Sunday, December 03, 2006

December 3, 2006: Parippu dhal and green bean salad

On Sunday we had a pub lunch with Michael's mixed netball team lined up, so we wanted to be prepared with a not-too-oily dinner in the evening. We pulled out a dhal recipe that we received during an Indian cooking course at Mondo Organics last year, and then looked for an Indian-style salad to munch on the side. Along with a bit of home-made flat bread from the depths of the freezer, this was a thoroughly satisfying meal. The common ingredients of black mustard seeds, green chilli and coconut meant that the dhal and salad weren't fighting for flavour domination, and the crisp cool texture of the salad was a great contrast to the thick soft lentil soup. This is a low-fuss combination worth repeating!

Green bean salad
(from The Low-Fat Indian Vegetarian Cookbook by Mridula Baljekar)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 cup green beans, trimmed and chopped into bite-size pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
2/3 cup boiling water
A bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
1 green chilli pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped

Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds, then the beans and salt. Give it a stir, reduce the heat, cover the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes.

While the beans are cooking, soak the coconut in the water for 5 minutes, drain, and add to the beans. Mix well, remove from the heat and cool.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients and let the flavours develop for half an hour or more.

Parippu dhal
(from Dominique Rizzo of Mondo Organics)

250g red lentils
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, roughly chopped
1 can coconut milk
2 green chillies, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
10 curry leaves

Put the lentils into a saucepan with 2 cups of water, on medium heat. Add the onion, tomato, coconut milk, chillies, turmeric, ground cumin and ground coriander and bring the lot to the boil. Allow the mixture to simmer until the lentils are cooked to mushiness, adding a bit more water if it gets too dry.

Heat the oil in a separate pan, add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds, cover the pan and watch 'em pop! Add the curry leaves, and after a minute or two pour them into the dhal. Season with salt and continue to cook until the mixture completely disintegrates: you'll know when it's there.

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