Tag Archives: Tomatoes

SPicy Dal with Coconut milk

I can eat dal anytime, anywhere. As a soup by itself, with rice or quinoa, or with rotis. My non-Indian friends are always surprised with the number and variety of dals that we make. In fact, about a week ago, I was orienting a friend through the aisles of a newly opened Indian super market and she was shocked at the colors and shapes of the lentils (dals) that flooded the aisles. This particular dal is one I make regularly in the Instant Pot. The melding of the dal with the spiciness of the chillies and ginger, the sweetness/tartness of the tomatoes, and the creaminess of the coconut milk, just create a dish that is packed with flavors. While the list of ingredients appears to be long, you will still come out with a pretty good dal even if some of the spices are missing.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup tur dal, washed a few times and set aside
  • 2 tsps cooking oil (I used canola)
  • 2 tsps mustard seeds
  • 2 tsps cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida
  • 2 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 7 green chilies, four finely chopped, three slit lengthwise
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1.5 cups water

How to:

1. Turn on the Instant Pot and set to Sauté function

2. Add the oil to the Instant Pot and when it is hot, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafetida, ginger, green chilies and curry leaves. Sauté for a minute, till the mustard seeds stop crackling.

3. Add the tomatoes, turmeric powder, brown sugar, and salt and sauté for a couple of minutes.

4. Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook Mode, add the tur dal, the coconut milk, and 1.5 cups water to the tomato mixture and cook at full pressure for 15 minutes. After that, let the pressure release naturally for ten minutes.

5. Move the pressure valve to the release position and let any remaining pressure release. Once all the pressure has been released, open the lid. You can now either smash the dal with a spatula against the wall of the cooker or run a hand blender once or twice.

6. Serve with rice or quinoa or rotis.

Enjoy!

A few last dates between zucchinis and tomatoes before they are gone!

It’s October; that means if we are lucky, we have several more weeks of the best veggies that we can pick up at our local farm.  Yesterday, I picked up the juiciest cherry tomatoes and zucchinis that looked absolutely beautiful in the most exuberant shade of green.  So for lunch today, I created a salad for one with these two ingredients being the mainstay.  Not only was it delish, you’ve got to agree that it is just a beautiful sight to behold as well!

Ingredients:

One small zucchini converted into ribbons with a vegetable peeler

8-10 cherry tomatoes halved

8-10 pistachios (or any nut for crunch)

One tsp extra virgin olive oil

One tsp lemon juice

Half a tsp of berbere, paprika or chili powder

Salt to taste

 

How to:

Put the zucchini ribbons at the center of a plate.

Arrange the sliced tomatoes, cut side up, in a circle around the zucchini.

Sprinkle salt to taste and berbere (or paprika or chili powder) on the zucchini ribbons and tomatoes.

Pour the olive oil and lemon juice over the salad.

Garnish with pistachios (or other nuts) and dig in!

Apricots and tomatoes create grilltopia!

The summer fresh bounty of fruits and vegetables in our part of the country leaves me drooling on so many fronts – the colors, the smells, the textures and most of all the possibilities for creating countless combinations of dishes that play magic on the tongue.

This week, two such ingredients created magic for me – apricots and Aleppo pepper. Here’s what I pulled together to assemble a plate of the most amazing, melt in your mouth salad.

2 small apricots, pitted and sliced

4 small tomatoes, sliced

4 balls of bocconcini, sliced,

4 basil leaves shredded

A couple of turns of freshly ground salt

A heaped tsp of Aleppo pepper

I grilled the apricots and tomatoes and arranged them on a plate along with the sliced bocconcini.  I spread the basil leaves over the assembled veggies and cheese.  The final touch was a couple of turns of really good salt and a sprinkling of my new culinary find….Aleppo pepper.

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