Monday, October 13, 2008

I love little indian shops!

So I just recently discovered a little indian corner grocer a block from my house! He sells paneer, spices, and all the other little goodies.

I tried frying up some paneer for the first time, as well as make some dal, and of course, a little salate to round things off.

Masoor Dal
with caramelized onions, sweet bell pepper, garlic, spices, and curry leaves (also a garnish)

(I think this was Masoor dal - split lentils...but i'm not 100% sure)

To be honest, I didn't let the flavors marry well in this dish, as I added almost every flavoring at the end, after cooking ceased, which meant that it was kind of disjointed. Next time I'm going to let them all cook together, especially the curry leaves. Which I need to find a way to take out (like bouquet garni, the french herb bundle), because they don't taste amazing to eat! I'm not sure what Indians do...will need some research. =) Needless to say, having an indian grocer with fresh curry leaves is excellent!

The salate:

Pan Seared Paneer and Peas
with onion, bell pepper, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, and coriander seed

This was tasty - but I did not expect to be able to sear cheese! This was a loosely followed recipe. Paneer does not melt, as I have now come to understand. In any case, it was a little firmer than I expected, not quite the melt-in-your-mouth I imagined it would be. Tasty though, and like tofu, absorbs flavor well, as it is very plain on its own. I would definitely like to dry it in a wet cooking method next time, like curry, to get it a little softer.

By the way, dal is an amazing college kid food - so easy, nutritious, and can be made it big batches for many meals. The flavoring is up to you - but all you do is boil split lentils

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