Monthly Archives: March 2009

March 28, 2009



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Mung bean salad artistic rendering


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Mung bean salad

0022What: A high protein dal legume seed cooked tender, mixed with ginger, garlic, onions, cumin seed, parsley, and served on a bed of greens with a lime juice dressing. Additional accoutrements included plain yogurt, seasoned bulgur wheat, and fresh lemon.

Why: New cookbook + I love mung beans

Complications: I was really excited about this cookbook (recipes derived from ancient trade routes rather than modern day political borders + good Amazon reviews ~= awesome), but this recipe wasn’t exactly a slam dunk. I changed quite a few things this time around, with some ideas about more changes for next time. What did she mean by “one small onion”? I marinated a cooking onion in the dressing, but for next time I’ll probably use a red onion.

Result: Don’t let my negativity fool you- it was still pretty good. S gave it “high marks” using words such as “brilliant” and “spot on.” He could have been patronizing me, though, it’s tough to tell.

Next time: No sugar in the dressing, only a tb of cumin, more ginger, use red onion. Layer mung beans, greens, bulgur (or cous cous), and top with yogurt (instead of serving separately). My adaptations follow.

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Guinness cupcakes

0182What: Chocolate Guinness cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting.

Why: We perhaps bought a little too much Guinness to go with the corned beef and cabbage. Not that it would necessarily go to waste, but it was as good excuse as any to try out the Guinness cupcakes recipe from Chow.

Complications/alterations: This recipe seems to be scaled up from something reasonable to something monstruous in order to use a whole bottle of beer. I made 24 large cupcakes with enough left over for 24 minis. Though advantageous for mine and S’s coworkers, perhaps, this glut of sweets is not doing us any favors. I also couldn’t bring myself to add the whole 2 cups of sugar (I used maybe a cup and a half), so they may not have been as sweet as usual.

Result: They were tasty cupcakes. I can’t taste any Guinness, but some of my taste testers could. They were actually kind of light- not super chocolatey. Even the frosting was on the lighter side- not as cream cheesey as the standard carrot cake topping. I would do these again, except maybe a half recipe.

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More on dal…

I just wanted to note that I had a research assistant when writing the dal post


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March 21, 2009



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Dal of the week: yellow lentils with garlic butter



What: Split yellow lentils cooked until tender, then beat to a thick creamy consistency, finished with a garlic and butter tarka.

Why: Lentils are good for you, very cheap, super easy to make, and delicious. We also have a lot of dal in the pantry (see left). 

How: The process is very simple: 1. Boil lentil in enough water until tender 2. Make a tarka and mix in the cooked lentils.

It’s usually a side dish, and (depending on the type of lentil) the serving size should probably not exceed a cup, or so. Supposedly lentils are easy to digest, but my Julie Sahni cookbook says otherwise. I like to make it into a main dish by serving it with lots of bread (pita bread will work), yogurt, and a salad.

Detailed recipe after the jump… Continue reading


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