I also wanted to run the menu past Alan who'd been informed we were Meatless Mondaying it. I wanted to make sure he'd like everything I was cooking up, I didn't want to repeat anything I've been cooking and I wanted to make sure he absolutely positively would not miss his meat. For a while I thought of cheating and doing some fish, which technically, as someone who went to Catholic school for 12 years knows, is cool for meatless days. But then I thought, if I'm doing this meatless thing, I'm really doing it. I was committing.
What I finally decided on was three dishes that I thought would work well together. A buttermilk soup or sambar, a raw spinach salad with a spicy dressing, and the perfect blending of Basmati rice and Moong dal known as a Kitcheree.
A lot of kitcheree recipes call for a pressure cooker. I don't own one. Growing up, my mom had a pressure cooker. She still does and I'm deathly afraid of it. I know a lot of little kids are scared of the vacuum cleaner. That roaring sound and the big headlight bearing down on you in a long dark hallway is terrifying. Right? Right? Ok maybe it's just me. Ok, I admit it I was afraid of the vacuum cleaner. I also hated the pressure cooker. I was always afraid it was about to blow. I hated that little weight my mom would put on the lid, I hated the whistle. To me it seemed like some sort of primitive nuclear reactor and my mom was Homer Simpson. I just didn't trust the damn thing. So here's how to make this dish, without the need of a pressure cooker. No Fear Kitcheree.
Here's how to do it.
Rinse and drain :
3/4 cup of moong dal
1 and 3/4 cups of Basmati rice
set it aside.
In a deep skillet heat
2 Tbs of ghee or oil
When it's hot add in:
1/2 tbs of cumin seed
1 and 1/2 Tbs of finely minced ginger
1 tsp of dried red pepper flakes
3 cracked green cardamom pods
Mix the spices around intil the cumin has browned slightly
When the cumin is browned a bit toss in:
1/2 tsp turmeric
Stir it a bit then add in:
1 cauliflower broken into small florets
3 small diced fresh tomatoes
The drained rice and dal
1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
7 and 1/2 cups of hot water
Salt and pepper to taste
Stir it around for about a minute or two then bring it to a boil.
When the mixture is boiling, place a lid partially covering the pan and turn the heat to low.
Cook for about 40 minutes. Stir it once in a while to make sure nothing is sticking.
When the liquid is all absorbed and the rice is cooked, it's done.
Sprinkle the kitcheree with another 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro and then
Drizzle the dish with 2 Tbs of ghee or butter.
So here we have a nice light fresh start to the week, otherwise known as Meatless Monday. Less Cowbell, because after all, isn't that what Meatless Monday is all about ?