Wednesday, January 26, 2011
One of my new year’s resolutions was to cook more ethnic foods. Well, not only to cook them, but to learn more about them and the authentic ways to prepare Indian and Thai ingredients.
Let’s just say I’ve gotten off to a very slow start.
I’m still motivated to reach my goal though and last week I finally broke into a bag of moong dhal I’ve had in the pantry for a long while now. Moong dhal is a variety of mung bean, kind of like a yellow split pea.
I was flipping through the ThinkFood Cookbook I talked about last year and felt inspired when I found the Spinach Dhal recipe from Tastes Like Home.
After being soaked overnight moong dhal cooks up to be thick with a porridge-like consistency. This particular recipe has a spicy kick that is full of flavor with the whole spices that are added. I ate it with rice, but it could have easily been thinned slightly to create a delicious soup.
My husband was the real test though. He has a major aversion to peas. He dislikes them so much that it seems he can’t even be at the same dinner table with them. I’ll never forget the time we ordered a sandwich in Brazil and we bit into it to find it was filled with peas! Needless to say he went home that night and looked up the word for peas right away.
It’s ervilha in case you are wondering. This word guided our menu selection when dining out for the next 2.5 years.
So with the dhal’s similarity to split peas (more so than lentils, in my opinion) I thought he’d avoid it like the plague. Turns out he enjoyed it as much as I did.
This is the type of simple foods I want to focus on throughout our new year. They are so simple, yet the spices make them so complex in flavor.
This recipe will be emailed soon as part of the ThinkFood Cookbook listserv. If you are signed up, you will receive a recipe a week via email from the book. The ThinkFood Cookbook is also available for purchase.
Overlooking the fact that a Fake Food Free recipe is in the book, I have to say that it is a fabulous cookbook with all kinds of delicious recipes. I have made two recipes thus far and they have received rave reviews!