Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Last Minute Indian Dinner

Do you ever have a night when your refrigerator and cupboard are bleak and far from over-flowith? Well last night was such an evening. Of course dinner was a nessesity considering the three hungery children and two hungry parents in this household where needing to be appease their demanding stomachs. I scoured a bit, remembered the dried black lentils my mother had recently given me, and that bag of basmati rice in the back of the cupboard. Slowly, what was scrounging became inspiration. I looked through some naan recipes and vegetable rice biryani ideas.  Then suddenly dinner became an epic affaire with black lentil dal, rice biryani, rita, chapattis, saag panier, and pomegranate chutney. I swear, I thought I had nothing in the pantry, but I guess I had just enough of all the right things to make this particular meal. The chapattis were amazing and I squealed when I nibbled a triale taste. And just to note I don't squeal. The recipes I looked at were for naan, but the way I altered it I am pretty sure these are more of a chapati now. Anyway, I highly recomend trying them.
Chapatti Recipe:
In a large bowl let sit until yeast foams:
1 cup warm water
1 package yeast (2+1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup sugar
Once foamy add then kneed:
1 egg
1/4 cup plain yogurt
4 cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Place dough in an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for and hour.
Once risen knead and divide into twelve equal size balls. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
Heat a skillet to medium hot. Roll out each ball until as thin as possible. Place on the skillet dry and cook for a couple minutes. Lift the edge and check underneath, when small brown spots appear on the underside, rub upside with melted butter then flip and cook again. Check for doneness, trust me, you will  know because you may squeal like I did. They look so F-ing real and just wait 'til you taste them. 
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Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the rita, but here is the recipe:
Rita Recipe:
Finely grate about 1 cup cucumber. Squeeze hard to remove the juice. There will no longer be 1 cup cucumber maybe it will even half in size. Add 1 cup plain yogurt and 1/2 cup sour cream. Top with 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin.  
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The pomegranate chutney sufficed, although it didn't knock your socks off. I was just happy because pomegranates were the only fruit I had in the house.
Pomegranate Chutney Recipe
In a dry pan saute:
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
Add in a bit of oil and saute:
3 jalapeno peppers chopped fine
Squeeze juice of 1 pomegranate into pan
add 2 teaspoons sugar
and 1 teaspoon corn starch first dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1 pinch ground cloves

Continue to mix about one minute or until thick.

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Anyway, happy end to an unexpected meal. 
There was even enough to send on with my parents when they stopped by so yeay!
P.S.       The rice came out good too, but I will have to make it again to figure out exactly what I did before I pass on the recipe.  Hopefully a post to come soon! 
                                                                                                                   ~Marica

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