Tarka dhal. That wonderful, creamy, spiced lentil dish that goes beautifully with every Indian meal. And yet, it’s not one that springs to mind when you think curry. It should be.
Indian lentil curry with spinach is a dish I make regularly when I cook Indian. It’s flavourful, nicely spiced and healthy. It’s even vegan and gluten-free. It combines classic Indian spices, onion, ginger, garlic and a bit of green chili with red lentils and spinach. A bit of tomato rounds it out. Masoor dal with palak would be the Indian name. I doubt you’ll find it on a menu anywhere though. This is homestyle cooking.
Chickpeas. Indian spices. Tomatoes. Chilies. Onions, garlic and ginger. Sound good? It is. This isn’t the most conventional chana masala but I’m going by the literal translation so I think I’m safe. Chana is Hindi for chickpea and masala means spiced or spice mixture. I have chickpeas. I have spice. I’m calling it chana masala. I think I’m safe.
I love beans. And these savory navy beans are near the top of my list. Rosemary. Thyme. Parsley. Onions and garlic. Shallot. What’s not to love? I also love how the house smells when I cook this. It’s a meal in a bowl. A stew really. Nourishing. Satisfying. Just good.
Panzanella is a tuscan tomato bread salad from the land of endless summer. If you like tomatoes and you like bread you owe it to yourself to try it at least once.
Where I live tomatoes are trucked for miles in winter. I think they’re tomatoes. That what the sign says. The taste says nothing. Nothing. Dust. In summer though, picked at the peak of ripeness from nearby farms the tomato is a magical thing. For me, it just screams summer and I work them into almost every meal for as long as they last.
This is one of those recipes that you have to be careful with. It’s good. Very good. Crazy good. This mac and cheese is so good it can outshine your lovingly prepared mains. I know. I’ve done it to myself. More than once.
But it can be a secret weapon as well. Imagine you are going to a pot luck and you want to be the star. This is a dish that can do it. The ultimate sleeper side.