Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Dining with the Bloggers - September 21st

There are a couple of people from my food blog circle of friends of which I can say, "I knew them when..." One is Alice - we first "met" on the Cooking Light BB. The other is Nupur - I was honored to host her first post, an entry for IMBB 11, back in January. Her post, which explains how to sprout lentils and then shares a recipe for Pan-fried Sprouted Lentils, is to this day one of the most popular on my blog.

Shortly after that IMBB, Nupur went on to start her own blog - One Hot Stove. Nupur, who lives in New York City, has a variety of recipes on her blog, from tempting baked goods, to traditional Indian fare, to her own take on some classics using unexpected ingredients. Recently she began a series of posts on foods from the Indian state that she calls home, Maharashtra. The series is titled "The A-Z of Marathi Food" and will present a new recipe each time beginning with the letter A and progressing to Z. First was "A is for Amti", then "B is for Bhendi Fry and Bharli Vaangi", and who knows what C will bring!

As soon as I saw Nupur's post on Amti, I knew I wanted to make it, but first I had to make a trip to the Indian grocery store to buy a few ingredients. I love an excuse to buy new and unfamiliar ingredients and my most recent acquisitions were jaggery (much like brown sugar), Shahi jeera (black cumin seeds), red chili powder, and toor dal (yellow split peas). I should have paid more attention to the fact that I was running low on a couple of the more familiar ingredients - cumin seeds and coriander seeds - but unfortunately it wasn't until I began cooking that I realized I didn't have enough of either. Rather than attempt a last minute trip to the store, I cut back on the amounts of the spices in the Amti masala to correspond with the amount of cumin seed that I had on hand (only one teaspoon of the masala is needed to prepare the Amti). Unfortunately, I realized after I had prepared the masala that I needed more cumin seeds for preparing the Amti itself - aaahhh! So rather than including the cumin seeds in the tadka, I included ground cumin with the other other spices that were supposed to be added to the oil and onion mixture before the cooked dal were added. Oops. So I threw them in after the dal. Next time I will do better. I promise.

In spite of all my foul-ups, the Amti was really delicious (of course I am partial to anything with beans). So imagine how good it must be when properly prepared! I ate the leftovers for dinner tonight and enjoyed it equally well the second time around, though I did need to add a little water to thin it out. I can't wait to see what the rest of the alphabet brings... I've already got my eye on B!

Zarah is still hard at work on a school assignment, but devoted food blogger that she is, I have no doubt she will have found another wonderful blog and recipe to share with us!


Nupur said...

Cathy that looks beautiful! Thank you so much for writing about my little alphabetical experiment :) and for trying the recipe. So glad it worked are my blogging inspiration!

Nic said...

Aw, Nupur is so sweet!
This looks great, though, Cathy.

Anonymous said...

I will be sure to keep track of the A-Z recipes on Nupur's blog. What a clever idea!! I'm sure there will be many I'd like to try, too.

(And funny you should mention meeting me on the CLBB...I have made the recipe you posted there for melon sorbetto so many times!! I thought about emailing you and thanking you for posting it after I made it with both cantaloupe and watermelon a few weeks ago. I suppose I should have, but it's not too late...Thank You!)

Cathy said...

Hi Nupur - thank you!! I am eagerly awaiting the rest of the series!!

Hi Nic - that she is!

Hi Alice - I'll bet you (as a fellow bean-lover) would really enjoy this recipe. (And you're welcome!)

Hi Meena - thanks for the invite, but I have trouble keeping up with all the events these days as it is - actually, I don't keep up! I will enjoy seeing what everyone comes up with though, because I do love spicy food!

Joycelyn said...

hi cathy, that looks awesome, as always...what a terrific heatter brownies; i especially like her palm beach brownies from the book of great chocolate desserts. they are insanely rich tho'...

Ana said...

I'm also a fan of Nupur's blog and I'm enjoying her series. When I saw the recipe for Amti I thought I would try it. Like you I will have to make a trip to the Indian food store. Your picture of Amti looks delicious and now I will try my own version soon. Like you, I love beans.

Thanks for mentioning the Pan Fried Sprouted Lentils. I did not know about it and I'm sure going to try it (minus the chili powder, of course - my only problem with Indian food - I really do not like "hot" spices). I'm also going to try the sprouting Nupur's way. Have been considering purchasing one of the so-called "contraptions". Well, maybe I don't need to.

Cathy said...

Hi Jocelyn - I noticed that recipe when I was browsing the brownie recipes the other night - 1/2 an ounce of unsweetened chocolate per brownie - OMG!

Hi Ana - Glad to here it! They've started carrying many of these ingredients in the two regular grocery stores that I frequent, but there are still a few things I need to visit an Indian grocery for. Fortunately there are several nearby, so I don't have any trouble finding what I need. I haven't tried the sprouted lentils yet, but hope to soon.

Hi AG - thanks! It's funny - I noticed that meme a few days ago on a non-food blog and out of curiousity went and figured out what sentence that would be in my blog. I should have made note of it, because I've forgotten already! Anyway, the meme sounds easy enough so I should be able to get it done this weekend.

Joycelyn said...

it's definitely not for the so rich, but so so good...would love to see you give it a go!

Anonymous said... just turned me onto another great food blog. I went to check out Nupur's site - GREAT STUFF! I've only recently taken an interest in cooking indian dishes at home as opposed to dining out at restaurants. Thanks for this very informative post on your experiments with indian cuisine. Now I'll have to see if I can find a good indian grocery supply around here!

P.S. RYC: Yup, a brother for Maddie is a possibility in the future!

sailu said...

You would put any Indian homemake to shame with that dal.Excellent,cathy.Coming from someone who is new to Indian Cuisine..Wow!
Maybe you should check out this Lentil Stew called 'Sambar' ,a fenugreek leaves dal curry called 'Methi Dal' and another type of lentil (Bengal Gram Dal) which is a stirfry called Methi Channa Dal for more ideas.Just some suggestions so that you have some idea of how the dal recipes differ from region to region within our country..:)

sailu said...

Am back..I meant 'homemaker'...*LOL*

Cathy said...

Thanks so much Sailu! Looks like you have some wonderful recipes - I'll have to spend some time looking through them. I'm especially curious about the Methi Dal - I'll have to see if I can find fresh Fenugreek leaves around here. I have a whole box of dried ones I have no idea how to use - any ideas?