Saturday, July 18, 2009

Indian Food Night

Last night we had a great dinner with friends. A lot of this food I picked up from the market but I made some toor daal from a recipe I got from a friend. But first...the market food!

Samosas from the salad bar area of Central Market. These were delicious!

Naan from Trader Joe's.

Daal palak, also from Central Market. It was so good and a bit spicy.

And here's the daal I made! It was a hit! It was also health, as the only oil I used was less than a tablespoon. Here is the recipe, as written by my friend Payal:

Toor Dal (found at Indian grocery stores)
2 1/2 tsp Paprika
3 tsp Cumin-coriander powder
3/4 tsp turmeric
Juice of one lemon (can substitute with lemon juice from store)
7 tsp sugar
green chilli (optional)
a small piece ginger (optional)
salt (according to taste)

Also need separately:
3 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds

Soak the lentils (toor dal) over night if possible or at least 4 hours. Then boil it until its completely soft or put it into a pressure cooker for 3 whistles. Then add some water and whip it until its blended. Now put the pan on a stove and put the whipped dal in there. Add all the spices up to salt. Once the dal is boiling, in a second small pan, heat up oil. Add black mustard seeds and heat until they sizzle. Add fenugreek seeds and heat some more. Add the mixture to the dal. Stir it up and add more water if needed. Let it boil for 30 minutes or until it reaches a desired consistency. Eat with rice.

I used equal amounts of coriander and cumin. I also could not find black mustard seeds so I used brown. Speaking of spices, a good tip is that if you happen to have a store near you that sells them in bulk it's much cheaper to get them from that section. This is especially true if it's a spice for a recipe that you do not use very often.

Oh, a couple of other amendments I made: I did not use the chili and for the garlic, I had some from a jar (oh, the humanity!) and I put in about a teaspoon. I'm not sure if the consistency I made was correct but it was so delicious. The consistency was a bit like mashed potatoes but it went very well with the rice (brown basmati) and the naan.

I loved making food with friends! It was fantastic.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wine Review

Back in late April, some friends and I went to Yakima for their annual Spring Barrel Opening. One of the wineries we visited was Plaza Socievole Winery. I fell in love with their white wines, which is interesting because I usually don't like white wine all that much. I tasted, then bought, a bottle of their 2007 Harmony.

From their website:
This beautiful blend of 75% Viognier and 25% Roussanne. This wine showcases the magnificent terroir of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Fresh aromas of peaches and pineapple intermingle flawlessly with the French oak. The subtle oak accents give this wine a fun yet sophisticated complex mouth feel. "A touch of class in a glass".

I adore both Viognier and Roussanne so putting two together is amazingly delicious. It's complex and smooth. It's a delightful summer drinking wine. This winery definitely deserves a look from everyone. I also bought some Riesling of theirs that I'll have to review soon.

Anyway, I'm not a sophisticated wine reviewer but I know what I like. This white is not too dry for me to want a glass of water afterward nor is it sweet. I wouldn't even label it "semi-dry". I would just say it's good drinkin'. It's crisp and accessible.