I loved the combination of textures and colors from the mix of beans in this creamy dal. The recipe was a “staff favorite” in Food and Wine, contributed by Antara Sinha. It was included an article titled “Good to the Last Sop: Cozy Dinners That Deliver Endless Comfort.” The original recipe includes instructions to make homemade roti to serve with the dal to sop it up. 🙂
We ate this dish with store-bought roti but I included the roti recipe from the original article below. I wish I had made the homemade roti because we tragically did not enjoy the store-bought version. (Homemade is always better!) I served the dal over brown Basmati rice with steamed spinach on the side. Hearty and delicious vegetarian comfort food.
For the Dal:
3/4 cup dried moong dal (split yellow mung beans) (about 5½ ounces)
3/4 cup dried masoor dal (split red lentils) (about 5 ounces)
3/4 cup dried chana dal (split bengal gram) or dried toor dal (split pigeon peas) (about 5¾ ounces)
2 medium-size fresh serrano or jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded if desired, and finely chopped (about 2 1/2 tablespoons)
1 medium tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
For the Roti:
2 cups atta (Indian whole-wheat flour) (about 8 5/8 ounces), plus more for dusting
3/4 to 1 cup water, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
melted ghee, for brushing
For the Tadka:
3 tablespoons ghee
3 small dried chiles (such as Diaspora Co. Whole Sannam Chillies), or more to taste (I used Bird’s Eye)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
brown Basmati rice, optional
steamed spinach, optional
To Start the Dal:
Stir together moong dal, masoor dal, chana (or toor) dal, salt, turmeric, and 6 cups water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high. (I used a medium enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
Reduce heat to medium-low; partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until dal is soft and tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Add up to remaining 1 cup water, 1/4 cup at a time, until desired thickness and consistency is reached.
To Make the Roti Dough:
Stir together atta, 3/4 cup water, and salt in a medium bowl. Knead mixture in bowl until all dry flour is incorporated, adding remaining 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed to incorporate flour.
Transfer dough to a clean work surface; knead until stretchy and slightly sticky, 5 to 7 minutes.
Shape dough into a ball, and return to bowl. Cover with a clean towel; let stand at room temperature until dough is smooth and matte, about 30 minutes.
To Season the Dal:
Heat oil in a medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium.
Add cardamom, cloves, and cumin; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds.
Add onion and chopped fresh chiles; cook, stirring often, until onion is lightly browned around edges, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add tomato; cook, stirring often, until tomato begins to break down, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add tomato mixture and cilantro to dal mixture; stir to combine. Season to taste with salt.
Cover and keep warm over low.
To Cook the Roti:
Once roti dough has rested, turn out onto a work surface lightly dusted with atta.
Divide dough evenly into 16 pieces (about 1 ounce each).
Working with 1 dough piece at a time and keeping remaining pieces covered with a towel, shape dough into a ball. Dust ball thoroughly with atta, and flatten slightly. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a circle until uniformly thin and about 6 inches in diameter. Rotate the disk 90 degrees after each roll, flipping and dusting with atta occasionally to make a perfect circle. Repeat with remaining dough pieces.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high. Place 1 roti round in skillet; cook until bubbles start to form and bottom is speckled with brown spots, 30 to 45 seconds. Flip roti using tongs; cook until it puffs up completely and is evenly cooked on both sides, 30 to 45 seconds. (Small charred spots are delicious and totally OK.) If roti doesn’t completely puff up, pat the top using a clean towel to encourage it to inflate.
Remove roti from skillet, and brush both sides lightly with melted ghee; transfer to a serving plate. Repeat process with remaining roti rounds and ghee.
To Make the Tadka & to Serve:
In a small skillet, heat ghee over medium-high. Add dried chiles and cumin to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until cumin is toasted and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Divide dal mixture among bowls, and drizzle each portion with desired amount of warm tadka. (I served it over brown Basmati rice.)
Sprinkle with additional cilantro, and serve alongside hot roti and steamed spinach, as desired.
Note: Dal can be prepared (without the tadka) 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.
We have a new favorite chili in our house! It may double as a new favorite Super Bowl meal too. 😉 I was a little concerned about using sausage as such a primary ingredient but the end result was very balanced. It was hearty, full-flavored, and a perfect compliment to our mandatory guacamole appetizer. I also loved that it could be prepared in advance.
I was initially drawn to the recipe because it was titled “BLT Chili” which sounded intriguing and delicious. After reading further, I realized that it was not related to a BLT but was created by chef Laurent Tourondel of BLT Burger in Las Vegas. Funny.
The recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Laurent Tourondel. I modified the proportions, used sweet Italian sausage, and served the chili over brown rice. We also had cornbread muffins on the side. Our dessert of After-School Specials completed our festive meal. Perfect.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 to 3 pounds sweet Italian pork sausage, casings removed
2 medium or large yellow onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
6 to 12 garlic cloves, minced
2 T tomato paste
2 T chili powder
2 T sweet paprika
1 T cumin seeds
1 T dried oregano
Two 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
Two 16-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
4 cups water
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped red onion, pickled jalapeños, cilantro and hot sauce, for serving, as desired
brown Basmati rice, for serving, optional
In a large, enameled cast-iron Dutch oven or casserole, heat the oil.
Add the sausage and cook over high heat, breaking it up, until browned, about 15 minutes.
Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic; cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onion is translucent, 8 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin and oregano and cook for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, beans, corn and water and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 1 hour.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the chili over rice, if desired, with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped red onion, pickled jalapeños, cilantro and hot sauce as optional toppings.
I couldn’t stop myself from trying- and sharing- one more recipe in Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street: The New Home Cooking book. 🙂 This recipe was inspired by Madhur Jaffrey’s tomato rice recipe in Vegetarian India.
This quick and versatile dish can be served as a side with seafood, chicken, or, as Kimball suggests, a simple fried egg. We ate it as a light meal with sautéed chard with garlic and cumin. I loved the layers of spices. I used serrano chiles instead of bird’s-eye chiles.
Yield: Serves 3 to 4
1 cup white Basmati rice, rinsed
1 1/4 cups water
2 T tomato paste
2 T grapeseed or other neutral oil (I used canola oil)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp brown or black mustard seeds
2 serrano or bird’s-eye chiles, stemmed and halved lengthwise
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
In a bowl, combine the rinsed rice with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Let soak for 15 minutes. Drain the rice very well
In a 2-cup measuring cup, combine the 1 1/4 cups water and tomato paste; whisk until dissolved. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium, combine the oil, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, chiles, garlic, and ginger. Cook until the seeds begin to pop and the mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the rice and salt and cook, stirring, until coated with oil, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the water-tomato paste mixture and bring to a simmer.
Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat, add the tomatoes and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
Stir in the cilantro, fluffing the rice with a fork.
I have another wonderful Indian dish to share. I first spotted this mouth-watering dish on Safari of the Mind– the site of my like-minded blog friend, Loretta. I had to make it. 🙂
I doubled the amount of chicken in the original recipe -thinking it would be the highlight- but I was obsessed with the rice! I didn’t cut the chicken into pieces, but may opt to next time. I used 1 tablespoon of prepared Garam Masala powder but included the ingredients to prepare it below- I do think it would be even more delicious if it was prepared with the fresh spice blend. I also omitted the water in the marinade and the mint in the tempering. I baked the biryani rather than cooking it on the stove.
1/2 large yellow onion, very finely chopped (about 150 grams)
5 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped (about 1 T)
2-inch piece ginger root, very finely chopped (about 2 T)
4 to 8 green chillies, fresh, chopped, de-seeded and minced, to taste (I used jalapeños)
2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, from 1 large lime
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp coarse salt, or to taste
8 to 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2 in pieces, if desired
For the Masala Powder:
1 piece cinnamon, 1 inch
4 green cardamom pods
6 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon black cumin seeds
For the Rice:
2 cups basmati rice, or any other long-grain rice
6 green cardamom pods
1 piece cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
4 tsp plus 1 T ghee, divided
2 T vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
3 large yellow onions, sliced
1 T vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 1/4 cup warm milk for 30 minutes
14 fresh mint leaves, for garnish, as desired
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish, as desired
1 tablespoon slivered almonds, blanched and toasted
Place yogurt in a large bowl and whisk, using a fork until smooth. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and chilies to a bowl and combine with yogurt, turmeric, lime juice, coriander leaves and salt.
Place masala powder ingredients in an electric grinder and process to a fine powder. Add to yogurt mixture.
Add chicken and massage with your hands for the marinade to coat and penetrate the chicken. Marinate, covered for 2 to 6 hours in the refrigerator.
Wash rice at least 3 times until the water runs clear. Soak rice in water to cover by at least 1 inch for 15 minutes. Drain.
Place a large pan on high heat and pour in 2 liters (8 cups) water. (I used a 4 quart pan.) Bring to a boil and then add drained rice, stirring gently. Toss in cloves, green cardamom pods, cinnamon, bay leaf and salt. Stir to mix, then cover with a lid. Simmer for 5 minutes on low heat or until half-cooked. Drain the rice. Set aside and allow to cool.
Heat 4 teaspoons ghee and tablespoons oil in a pan and fry the sliced onions till caramelized and crisp. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (200 degrees C)
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil onto the bottom of a heavy saucepan and place the marinated chicken at the bottom, spreading it out in one layer. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.)
Spoon half the rice in a layer over the chicken. Drizzle 2 tablespoons saffron milk, 1/2 tablespoon ghee, and 1/2 tablespoon coriander leaves over the layered rice. Top with 1/2 the onions.
Repeat one more layer with the remaining rice, saffron milk, ghee, coriander leaves, and onions.
Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and then with a fitted lid.
Place biryani in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, or until chicken is 165 degrees. Remove from the oven. Let the biryani rest, covered for 10 minutes. (Because the chicken pieces were whole, I baked it for 45 minutes.)
Remove lid and foil, and garnish with mint and/or cilantro leaves and slivered almonds, as desired. Serve hot.
I have a few broccoli pasta recipes to share. I’m always buying the 3 pound bag of broccoli florets at Costco when I’m on a break from my CSA vegetables. 😉
This first dish is one of the Most Popular Recipes of 2017 from New York Times Cooking. I’m surprised that I didn’t see it when it was first published- especially because it’s a sheet pan dish! Although it has the ingredients typical of a pasta casserole, more of the broccoli and toppings get crispy by the increased surface area exposed to direct heat by cooking it on a sheet pan.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I increased the amount of broccoli and used Gigli pasta. We ate it with a huge green salad. Quick, easy, and tasty. It would be even more incredible if it was topped with fresh ricotta. Next time!
Yield: Serves 6
2 ½pounds broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more as needed
½teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
12ounces chiocciole, penne, or other tube-shaped pasta (I used Gigli pasta)
⅓cup grated Parmesan cheese
⅓cup panko bread crumbs
finely grated zest from 1 large lemon
½teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12ounces best quality, whole milk ricotta
fresh lemon juice, for serving (optional)
Heat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together broccoli, 3 T olive oil, cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes.
Roast until tender and browned at the edges, 18 to 25 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove from oven and set oven to broil.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
In a small bowl, stir together Parmesan, panko, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and the black pepper.
Toss cooked pasta with broccoli on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then dollop with ricotta.
Sprinkle with Parmesan mix, drizzle generously with oil, and broil until topping is crisped and golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
This is a wonderful weeknight sheet-pan dish. It was full-flavored and relatively healthy too. I think I’m in love with crispy roasted chickpeas!
This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen.com, where the dish was loosely based on a New York Times sheet-pan chicken dish that I’ve also made and posted. I increased the amount of ground turkey, and meatball seasonings, size, as well as cooking time. I also used cumin seeds instead of fennel seeds.
We ate it with warm naan, brown Basmati rice, and roasted asparagus. The lemony red onions and yogurt toppings were essential and delicious.
Yield: Serves 6
Time: about 1 hour
For the Chickpeas:
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 large red onion, thinly sliced, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Meatballs:
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
3/4 cup panko
6 tablespoons plain yogurt (I used 2% Greek yogurt)
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 large eggs
4 garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a garlic press
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
heaping 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, hot paprika, or red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, flat-leaf parsley or mint leaves, or a mix thereof, plus more to garnish
3 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 3/4 of a lemon)
7 oz (almost 1 cup) plain yogurt (I used 2% Greek yogurt)
toasted pita wedges or naan
harissa or another hot sauce, as desired
brown Basmati rice, for serving, if desired
Heat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
Combine chickpeas, cumin seed, cumin, 1 teaspoon turmeric and half the red onion slices on a rimmed baking sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
Roast for 25 minutes, until beginning to firm/crisp up. (The red onions will start to get very crispy and charred.)
Meanwhile, make meatball mixture. Mix all ingredients- except the ground meat- in a large bowl with a fork. Then incorporate the meat.
Form into 1.75-inch (about 2 T) meatballs, about 15 large meatballs. (I used 3 small cookie scoop scoops for each meatball.)
Remove sheet pan with chickpeas from the oven (leave oven on) and move the chickpeas to the sides of the pan, clearing a space in the center.
Lightly coat center with a thin coat of oil, either brush or spray it on, just to be safe. Position the meatballs in the center of the pan; I made 3 rows of 5 meatballs. Place baking sheet in oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through, about 165 degrees in the center.
Meanwhile, toss remaining onion slices with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and season with salt and pepper; set aside.
Combine yogurt with remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and season with salt and pepper; set aside.
When meatballs are cooked, scatter remaining fresh herbs over the tray.
Serve with lemony onions and yogurt, toasted pita wedges, rice, and hot sauce, as desired.
This dish was the perfect way to celebrate my beautiful CSA cauliflower. Although the base of this tagine was a bit spicy, the cauliflower and cheesy breadcrumb topping offset the spiciness and created a perfect balance. Because I didn’t have the Tunisian spice blend, Tabil, on hand, I was able to create the spice blend myself. The spiciness in the final dish could be easily modified by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes in the spice blend.
The tagine recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Nancy Harmon Jenkins. I reduced the amount of olive oil to lighten the recipe. I also included a leek as well as green and yellow bell peppers from my CSA share. The spice blend recipe was adapted from Epicurious.com. It was a full-flavored and fabulous vegetarian casserole.
For the Tabil Spice Blend:
Yield: about 3 tablespoons
1 1/2 T coriander seeds
2 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 T caraway seeds
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Finely grind all ingredients in a spice mill.
Note: The remaining spice blend can be reserved in an airtight container at room temperature.
For the Tagine:
Yield: Serves 6
8 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 leek, cut into half moons and rinsed
10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons Tabil (recipe above)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup water
2 1/2-pounds cauliflower (about 1 to 1 1/2 heads), cored and cut into 2-inch florets
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
3 ounces, 1 cup, Gruyère cheese, shredded
5 large eggs, beaten
Preheat the oven to 400°, preferably on convection.
Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and leek and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
Add the garlic, bell pepper, paprika, Tabil, tomato paste and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pepper softens, about 7 minutes.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes and water and simmer for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the prepared baking dish.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the cauliflower until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Spread the cauliflower in the baking dish.
In a small bowl, toss the bread crumbs with the Gruyère and season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the beaten eggs; spread the mixture over the cauliflower.
Cover with foil and bake in the upper third of the oven for 15 minutes, or until bubbling around the edges.
Uncover and bake for about 15 minutes longer, until browned and crisp on top.
Let the tagine stand for 10 minutes before serving.