Friday, September 16, 2011

The Musical Fruit

I have been on a bean kick lately. Although it may seem odd to be eating hot soup in hot weather, to me beans are a very light and digestible protein when compared to eating animal flesh. As a kid I always hated a big grilled steak in summer, which felt like it sat for hours and hours in my stomach.

I have been cooking out of a new book, "The Indian Slow Cooker," by Anupy Singla. First up is Dad's Rajmah, a red kidney bean dish with a relish of raw onion, cilantro, hot pepper flakes, salt and lime juice.  Very delicious.

Next is yellow spit pea (split moong) dal. Here is what is looks like going in....

.....and the finished product! I didn't like this one as much as the Rajmah.  Interestingly, I read an article about slow cooking that says the long cooking can make the spices fade and give a bitter taste. That is exactly what I experienced! Perhaps that is why in traditional Indian cooking the spices are sauteed separately and added at the end of cooking. Need to do some more experimenting on this one. One thing I really like about this book is that they show pictures of all the different kinds of beans. I find that in some Indian cookbooks, the names they use often mean different things (eg. lentils don't always mean the brown ones we are used to).

This is the hummus from "Peas and Thank You." The recipe instructs you to peel the chickpeas for an ultra smooth and creamy hummus. I probably would not do that every time, but the hummus was delicious. I haven't had homemade in a while - it is so much more lemony and tahini-ish that store bought!

Here are some veggies from my neighbor's garden. I wish the perspective was better - that zucchini was as big as a small baseball bat! I used it to make a raw zucchini salad marinated in lemon dressing. I'm not much for raw zucchini, but this salad was good. I made ribbons of zucchini with a vegetable peeler. They were very thin and kind of "cooked" in the dressing - kind of like an escabeche. Pretty too - but I forgot to snap a pic.

Is there anything better than a tomato sandwich? These tomatoes were the real deal. When I ran out, I bought some at the farmer's market and they were terrible! All white and mealy inside. Next year I must grow my own!


Get Skinny, Go Vegan. said...

My FAVORITE BOOK!!!!! Love Dad's Rajmah!!
It's one of my faves! Yes, I had to kind of use the indian names of the beans at the store!

Because lentils don't just mean lentils!!!!! At all!!
Under the english names, the hindi names are printed, on each recipe, and that helped me a lot!! Also, if you have an Indian Store, they have all of the beans-Whole Foods doesn't have the Urad Dal or the type of black "lentil" at all. The only ones I could get at Whole foods were white chickpeas, kidney, and green whole mung beans.

The Shenandoah Vegan said...

Goodness! Skinny *ass is all excited by that book and the lentils!

I enjoyed the post, but not as much as she obviously did.