Thursday, March 5, 2009

A use for my masala seasoning

So I bought some masala seasoning from the farmers market at the beginning of this year because I had every intention of making my own Indian food. And because it was only 50 cents for a big container. However, after a bad experience making Indian food from a bottle, I got scared and didn't use it. I also have a tendency to buy lentils every year without a plan, and often end up giving them away. This year I've actually been using them (lentil burgers), but I found a spicy lentil recipe and decided to give it a try. Then I realized that this recipe wasn't exactly what I wanted, so I based my lentils (very) roughly on it, but mostly did my own thing. Unfortunately I didn't measure anything, but I'm pretty sure anyone could adjust this to taste. Therefore, this recipe will be a little backwards, with the description of what I did and an estimate of what I used (notes on what I recommend are in the summary of what I did)

I first cooked a 1/2 cup of lentils according to the package directions. Well, sort of, half way through cooking, I chopped up 5-6 baby carrots and threw them in to make them soft.

Meanwhile, I cooked about half an onion (I mixed leftover vidalia and red) and a clove of garlic (I used a big one and would recommend at least twice that, if not more as I had to add garlic powder later). I should have cooked this spices with them at this point, but unfortunately, I did not have that much forsight. I added a green onion and some cilantro and cooked it on low for a while. THEN I added the spices (some were probably redundant, but it allowed me to get it perfectly to my liking): masala seasoning (probably almost a tablespoon when all was said and done), tumeric, coriander, a very small dash of ginger, cayanne pepper (which was apparently the most redundant of all), and cumin. I continued cooking until the lentils were done. Then I added that to the lentils, tasted it and realized I had significantly underseasoned it. So I added all of those things plus salt and garlic powder to the full mixture and cooked until blended. I added a little more cilantro shortly before serving. It was decently spicy and definitely not bland. All in all my ingredient list probably looked like this:

1/2 c lentils
5 baby carrots
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
1 green onion
1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
oil for cooking
1 Tablespoon masala seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cayanne pepper
1/2+ teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/2+ teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ginger

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