Tag Archives: curry

Food Matters Project #36: Dal with Lots of Vegetables

To make it 3-in-a-row, yesterday was another gloomy Monday.  Last week we made the Provencal Pasta Sauce to keep us warm and toasty.  But yesterday it wasn’t just rain, there was even a little bit of snow on the ground here in DC!

Snowy Day

Yes, we got snow on March 25th, it must be a record.  Fortunately, today it’s sunny and getting warmer by the hour- I think everyone is ready for spring!

Yesterday’s Food Matters Project recipe was perfect for a gloomy day.  It was chosen by Anita, of Cooking Poetry.  She hosted Dal with Lots of Vegetables from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook.  Check out her blog and the Indian feast she had made- I’m a little jealous, everything looks delicious!  There are also other versions of the meal from other FMP participants here.

I’m a huge fan of Indian food, thanks to Sam.  He introduced me to the spice  soon after we started dating, and I have craved this cuisine ever since.  My favorite reason behind it is because you can make most of the dishes vegetarian, and not feel like you’re missing out.  Slow cooking the lentils and vegetables gives them extra flavor and fills you right up.

Want to try some of our other Indian creations?  Golden Red Lentil Soup; Indian Chicken Soup; Indian Chicken Curry Wrap; Baingan Bharta; Curry with Vegetables; Samosa Casserole; Spicy Veggie Lentil Curry.

Dal with Lots of Vegetables

Dal with Lots of Vegetables
Adapted from: Food Matters Cookbook (page 362)

Feel free to swap vegetables for what you have on hand- for example, I’ve had half a bag of green beans I’ve been needing to use up.  If you don’t want this dish to be as spicy, don’t use the jalapeño or chili powder.  Not into a deep curry flavor?  Just halve, or quarter, the Indian spices. 

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 jalapeño, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower, florets & stems cut into small pieces
1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 zucchini, cubed
1 cup green beans (I used frozen)
2 cups fresh spinach
3 cups of water
1 cup dried brown lentils
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp Punjam Red Tandoori powder
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Add oil to a large pot, and allow to heat up.  Then add the onion, allow to simmer until the onion is translucent.  Next, add in the garlic and ginger and cook for about 3 minutes.  Then add in the rest of the vegetables: jalapeño, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini,  green beans, and spinach.  Cook the vegetables, while stirring, for at least 5 minutes.  Then add in the water, lentils, curry powder, garam masala, Punjab Red Tandoori, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Stir all of the ingredients together, bring to a boil.  Then turn the heat to low and simmer for at least an hour (up to 2 hours).

Serve over rice, or with a piece of naan.

Honeymoon in Phuket, Thailand Pt 1

As I mentioned, Sam and I recently got married…and then we went on the best honeymoon ever!

Having traveled extensively for work, I had a gazillion miles on my United account, which led to us purchasing tickets to Phuket, Thailand- paradise!

Since this is a food blog, I’ll start with the food aspect of the trip, I hope you all enjoy! (and get a chance to visit one day)

Thailand 2

Our first layover (I know, sounds crazy!) was in Narita Airport in Japan- since it was a bit of a wait, we opted for a mid-night snack of some veggie sushi.

Thailnd 3

Our second layover was in Bangkok, Thailand.  We landed at 11:30pm there, and it was a 12 hour difference from DC.  So this delicious Spicy Beef Noodle Soup was either an early lunch, or an amazing midnight snack!  After that we got to spend a fun 4 hours on very hard benches- the joys of international travel?

Thailand 1

Part of our flight itinerary was on Thai Airways- which we loved!  This was breakfast- small and delicious (food even on a 1 hour flight- crazy!).  On the return flights we got to experience lunch and dinner, and we were given real silverware, so I guess not all airlines use plastic!

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Of course the first night we got to our hotel, I had to have Thai Curry.  It is my absolute favorite dish in any Thai restaurant- so I had to have the authentic version.  It was delicious!  The dish was light, but had all the flavors of curry, coconut and seared vegetables.

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One day we visited the city of Phuket, and wanted some lunch- we found this diner, and loved the food!  I ordered some curry tofu, fried spinach, rice and a fried egg.  It was simple, but light and tasty.

Thailand 13

Sam ordered Beef and Lettuce.  We thought it’d be more like lettuce wraps, but it was chopped lettuce, cabbage and carrots- with the beef on top.  Cilantro garnished this dish.

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This was actually the appetizer, but it got there at the end- veggie spring rolls!

Thailand 11

As we meandered the streets of Phuket, we came across a bar (this is a story in itself), and also tried a new beer which we had never seen sold in the US.  Thai beers are typically lagers- the oldest and most known is Singha, and recently Chang has become more well known.  A local beer was Phuket- it had a slight sweet honey flavor.

Thailand 7

There was a breakfast buffet in our hotel which we indulged in every morning.  One of our favorite ways to finish breakfast was with passion fruit.  We had first tried it on a trip to Dominican Republic about 2 years ago- there it was tart, the Thai version was slightly sweet.

Thailand 6

Walking distance from our hotel, there were some smaller huts which sold food.  Towards the end of our trip we wanted to remember the real Thai cooking: Spicy Vegetable and Shrimp (red Thai peppers, onion, green onions, shrimp, bok choy).

Thailand 5

I had to have one last curry dish (they were so great!).  This was a Yellow Curry with onions, green peppers and basil.

Thailand 8    We spent one day biking in the villages of Thailand, but when we stopped for lunch we had this amazing Shrimp Laksa.  Our bike tour guide told us how this is definitely a favorite with the locals, especially when it’s extra spicy!

Thailand 4

And this is us- happy married, flying back to the U.S. via Bangkok.  Although at this point we only made it 6 out of the 24 hours of travel time, we had an amazing stay in Phuket!

I’d love to tell you all more about our trip, what would you like to hear?  I will have a post about the Thai Market we visited, and our scuba diving adventures!  Anything else?

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Thai Curry

Do you have Thanksgiving turkey leftovers?  If so, this is the perfect recipe to make a delicious meal this weekend.  I actually made this recipe a week ago, using chicken- but it will taste equally delicious using the turkey leftovers many of you have in the fridge!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving- a wonderful evening with family and friends!  Sam and I, along with his brother enjoyed our dinner at Hill Country BBQ- we had a relaxing, football-watching afternoon!

Are any of you venturing out for Black Friday sales?  I have never done it, and will probably never start my shopping that early.  I prefer to start of my post-Thanksgiving Day with a nice run- especially with the beautiful DC weather today.

Chicken Thai Curry
Adapted from: Cooking Light (Nov 2011)

If you’re not a spicy eater, definitely skip the chili’s (or use less).  Although I used chicken in this recipe, feel free to swap for leftovers turkey or tofu, or skip meat all together.  More veggies are always delicious- so don’t hesitate to add extra’s if you have them in the fridge!

1 cup of basmati rice
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
5 Thai chilies (or less/more)
rind from 1 lime
15 cilantro sprigs
5 garlic cloves
1 inch of ginger, grated
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp olive oil
5 carrots, peeled & grated
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
2 zucchini, coarsely chopped
2-3 cups cooked chicken or turkey (optional)

Cook 1 cup of rice per package instructions.

Combine coriander, cumin, Thai chilies, lime rind, cilantro sprigs, garlic and ginger into a food processor.  Process until all ingredients are finely chopped.  Then add the coconut milk, process until smooth.

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add in the carrots and onions, cook and stir occasionally  for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.  Then add in the coconut mixture, the salt and pepper.  Stirring frequently, increase the heat to high, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the mixture reduces and begins to brown.  Reduce the heat to medium, add in the broth.  Bring to a boil, then stir in the half of the zucchini.  Then simmer for 45 minutes, when the zucchini is tender.

After the zucchini is well cooked, add in the rest of the zucchini and the chicken, cook for about 5 minutes until the meat is thoroughly heated.  Add in the rice, then divide and serve.

Spicy Veggie Lentil Curry

Being a food blogger does have some perks, one of them is trying out new products I might not otherwise get my hands on.  After noticing that we had bought some habañeros and other spicy peppers at the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market, Plato’s Olive Oil contacted us to see if we would be interested in trying out one of their infused olive oils.

Of course Sam, the spice lover of this household, wanted to give this a try.  He’s even been thinking about making some of his own!  So we waited patiently for our olive oil to arrive.

Plato’s Olive Oil is a family owed company based in California.  The owner was looking for an olive oil infused with spicy flavors, and wasn’t able to find any- so he began experimenting!  The original, and the product which was sent us, is their habañero-infused olive oil, which comes from the Napa region in California.

To give it a try, I decided to make some lentil curry- and thought that the extra spice from Plato’s olive oil would be a perfect kick.  And I was not disappointed, the olive oil gave this dish the extra spice it needed!

But there is no way around it, and many food bloggers and photographers can agree, brown food is so difficult to photograph!  But sometimes- in this case a spicy veggie curry- it’s so delicious, I wish it’d look a bit nicer to show off it’s tastiness.

Veggie Lentil Curry
Adapted from: SweetSugarBean

2 tbsp Plato’s Habanero-Infused olive oil (or regular olive oil)
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 small carrots, chopped
1 inch ginger, shredded
2 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
3 tbsp spicy curry paste
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 14.5 oz light coconut milk
2 cups uncooked lentils
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 head of cauliflower
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Heat up the olive oil in a large pot.  Once heated, add the onions and allow them to cook for about 5 minutes, or until they become translucent.  Then add in the garlic, carrots, ginger and jalapeños.  Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Next add in the curry paste, cayenne pepper, cumin and coriander.  Allow to cook for about a minute, then add in the tomatoes, coconut milk and lentils.  Stir well and bring to a boil.  Then lower to a simmer, and cook until the beans are done (about 40 minutes).

Once the lentils are cooked, add in the chickpeas, cauliflower and peas.  Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Finally, stir in the cilantro and serve.

Disclosure: I received a bottle of Plato’s Habanero-Infused Olive Oil to try, but did not receive additional compensation for this post, or was under any obligation to blog about it.

Indian Chicken Curry Wrap

My apologies (once again) for not posting as often.  It’s just that busy time of the year- and with the beautiful weather outside, it’s hard to make yourself stay in the kitchen!  Last year at this time we were preparing for our amazing European Adventure (Kraków, Vienna and Munich), this year we’re getting ready for our wedding!

At times like these I try to find recipes which are really simple and don’t take too much time to prepare.  With the extra time we can sneak in a run, some extra time with friends, or watch our favorite football games!

For this recipe I used leftover chicken, making it a whole new dish with curry flavors.  This is perfect for a lunch or dinner, feel free to add some sides!

Indian Chicken Curry Wrap
Adapted From: Cooking Light (June 2011)

1 1/4 lb coooked chicken, shredded or cubed
5 nectarines, chopped
1 mango, peeled & chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup chopped green onions
1 inch ginger, peeled & grated
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
1 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp chili powder
juice of 1 lime
lettuce or arugula
tortillas or wraps

In a large bowl, combine: chicken, nectarines, mango, red onion, green onions, ginger, garlic, cilantro, mint and jalapeño.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the greek yogurt, salt, pepper, curry powder, chili powder, and lime juice.  Add the dressing to the chicken mixture.  Then stir everything together.

Add a handful of lettuce or arugula onto a tortilla, then add in the chicken curry mixture.  Roll the tortilla, and enjoy!