Sunday, June 29, 2008

Proud of Myself

I swear, every time I learn something new, I turn into a little kid -- I'm all excited and proud of myself way out of proportion to the actual achievement. Note that -- unfortunately -- this doesn't apply to academic learning, just stuff that I do on my own time.

Anyway, yesterday's moment of joy was this:

"Everyday yellow dal" from 5 spices, 50 dishes with onion raita and rice. I actually followed the recipe, more or less -- added 1/4 tsp cardamom and 1/2 tsp ginger powder, omitted the butter, added a few extra cloves of garlic, seeded the tomato, and substituted white onion for red. (And -- shhh -- I used pre-ground coriander; I couldn't find a spice grinder for the whole seeds.) Apparently, the secret to cooking is to measure the spices and follow the recipe :) Who knew? The raita is just thinly sliced raw onion mixed with yogurt, salt, powdered ginger, and cayenne pepper.
Strangely, I had some difficulty finding yellow split peas for the recipe -- my grocery store didn't carry them and neither did TJ's. (Someone described TJ's as a grocery store for people who don't cook -- I got offended at the time, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I rarely buy basic ingredients there. I do LOVE their frozen fruits and veggies though!) So I stopped in to the Indian grocers and also picked up some chiles, sev, and paneer.
And despite the name of the recipe, I doubt this will be an everyday meal for me: this was my kitchen by the time I finished cooking. My next investment may have to be a spice rack :)


Anonymous Nupur said...

That looks like a delicious meal! And yes, something that would be eaten in 9 out of 10 homes in my hometown for a weekday lunch. You are totally justified in being proud of yourself!
Glad you got a hold of the cookbook :)
TJ's as a store for people who don't like to cook? Hmm...I buy a lot of basics there actually. I buy whole wheat tortillas to build into Mexican meals, whole wheat spaghetti (my favorite whole-grain pasta brand is the one from TJs), dried fruits and nuts for healthy snacking and homemade granola/baked goods, canned tomato for soups and curries, affordable organic yogurt and milk...Ok I'll stop now :D

Sunday, June 29, 2008 7:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Nupur said...

PS: this dal recipe will work with supermarket-variety brown lentils too, if you can't find split yellow peas. Those will need a trip to the Indian store, most likely.

Sunday, June 29, 2008 7:43:00 AM  
Blogger bek said...


I love the cookbook! I own very few cookbooks but I'm thinking this is one worth having. I'll definitely make the dal again, and there are several pther recipes that I'd like to try.

You're definitely a "person who cooks", so I'll defer to your opinion on TJs :) I've bought everything in your list, and I DO cook with a lot of their ingredients. But my 2 favorites are salad dressing and veggie dumplings (which have been out of stock for a long time sadly) -- great for the times when I don't want to cook!

Sunday, June 29, 2008 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Lauren Elizabeth said...

Congrats, that dish looks beautiful and yummy! If you do invest in a spice rack, buy one that will hold YOUR spices and not one that comes already filled. I like the SpiceStack because it tucks everything away in my kitchen cabinets, but allows me to find my spices quick while cooking. Check it out at!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008 7:30:00 AM  

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