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Lentils, tender green peas and rice with tempered spices tucked into a mason jar. The jar appears precious and hipster but is actually totally practical – a perfect fit for a woman’s work bag.

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Coconut Cashew Potatoes

April 17, 2016

I’ve been meaning to tell you about this potato recipe for ages. It’s a go to recipe of mine for dinner parties where I need a decadent main dish. It’s the kind of dish that no one can dislike. Well, except for friends with nut allergies and most small children. They will not be fans. But other than them, everyone will love it.

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Rich coconut, nutty cashews, strong but subtly blended in spices and creamy potatoes. It’s the kind of dish that conjures images of mogul kings feasting while being fanned with a peacock feather. I’m not sure peacock fans is a thing but that’s what I think of when I eat these potatoes.

The recipe is adapted from Suvir Saran’s Indian Home Cooking‘s Coconut Cashew Chicken. If you don’t already own this cookbook, I highly recommend purchasing it. There’s a lot of the basics in and recipes that you can easily adapt to your own.

In short, this recipe basically involves dry roasting 8 ingredients, blending them, putting them back in the skillet to brown, stirring in water and then adding in potatoes and cooking until tender. How much easier can it get?

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Rasam is spicy, tangy South Indian lentils. When I hear it called ‘soup’ or described as being served in a shot glass, the snarky part of me shudders. We ate rasam and rice plus a side of a green sautéed veggie basically every night growing up.

It’s hard core basic South Indian food. And it’s good. Especially if you’re sick. It can soothe a soar throat, sour belly and a fever.

The base recipe is to temper the oil with mustard seeds then add green chilis and curry leaves followed by a few tomatoes, rasam powder, water, tamarind juice and then yellow lentils. A few other variations call for using lemon, garlic and cherry tomatoes – individually or like I did below, all together.

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Lemon Spiced Lentils
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 green chilies, destemmed and halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 lemon, juiced with halves preserved
  • Rasam powder to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup toor daal, soaked overnight and pressure cooked until soft
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Fistful of cilantro (optional), chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat oil on medium heat. Add mustard seeds and cook on low heat until seeds pop and sputter.
  2. Add cumin seeds, garlic and chilies. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add tomatoes, half of the cilantro and lemon halves, reduce heat to medium low and cook 4-5 minutes until tomatoes melt.
  4. Mix in rasam powder then water, daal, lemon juice and salt.
  5. Bring to a boil then a gentle simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Adjust salt and lemon juice as needed. Top with remaining cilantro.

I don’t always have curry leaves because they require a trip to the Indian grocery story, and so I leave them out. The taste doesn’t suffer. I experimented with throwing in an entire lemon cut into halves in the pot. It enhanced the taste by creating a perfect lemon garlic harmony. Remove the lemons before packing any leftovers to keep it from If you store the rasam overnight, the lemons may eventually become bitter so better remove them before packing up any leftover.

 

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Sweet Corn Curry

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This dish is so easy to make, so delicious to eat, so fragrant to smell and so pretty to look at that you have to make it. Trust me. Mouthfuls of sweet crunchy corn in a creamy mildly spiced coconut broth. It’s equal parts curl up on your sofa in sweatpants and lay in a […]

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Homemade Yogurt

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White semi-gelatinous substance. Weirdly holds the shape of the container for too long. Chemical-y looking sheen. That’s how  most standard store-bought yogurts can be described. The yogurt I grew up eating was creamy. Milky tasting. Sweet and tart and thick. It was also homemade. Making yogurt at home is one of three staples of a South […]

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Cooking, Time Management and Cooking a Whole Head of Cauliflower

makhani sauce

A young woman asked me recently during a career panel at my office about my time management tricks. The idea presumably being that I am able manage having a busy job while being a mom and having a spouse who also works. (In case you are wondering, chronic multitasking. Also, it’s definitely not always pretty.) […]

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Runny Egg Potato Latkes

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Potatoes go shred. Eggs go crack. Potatoes go fry. Eggs go fry. Potatoes go crunch crunch. Eggs go run run.   Recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen, Big Breakfast Latkes

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First School Lunch

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Monday was one of those life changing days. I had to start packing school lunch. Oh, and Surya started staying at school until 3:15 pm each day instead of coming home after a half day at 11:45 am. So far, we seem to be equally excited about school lunch. On Thursday, as a prelude to […]

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