Since I began this blog, I’ve realized that I’ve misrepresented myself and I’d like to clear the air.
- I don’t usually bake as often as it seems.
I think I said it in one of my early posts: I don’t like measuring things to a T and trying to understand the chemistry behind how to bake things. In fact, I’m a little intimidated by baking: puff pastry, pâte à choux, and ganache seem frightfully difficult. Yet, as I look over my past posts, I’ve baked a lot more than I had ever anticipated. Since I started blogging, I’ve found that I’ve developed a bit of a sweet tooth which has lead me to more baking pursuits. Trust me. This comes as a surprise, being the girl that will take a bag of chips over a chocolate bar any day. Nonetheless, I’d like to clarify that while I like baking, I love cooking.
- I prefer vegetables and legumes over meat.
I’m not a vegetarian (obviously), but I’m not a meat-lover either. In fact, when I have to cut meat, especially chicken, I’ll often use a tong so that I don’t have to touch it. I know, doesn’t make me sound very legit, does it? I hate the feeling of raw meat. When I have to cook for myself during the day, I’ll rarely eat meat. I prefer a hearty portion of vegetables and legumes in any fashion, whether it’s a salad, soup, or whatever. Yet, it appears that most of my blog posts have featured some kind of meat which is pretty surprising to me. Maybe because I think meat photographs and sounds more impressive? I’m not sure. Anyways, dear readers, I vow to make more vegetarian dishes on here!
So, in an effort to be more honest, I offer you curried lentils in tomato sauce. It’s not necessarily authentic, more of a ‘kitchen sink’ type of adaptation really. Nonetheless, it’s delicious, hearty, and healthy.
Curried Lentils in Tomato Sauce
Adapted from Martha Stewart; Everyday Food, March 2007
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 2″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. garam masala (see hack version below!)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 can (14 oz.) plum tomatoes
2 can (19 oz.) cooked lentils, rinsed and drained
1 c. water.
3 tbsp. honey
1 c. frozen peas
2 tbsp. lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Rice, for serving
Over medium heat, in a large saucepan, heat oil. Add onion and ginger. Cook until onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. Add spices, stir frequently until fragrant. Takes 30 seconds. Then add potatoes and stir until it’s coated in the spices.
Next, add tomatoes, lentils, and water. Using the back of your wooden spoon, squish the tomatoes so that the juices are released. Stir in honey. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 30 minutes. Then add frozen peas and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Lastly, stir in lime juice and season with more salt if needed. Serve over a bed of rice.
The original recipe calls for cilantro to be mixed in at the end, which I thought was a lovely idea. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any cilantro; hence, the use of peas for colour and added nutrition.
If you don’t have any garam masala, you can hack your own (but it may not be as good as the real stuff). In a mortar and pestle, grind and mix 2 tsp. dried ginger, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. black peppercorns, 3 tsp. cumin, 3 tsp. coriander, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1 tsp. cloves, and 1 tsp. cardamom (adapted from India Snacks).