November 10, 2010

All Dal-ed Up

There is nothing quite like a basket of colorful ingredients to help brighten your day. Or distract you from the long list of to-do’s that seem to be constantly starring you down. I see you, dry cleaning.

This afternoon, I took a nice trip through Whole Foods, picking up red lentils, green chili peppers, some beautiful lamb, and two juicy Meyer lemons.

What was the reason for this vibrant haul? Other than needing some inspiration for dinner, I also wanted to take a quick culinary pause before we dive head first into low sodium holiday meal makeovers.

Today, we’re going to India. And while this has nothing to do with traditional fall dishes, playing with new spices and new ingredients will always come in handy when you finally get to remixing the classics. But on a spoiler alert side note, do get excited for recipes for Fake Honey-Baked Ham, Cheesy-Ish Mashed Potatoes, Rosemary Pan Bread, and some sort of Pie that will hit your inbox in the near future. I cannot promise that curry will not make a guest appearance.

So back to India, or shall I say, off to India we go.

While I’ve made attempts at Americanized versions of chicken curry before, I have never really dabbled in the dishes that make an authentic Indian menu so exciting. And I felt that it was time to finally learn the different combinations of vegetables, grains, spices, and meats that make Indian cooking so flavorful.

For a first pass at this challenge, I picked two simple recipes: Baked Beef (Jhalsano Garur Gosht) and Red Lentils with Spinach (Palongsak Dal).

I choose these two dishes because, first of all, I’ve neither made nor tasted either one of them before. Secondly, they require very little alteration to make salt free. The spices used in Indian cooking are so powerful that the removal of the salt is hardly noticeable. And lastly, because they didn’t require any sort of marinade overnight. I want to eat in two hours, not tomorrow.

So with my new friends – cumin, turmeric, curry, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and green chili – by my side, I’m off on a little culinary adventure this evening. Show and tell to come on Friday.

Chow on.

waiwa November 10, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Can’t wait to see the end result!

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