Monday, December 16, 2013

Green Lentils, Spinach & Ginger, Gujerati Carrot Salad and Paratha - IHCC Potluck

My vegetarian daughter is the most adventurous of my children when it comes to food and we have a lot of fun exploring new cuisines together so I'm cooking Indian food this week with Madhur Jaffrey from the book Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking for I Heart Cooking Clubs' potluck theme. 
Whole Green Lentils with Spinach and Ginger

Whole Green Lentils with Spinach and Ginger was comfort food at its best: simple and nourishing. With fresh ginger and green chilies included, the flavour was warm and spicy. In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I adjusted the recipe a little...or maybe a lot ;). I cooked the lentils for only 40 minutes (instead of the recommended hour) until they were just done, reduced the oil to only 1 tablespoon, and I couldn't bring myself to cook all of that beautiful fresh spinach and coriander for 30 minutes so simmered only half the quantity of each with the chili, ginger and lentils, adding the rest just before serving. The dish had a nice consistency with the lentils adding substance but really taking a back seat to the spinach.
Paratha

I think it would have gone very well with rice but I wanted to try my hand at making flatbread. I used whole wheat atta flour, a fine durum hard wheat flour that's traditionally used in Indian flatbreads, in place of the plain and wholemeal flours in the recipe. The dough for the Layered Bread (Paratha), requiring just a little salt, oil and water in addition to the flour, was very easy to make; shaping and cooking the flatbreads was a different story...it's clearly an art form I'm a long way from mastering but I did eventually find the rhythm of cooking one while rolling out the next. With the flaky layers created by brushing the rolled dough with oil, folding and rolling again (twice) before cooking, they were richer tasting than most flatbreads but delicious!
Gujerati Carrot Salad

To round out the meal, I made this easy Gujerati Carrot Salad. Dressed with lemon juice, fried mustard seeds and the oil used to fry them, it was a crisp, cool and refreshing accompaniment to the spicy lentils.
The meal was wonderfully warming and just what was needed on a cold day.

Visit here to see what everyone else at IHCC cooked up for potluck.

10 comments:

  1. What a feast! The colors alone are so lively and interesting! I can only imagine the zinginess of this plate of food!

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  2. Such a delicious meal! Everything looks so good! Wish I could join you for this vegetarian dinner! :)

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  3. what a perfect Indian vegetarian meal

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  4. You always put so much thoughtfulness into each meal. All of the colors here are so pretty. I'm a big fan of carrots and I have to giggle because we all used a ton of mustard seeds when cooking MJ's recipes :) In fact, popping mustard seeds in hot oil became a very well known phrase! I love every component of this meal and would really enjoy it.

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  5. What a wonderful Indian meal. Your paratha looks perfect. Agree with you that overlooking greens is criminal. They lend such a vibrant color. Yes mustards seeds are one of those little quirks of Indian food.

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  6. It all looks good, but I am loving the sound of those carrots!

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  7. I agree with Pam, those carrots sound great!

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  8. It all looks great, but the flatbread looks especially good. Love the colorful food, Zosia!

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  9. Such a pretty plate of food and a perfect dinner. I am especially impressed with your paratha--I am lazy and buy mine in the freezer section of the Indian market. Yours looks wonderful. I think you mastered it! ;-)

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  10. A beautiful meal, Zosia. I love Madhur Jaffrey's food - I have that book too and I've made the Gujerati carrot salad several times. I've never actually made paratha though. My grandmother used to make wonderful ones, so I always feel very nostalgic about them.

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