Saturday, March 20, 2010

daal recipe, flower show, and
ski weekend shots

Daal Recipe

Daal is an almost perfect dish: easy, versatile, cheap and nutritious

Daal is a vegetarian/vegan staple. I practically lived on this unctuous, stewy dish while in India and Nepal. It's usually served over basmati rice and/or veggies, or is sopped up with bread. It's a great source of fiber, protein, calcium and iron, plus it's extremely economical and a snap to throw together. There are as many daal versions as there are cooks, so it's also a great base for improvisation; you can easily tailor daal recipes to match your taste and the contents of your pantry.

The word "daal" comes from the Sanskrit root "dal," which aptly means "to split." Daal is usually made from gorgeous little polka dots of split legumes such as red and black split lentils and yellow and red split peas.

Massor Daal

Masoor Daal (Red Lentils) with Leeks

  • 1 cup massor daal (small, split red lentils)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch of asafoetida (optional, but wonderful)

  • 2 T canola or peanut oil
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, minched
  • 3 leeks, washed well and sliced thinly. (Include most of the greens; reserve a handful for garnish)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 T mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala

  • 3 T chopped fresh coriander for garnish
  • Handful of thinly sliced leeks
Serves 4

  1. Bring broth to a gentle boil. Add lentils and all other daal ingredients, lower to a simmer and cook, mostly covered, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour or until soupy.
  2. Meanwhile, start the topping. In a skillet, heat oil over medium. Saute ginger, leeks, and garlic until soft, fragrant and transparent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Raise the heat to high, and add the spices. Saute for about 20 seconds, then turn off the heat and add to the cooked lentil pot.
  3. Serve over cooked vegetables and/or brown rice. Or serve with rotis or other Indian-style flatbread.

Philadelphia Flower Show
Every year, I attend the Philadelphia Show to get an early taste of spring. Philly's flower show is the country's oldest and largest. This year's theme was "Passport to the World." It was truly spectacular, with plenty of traditional floral artistry and much more conceptual work than in previous years.

Uber arrangement

Balloon decorated entirely with flowers
Installation of hanging glass vases: my favorite piece

Minimal yet maximal

Ski Weekend
Can you believe I grew up in the mountains and had never been skiing until a few weeks ago? Dr X and I drove up to Elk Mountain, and while he took a telemark workshop, I plodded through my first lesson. After 2 full days of skiing, I'm pretty much hooked.

Our room in a quaint B & B.

Barn behind the inn.


lauren lanza osias said...

i can't wait to make this!!! i am freaking in love with your gobi aloo. it was delish. for some reason my potatoes took light years to cook, but it was genius. i love indian food, but have a hard time getting it to taste as good as a restaurant!!

urban vegan said...

Lauren: Just chop the taters smaller next time. Glad you liked the recipe!

Lisa -- Cravin' Veggies said...

I love daal so very much. I think I shall make it this week.

I have never been to the Phila. flower show. Worth the 2 hour drive?

Elk was the first place I ever skied. It is absolutely gorgeous there.

Virginie P. said...

I disvovered Asafoedita recently: a STRONG and very nice smell. What kind of ski did you learn? I did some (fast) ski when I was young, but I'm sure I would have to learn again now. I'm more interesting in (walking) ski now.

buffalodick said...

The spice mix sounds fantastic!

Cynthia said...

I like the vases with the green leaf and flower.

I cooked dhal and rice today along with sauteed okra so at least I don't have to feel jealous that you have dhal and I have none :)

Crystal said...

It's so funny the picture you showed has your hands touching the red lentils. It's kind of weird but I love the way the red lentils feel when I plunge my hands into the container. Your recipe sounds really easy and really delicious! And the calla lilly set...just stunning.

Ambrosia said...

Hi, just chanced upon your blog while doing a search on Indian vegan recipes on the internet! Your blog is truly amazing - the visuals and your writing about all things vegan! You are right about the different versions of dal :) I am a vegan from India! :)

Amber Shea said...

Your dal looks irresistible. I've loved the Indian-inspired recipes in your cookbook, so I will have to give this one a try too.

Glad you had a good trip with your Dr. X! ;D

pavotrouge said...

congrats of taking a pretty picture of dahl! the flower arrangements look impressive, too. mountains I've had plenty of myself recently :)

Yaz Lawsuit said...

Great healthy choices. Thanks for the ideas.

Roxanne said...

I'm excited to try daal. I'd never heard of it before. I only became a vegan a little over a month ago so most everything is still new to me. However, I really love the vegan lifestyle and I am committed to stay with it.

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