Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Palak Dal

Palak Dal
(Orange/Red Lentils With Spinach)

1/2 cup mysor (red) dal
3 cups water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

Bring dal, water and garlic to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until dal is soft. Skim off any foam that rises. To this, add:

2 handfuls of spinach (palak) leaves, rinsed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Continue to simmer.

Meanwhile, heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil in a small pan. When oil is hot, add:

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

When the mustard seeds begin to "pop", add:

3 red chilies, broken in half
1 green chili (jalapeno), sliced lengthwise
1 small onion, chopped

Saute until onions are soft and translucent. Add to cooked dal/spinach mixture along with:

1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (to taste)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)

Simmer for 5 minutes to meld the flavors.

Serve with chapati or rice.

Chicken Marsala

2 large chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Old Bay seasoning (or seasoning of your choice)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil
2 pieces of bacon, chopped
16 oz mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup marsala
1 1/2 cup water
1 chicken bouillion cube (about 1 teaspoon of granules)
2 tablespoons butter

Slice chicken breasts in half. (Mine are always large and thick, but I like them to be serving size.) Flatten between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound out with a rolling pin until 1/4 to 1/2" thick.

Mix together about a 1/2 cup of flour, a teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning (to taste), oregano and the salt and pepper.

While heating the olive oil in a pan over medium heat, toss the chicken breasts in the flour mixture. When oil is hot, add the floured chicken breasts. Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. (Chicken should be fully cooked. If both sides are browned and chicken is not fully cooked, can place in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes to complete the cooking process.)

Remove the chicken breasts and lower heat. Add bacon and saute until browned. Add mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper to taste and and cook until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add marsala and cook for about 7 minutes. Add hot water and chicken bouillion, and simmer until desired consistency is reached. Add butter. Add chicken breasts, heat.

Serve over pasta or with a side of yummy garlic mashed potatoes . . .