Those Amazing Little Lentils

July 22, 2009

Kids Eat Healthy ›

I'm determined to finish my section on lentils today. It's only 10 a.m. and I'm almost there. It took me only two hours to prep four dishes - not to mention that was between whining - crying - making up - whining - crying and finally TV!

Lentils and Beans are a huge staple in the Indian diet. It's not hard to figure out why. There are about a gabillion varieties out there and as many if not more ways to cook them. They are high in protein ... low in fat and have tons of fibre. What more could you want if you're watching your weight, are a diebetic or just want a healthy meal option.

Oh, and did I mention how cheap they are? About 2 cups can feed a family of four for 3 - 4 meals. It's absolutely amazing. And a wonder that all of this great cooking hasn't grown on the American taste buds in a significant way until now.

So...here are the four crockpot recipes I made today:

Juhi's Kitchari Recipe
Garlic & Chili Split Pigeon Pea Curry
South Indian Parippu made from Masoor Dal
Chickpea Curry with Fresh Dill Leaves

I chopped everything...tossed it into my four crockpots and am now just going about my day eagerly awaiting the results. If you are interested in trying any or all...SMS me/Twitter me/Facebook me/Comment on this blog!

Neha's take on dinner (basmati rice, curry chicken, savory raita, dal and some garbanzo beans with dill): "The food was great. I liked the homemade yogurt the most. We tried a ton of recipes that our mom made because she's doing a book. It was fun. I felt refreshing after dinner. She said if we finish our rice and chicken we could get a gumball. We ended up getting two - it was funny. I didn't like the dal that much but the chicken and rice were sooo good I could eat it all day but I was so full."

Mom's Take on The Dinner Project: Today was much easier than yesterday. The girls ate faster and seem to be more interested in trying my recipes. I do think I'm going back to basics with them. I'm only giving them a tablespoon of the new dals (curried lentils) at a time. This way they try it but never feel overwhelmed with everything on their plate. Even if Neha says she doesn't like something my goal is to get her to eat a spoon and then circle it back into her dinner menu a week or so later. Aria is no problem. She ate two huge bowls of dal tonight! And she's an amazing taste tester!



Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

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4 Comments

Anonymous
Anonymous

July 23, 2009

Anupy,from the moment I walked into your beautiful home and was greeted by the most enticing and exotic aromas I've ever smelled, you instantly won over this newbie to Indian cuisine.

Besides the delectable aromas that surrounded me, your kitchen was a sight to behold. My eyes were as wide as wide can be as I scanned your incredibly organized pantries filled with canister after canister of spices and lentils most of which I had never heard of or seen before. The rich colors and textures and aromas were so beautiful and interesting and wet my appetite for the delights that were soon to follow.

Last night I tried the chicken curry, the Methi Gajar and the Parripu.

I agree that the curry chicken could use a little more heat but it was still very tasty and the chicken was so tender it literally fell off the bone.

I LOVED both the Methi and the Parripu. Although, the Methi could have used a tad bit less salt for my taste but I think I am much more salt sensitive than most, so, um take that with a grain of salt… (ooh, that was a bad pun, now wasn't it?!).

The Parripu was wonderful! I've never tasted anything like it before. There was something about it that I found quite comforting.

I still have the yellow pea soup and the pigeon pea soup to try. I figured I would do a side by side pea soup assessment. I will let you know my findings. Btw, I was very relieved to learn that there isn't pigeon in the pea soup and that instead it's the name of the pea!!

Thanks again for opening up your kitchen, my eyes and my palate to a whole new world.

Karyn

Indian As Apple Pie
Indian As Apple Pie

July 23, 2009

I love all my taste testers: James, Brennan, Ally, Sophie and now Karyn (I hope I didn't forget anyone!) because you you all are soo sooo good and keep me so honest. I love it! Karyn you are right. The salt was a bit too heavy-handed even for my taste in the carrot sabji (methi gajar). I will tone it down for my official recipe in the my book. I agree that the Parippu is phenomenal – it's a dal (lentil) with a South Indian take on it. I will also try and explain things more as I go so that folks that are not familiar with Indian can follow things and those that are familiar my even learn a few things. Thanks for being such a great taste tester. -Anupy

smokingpenguin
smokingpenguin

July 22, 2009

Before I review the giant sack o' food we brought home last night I have to tell you a little story. Earlier this evening James called to make plans for dinner before we go and see a screening of "Julie and Julia." I, in a moment of ignorance, told him he should come home and I will cook. However, having almost nothing in the house, I would have had to go to the grocery store. Two hours of Top Chef Masters later I realized I had under a half hour to put something on the table. Not having enough time to go to the store, I was facing what Oprah calls an "Oh Shit! moment" (ok, that's what I call it). It was then that I remembered my ace in the hole, Maha Bua Anupi to the rescue! I took a little meatloaf mix I had in the fridge, some onion and carrot and a couple spoons of your masala and, lo and behold, a ten minute absolutely delightful meal! Bless you o' sultan of the stovetop you have saved my relationship yet again!
Last night I locked myself in a closet with a bowl of your chicken curry and a spoon (James, after having his portion, was giving me the "crazy eyes"). It was so fabulous (although I could have taken a little more kick heat wise)! The star, though, was the carrot and (fenugreek?). To leave that out of the cookbook would be a sin against humanity. The lamb and peas were a real star (again, a little more heat would be awesome) as was the second helping of mango chutney.
It was a delight to meet you finally. I look forward to spending more time with your food…I mean you and your lovely family,,,in the future!!!

Indian As Apple Pie
Indian As Apple Pie

July 23, 2009

Brennan.
Thanks for all the feedback! I tasted the chicken curry and I agree. It needs more heat. When I made it I was sampling it with my mother-in-law's version of masala. I didn't add anything else to see how it would be on its own. It does need salt as well. I will try the lamb tomorrow. I'm glad you liked the methi gajar (the carrots). It's one of my absolute favorite dishes to make. In India the carrots are almost red and are so so sweet. There is no heat at all in that dish – just the sweetness of the carrots up against the fenugreek and ginger. It's addictive – isn't it? And you must be the first to make meatloaf from SAMBAR MASALA. All you South Indian fans will know this as the base of Sambar – a soup made from Toor Dal. I made the masala myself and will post the recipe soon. Once you have this dish you'll make it at least once a week! I wonder Brennan if you would post your meatloaf dish so that others can try it with the masala when I put it out there? How was Julie and Julia? Been reading the book. -Anupy

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