The first is toor dal with corn, and it’s from Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Easy book. The second is msa’aa, from the Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook by Salma Hage. Both are reproduced here with no permission at all, and of course I will delete them if asked to by the author or publisher.
Toor Dal with Corn
210g toor dal or similar, washed and drained
.25 tsp ground turmeric
1 fresh corn cob, cut crossways into 1″ pieces
1.25 tsp salt
.25-.75 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp olive oil, rapeseed oil or ghee
.125 tsp asafoetida
.5 tsp whole cumin seeds
.5 tsp brown mustard seeds
2 red dried chillis
Put the dal and 1 litre of water into a medium pan, bring to the boil and skim off the froth that rises to the top. Lower the heat and add the turmeric. Stir, cover partially, and simmer gently for 1 hour.
Add the corn, salt, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and sugar to the pan. Stir, cover partially again, and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Heat the oil in a small frying pan When it is very hot, add the asafoetida, cloves, cumin and mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds pop, pour the contents of the frying pan into the dal. Stir and serve.
I’m cooking the dal for this just now. I haven’t tried it before, but it looks great.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200°C/Gas Mark 6.
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2-inch/5-cm chunks
2 courgettes, chopped into 1-inch/2.5-cm pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 aubergines, chopped into 1-2-inch/2.5-5-cm chunks
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1½-inch/4-cm chunks
2 onions, finely chopped
7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Lebanese 7-Spice Seasoning (buy it ready made or find a recipe to grind your own)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 sprig thyme or rosemary
6 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 (14-oz/400-g) can chickpeas, drained
scant ½ cup (3½ fl oz/ 100 ml) vegetable broth (stock)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
sea salt and pepper
brown rice, to serve (optional)
Arrange the sweet potato and courgette chunks in a large roasting pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Toss well, then roast for 10 minutes.
Add the aubergine and bell pepper to the pan and roast, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet or frying pan over medium heat, add the onions and garlic, and gently cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the spices and the thyme or rosemary and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, vegetable broth (stock), and balsamic vinegar and cook for 10 minutes.
Take the pan of roasted vegetables out of the oven and add the sauce from the pan. Stir to combine in the roasting pan. Wrap the top of the pan in aluminium foil. Return to the oven and roast for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to let the vegetables to soak up the sauce.
Remove the foil, stir, and return to the oven to cook for another 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, stir again, and let cool for a few minutes. Remove the thyme or rosemary sprig and serve piled on top of hot brown rice, if desired.
I made Msa’aa for the first time yesterday and it is absolutely delicious.
And this is another Salma Hage recipe, from the same book. I’m going to make this as soon as I’ve done this post, so fingers crossed it’s as tasty as it looks.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
120g red or mixed quinoa, rinsed
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced
1 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or approx 115g dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked)
1 tsp ground cumin
4 red peppers, halved and seeded
handful chopped parsley leaves
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
100g tomato puree
1 tsp Lebanese 7-spice seasoning (buy it ready made or grind your own)
salt and pepper
Cook the quinoa in 250ml water for about 12 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and the water is all absorbed. Drain, rinse, squeeze, set aside in a large bowl
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and yellow pepper together for a few minutes. Add the chickpeas and cumin, and cook for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then tip it all into the bowl with the quinoa and mix everything together.
Preheat the oven to 375F/190C/GM5.
Heat the oil in a saucepan, then add the onion and cook until slightly golden. Add the tomato puree and 800ml boiling water. Cook for 10 mins on a rolling boil, then add the 7-spice and salt and pepper. Pour the sauce into an ovenproof dish and set aside.
Fill the red pepper halves with the stufffing and sink them into the sauce in the ovenproof dish. Any leftover stuffing can be added to the sauce to help it thicken. Cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, add parsley and serve.