Thursday, July 21, 2011

I got carried away

It started with the chutney. I think. Actually it started with the green tomatoes that I froze last summer intending to make this pie again before my beloved’s stomach started acting up. So I put away thoughts of green tomatoes and sausage melded into a pie. But said tomatoes got tired of being put aside and for the past couple of weeks, would regularly fall out of the freezer onto my bare toes. Quite frankly, I was getting a tad annoyed about them. And then I read this. So Sunday morning found me stirring a vinegary batch of green tomato and apple chutney. It never did get to a jammy chutney consistency which I blame entirely on my reducing the recipe to fit the amount of green tomatoes I had and the various substitutions I did. I did the math in my head, which is always dangerous but never mind. Consistency issues aside, it is lovely. I’m planning to eat it with some sharp cheddar and farmhouse bread for lunch in the near future as my attempt at a plowman’s lunch.

But reading about chutney and Indian spices, made me look for a new daal recipe as a previous attempt had turned out soupy and somewhat flavourless. I found this recipe on Heidi’s site and decided to make it. I went and scavenged the last of my garden spinach and chard, used red lentils instead of ivory and curry powder in place of turmeric and away I went. I did heed one of the commenter’s advice which was to add much less water than the recipe indicated and it worked a treat.

It being a grey day, I was more motivated to stay in the kitchen than the garden, so thoughts turned to making a curry using this recipe as the jumping off point, subbing baby cauliflower and broccoli for the beef. At the market, I’d picked up some rapini so that went into the mix as well. Served over brown rice, it was delicious alongside the daal and the chutney. And of course, either the daal or the curry would have been sufficient for us for supper with leftovers aplenty. Ah well. It’s all enough for a week’s worth of lunches for my man which is a good thing.

 Green Tomato and Apple Chutney (adapted from David Lebovitz)
10 ½ oz green tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
1 apple, cored, and cut into chunks
1/3 c peeled and diced shallots
pinch of hot red new Mexican chili powder
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
1/3 c dark brown sugar
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
zest of one lemon

Mix together all the ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low boil and cook, stirring frequently, for 45 minutes, until the mixture is thick and jam-like. Once finished, ladle the chutney into clean jars.

chutney cooking

Palak Daal (adapted from Heidi Swanson at 101Cookbooks)
1 c red lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 1/2 c water
1/2 pound spinach and chard, washed and finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 large pinch of hot red new Mexican chili powder
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp pure red chile powder
more salt to taste
juice of 1/2 a lemon

In a large pot over medium-high heat combine the daal and water. Bring to a boil, then add the spinach, ginger, curry powder, chili powder, and all of the tomatoes. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the lentils are extremely soft. You may need to add a bit more water during the cooking process to keep the lentils soupy. After an hour and a half, stir in the salt.

In a separate pan, heat the butter and cumin and fry until the cumin seeds start to pop. Now add the red chile powder and fry for another 30 seconds. Add this butter mixture to the lentils and allow to cook for another five minutes. Add the lemon juice and taste, adding more salt if needed.

a steaming bowl of daal
Cauliflower and Broccoli Curry with Rapini (based on the Cooking Canuck)
1 tsp sunflower oil
1 gala apple, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 oz. jarred mild curry paste (I used Patak’s)
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
1 small broccoli, cut into florets
1 bunch rapini, stemmed and chopped (the vegetables should be about 1 ½ lbs together)
1/2 c water
7 oz greek style plain yogurt with 3 oz water added
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp water
4 small potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add apple, onion, and ginger to the saucepan. Sauté until the onions are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add curry paste and garlic. Lower the heat to low, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the cauliflower and broccoli and 1/2 cup water. Increase the heat to medium to medium-high and cook for about 10 minutes. Pour in the yogurt and water mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat to low.

In a small bowl, combine ground coriander, cumin, and garam masala, along with about 2 tablespoons water. Stir to make a paste. Add the paste and potatoes to the beef mixture. Stir, cover the pot, with the lid ajar, and simmer for approximately 2 hours. After about 30 minutes, add the rapini. Add more water as needed to keep the dish moist. Serve over rice.

vegetable curry with rice and chutney

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