I am not feeling well. I officially have my second cold of the season. No flu’s yet, thankfully. But this makes two nasty head colds. I feel foggy, a little bit out of it, and just a touch passy-out-y. And (strangely enough) HUNGRY!!! Super hungry. All I want to do is eat the SPICIEST food I can get my hands on and kick this cold into oblivion. In honor of that urge I am going to post a recipe for Curried Dhal with Spinach and my favorite grilled flatbread.

Curried Dhal with Spinach

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, minced

1 carrot, peeled and cut into small dice

1 stalk celery, also small dice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1″ piece of ginger, peeled and minced

2 Tbsp curry powder

1/2 tsp cumin

**opt: 1/2 tsp green curry paste to spice it up a little more.

1/2 cup red lentils, well rinsed

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Salt and Pepper to taste

4 large handfuls fresh spinach, roughly chopped

Sambal Olek to serve alongside

In a large pot heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté until the onion is almost cooked through. Add the spices and the ginger and garlic. Fry for several minutes, stirring often. Add the lentils and toss them with all the veggies and spices. Add the stock, cover and allow it to come to boil. Stir, turn the heat to medium and let cook about twenty minutes, stirring several times. Once all the liquid is absorbed, the veggies are cooked and the lentils are soft, remove the pot from the heat and throw in the spinach. Season with salt and pepper to taste and eat with some fresh naan or the try the following flatbread recipe.

pan-fried Flatbread

2 1/2 cups flour

30 mL vegetable oil

pinch salt

1.5 tsp baking powder

150 mL HOT water

Combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the oil to the hot water. Make a well in the centre of the flour and dump in the wet all at once. Use your fingers to start pulling the dry into the wet until a dough forms. Knead several times. Divide the dough into 10 pieces. Keep the pieces you aren’t working with covered with a damp towel or a piece of plastic wrap. On a floured surface roll each piece of dough out into a circular shape as thin as you can. Heat up a fry pan and add quite a bit of oil to the pan. There should be enough to cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer. When it is very hot, add the first bread and fry until golden on each side (about 4 minutes each side). Put it on a sheet pan covered with paper towel while you fry the next. You may need to add more oil to the pan as you go, and adjust the temperature so as not to burn the bread. I usually end up with my heat around medium by the second or third bread. Let cool and eat! This dough is also very good on a grill or the barbeque in the summer. I have used it as a pizza crust to good effect as well. It is quick and versatile. Give it a try!



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