Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Indonesian Sweet Potato and Cabbage Stew

This recipe is from the Moosewood Restaurant's cookbook, Simple Suppers (page 122). I made it last night, and then I ate it again for lunch today. It's really good!


  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger root
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped cabbage (1/2 inch pieces)
  • 2 1/2 cups diced sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 1 quart vegetable broth [I looked this up and learned that 1 qt is 4 cups!]
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • mung bean sprouts (optional) [I did not use this]
  • chopped cilantro, scallions, mint, and/or thai basil (optional) [I used cilantro and scallions -aka green onions- because that's what we had]

  1. In a soup pot on medium heat, cook the ginger, garlic, and cayenne in the oil for a minute before adding the onions and salt. [Tip: do not heat the pan up first, as that is how I burned most of this stuff]. Cover and cook, stirring often, until the onions soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the cabbage and sweet potatoes. Add about 3 1/2 cups of the broth. Cover and increase the the heat to bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the peanut butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of broth until smooth. Add the peanut butter mixture to the soup with the tomatoes and soy sauce. Simmer covered until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve each bowl topped with bean sprouts and cilantro, scallions, mint, and/or basil.
Moosewood Collective, Simple Suppers, p 122 (2005).

Spicy Dal

This dal is easy to make and delicious. It's good winter comfort food. We serve it with rice, and recently we've been having spicy mango pickle on the side.

This is mostly the recipe for "Red Lentils with Chiles/ Mirchi Waale Massor Ki Dal" on page 397 of 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. I've made a few very minor changes and rewrote the recipe in my own words for maximum clarity. (By the way, I cannot recommend this cook book enough. It's not all vegetarian but there is plenty of vegetarian dishes and it's easy to adapt his recipes if you don't have all the ingredients).

This recipe makes 3 cups of dal.

  • 1 cup of lentils (masoor dal, the orangey pink ones)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped very small
  • a tablespoon or so of grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small red onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
  • 10 dried chiles (stems removed) or a combination of half dried and half fresh chiles depending on what you have the cookbook calls for serrano, thai or cayanne chiles, I use those little red dried ones but I am not sure what kind they are, and some fresh serranos if I have them)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • A handful of chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 large lime (2 tablespoons?)
  1. Wash the lentils (fill pan with water and lentils, swish lentils around, drain water out, repeat until water doesn't get too cloudy)
  2. Add 4 cups of water to lentils and cook on medium heat, uncovered until boiling. As it heats up, try to skim off the foam that forms on the surface with a spoon or spatula (this is kind of a pain, sorry).
  3. Stir in ginger, garlic and turmeric. Reduce heat, cover the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender (18 to 20 minutes).
  4. Meanwhile, in another pan, heat oil on medium-high heat and add the cumin seeds until they sizzle, turn reddish brown and smell "nutty" (5 to 10 seconds).
  5. Add onion and chiles, stir fry until the onion browns and chiles smell "pungent" (3 to 5 minutes).
  6. When lentils are tender, stir in salt and the onions, cumin seeds and chiles from the other pan.
  7. Continue to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 10 more minutes.
  8. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice right before serving.
Recipe taken from Iyer, Raghavan, 660 Curries, pp 397-398 (2008)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Vegan Red Lentil Soup

A bit complicated, but totally worth it. :)

Vegan Red Lentil Soup


1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 pinch fenugreek seeds

1 cup dry red lentils

1 cup butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

2 cups water

1/2 (14 ounce) can coconut milk

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 pinch ground nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, and cook the onion, ginger, garlic, and fenugreek until onion is tender.

2. Mix the lentils, squash, and cilantro into the pot. Stir in the water, coconut milk, and tomato paste. Season with curry powder, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, or until lentils and squash are tender.

From allrecipes.com