Saturday, July 30, 2011

Kalachandji's: Yellow Mung Dal Soup

Tonight I went to an amazing little vegetarian restaurant that is nestled inside an Indian temple.  All of the food is Ayurvedic, which means no meat, fish, eggs, onion, or garlic.  But that doesn't mean it's tasteless.  The food is surprisingly good.  They even had something like looked like a quiche, but without eggs...I'm curious how they made it.  For dinner I had some soup, cabbage, beans, steamed vegetables, fritters, brown rice, spinach, eggplant, and brown bread.  Yum!

Yellow Mung Dal Soup
From Kalachandji's Restaurant as seen in The Dallas Morning News, February 2007

1 cup yellow mung dal (mung beans, shelled and split)
⅓ teaspoon turmeric
1½ teaspoons salt
6 to 8 cups water
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
1 teaspoon jalapeño, minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1½ teaspoons cumin seeds (divided use)
2 zucchini, cubed
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
A few curry leaves
2 to 3 teaspoons cilantro, finely chopped
Lemon juice to taste

Wash dal and drain. Combine dal, turmeric, salt and water. Bring to boil and simmer until half-cooked (about 20 minutes), removing foam that accumulates on top. Add ginger, jalapeño, ground coriander, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and cubed zucchini. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking.

When dal is soft, whisk to smooth consistency. Heat ghee or oil in small saucepan. Add mustard and remaining cumin seeds. When they crackle, add hing and curry leaves, and add to dal.

Stir well, garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ball: Traditional Corn Relish

One of the best things about summer is the absolutely fabulous fresh sweet corn.  But it's not around for long.  And frozen corn just doesn't hack it once you've had the good stuff.  So it makes me wonder if there's any good way to preserve the days of summer.  I found this recipe in my good ol' Ball preserving book and figured I would give it a try.  What I got was a delicious sweet-and-sour relish that would be awesome on a hot dog, but just as amazing on some grilled chicken or pork.  And come January, I'll still have the sweet ripeness of summer to savor.

Traditional Corn Relish
From Ball's Complete Book of Home Preserving

9 cups corn kernels (from about 18 medium ears corn)
3 cups finely chopped cabbage
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped, seeded red bell pepper
4 cups white vinegar
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon celery seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground tumeric

Prepare canner, jars, and lids.

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine corn, cabbage, onion, red pepper, vinegar, sugar, water, dry mustard, celery seeds, mustard seeds, salt, and turmeric.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes or until liquid is reduced and vegetables are tender-crisp.

Fill jars, one at a time, leaving ½-inch headspace.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar.  Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes.  At the end of the processing time, turn heat off and remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, without tilting.  Cool and store.

Makes about 5 pint jars