Category Archives: Indian

Anil’s Lentils

I was scrolling through, and realized I have never posted my friend Anil’s Indian lentil recipe.  I was sure I had posted it at some point, but I can’t find it!  So, I’m posting it for you now.

This was probably the first Indian food I ever ate! Years ago, when I was in grad school, my friend Anil would have the rest of us over for dinner, and this dish was his specialty. He spent hours making it, and we usually didn’t eat until about 10pm – mostly because we were all goofing around while he and his roommates cooked, drank beer, and listened to music. It was always a special treat, and we always looked forward to a dinner invitation to Anil’s house. When we both finished grad school – at my graduation party, in fact – I begged Anil to share his recipe. He ended up writing it for me on a party napkin (which I still have)! I’m so glad he shared it!  Enjoy!

Anil’s Indian Lentils

Recipe from Anil
Serves 10

2 cup dried yellow or red lentils
5 cups water
4 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
2 Tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp red pepper flakes
14 oz canned diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 green chiles, chopped (I use Anaheim or hatch chiles)
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp tumeric
2 tsp table salt
1 cup cilantro, chopped

In a pressure cooker, combine lentils and water. Bring to a boil (high pressure), turn down heat and cook 10-15 min.

Meanwhile, in another medium saucepan, combine oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and dried red pepper flakes. Cook until seeds pop. Then add tomatoes, chopped onions, chopped cilantro, chopped chiles, chili powder, tumeric, and salt. Simmer for about 5 minutes.

When lentils are finished, pour in the vegetable/spice mixture. Stir to combine. Serve over brown basmati rice or with a piece of naan.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 229.5
Total Fat: 7.3 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 594.5 mg
Potassium: 90.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 29.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.8 g
Sugars: 2.6 g
Protein: 12.3 g


Vegetarian Curry with Butternut Squash, Eggplant, and Chickpeas

I was looking through my food photos, and I realized I never posted this recipe from this winter! It’s almost too late in the season for recipes with butternut squash, but I thought I’d go ahead and post it before I forgot!

We found this recipe (that goes with our Cuisinart Multicooker) on the Williams-Sonoma website when we were in the mood for a cozy vegetarian meal, and it was fantastic! Next fall & winter when we have butternut squash around, we will be making it again! And it also freezes well, too! Enjoy!

Vegetarian Curry with Butternut Squash, Eggplant, and Chickpeas
Serves 8
Slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma website

2 Tbsp sunflower oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
3 Tbsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 can (14.5 oz./455 g) no salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups chickpeas, no-salt added, drained and rinsed
1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 can (13.66 fl. oz./403 ml) light coconut milk
8 oz green beans, trimmed and halved
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Preheat a Cuisinart multicooker on the brown/sauté setting to 400°F (200°C) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Warm the oil in the multicooker. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, curry powder, cayenne, sugar and salt andrcook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, eggplant, chickpeas, cauliflower, potato, squash and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. **Alternatively – this step can be done on the stovetop in a large skillet, then transferred into the slow cooker.**

2. Set the multicooker (or a slow-cooker) on the slow cook-high setting. Cover and cook until the cauliflower and potato are almost tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Stir in the green beans and bell pepper, cover and cook until tender, about 45 minutes more. Stir in the lime juice and the 1/2 cup cilantro. Serve the curry over rice and garnished with cilantro.

Nutritional info (not including rice):
Calories: 238.1
Total Fat: 8.1 g
Saturated Fat: 3.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 620.2 mg
Potassium: 820.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 39.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 10.6 g
Sugars: 4.0 g
Protein: 7.2 g

Channa Masala

Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve added things! Lots of catching up to do!

So – we’ll start with last week’s meal of Channa Masala. My love of Indian food began many years ago, when I was in graduate school. When I started school, I had never had Indian food! Although I was a picky eater at the time, I ended up accepting a friend’s invitation for dinner. He was from India, and I had no idea what to expect. He ended up making an amazing meal, and I was amazed when one of the foods he made was a lentil dish, since I swore I didn’t like lentils! Once we graduated, I begged him for the lentil recipe, and finally got it when he wrote it on a napkin at my graduation party! I’ll have to make that one soon (so be on the lookout)!

Several years later, I was working with another friend from India, named Sailatha (we called her Sai), and she would often bring a lovely bowl of channa masala for lunch. I begged her for the recipe, and she kept saying she would eventually write it down for me. When she finally left for another job, she gave each of us a present. Mine was a recipe book, and she had hand-written her Channa Masala recipe for me!

So, this is Sai’s Channa Masala recipe, and although we miss her at work, making this recipe always reminds me of her!

Channa masala - done

Channa Masala
Recipe from Sai
Makes 6 servings

3 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed & drained (2 cans)
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ground turmeric
3 tsp ground coriander
1 medium fresh tomato, chopped
1 cup water
2 tsp cumin seeds, dry toasted, then ground
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp chopped red hot chili peppers, chopped (I use approximately one cayenne pepper)
1 tsp ginger root, grated

Toast cumin seeds dry in a small skillet, until they release their scent. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Mash or grind when cool.
Channa masala - toasting cumin seeds

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chopped onions, garlic and saute over medium heat until brown.

Add tumeric, coriander, and stir for a few seconds. Add chopped tomato and cook until browned lightly. Add chickpeas and 1 cup water, & stir. Add roasted cumin seeds, chili powder, salt, and lemon juice. Cook covered for 10 min.
Channa masala - in pan
Add minced chiles & ginger. Stir and cook uncovered for 30 seconds. Serve over brown basmati rice.

Nutrition Info:
Calories: 191.6
Total Fat: 4.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 562.6 mg
Total Carbs: 33.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.9 g
Protein: 6.9 g