Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Clean-Out-the-Freezer-Challenge Day 3

Before I get to the food, I just need to rant about some technical difficulties I’ve been having with my Blogger template. I’ll be the first to admit that the problems probably stem from my ineptitude with all things computer related, but why is it that what I see when I’m writing the post is not what I see when I preview it? What’s more, the final post looks nothing like the two other views. I spend all this time trying to get everything just right and it usually doesn’t end up looking like I expect. All my pictures get shoved around and the text formatting is all funky. The spacing is always weird. The Blogger help pages end up confusing me more than being a help because I don’t understand half of what they are saying. I just can’t figure it out, and it’s driving me crazy!!!


Okay, today’s freezer items were Indian vegetable smash and lamb for stewing. The vegetable smash I made back in September, and it tasted as good (maybe even better) as the first time around.

Vegetable smash

I used the lamb to make lentils and lamb. The earthiness of the lentils goes so well with the flavor of the lamb. If you prefer you can make this a vegetarian dish, which is normally how I make it.

Masoor Dal

Indian-spiced lentils
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 knob ginger, finely grated (totaling ½ tbs)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs mustard oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods, slightly crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • cups split lentils, picked over for stones and briefly rinsed
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ to 3/4 pound lamb for stewing (optional)
I like to cook the lamb separately from the lentils then combine them at the end. Use a pot with a lid that is large enough to cover the lamb with water. Add a cinnamon stick, 3 or 4 whole cloves and bring to a boil. Once it boils, put the lid on and stick the pot in a 325º oven for 1 ½ hours or until tender.

In a heavy-bottom pot over medium heat, add the mustard oil and about 1 or 2 more tablespoons of a neutral oil. When hot, add the onion, ginger, garlic, cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom pods. Fry until the onions are soft and begin to get lightly browned. Turn down the heat if the garlic and ginger begin to burn. Once the onions are soft, add the cumin, coriander and chili powder. Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, mixing well to coat the onion mixture. Add the rinsed lentils and stir to combine with the onion mixture. Add about 2 cups of water to begin. Bring the pot to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Allow the lentils to simmer, stirring occasionally If the lentils absorb all the water before they are done add more water, about ½ to 1 cup at a time. It usually takes less than 30 minutes to cook the lentils. Once they are done, add salt to taste and the garam masala and turn off the heat. When the lamb is done, add it to the lentils, give it a quick stir and it’s done. Enjoy with an Indian bread of your choice.

1 comment:

Manggy said...

Whoa, how deep does your freezer go? :) Looks great (even if lentils are not a common thing here in the Philippines-- usually it's mung been seeds)!