Freitag, 15. Juli 2011

rice with coconut and almonds, mung dal with courgettes

This is what I had with a friend last night and it went down well, I´d say.

For the dal:
1 cup mung dal
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 minced green chillies (or to taste)
1 tsp minced ginger root
3 medium sized courgettes
1 tsp brown sugar or jaggery
salt to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds

If using a pressure cooker, throw in the dal, turmeric, chillies, ginger and courgettes with 4 cups of water, bring to pressure, cook for 5-10 mins then release pressure. Add salt, sugar and lemon juice.
If cooking conventionally, cook the dal with turmeric, chillies and ginger in 5 cups of water (topping up as necessary) until dal starts to soften. Add courgettes. When dal is completely soft, add salt, sugar and lemon juice.
Heat the oil in a small pan and fry the cumin seeds till browned. Pour into the dal.

For the rice:
2 tbsp oil
1 onion (nice if young with some green, or use half a bunch of spring onions)
4 cardamom pods
4 cloves
1 cinnamon stick or a few pieces of cinnamon bark
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 tbsp flaked almonds
2 small cups rice

Heat the oil. Fry the onion until it starts to soften. add the spices, almonds and coconut. Allow to slightly brown, then briefly fry the rice until coated in oil. Add 4 cups of water and cook till rice is soft. I don't normally put salt in my rice, but you could if you wanted to. Should also be nice with a handful of raisins and a spoonful of sugar to give it an even sweeter touch.

This went well and looked fantastic on a plate with a simple tomato salad (tomatoes, lemon juice, maldon salt, freshly ground black pepper and some chopped coriander leaves).

Samstag, 2. Juli 2011

easy middle eastern chard and chickpeas

I kind of just threw this together and was delighted by the result.

olive oil
chopped onion
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander powder
roughly chopped chard with stems
1/2 to 1 can chickpeas, drained
some chopped dried apricots, raisins or barberies (not chopped, obviously)
chopped (dry-roasted) pistachios (these really add a special dimension)
some half-fat creme fraiche or plain yoghurt
salt, pepper

Heat the oil in a pan. Fry the onion along with the cumin until the cumin browns and the onion softens. Add the coriander powder, then throw in the chard. Stir, cover and allow to cook in its own juice until done. You can add a little water or stock if necessary. When almost done, Stir in chickpeas and dried fruit. Allow to heat through, then stir in creme fraiche or yoghurt and salt and pepper. Heat gently but do not boil. Serve with couscous or bulghur and garnished with the pistachios.

Last night, we had Spaghetti with Pesto with some broad beans thrown in. Very easy, very good.