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Red Lentil Soup with Garam Masala Recipe

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Well, it looks like it is still Winter. Make a big pot of this and snuggle under a blanket or something!

Red Lentil Soup with Garam Masala
Adapted from the Spice House
2-1/2 cups dried red lentils (about one pound)
2 medium onions, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp chili powder,
1 1/2 tsp coriander seed, ground
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin seed, ground
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne chile pepper
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground cloves
6 cups lamb or chicken stock (or vegetable broth would work too)
2 cups water
Optional garnishes: yogurt and cilantro leaves

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Rinse and drain lentils in a fine mesh colander.

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Cook onions and garlic in oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in salt and spices and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, 5 more minutes.

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Stir in lentils, stock and water and simmer until lentils fall apart, about 30-40 minutes. (Old lentils may take longer to cook.)

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Let soup cool slightly. I cook my lentils until they really fall apart, but if you want a smoother soup, let cool . . . → Read More: Red Lentil Soup with Garam Masala Recipe

Albacore Tuna with Apples, Hazelnuts, Red Leaf Lettuce, Curry Dressing & Flatbread

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This was an experiment that was based on a lunch that I recently had in Cannon Beach. It was at the Lazy Susan Cafe (not bad — definitely overpriced, though), but it was basically just a quick meal to tide us over until dinner that night — Cilantro-Chicken Pizza at Pacific Way Cafe!

But anyway, I was intrigued by this tuna-curry-hazelnut salad that was on the menu. I ordered it and was presented with a big pile of romaine, flaked tuna, hazelnuts and apple cubes, all with a curry dressing. It was not pretty to look at but it had a really great, interesting taste. So much so that I couldn’t help but wonder how those flavors would be if presented a little nicer, using tuna steaks (instead of canned tuna) and generally just fancifying it up a little. Here’s the answer that I came up with — Albacore Tuna with Apples, Hazelnuts, Curry Dressing and Red-Leaf Lettuce.

Tuna Marinade
1 tbsp curry powder
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp mango juice (had some leftover from the other night’s halibut)
1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
1 tsp white wine vinegar
3/4 – 1 lb albacore tuna steaks, cut into 1-inch cubes (I’ve found that . . . → Read More: Albacore Tuna with Apples, Hazelnuts, Red Leaf Lettuce, Curry Dressing & Flatbread

Weekend Cookbook Challenge 8: Ek handi murgh aur masoor

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You can check out the full round-up here:
Weekend Cookbook Challenge Round Up at Once Upon a Feast.

Today’s post is one day early for the 8th Weekend Cookbook Challenge. The theme this month was a Foreign cookbook and the co-host is Ruth from Once Upon a Feast. Thanks to both here and WCC’s Sara.

For this event, I picked a dish (well two of them actually) from the cookbook, Quick & Easy Indian Cooking. It’s a cookbook that I’ve had for a while but hardly ever use. The Ek handi murgh aur masoor is Chicken, Red Lentils and Green Beans in One Pot. You could easily omit the chicken and make this dish vegetarian. I also made Poori, which are deep fried puffy breads.

There are a lot of ingredients but don’t let that scare you — it’s worth it.

Chicken, Red Lentils and Green Beans in One Pot (Ek handi murgh aur masoor)
6 tbsp vegetable oil
3 bay leaves
5 whole cloves
6 cardamom pods
2-inch stick of cinnamon
3 dried hot red chilis
2 pounds chicken (skinless & boneless), cut up into smaller chunks (I used chicken breasts but you could use breasts or thighs or a combination)
1 2/3 cups red lentil, sorted, . . . → Read More: Weekend Cookbook Challenge 8: Ek handi murgh aur masoor

Vegetarian Week: The Soup Peddler’s Mulligatawny

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Today’s recipe comes from the awesome cookbook, The Soup Peddler’s Slow and Difficult Soups, by David Ansel. I love this book because the author tells an amusing story of soup making and soup delivery to his customers by bike — it’s both cookbook and memoir.

In addition, the recipes are oh so good and both carnivorous and herbivorous in variety. Obviously, the mulligatawny features the latter ingredients, as I am posting about it this week. Lentils, curry, potatoes, apple and assorted vegetables meld together for a slightly spicy, totally satisfying soup.

The Soup Peddler’s Mulligatawny
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil
2 medium white onions, diced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 tbsp curry powder
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
2 cups red or green lentils, rinsed
2 14-oz cans coconut milk
6 cups water
1/2 cup cauliflower, cut into florets
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic
2 Roma tomatoes
1 cup spinach leaves (my addition)
Salt to taste
Garnish: plain yogurt

Heat the ghee or olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat and saute the onions and carrots. When the vegetables soften and begin to release their juices, about 10 minutes add the curry and stir well.

soup1 . . . → Read More: Vegetarian Week: The Soup Peddler’s Mulligatawny

Cashew Curry Sauce / Dip / Tasty What-Have-You

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This is from a recent Everyday Food and it was really, really good. We used it for a sauce with soba noodles, grilled shrimp and some chopped tomatoes but I couldn’t help but think that it would be a great dip for veggies or a spread on a vegetable or grilled chicken wrap. It’s very thick, so as a sauce it works best as a topping or a side. When I tried to mix it with the noodles they both melded together and became…well…cement-like. But — very good tasting cement! So, just stick to using this to top your noodles or rice (instead of trying to combine the sauce) and you’ll be absolutely fine.

I also upped the curry powder called for in the original recipe (1 tsp) and I’d be tempted to decrease the brown sugar just a bit. Maybe start with 1/2 tbsp, taste and add the other 1/2 tbsp if you think it’s needed.

Cashew Curry:
1 slice of ginger, about 1/4 inch thick
3/4 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
1/3 cup plain low-fat (or fat free) yogurt
1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp curry powder — I used Maharajah curry powder from Penzey’s
Kosher salt to taste

cashews . . . → Read More: Cashew Curry Sauce / Dip / Tasty What-Have-You