May 10, 2011

Curry and Cabs

Do you have the travel bug? Need a new book?

Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts
This book seriously changed my life and I would recommend it to anyone! I feel so much more "cultured" by reading about one of the most densely populated and impoverished countries in the world. I gained insight on their religion and lifestyle in a city filled with poverty, crime, and Bollywood!  This book took me nearly 6 months to finish, because its 1000 page novel is quite confronting.

Set in Mumbai, India, Shantaram is an autobiography describing "Lin Baba," an ex Australian convict, Union activist, and ex heroin addict's life dwelling in the largest slum in the world in Mumbai. Lin learns the native Marathi language and joins the Bombei mafia, in addition to being called the "slum doctor," integrating into the nasty slum life and providing medical treatment to the natives. He goes on to fight in Pakistan and Afghanistan during an illegal gold and passport smuggling excursion he was involved in through the mafia.

This is one you won't be able to put down!

While we are on the Indian topic... need an easy, new, Indian recipe? The following is a personal favorite of Ben and I's, and we cook it literally once a week! It is a vegetarian meal but still is high in protein! It is from the cookbook 5 Spices 50 Dishes

Red Lentil Dal

- 1 cup of red lentils (rinsed and drained)
- 3 cups of water
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 large brown onion  (finely chopped)
- 5 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 3/4 tsp ground tumeric (spice)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (spice)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro (or parsley) leaves 

  • Place lentils (after rinsing and draining,) tomato (if using fresh tomato) and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.

  • Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until lentils are tender and have lost their shape, about 40 minutes (begin checking that there is still water in the pot at 30 minutes and add small batches of water as needed).

  • Pick out any tomato skins (disregard if using canned tomato) and whisk dal to emulsify it. Keep warm over low heat.

  • Make the tadka (Indian spice preparation) as follows:

  •      Heat oil in a medium skillet over high heat. When oil begins to smoke, add cumin seeds.
        After seeds have stopped sputtering, add the garlic and onion and saute over medium heat until most of the onion has turned dark brown, 5-10 minutes.
        Add the coriander, turmeric, and cayenne, stir, and pour the onion/spice mixture over the dal.
       Add the butter/margarine, tomato (if using canned), (cilantro/parsley), and salt to the dal and simmer for another 5 minutes.

    Serve with Basmati Rice! Enjoy :)

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Leave a comment here!