Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lentils and Mushrooms




We live by  rules or principles. We teach our children to follow rules. Following the rules and being disciplined is supposed to make us a better person. As much as I realize a certain defined structure and decorum is essential to live a sane life, once in a while it never hurts to break or bend the rules. 

Cooking has its own set of rules. Some folks follow the recipe to a "T". They even think deviating from the recipe is nothing short of culinary blasphemy. For some free will takes over and they never stick to a recipe. I belong to this clan of free will. I spend my whole day adding exact amount of this and that  to the cells in the lab and not deviating from a protocol. Naturally I come home and want to break all the norms. I sort of feel liberated when I cook this way.

The Green Lentils 
Lentils or as we call it "Dal"  is a huge part of Indian cuisine. It has lot more flavor than the usual lentil soup. We can add vegetables,spices and even tamarind extract to it. There are different kinds of lentils-whole,split,yellow and green. They all have unique names too- Toor dal, chana dal, Masoor dal, Moong dal and so on. I had some green lentils or green Moong dal and mushrooms. I have never tried to combine the two and decided to give it a try. I decided while I am messing with the dish, I might as well mess a little more and add Thai green curry paste and coconut milk to it and see what happens. At this point this was more of an experiment and I had back up plans for dinner. As you can see I am still talking about this dish, you can guess that it made the cut.


The ingredients:
 A cup of onions

A cup of mushrooms

1 tsp of ginger chopped

1 clove of garlic chopped

2 cups of cooked green lentils- you can soak them in water overnight and cook on the stove top or pressure cook them.

2 tsp green curry paste

1 cup of coconut milk

Cumin to season.

Red Curry Powder (This can be substituted with red chili powder)

salt


To begin with heat a pan with about a tsp of oil.

Add cumin, ginger, garlic, onions and mushrooms.

Let them cook for few minutes.

Add the curry powder and green curry paste.

Mix the spices well with the onion mushroom mixture.

Then, add the lentils and 1/2 cup of water and salt and let it cook.

Once it comes to a boil stir in the coconut milk and turn off the heat.

Let it sit for 10 minutes.



Hope you enjoy the dish and don't be afraid to experiment and bend the rules.

Linked to cindystarblog/Lisa and wellseasonedcook. at the My Legume Love Affair




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