Friday, December 14, 2012

Saag Aloo & Masoor Dal (Potatoes & Spinach and Brown Lentils)

Indian food does not have to be intimidating to make and everything in these two recipes can be found at any grocery store. Just keep your pantry and spice rack stocked with a few key ingredients and you will be well on your way to preparing an Indian feast any day of the week.

Spiced potatoes and spinach tossed with jalapeno, cumin and tomatoes served along side brown lentil dal simmered with garlic, ginger and coriander seeds.

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Saag Aloo (Potatoes & Spinach)
serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side
12 oz fingerling or baby potatoes, halved
2 bunches fresh spinach
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, seeded or not, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp organic cane sugar
1 cup (or 1/2 a 15oz can) diced tomatoes
3 tbl roughly chopped cilantro

Combine the potatoes with cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender and drain.
Bring another pot of water to a boil and add the fresh spinach. Cook for 2 minutes and drain. Transfer the spinach to a food processor and blend into a puree.
Saute the onion and jalapeno in olive oil until fragrant and tender, 7 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, salt, cumin, red pepper flakes, turmeric and sugar. Cook 3 minutes more to toast the spices. Add the tomatoes, potatoes and spinach and simmer for 10 minutes.
Taste and season with salt. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Masoor Dal
serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side 
3 cups water
1 cup brown lentils
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow onion, minced
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1" piece fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup diced tomatoes (about 1/2 a 15oz can)

Combine the water, lentils, chile and 1/2 yellow onion in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook the lentils until tender and the water has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.
While the lentils are cooking, combine the oil and coriander seeds in a saute pan and heat to medium-high. Once the seeds, start popping, add the onion and saute for 7 minutes until tender and fragrant.
Add the ginger, garlic, salt, coriander, cumin and paprika and saute 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and cook 5 minutes more.
Combine the beans with the spice mixture and taste to season with salt.

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