Food Blog Vegan MoFo

#VeganMoFo Day 25: Favorite cuisine — Indian

The world is full of pretty amazing food, and I’ve been incredibly fortunate to visit some of those places and eat some of that food. I’ve learned how to make curry from scratch in Thailand and gorged on falafel on Christmas in Paris. Even closer to home, I can explore one dinner at a time: Ethiopian, Korean, Persian, Mexican, Italian…hell, even American, which is pretty all-encompassing. It only makes me hungry for more.

One cuisine I seldom get bored of is Indian. You could eat something different every damn day and still not try everything, and that’s just the veg options. Vegetables can be prepared and combined in endless combination with all those spices. There’s rice, grains, lentils, and beans that become dosas, dhokla, chapati, stuffed parathas, dals, curries… And then there’s regional specialties, about which I am only marginally informed. (When I went to Bangalore for work, for example, I learned about Parsi cuisine, from Indians of Iranian/Persian descent, and got to eat it twice. It was the bessssst, even though I confused them by being *really* into the “plain” greens dish.)

Anyway. It’s pretty awesome. I don’t cook it at home enough, because even though I know it needn’t be terribly complex, it just fails to pop up when I’m doing my usual last-minute dinner planning. MoFo has been good for something, in that sense. So for this theme, I made a quick Indian dinner, using recipes and a menu from The Indian Vegan Kitchen. I have a few Indian cookbooks, but this is the one I tend to use.

Dinner consisted of quick channa masala (to which I added spinach)…

…peanut-cabbage “salad” (it is cooked; really more of a nice vegetable side than a salad)…

…and rice to serve. Yum.

Bonus: earlier this week I made a nice chaat-inspired sprout salad with sprouted lentils, tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, pepper, onion, and fresh homemade cilantro chutney.

I wanted to make something with chapatis, because I love flatbread, but this really did work better over rice. Plus it’s less work after work. Next time.

Food Blog

Tonight’s dinner includes mung dal, garlic-ginger kale, toasted cashew and tomato salad, and freshly griddled scallion roti

This was the best luck I’ve had with flatbreads probably ever, in terms of texture. The recipe is very simple: 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, 1 cup water, then kneaded in some chopped green onion for funsies (guess what I stocked up on at the market this week?). My usual inclination is to get the dough so it’s a little too dry; I let this stay a bit tacky and just used flour when flattening it out into roti, which I did with my hand, much like working a pizza crust. Cooked in my trusty cast iron skillet with some oil, it got brown and bubbly but remained soft and pliable. Definitely gotta do that again.

The dal is easy – mung dal has the wonderful quality of pureeing with a simple whisking once cooked, so that went in the multicooker with turmeric, ginger, and salt. After it was cooked and pureed, I threw in a little frypan on oil, toasted cumin and mustard seeds, cayenne, and coriander.