A few months ago I borrowed this vegetarian cookbook from the library. When I first opened it I didn't expect much. This is no Donna Hay cookbook. There are no photos because the book is more of a guide to living a healthy vegetarian lifestyle. Upon further examination I realized that beautiful photos weren't necessary. The recipes speak for themselves. In fact there are very few recipes in the book that I wouldn't try. I liked it enough that I bought my own copy. I've had dried lentils in my pantry for a while so the first recipe I decided to attempt was Dhal. Delicious without any off-putting complexity.
This recipe serves four but it was tasty enough that Grant and I both went back for seconds.
Here's what you need:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 an onion, grated
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon of garam masala
1 cup of dried red lentils
3 cups of water
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
Wash and drain the lentils. Set aside. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, and garam masala. Cook for 1 minute, careful not to burn the ingredients. Toss in the lentils and pour in the water. Bring to a boil. When the water begins to boil, turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The lentils should be soft but not the consistency of baby food. Pour in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Check your seasoning. These last three ingredients make the dish shine. Turn off the heat and serve.
(Ginger freezes well. Keep what's leftover in a sandwich bag in the freezer.)
And the yam fries? Those are easy as well. Preheat the oven to 350F. Peel two yams. Cut them into sticks. Line a baking sheet with foil. In a bowl, toss the yam fries with a tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of both garlic powder and onion powder, 1/2 a teaspoon of smoked paprika, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Place the sticks on the baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes.