Friday, November 22, 2013

An update and Tomatillos

Every time I sit down to write a post, the same thought pops up in my head - It has been so long since my last post. I wish I could say it is because there have been exciting events or because I have been travelling or that I have been super busy or that I haven't been cooking lately. No none of it. I have been in Portland, not traveled anywhere, there is always an excuse to be busy and I have been cooking.
And herein lies the problem - I have been making simple everyday food and it really is nothing to blog about. I have two new found  distractions addictions to kill time. Scrabble for Droid (I can be anti social on networks and play solo) and the super easy collection of NY times crosswords.  And then a renewed interest in knitting. My friend gave me her stash of yarn and I have been eyeing this hat pattern and this lovely ladybug coat.  
But since this is a cooking blog there must be a recipe. It is lentils again but definitely not ho-hum.  French Puy lentils seasoned with tomatillos and black pepper- The tomatillos literally melt into the dish and add a bright  but subtle tang. If you have pre cooked lentils; this dish comes together in the time it takes to cook rice. Add some roasted pappad and a cucumber salad and it is the perfect comfort food.

Serves 5 as a main course

**2 cups dry lentils cooked or 3 cups  canned lentils.
1/4 of a yellow onion sliced thin
3 cloves of garlic peeled and coarsely chopped
*4 small tomatillos (the size of cherry tomatoes) or equivalent roughly chopped.
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper (or more)
1/2 tsp of turmeric
2 bay leaves/ tej patta
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp of oil.
salt to taste
*Remove the papery skins of the tomatillos; wash well in warm water and then chop.
** cooking instructions for lentils - Follow instructions here. But you want to cook it a little longer for dal
Heat the oil in a large sauce pan on medium high and add the cumin seeds. When the seeds crackle add the sliced onion and fry until brown spots appear. Add the bay leaves and the black pepper and mix. Immediately add the chopped tomtoes and garlic.  Add the turmeric and cook until the tomatoes  start releasing water  but still hold shape(3 minutes or so). Add the tomatillo and saute for a couple of minutes. Now add the cooked lentils and any cooking water and salt to taste.  Lower the heat a little and let it come to a simmer and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as required. Turn off the heat, cover the saucepan and let stand for a few minutes before serving.

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