indian food

I Was Summoned To Make Dal

I’d swore I’d never do it. I’d swore I’d never post 10 pictures of the same damn thing from different angles like all of the other food bloggers but today is an exception. I was summoned to make Indian daal, dal, dahl or dhal, however you spell it. Here are the pictorials, followed by the cooking instructions. Oishikata (it was delicious).image[3]imageimage[2]image[1]image[4]image[5]image[6]

2 cups yellow split peas
1 cup orange lentils
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 cinnamon stick

(In a large pot, bring the above with 2-3 cups of water to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour or until soft and mushy – you will need to stir and top up the water every now and then)

1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 medium onion, chopped small
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped small
1/2 knob of ginger, chopped small
1 tbsp vegetarian indian curry paste (optional)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped small
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp sea salt
1 can coconut cream

In a frying pan, warm 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds, cover the pan and wait briefly until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Then add onion, garlic, ginger and curry paste. Fry until translucent. Add remaining ingredients: tomatoes, pepper, coriander powder and sea salt and cook for 10 minutes or so or until the flavours have melded.

Now add the lentil mixture to the onion/tomato mixture or vice versa and stir.

Turn the heat down and bit by bit add the coconut cream depending on your desired consistency. To state the obvious, the more coconut milk, the runnier the curry.

fresh coriander
2-3 tbsp coconut cream
squeeze of lemon

Serve topped with fresh coriander, a splash of coconut cream and a squeeze of lemon.

 

One Love One Heart

I have only ever fasted in two different environments. One, at home, with mum, dad and my sister where maman would always always prepare a feast of our most favorite Persian dishes: ghormesabzi, beef kebabs, salad olivieh and to finish, orange and saffron syrup cake. We would be gathered around the dinner table with my sister and I’s eyes glued on the wall clock’s face eagerly awaiting the sunset when suddenly, my dad would start chanting a really long prayer that always finished too late! I’d be so mad at him! Making me fast for an extra 5 minutes! Ha, can’t help but laugh at those times today.

And two, in Haifa, Israel where I volunteered at the Bahai World Center. There, 99% of the staff fasted, so as my family home, we all broke the fast, together, in a joyful and vibrant fashion. In Japan, where I live alone in a village with literally no one my age, things are different. I spent the first days of the fast eating dinner by myself which is fine and all and solidarity is important etc etc but compared to the previous years, it was less exciting come sunset. Though last night, Kaori invited me over for Indian! She said, she and her husband, Taka had traveled through the Middle East during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan so she knew how breaking a fast was often celebrated as a social and joyous occasion.

Both Emma and I (see below picture) patiently waited until the sun set with our eyes glued not on the clock but on the rice cooker and ended up eating too much food as always.

We ate 2 different kinds of vegan curry with purple rice, homemade papadum and coleslaw with raisins and cumin. For dessert, we had vegan, gluten and sugar-free chocolate cake. This cake was so freakishly delicious that I’m going to recreate it tonight to take to Akiko and Lifa’s place (Yes! Another family dinner). In other words, the recipe and pictures will feature Saturday.

“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.” -Gwendolyn Brooks

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review no28 sivam indian restaurant

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After the novelty of authentic Japanese food wears off (and it will), it’s beyond gratifying to chow down on anything that isn’t flavored by the sea, fried or rice. However; the rice at newly opened Sivam Indian restaurant in Yunogo is an exception because it comes with authentic Indian curry (cooked by Indian chefs) and ginormous as-big-as-your-torso naan. In addition; they have vegetarian options which are scarce in Japan. Pictured above is a set lunch option of vege curry and naan for a mere 750 yen (about $8NZD)! Sivam also sells adorable pottery, chopstick stands (in the form of edamame, broad bean, mushroom and chilli-pepper), house-made carrot dressing, chilli powder and mukhwas, a colourful indian after dinner snack or digestive aid. Definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in Yunogo. In fact, Yunogo is becoming one of my fave hangouts!