August 2011 COTM, World Vegetarian: Dried Beans, Dried Peas, Lentils, and Nuts
- bayoucook Aug 1, 2011 06:48 AM
Use this thread for discussion about this chapter.
Lentils Topped with Gingery Spinach and Yogurt, p. 62
Or in my case, topped with chard, which she suggests as a sub for spinach. I used French lentils instead of the standard green called for because I didn't have enough of the latter, and made a few minor additions to add dimension to my one-dish meal.
This has as its basis Lentils with Onion and Garlic on p. 61. That recipe begins with the cooking and removing from the pan of onions, but I skipped that step here, preferring to get the lentils going, figuring I'd do the onions in the other pan I would need to use. So I proceeded with the stirring of chopped garlic and dried red chile into hot olive oil (I used chile flakes and also added some cumin seeds), to which lentils and water are added and simmered until the lentils are tender, then seasoned with salt and pepper.
A finely sliced onion is fried in olive oil until browned, and removed from the pan. (Jaffrey says to drain on paper towels, but mine didn't need it.) Julienned gingerroot is stirred into hot olive oil, and the greens are added and wilted. Because I was using chard, I sauteed the chopped stems for a few minutes, then added the ginger, then the leaves, which I sliced into 1-inch ribbons, with the rinsing water clinging to them.
To serve, the lentils are topped with the greens, then a dollop of yogurt and some fried onions. Before serving, I stirred a couple of raw, chopped tomatoes into the lentils, and stirred chopped mint leaves, salt, and pepper into the Greek yogurt. All in all, I thought the sum (with my additions, at least) was very good, with lots of intermingling warm/cool/spiced/fresh flavors/temperatures/textures, and enjoyed it.
I love this cookbook and bought it the day it came out about 12 years ago. This is my favorite chapter. I haven't cooked anything from it in several months, but I'll list my favorites for now and will re-visit those and try some new ones this month (what a great reason to pull this out of the cupboard!).
-Refried beans (page 12)
-Whole grain (bead) hummus (page 28)
-Chickpea stew with six vegetables (page 30)
-Chickpea flour pancakes (page 37)
-Chickpea flour pizza (farinata) (page 39) so delicious
-Chickpea flour french fries (page 41)
-Lentils with rice (page 63)
-Tex-Mex vegetarian chili (page 64) love this recipe
Red Lentils Hyderbadi pg 69
A very nice simple little dal. The masoor lentils are first cooked according to the master recipe on pg 60, then a tempering oil with mustard seed, dried chilis, curry leaf and garlic cloves is heated and added to the lentils. A little added lime juice before serving. That's it, and it is tasty. We had it with a little rice, a carrot raita, and a little lime pickle as very veg lunch.
Technique wise the only note I'd make is that the garlic cloves really do permeate the tempering oil and ultimately the dal, so its important to watch closely that they don't singe.
Black-Eyed Peas with Trinidadian Seasonings – p. 21
First use of this recipe and, this cookbook and I’m hoping this is a good indicator as to what the book has to offer since we truly enjoyed this dish.
Ideally you’d start w dried peas but I was making this for a weeknight meal and that just wasn’t possible. I used canned peas.
Diced carrots, green onions, celery, carrot and green pepper are sautéed over med-high heat until just starting to brown. I had some red bell pepper so I added it in as well. MJ has you add water and then seasonings at this point however I prefer to cook my dried herbs and spices a little so I added those (thyme, paprika, chili flakes, allspice, mustard and salt) first and then 2 cups of chicken stock (vs water), adjusting the quantity for the fact that my peas were canned. I brought this to a boil then simmered for about 20 mins so the flavours incorporated and, the stock reduced.
This dish was delicious and I served it for two dinners. The first time, we had it as is and the second night, I added some chopped Swiss chard and served this over steamed brown rice that I’d prepared in the rice cooker. I added some dried thyme and fresh, crushed garlic to the rice prior to cooking. We especially enjoyed it w the chard over rice. The flavour profile reminded me of Jamaican rice and peas and the dish was the perfect accompaniment to our grilled Bajan chicken.
Just soaked my urad dal for four hours and am getting ready to make the Split Urad Beans Cooked in the Lucknow Style on page 114. Ingredients list calls for "1 fresh hot green chile," no further instructions appended. Instructions call for heating oil, adding cumin, and then "put in the green chile and garlic." Nowhere does it say to do anything at all with the chile: not chopped, not sliced. Surely you don't just put a whole, uncut, jalapeno in the pan, do you?
Split Urad Beans Cooked in the Lucknow Style (page 114)
Breadcrumbs is probably right that you're supposed to cook a whole, unchopped, green chile along with a split garlic clove, but I figured how much flavor would that impart? So I found an online blog of the recipe where it was clear the blogger had chopped the green chile, and since I like heat I decided to do the same. Can’t imagine how much more bland this dish would have been if I’d just cooked the chile whole. Couldn’t taste the cumin seed, either. The fried onions, cooked with a dry red chile, which she doesn’t say to split but I did to get some seeds in there, made it tolerable, but only barely. Unlike sarahcooks (below), I have no intention of playing with this recipe to try to make it better.
Okay. So now what do I do with all that leftover, flavorless, cooked urad dal?
First, you stir the fried onions into the dal. That adds flavor through the dish.
If you dont like the mildness season it up some more.. Heat a couple of tbsp of oil,butter or ghee,in a small frying pan,adding some more cumin seeds, when they start to turn color, add a spoon or two of finely chopped green chiles and ginger or garlic., sautee them til it has given up its fragrance and are a trifle golden/brown on the edges. throw the contents of the frying pan into the dal stir up,.
Asafoetida is also a nice add to the seasoning, as the first item added to the oil. I often throw a handful of chopped coriander into my dal.
Even tho this looks intended to be a mildly seasoned dal. I was a little bit surprised that the red chile, was put into the oil then the fried onions. I would be afraid that the chile would burn.
I also think a jalapeno is the wrong chile for this dish - more flavor is needed, esp since most jalapenos these days have little heat - the one I had yesterday could have been eaten like a bell pepper. One or two of the skinny long pointed ones would have been better.
re: jen kalb
That's essentially what I did with the leftovers: fried up more (lots more) cumin seeds; garlic; and crumbled, dried, Asian chiles. Didn't have any asafoetida, so added a bit of onion powder. Stirred that into the reheated dal and it was a decent accompaniment to some simply grilled salmon.
Plain Chickpea Flour Pancakes, p. 37
Tasty little savory pancakes. I frequently make socca, the Mediterranean version of this, which I flavor mainly with crushed garlic. I liked the subtle effect of the spices in this version.
Mix 2 c chickpea flour with 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne, and 1 tsp salt. Slowly add 2 c water -- she says to use a wooden spoon, but I used a whisk. Set aside for 30 minutes. It thickens up surprisingly in that time. She talks about sifting the flour first and possibly straining it after sitting to get rid of lumps. I don't know if chickpea flours vary, but I'm using Bob's Red Mill, and I don't have any problem with lumps if I add the water slowly while whisking.
Put a little oil in a 6-inch nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Ladle 1/4 c batter into pan and swirl around. She calls for drizzling a little oil on top, but I didn't. Flip after about 2 minutes and cook on the other side for a minute. Keep warm while making the rest. I didn't add more oil for the remaining pancakes, and they seemed to come out fine.
I made a 1/4 recipe, and made 4 small pancakes from it, which was perfect for lunch. The three variations sound delicious too (sesame seeds, green peas & chiles, and fresh herbs), and would let you adapt the basic idea to suit the rest of the meal. I'll definitely be making them in the future.
Ah, and I see on page 39 she has her version of socca with variations. Still no garlic, though. To each their own.
Plain Chickpea Flour Pancakes p 37
I made these tonight as I've had chickpea flour for ages and still hadn't opened it. They were pretty good. The spices were really subtle. I don't have a 6 inch pan, so I used my 12 inch pan and 1/3 of a cup of batter. I tried with a half cup, but I liked them thinner. You can't make small ones in a large pan because the batter is so loose it just runs here and there, it doesn't make a round. I'm not sure if I'll make it again or not. I prefer roti or naan for a side of bread, but this was much easier. And there are a lot of possibilities for using it as a wrap.
Hulled and Split Mung Beans with Browned Onions p 76
This was another one I didn't intend to make today, I was going to make the curried masoor dal soup, but whoops, no masoor dal. So I went through my pantry to find another type of dal that would cook reasonably quickly and found moong dal and this recipe.
You make the basic moong dal recipe and then make a tarka of oil with cumin, dried chiles, asafetida, and onions. Dal is something I love to get in restaurants and have never been completely satisfied with when I make it at home. I wish she'd have more explicit explanations of how soupy it should be (that's always my downfall, for a long time I kept making it way too dry, but this time I think it was a bit too wet. I'm learning). Also, 1/2 tsp of cumin seed was definitely less than I usually put in a tarka, and 2 ounces of onion is also very little. I would recommend people at least double the amount of cumin and probably the onion too, because this was a little bland. I prefer ghee to oil too. I guess what I've learned from this experience is to keep working on getting the basic dal right and just do the rest of the seasoning as I like. I like more cumin, but I loved the nicely browned onions when I got a piece, so I'll do that again. And I like cilantro and a little citrus to finish.
Hulled and Split Moong Beans w/ Browned Onions, pg 76
We had this last night and really enjoyed it. For us the seasoning was just about right (i did use much less salt than called for), but then again we almost always eat dal with lime pickle on the side. I did find that the onions in the tarka took a lot longer (10 minutes or so) to brown than Ms. Jafferey suggests, but all in all it was pretty easy, and the results suited us.
Bean Curd with Tomatoes and Cilantro p 98
I was really looking forward to making this, but it just wasn't very good. My cilantro was a bit limp, and when I looked in the cupboard I found that I had chili black bean sauce, not chili soybean sauce (though soybean was one of the first ingredients) and I'm not sure if that made a difference. My husband described the dish as surprisingly tangy, I guess that's the acid from the vinegar and tomatoes. It didn't really taste like anything I'd ever had, and I couldn't place it ethnically either. Not our favorite. BUT! My very picky 4 year old daughter surprised us by letting herself be talked into trying the tofu with a little extra soy sauce on it and she liked it! So I guess it was worth it.
Chickpeas and Chana dal Cooked Together in Mint Sauce (pg 34)
We liked this a lot, many contrasting flavors balanced with the hearty richness of the chickpeas and chana, make for a wonderful comfort food like stew.
The recipe's a bit multi-staged, but most of it is letting things soak or boil, so not too onerous. To whit: Soaked chickpeas are brought to a boil, and then simmered for an hour, at which point rinsed chana dal is added, and the simmering continues for 1.5-2 additional hours. Meanwhile make a herb mix of garlic, ginger, green chiles (i used three bird's eye chiles, with the seeds), & mint into a paste, Jaffery suggests using a blender, but i just used a micro-planer and a mortar and pestle so as not to have to add liquid to the paste.
In a separate pan, brown some chopped onions, add chopped tomato and cook until tomato is soft, add the mint mixture and cook for five minutes, then add ground spices (coriander, cumin, garam marsala, salt), then add the cooked dal with its liquid, add tamarind paste, simmer another 1/2 hour.
I served this with home made bahtura (my first attempt at these and they worked, yay!), and a simple onion katchumbar, which was a flavor combination that worked perfectly. Nothing dull about this dish, it is lovely, and I will be making it again.
Bean Curd with Hot Sauce (p. 100)
Followed the instructions to the letter. Everything was smelling wonderful. And then we tasted it. Hot sauce??? No. No, no, no. You'd have to *at least* double the chili past with garlic in this for it to even start to taste hot and spicy. It was perfectly pleasant, and I think could be really wonderful if you seriously upped the spicing, but as is, it just doesn't even come close to living up to its name. Anyway, you make a sauce of soy sauce, chili paste, sugar, sesame oil and either stock or water (I used water). Cut up the tofu into 1/3 inch dice. Fry up some sliced scallions, diced ginger and crushed garlic, add the tofu, then the sauce. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 5 minutes. I served with jasmine rice and a zucchini dish (also from the book and reported on the veg thread). We had to salt it, which seems really wrong. Again, I think with some serious upping of the spices this would have been absolutely wonderful, but as is, it was fairly bland and a bit dull.
Red lentils with zucchini (Vegetarian Dalcha), p70
Really liked this soupy dal-like dish, which is apparently a speciality from the South Indian city of Hyderabad. It was very tasty indeed, especially with the suggested accompaniment of carrot "raita", which I also loved.
It's pretty simple to make - place a cup of red lentils in a saucepan with four cups of water and bring to the boil. Add turmeric and simmer, covered, for 40-50 minutes until the lentils are tender. Add 1 - 1 1/4 tsp of salt; I used 1 tsp, and would add less next time as it was a tad too much for my taste (and I speak as a salt lover).
Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup of peanut oil (I cut this to 3 T, which was plenty) in a frying pan and add cardamom pods, bay leaves, a cinnamon stick and cumin seeds. Stir for a few seconds and add a finely chopped onion. Fry until the onion is medium brown (this is important I think, to get the right flavour) then add grated ginger and mashed garlic. Fry for another minute then add courgettes, black pepper, cayenne and more salt. Stir then add half a cup of water, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover, stir, then add to the cooked lentils. Simmer over low heat for a minute. Squeeze lime juice over the top before serving (just realised I forgot this bit!).
This was a lovely, comforting dish, pleasingly frugal, yet full of flavour. Not super-spicy, but with definite heat, and you could easily ramp it up by adding more cayenne. I served it with leftover jasmine rice. Recommended.
Red Lentils w/ Zucchini pg 70
Nothing much to add to greedygirls excellent write up, except to say that we both liked this dal very well. I didn't "ramp up" the spiciness of the dish, but I did serve it with a spicy lime pickle on the side, which complimented the flavors very nicely and added a lot of spiciness.
Red lentils with zucchini, p.70
I just realized I forgot the 1/4 teaspoon turmeric in the lentils and the lime at the end. Oh, well. Otherwise, I deviated from the recipe by using a lot less salt than called for, and doubling the zucchini. It is indeed a comforting dish. Instead of making the carrot raita from this book again, I did a variation in Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian Cooking that uses both cumin and mustard seeds, and adds golden raisins, but is otherwise pretty similar (yogurt, grated carrot, salt, cayenne).
Tex-Mex Vegetarian Chili, Pg. 64
Well, my little chickadees...do I have a recipe for you. Yes, it's vegetarian but it's also the most delicious chili I've ever eaten. And, of course, you could always serve some kind of meat on the side. I'll note my substitutions and variations in parenthesis as I go along. A four quart DO was the cooking vessel of choice.
I used olive oil for this but canola can be used as well.. .get it good and hot then add finely chopped onion, garlic, green bell pepper (poblano) and jalapeno (1 habenero & 1 serrano). Stir-fry for a few minutes till the veggies are just brown. Reduce heat and stir-fry another 3-ish minutes. Now add ground cumin (2 t), dried thyme (1 t), crumbled sage (1 t), dried oregano (2 t Mexican) and cayenne (1/2 t). Stir-fry a second then add 1 cup lentils that have been rinsed etc., 4 1/2 c water, 1 tin of red kidney beans, chopped plum tomatoes (2 huge jarred roasted red peppers from Spain, chopped), cilantro leaves ( 3 T fresh Italian parsley & 2 t chopped fresh chives), salt. Cover pan reduce heat to low and let this simmer away for 50 minutes. 1 T cornmeal is mixed with 3 T water to create a slurry which is then stirred into the chili. Let this simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
I served this over Paula Wolffert's baked polenta and we gobbled it right up. The green salad just sat there while we polished off the chili. The poblano/habenero/serrano/roasted peppers substitutions happened at the last minute because I thought they would be more flavorful, and the parsley was used bcause I was all out of cilantro. Prepping all the ingredients was a bit of a do but at the finish it was well worth it. This chili is definitely going to make an encore appearance in the very near future...
I made this for dinner tonight and agree with Gio - it's a very nice vegetarian chilli, perhaps the best I've had. I made it as written, apart from I used red pepper instead of green because that's what I had. I used two smallish green chillies from my local ethnic grocer's.
Served as suggested with warmed corn tortillas and guacamole. Delicious.
Black-Eyed Peas with Swiss Chard, page 29 with the optional Tiganissi
This recipe is from Cyprus. I thought it was pretty good, but my husband couldn't stop mentioning how much he liked it every time I served it to him (it lasted us almost all week), and he's not normally a fan of chard. Super flexible: It's good hot, cold, as a main (with some crusty bread and a fried egg over the top) or a side. Even as an appetizer bruschetta style. I don't think it would be as good without the Tiganissi (Onion and garlic mixture) but I can't say, because I didn't try it that way. This is an easy, though not a "quick" recipe, but most of the time is passive.
Rinse and soak 1 cup peas. Bring to boil with 3 1/4 c water, then simmer partly covered for 40 mins. Cut 1 lb chard leaves into ribbons. Dice chard stems. (I love that she uses both leaves and veins!) Add it to the peas with tsp salt. Bring to boil again, cover and simmer for 30 mins. Add TBSP lemon juice and and 2 TBSP EVOO.
Tigganissi is just 3 TBSP EVOO heated. Then add whole dried hot chili (I don't see the point of this, but I did it) then stir in a small diced onion and 3 finely chopped garlic cloves and fry until soft and starting to brown. "Pour" over top.
Very earthy and comforting. Not what I would call "boldly" flavored.
I will do this one again because of its ease, flexibility, healthfulness and because I know I can get my husband to eat chard!
Chickpea Flour "French Fries" pg.41
This one had my attention because it looked like it might be a "quick and easy" if ersatz substitute for Burmese/Shan Tohu (a chickpea based tofu that takes three days to make), and indeed it worked out just fine for that use.
Chickpea flour is sifted and set aside. Bring water to boil in a heavy sauce pan, add a little Olive (veg) oil, and some salt, reduce the heat to medium and stir in the chickpea flour (note to right handed self, next time add chickpea flour with left hand and stir with right, stirring is more crucial to the technique). Stir away for ten minutes, by which time the paste is pretty darn thick (I'd try for 12-15 minutes next time, as the besan still tasted a little "raw" to me even after frying). Quickly smooth the paste out onto pre-oiled dinner plates. It sets immediately. Allow to cool, cut into pieces, dredge pieces in flour, pan fry for 8-12 minutes in about 1/8" oil. It all worked just fine.
Would I make this just as a snack? Probably not. But as a quick (30 minutes vs three days) way to make "tohu" for garnish in Mohingha or Mixed Burmese Salads, it is wonderful. We had it with Mohingha last night, and every piece was gone when we were done.
Beyond the Periplus which I mentioned above, which is actually very good, we have the Aung Aung Taik; also, "Flavors of Burma" by Chan, "A Taste of Shan" by Paige Binham, and "The Rangoon International Cookbook" compiled by a ladies club in Rangoon @1960, available on some of the used book boards. Also a couple of Burmese language books (Mr. QN's bailiwick, not mine).
Also I've found Alford/Drugid's HSSS to have some useful information on ingredients (their recipes have there ups and downs, but I find the background research on ingredients excellent & helpful), and both McDermot and Thompson's Thai books have several recipes that are either Thai adaptations of Burmese recipes, or Shan, Dai & etc recipes that cross borders.
Do you have the Aung Aung Taik book, &/or is the one you have from the 70's a different author? No hurry but I'd love to have the title/author if you ever have the chance to pass it on.
These sound great. I love the taste of chickpea flour, so thanks for reporting on this.! (Love the "note to right handed self" too.)
Do you think they need to be pan-fried for any further use? I prefer to avoid pan-frying whenever possible. I wonder if they could be brushed with oil and baked, for instance.
not sure on the oven baking, two things occur to me 1) make sure the batter is really cooked stove top (of course if you love chick pea flour that might not be such an issue, but i thought there was a slight rawness to my batch) and 2) either flip them mid bake to get an even crust. anyway, the batter really sets up, so they are solid/sturdy enough to try oven cooking, the question is will they dry out too quickly before a crust sets to seal them.
Quick Cashews Zapped in the Microwave, pg 118
Easy, as you'd expect. 1/2 c raw cashews, 1 tsp peanut or canola oil, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp cayenne
Spread cashews in a single layer in a glass dish, add oil, stir to coat. Add salt and cayenne, stir to coat. Zap on high 3 mins. Stir. Zap 3-4 mins, stirring at least once. Cool completely, about 10 mins. Adjust seasoning as desired. Serves 4 as an appetizer. She says "I have a high-powered microwave with a turntable. You might need to make adjustments in time if you have any other kind."
I thought these were fine, not spectacular, but I took them to my book club and several people had several servings (and there were plenty of other chocolates, nuts, cheeses, and cupcakes from which to choose...)
I don't have a photo, but imagine raw cashews coated with oil and sprinkled with a bit of salt and cayenne. They didn't get much browner that I noticed. Maybe a little.
This is my last Jaffrey report for now as the library has called the book back.
Black Beans with Rice or “Spotted Rooster” – p. 14
I’ve been looking for shortcuts to make weeknight cooking more efficient and since this recipe called for black beans that had been cooked and drained, I figured I could use canned black beans instead and, turn out a quick weeknight dinner. This recipe was very quick and delicious.
MJ shares that this is the national breakfast dish in Costa Rica and that it is so popular, it’s even served at their McDondalds!
Onion and bell peppers are cooked in oil over high heat. I also added some chopped garlic. If you are using cilantro, this goes in next. I was using basil instead so I held off adding this more delicate herb until we were almost ready to serve. Next the beans are added and stirred through before adding the rice to heat through. MJ suggests seasoning w S&P. I also added some chili flakes since the head note mentions that sometimes folks top this dish w hot sauce.
This was quick and tasty and although it was perfectly filling and a meal unto itself, I did serve mr bc’s w a piece of grilled chicken on the side. The leftovers made great lunches and the dish was still very tasty when served at room temperature.
Chickpea and Potato Curry, Caribbean Style (p. 33)
Delicious. Not as spicy as I expected a Caribbean dish to be, but still delicious and a hit with all of us. Cheated and used canned chick peas. Basically you mix together the chickpeas, culantro (or, in my case, the alternative cilantro), chives, scallions, parsley, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, salt. Then heat old and add chopped onion, cook until tender, add mashed garlic, 1 minute later curry powder, stir, add potatoes and the chickpea mixture. Reserved cooking liquid (I just used water). Let cook about 30 minutes and then add 2 teaspoons of amchar masala, a spice mix you make from another recipe in the book. I liked this spice mix quite a bit, and am happy to have the leftovers on my spice rack. Toast and grind coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Very aromatic. Anyway, really delicious dinner. Served with raita (my own simple recipe) and her recommended choka (p. 300) which I'll report on in the veg. thread.
Late as usual, I'm just now getting around to posting the recipe I made. BLACK-EYED PEA FRITTERS from Nigeria, p.p. 16-17
I will make this a regular meal at our house, especially now that I have found that I didn't need to rub the soaked peas together for a lonnnnng time to get rid of the skins. She says to "leave the stubborn skins alone"....well, it seemed to me that most of the skins were quite stubborn although I soaked the beans for more than 16 hours. I gave up and left many of the peas unskinned. That didn't seem to make a difference in the edibility of the fritters. You just blitz the soaked beans, a small onion, salt, pepper, and cayenne in the processor. I added a couple of green onions because I had loads. This is blitzed on medium speed and "about 5 tablespoons" of hot water are added. The batter is slightly grainy and is not at all runny.
I fried them in a non-stick skillet with some canola oil - dropping a soup spoon of batter and then spreading them around. Didn't notice that I'd not read part of the instructions - they were supposed to be 1-1 1/2 inches in diameter. Mine were bigger and I also spread them out some. They ended up being about 5 inches across.
Served them with a tomato soup I made from the bushels and baskets and barrels of tomatoes from my CSA box, onions and a couple of small Yukon Gold spuds chopped up. Used a little bit of chicken bouillon powder (FOR SHAME, I know.) and blended the whole thing. Also served a salad of greens from the box. Served yoghurt with a bit of crushed garlic for dipping the fritters.
Now that I know I don't have to rub off the skins, I'm going to make these often. I ADORE fritters of all kind - mung bean, garbanzo flour, etc., etc. These were just delicious.