Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hot For Carrots! Easy Chutney In 20 Minutes!

   After partying the weekend away I finally got the kitchen and dining room straightened up. Okay, to be honest, the table cloth is still on the dining room table but the the kitchen is clean and the kitchen table doesn't have any more stuff piled up on it. For reals. So after taking a day or so to get back to our current project and get into the screenwriting saddle again, I'm back.
   I don't know why but cooking this carrot dish I couldn't get this old Van Halen video out of my head .  I'm hot for carrots.

  Yes, I know I'm a dork. I now that some people say the '70s were the ugliest decade fashion wise, but after looking at this, I think the '80s are really giving the polyester '70s a run for their money. And lets not even go there when it comes to the food of the '80s. Maybe it was because of the movie the The Big Easy all the fish was blackened.

   In fact everything that could possibly be blacked was blackened. It was the greatest cop-out for a kitchen screw-up anyone could have wished for. "Is this burned?"..."No, it's blackened!" "Oh."
  Wolfgang Puck spun the Chinese Chicken salad into infinity and beyond. Hair wasn't the only thing that was vertical. Food was stacked too, and when it wasn't stacked it was shrunk. Big ass plates with a tiny zig zag of some sort of sauce/whatever drizzled across it with a festive sort of name.
   We once dined at a restaurant in LA that was considered one of the best in the country at the time. The first thing set before us was a plate the size of Rhode Island with a multi-colored dash of confettied microscopic sauce splashed across it surrounding one lone tortilla chip.  "Celebration!" Was what that dish was called. I swear to God, that's what our server called it.The friend we were treating to dinner that night (his 24th birthday) was already mentally trying to figure out how fast he could get over to Pinks for a square meal after we were done at this clip joint.
  The other trend of the 80's that came close to ruining one of nature's perfect foods was baby vegetables. Remember them? Carrots as big as your pinky, turnips the size of a grape. You get the drift. You'd need a magnifying glass to eat dinner. Thank God, big-ass vegetables are back!
   You will need normal big boy vegetables for this recipe. Real size carrots. One pound of them. What you will get is a spicy, fresh, hot, sweet, practically cooking free recipe for a cold chutney that works well with almost anything you put it with, Indian entree or not.


Carrot Chutney




Here's what to do:
  Peel and grate 1 pound of carrots.
In a skillet or kadhai heat:
 1 Tbs of vegetable oil
When the oil is hot, toss in:
 The grated carrots
 1 whole green serrano chili
 1 chopped tomato (canned or fresh)
 a fistfull of chopped fresh cilantro
Saute all of this together for about 3 minutes or so until it wilts a bit, then put it into a blender or food processor and grind it into a fine paste.
Once the carrots are all ground down, in a seperate skillet heat:
 2 Tbs of vegetable oil.
When the oil is hot add in:
 2 Tbs of toor dal
 1 Tbs of urad dal
 3 dried red chilies
 Stir it all around until the dal darkens a bit and the chilies turn color.
 Add the cooked dal into the food processor and blend it into the carrot mixture.
 And that's it. You're done. That's all she wrote. Finito. Celebration!
    This chutney was an insane hit at the party. Pretty cool for something that took less than 20 minutes to make. As I mentioned earlier, it works with almost anything you might throw it together with, other vegetarian dishes, ribs, burgers, chicken.... maybe even some blackened fish. Just kidding.
   Coming up next rolling your own Samosas and no frying allowed. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

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