook over medium to low heat until they are all soft and fragrant. Add the red lentils and stir.
Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to bubble slowly for 20 minutes. Add the coconut milk – you can use the lite variety if you prefer but the full fat was really delicious. Cook until the lentils are soft, perhaps another 15 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and add the pinch of asafoedita. You will taste the subtle flavor it adds in a few minutes. If you like it, then add another pinch but be careful of over doing it! Turn off the burner, cover and let sit until ready to serve. This will allow all the flavors to mingle and settle. Serves 8.