I have to admit, I have never made any sort of Indian dish from scratch before. Sure I have used the jarred Butter Chicken sauce from Pataks and it is delicious but there is something to be said for making something from scratch. The layers of flavours building to create something spectacular is part of why I love cooking so much. And this dish had that and more.
A few days ago I tried the Red Lentil Coconut Dhal with Sweet Potatoes and Kale from Life Through the Kitchen Window. OMG!!! It was outstanding. I was a bit concerned that I didn’t have all the ingredients listed but Marlene assured me that it would be fantastic even if I didn’t have everything. And she was not joking. It was spicy but not too spicy and the sweetness from the sweet potato was perfect. There was a bit of bite from the kale and lentils and the creaminess was very nice. I served it with heated naan alongside of pork carnitas. It was the perfect Indian Mexican fusion.
Following Marlene’s direction I let my pantry dictate the recipe. I did not have any black mustard seed and though I do have regular mustard seed in my spice drawer I decided to not use it. Also I did not have any kalonji. Having never heard of it I inquired what exactly it was. I learnt that is has a carroty flavor and look forward to trying it soon!
I used a Chana Masala as that is what I had in my spice collection. I used a regular chili powder and added just a touch of curry powder to the mix.
I sauted the sweet potatoes until they were nice and caramelized, not to the point of burnt but I made sure they were nice and dark brown before I added the onion, garlic and chilis. I followed the recipe exactly as she has it written. And I will say this, you really must invest in coconut oil if you have not yet. It adds a very nice coconut flavor to the dish and any dish you may use it in. The bonus is it is very good for you.
This is definitely a new favorite and I know I will be making it often. I had enough that I enjoyed it for 3 days and it is just as good the next day! I cut up some tortillas and get them a quick fry the second day and enjoyed it somewhat like a dip. And on day three I heated the rest in the oven and had it alongside a fresh green salad. Really it is the perfect compliment alongside any main dish you plan on serving.
I know you will enjoy it as much as I did!
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If you are looking for a unique twist on a snacking idea look no further.
The sweet and savory touches of these pistachios are outstanding! Really they are like nothing I have tired before.
I have always been a huge pistachio fan and have an intense love of curry so it seemed like a great fit. The addition of brown sugar adds just the right amount of sweet and balances out the heat from the cayenne. Truly quite spectacular.
You will notice when they are baking the aroma of the coconut oil is quite prominent and fills the kitchen with the most wonderful smell.
Sweet Curry Roasted Pistachios
3 cups of pistachios
2 tablespoons of curry powder
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
a few dashes of cayenne powder
In a medium saucepan heat the curry powder, coconut oil, maple syrup, salt and cayenne over low heat. Pre heat the oven to 300 degrees. Prep a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Once the oil syrup liquid is warm add the pistachios and stir to coat well.
Pour the nuts into the cookie sheet and pop into the over to roast. Stir a few times to assure the entire the coating on the nuts dries. When they loo dry remove them from the over and sprinkle liberally with the brown sugar. Give the cookie sheet a shake to coat all sides of the nuts. Allow to cool completely.
Store in a sealed container.
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I have always been a fan of citrus fruit.
And there are limited ways to truly enjoy the flavors of lemon and lime.
I have preserved them both with spectacular results but this time I was looking for something sweet. Curd immediately came to mind.
It is quick and easy to make and can be enjoyed a number of ways. In tarts, spread between layers of cake, as a filling for Macarons or even with a spoon straight from the jar!
After I made the curd I jarred and processed it like I would with a jam or a jelly. This is completely optional. I wanted to be able to store it long term without needing refrigeration.
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2/3 cup of lemon juice
8 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of lime zest
Using warm water and a tiny squirt of soap wash your limes and rinse very well. Using a microplane or the fine side of a box grater remove the zest from the limes.
You will have more then the 2 tablespoons of zest required for the recipe. Toss the leftovers into some salt to use for rimming glasses for lime margaritas!
Now you can juice the limes. It is important to remove the zest while the limes are still whole. It becomes quite difficult to zest them once they are cut and juiced.
Place a small pot half full with water on the stove on medium high heat. Bring to a simmer. Place the juice, eggs and sugar in a stainless steel bowl and whisk until combined. Place the bowl on top of the simmering pot. Cook, stirring constantly until it becomes thick, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lime zest and stir well.
Ladle the hot curd into hot sterilized jars. Add the lids and screw bands until finger tight.
Place the jars into a hot water bath and process for 5 minutes.
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