Thursday, February 20, 2014

Drinking, pathos and lentils

Spanish drinking water - one of many street covers from the archives.

Help. I must begin to talk to normally for a moment.  I hear myself answer the telephone in a pathetic "feeling sorry for myself voice".  Outside the window a song thrush is celebrating a bright end to a wet day. I listen and learn.

Cooking again for brother, Ken I experiment with something new as far as |I am concerned with lentils, Channa Dahl. Until now  lentils for me have been confined  to small orange seeds which quickly make a  mush familiar from Indian restaurants and Puy lentils, the hard green pulses used largely I think in European cookery, quite different and with a taste of their own. Channa dahl comes I think from the Punjab. They are large, yellow and require to be cooked for at least an hour. The wait is rewarding. You simmer the lentils with coriander, turmeric and garam masala. This breaks down into  "a thick lentilly mass with the individual pulses still discernible" I quote from Anjum Anand whose book Indian Food Made Easy, I have been using And from which I have learnt much. To this mass is added at the last moment, cardamom pods, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, mustard seeds, desiccated coconut and chilies quickly fried at the last moment. We agree this is the most successful vegetarian venture yet. The photograph of the dish in the book looks good. It tastes better.


3 comments:

Tom said...

I use, "India Cookbook" by Pushpesh Pant. (Yes, I know it sounds like a song title taken from the comedy series, "The High Life".) It is claimed that this is the only book on Indian food you'll ever need.

On the other hand, do I have shelf space for another cookbook?

Rouchswalwe said...

Oh! Lentils! If I were on a desert island, I would hope for an endless supply of lentils.

Joe Hyam said...

Tom Your Indian Cookbook sounds wonderful. I can believe the claim.
I was worried about the "made easy" in my mind. But it is not too simple and I am learning a lot about spices.

R Chana Dahl (I spelled it wrong yesterday) is something worth stocking up on. Desert island of elsewhere. The texture is remarkable.