Lalla Mussa Dal

This dish was so creamy and delicious I could barely stand it. The spicy kick made it absolute perfection.

This recipe was adapted from The Yellow Chilli Cookbook by Indian celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, via The New York Times. This creamy lentil stew is his signature dish. I reduced the butter (by HALF), doubled the recipe, increased the garlic, used jalapeños, and used a pressure cooker to expedite the cooking process.

I served it over brown Basmati rice with sautéed spinach with garlic and cumin on the side. Wonderful!

  • cup whole black gram lentils (sabut urad)
  • 1/4 cup whole green gram lentils (split mung beans or abut moong)
  • 2 green chiles (such as Indian harimirch or serrano), cut into thin strips (I used jalapeños, cut into rounds)
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, cut into thin strips
  • ½ cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato purée
  • teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder, or cayenne
  • teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
  • 16 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • cup heavy cream
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • 1-inch piece ginger, cut into thin strips, for garnish, as desired
  • brown Basmati rice, for serving
  1. Mix together both types of lentils and rinse thoroughly in salted water. Drain. If using a pressure cooker, cover with 2-inches of water; cook on low for 10 minutes. (Alternatively, add 1 cup water and soak for 1 hour.)
  2. Drain lentils again, add to a small pot with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Skim the scum and dirt off the top and discard.
  3. Strain the lentils and return them to the pot. Add 1 cup water, the green chiles and ginger and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of the butter and simmer on low heat, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring often and mashing with the back of a big spoon as the lentils soften.
  5. After about 35 minutes, melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter in a deep nonstick pan; add the tomato purée and sauté on low heat until fat rises to the surface. (I used a 4-quart enameled cast iron pot.)
  6. Add the red chili powder (or cayenne), ground coriander, fenugreek leaves and garlic to the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to dry out and stick to the pan.
  7. Add the lentils and mix well. Add the cream and mix well. Add 1 to 2 cups water (for desired texture) and salt to taste, and bring to a boil.
  8. Serve hot, over rice and garnished with ginger strips, as desired.

One Year Ago: Shrimp in Green Mole

Two Years Ago: Stuffed Poblano Casserole

Three Years Ago: Sautéed Haricots Verts with Mushrooms & Shallots

Four Years Ago: Chana Dal and Spinach cooked with Onions (Mughlai Saag)

Five Years Ago:  Sri Lankan Coconut Chicken Curry with Cashews

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Shrimp & Egg Fried Rice

This is a quick and tasty comfort food dish. It is from a century-old dim sum restaurant in New York City. I think we’re going to have to dine there soon! 🙂

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, adapted from Jonathan Wu of Nom Wah Tea Parlor in New York, contributed by Wilson Tang. I increased the amount of shrimp to convert this side dish into a main dish. Perfect.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

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Chicken Rice Pilaf

My entire family loves one-pot chicken and rice dishes. I personally thought that I brought this one to another level by serving it with sautéed Indian-spiced CSA kale. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Asha Gomez. I used ground cardamom, chicken thighs, and increased the garlic. It was a fabulous weeknight dish!

Yield: Serves 6
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the ghee. Add the onion, cardamom, star anise and a big pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onion is softened and browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and turmeric and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and 
cook over moderate heat for 4 minutes, stirring to coat it with the aromatics.
  4. Add the stock to the pan and bring to a boil over moderately high heat.
  5. Stir in the rice and return to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and let steam, covered, for 15 minutes.
  7. Fluff the pilaf with a fork and season with salt to taste.
  8. Transfer to a bowl, discarding the cardamom pods (if using) and star anise. (The star anise is so pretty that I left it in the dish!)
  9. Garnish with 
raisins, chopped cilantro and chopped toasted almonds, as desired. Serve.

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Weeknight Fancy Chicken & Rice

The New York Times recently published cookbook reviews in their weekly Food section. Dishes from each book were featured. This dish is from a book with fusion dishes from the American South and Southern India. What’s not to love?

They described this dish as “a truly glorious one-pot weeknight meal.” Perfect. It was full-flavored, fast and fabulous.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, adapted from “My Two Souths” by Asha Gomez, contributed by Sara Bonisteel. I used ground cardamom instead of pods, chicken thighs instead of breasts, and increased the garlic. Delicious!

I’m bringing this dish to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #140 this week, co-hosted by Julie @Hostess at Heart and Linda @Fabulous Fare Sisters. Enjoy!

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

  • ¼ cup ghee (or use unsalted butter, melted, browned, skimmed, and strained)
  • 2 medium (or 1 large) yellow onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (or 6 green cardamom pods, crushed)
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 ¼ cups chicken stock
  • 1 ½ cups white Basmati rice
  • ¼ cup chopped dried apricots or cranberries
  • ¼ cup roasted sliced almonds (or raw almonds, toasted), hazelnuts, or pine nuts
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
  1. In a medium saucepan with a lid, melt ghee over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onions, cardamom, star anise and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and a very deep golden brown, about 15 minutes, lowering heat if necessary to keep from burning them.
  3. Add garlic and turmeric; cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, or until very fragrant.
  4. Add chicken and cook for 4 minutes, stirring to coat chicken with the onion mixture.
  5. Add stock and remaining salt, increase the heat and bring to a boil.
  6. Add rice, stir and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the rice has absorbed liquid, about 12 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 12 minutes. Remove lid and fluff rice with a fork.
  8. Transfer chicken and rice to a bowl, if desired. Remove and discard cardamom pods, if using, and star anise.
  9. Garnish with apricots, almonds, and cilantro. Serve at once.

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Ottolenghi’s Baked Rice

I was drooling over every photo in a New York Times magazine article featuring a home banquet prepared by Yotam Ottolenghi. I wanted it ALL on my plate. But, preparing all of the beautiful dishes at once by myself was another story completely- too large of an undertaking. 😦 This baked rice was at the top of my list. Two heads of garlic! Fourteen shallots! Fabulous.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sam Sifton. I used the zest of one half of a lemon and 1 teaspoon of curry masala instead of fresh or dried curry leaves. I also baked the rice in an enameled cast iron pan with a lid instead of transferring the garlic and shallots to an aluminum foil-covered baking dish before baking them with the rice. We ate it for dinner with grilled chicken thighs seasoned with a Pilpelchuma spice blend, Hummus, Tomato and Pomegranate Salad, Deconstructed Baba Ghanouj, and warm naan. Our own banquet. 🙂  Amazing.

  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 heads garlic, cloves peeled
  • 12-14 medium-size shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 whole sprigs fresh curry leaves, left on stem, or substitute a handful of dry curry leaves, or 1 tsp curry masala
  • 2 cups white basmati rice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 2 tablespoons boiling water for 30 minutes
  1. Heat oven to 425, preferably on convection.
  2. Put the oil into a sauté pan set over medium heat. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.)
  3. When the oil shimmers, add the garlic cloves, shallots and lemon zest, and cook, tossing occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the garlic is golden brown and soft.
  4. Add the sprigs of curry leaves, if using, or the curry masala, and cook for approximately 2 minutes more, or until the leaves are starting to crisp.
  5. Pour the garlic and shallots into a large ovenproof baking dish, approximately 10 by 14 inches, and spread the rice over the vegetables in an even layer. (If using a large pan with a lid, keep vegetables in the same pan but spread evenly along the bottom before adding the rice.)
  6. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of salt over the rice, and then pour 3 1/2 cups of boiling water over the rice. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil (or a tight-fitting lid), and place in the oven for 30 minutes or so, until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is light, fluffy and starting to turn crisp around the edges.
  7. Remove the dish from the oven, uncover and drizzle the saffron and its soaking water over the dish. Re-cover the dish with the aluminum foil or the lid, and allow it to sit on the stove top for another 5 or 10 minutes. Serve.

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Butternut Squash Basmati Rice

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I loved the idea of cooking Indian-spiced rice with butternut squash. Fabulous! My desire to make this side dish with my small CSA butternut squash inspired an entire meal. A WONDERFUL meal! Yay! I know that I will make this all of the time now- such lovely color. This dish is from Food and Wine, contributed by Asha Gomez. I didn’t change a thing. 🙂 We ate it with sautéed greens and Indian Spiced Chicken.

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 3/4 pound peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and cook over high heat until the mustard seeds begin to pop, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the rice and diced squash and stir to coat with the butter.
  3. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over very low heat until the squash is tender and the water is completely absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and let the rice stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve right away.

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Thai Green Curry with Chicken

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I love Thai curries. My go-to Thai takeout dish is ALWAYS red curry- so this was a nice change of pace. 🙂 This dish is a super-quick cook made with store-bought curry paste.

I adapted this Everyday Food recipe by using a combination of chicken meat, adding shallots, green peppers, and coconut oil, and by serving it over brown rice. It was a wonderful end-of-summer dish as it made use of my grill, garden basil, and CSA green beans and bell pepper, while also being the warm and filling meal perfect for a cool evening. Healthy, flavorful, and delicious!

Yield: Serves 4

  • 1 cup brown Basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 12 ounces (about 3 1/2 cups) green beans, stem ends removed, halved crosswise
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced large
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 medium to large shallot, halved and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast and 5 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)
  • 1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Season the chicken meat with salt and pepper. Grill or broil the meat to cook. Cut into 1-inch pieces, set aside.
  2. Cook rice according to package instructions. (I cook 1 cup of rice in 2 cups of chicken stock for 30-40 minutes.)
  3. Meanwhile, place cornstarch in a small bowl; whisk in 2 to 3 tablespoons chicken stock until smooth (reserve remaining stock). Set aside.
  4. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onion and shallot; cook, tossing frequently, until they begin to soften, then add the green beans and bell pepper. Continue to cook until vegetables begin to soften as well, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add curry paste to green beans and onion in skillet. Cook, stirring and scraping bottom of skillet, until paste is slightly darkened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add chicken, coconut milk, cornstarch mixture, and reserved chicken broth. Simmer until vegetables are tender and sauce is slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.
  7. Add basil and lime juice. Season with salt, and stir to combine; serve over rice.

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