Yellow Dahl Soup
Boil orange-colored lentils until soft (about 20 min). In a skillet, brown one chopped onion, several minced garlic cloves and some crushed red chili pepper until golden. Add this to the lentils along with 1-2 bullion cubes and 1 tsp turmeric, pepper and salt to taste. Boil until flavors are blended. Should be the consistency of thin pea soup.
I serve this with a garnish of caramelized onions (several large onions sliced very thin, browned until deep golden with 2 t. turmeric and 1 t salt) and scored, boiled eggs. The eggs, if added to the onion mixture toward the end, turn a golden yellow, and round out the protein for the meal.
Chola (Curried Chick Peas)
You’ll find young hull-on dried chick peas at Eastern Campus Foods. They are very dark and smaller than the mature chick peas used in hummus. I boil them until soft. Meanwhile, in a blender, grind 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, and 1.5” raw, peeled ginger. A little water added to this will help blend into a smooth paste. Brown one chopped onion in a skillet. Add ½ t. crushed red chilies and the ginger-garlic-onion paste, 1 ½ t ground cumin, 1 t. ground coriander seed, ½ t turmeric, black pepper, and salt to taste. Brown this mixture until lightly browned. Add chick peas along with some of the water used to boil the chick peas to the spices, and simmer until flavors blend.
We eat this along with Indian puffed rice, Chopped tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and plain yoghurt.
Bengali Fried Telapia
2 pieces telapia fish
2 inches fresh ginger
2T Ground roasted cumin
1/2 fresh chili (or 1t crushed dried red chilis)
1t cayenne pepper
1t turmeric powder
2-3 T coconut oil
Grind fresh ginger in the food processor, add cumin, chili, cayenne pepper, turmeric powder and salt, and mix together to form a paste. Use this paste to coat fish. Place in hot skillet with coconut oil (stand back -this is a messy process), fry at medium high heat until coating is crispy and brown. Yum! My American family has referred to this as “fish bacon.”
Lentils (savory filling)
Cook bright orange lentils in plenty of water until soft (Less than ½ hour).
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 t. Crushed Red Chili Peppers
2-3 Cloves Garlic, minced
Sautee onion in a small skillet until golden. Add chili and garlic and stir until garlic is soft and fragrant. Add this mixture to lentils.
Add 1 cube chicken bullion, 1 t turmeric, salt and pepper to taste.
Let simmer until flavors are blended and most of the moisture has cooked away.
1-2 C Unbleached White Flour
Water (enough to make a firm dough)
Pinch of salt
Mix dough and separate into walnut-sized balls. Roll out on floured board into 4”-6” round. Dough should be between 1/16” and 1/8” thick.
Dip spoonfuls of lentil mixture into center of dough. Cover lentil mixture, making a sandwich. Seal dough around edges, and fry in skillet with 2 T coconut oil until golden.
1 lb Tilapia, Perch, or other thin, high quality fish fillets
2 t Turmeric Powder
1 t Salt
2 T Oil
Coat fish fillets with salt and turmeric. Gloves are good to use for this step because the turmeric will stain your hands yellow, and this is not easy to do without your hands.
Lightly fry coated fish in hot oil until tender and flaky, and slightly browned. Set aside.
1 Onion Chopped
4 T of Onion/Garlic/Ginger mixture (below)
2 t Ground Cumin
1 t Ground Coriander
½ t Ground Turmeric
1 Large Tomato, Diced
4 Medium Potatoes, cubed
½ Cup Cilantro, chopped
Liquefy 1 chopped onion, 5 cloves garlic, and 4” ginger in blender with ¼ cup water. Freeze whatever’s left. This mixture is great to add to anything to thicken and add flavor.
Sauté onion until soft. Add chili powder and onion/garlic/ginger mixture and sauté a few minutes longer. Add remaining spices and stir. Add tomatoes and potatoes and cover with water. Cover and simmer until potatoes are soft. Add fish and cilantro and simmer until cilantro is cooked, but remove from heat before it loses its color. Serve with rice.