Tag Archives: coconut milk

Red Lentil and Eggplant Curry

19 Jun

Okay, so I’m thinking this ended up being a cross between a curry and a daal. It had curry type ingredients but the split lentils made it all creamy like daal.

Either way, it was really good.

So, Bret took me to Wegmans the first time I went out there to visit him. Wegmans was the only fond memory I have from my college time in Geneseo. Well, that’s not true. But it’s a very fond memory and I wish they would spread to the Saratoga area but the Golubs have a tight hold on the area with their crappy Price Choppers. Whatever!

Anyway, while we were there I picked up things that I’ve had a hard time finding around here. One of those things was a big bag of split red lentils. But that bag’s been sitting in my kitchen cupboards ever since I bought it. I’m trying to use things that I have hanging around. So I decided on the lentils. I looked through recipes trying to get ideas and settled on making a curry with the lentils. And an eggplant. So here’s what I did.

Ingredients!

1 large onion, chopped as big or small as you like

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 1/2 cups water or veggie broth

1 cup (about) red lentils

1 eggplant, peeled and diced

2 Tbsp. red curry paste

salt and other things to taste

1/2 cup (about) coconut milk

Directions!

Cook the onion and garlic in a little oil or nonstick cooking spray until it’s soft. This is gonna take a rather large pan to fit everything. Once the onions and garlic are cooked, add the water or broth, lentils, curry paste and eggplant. Bring all of that to a boil, then let it simmer uncovered until the lentils are soft and mushy. Stir it around pretty often to make sure that nothing’s sticking and add more water if you need to. I probably didn’t need to, but I did, and I think that’s why it came out a little more like daal than anything else.

Taste it and add seasonings if you need to. I added some salt, a bit of curry powder, and a couple of shakes of cayenne.

Once the lentils are cooked and everything’s seasoned, add in the coconut milk and let it boil for about five minutes or so to thicken up.

Then eat!

I ate it with a little bit of whole wheat couscous, but I could have eaten it out of a bowl with nothing to accompany it. This makes a bunch, you could totally feed 4 – 6 people no problem.

Bret says he wants to learn how to make better curries and I doubt this helped him any but I think he’s pretty good at it already.

-Ellen

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Banana Chickpea Curry Mk. II

7 May

I had to try this recipe again. Mainly because it was awesome but also because I wanted to try a few things. One thing I didn’t get to try was cooking it with Thai chili peppers because Brenna was over for dinner and she’s a total wussface, and I also didn’t get to try any Thai basil because it wasn’t available at the grocery stores I checked. But I tried my new lemongrass tactics courtesy of Shreyas, and I tried green curry paste and some minced ginger. It turned out real great. Beyond the two lacking ingredients, the only thing I feel like this recipe missed was browning up the chickpeas before adding the coconut and the curry. But this one was mega tasty and might be close to perfect.

I felt guilty making it without Ellen around though. :/

-Bret

Layered Rice with Eggplant and Coconut (Baingan Biryani)

24 Apr

Jennifer posted the recipe for the biryani in the comments for the post. I’m reposting it here in case you missed it. Thanks Jennifer! Heart-heart! -Bret

Layered Rice with Eggplant and Coconut (Baingan Biryani)

2 cups Coconut Milk
1.25 cups Basmati Rice. (sorted and washed in 3-4 changes of water)
1.75 cups Water
.5 cup Grated Coconut
1-3 Dried Red Chile Peppers
1 Large Clove of Garlic
5 Quarter-size slices of fresh peeled Ginger
1-3 fresh Green Chile Peppers
1 Onion
1 ts ground Coriander
1 ts Garam Masala (+ .25 ts for garnish)
.5 ts ground Turmeric
3 TB Peanut Oil
1 lb of Eggplant (cut into bite size pieces)
1.25 ts salt or whatever
1 large Tomato
2 TB fresh chopped Mint Leaves
.5 cup Fresh Cilantro
2-3 TB Lemon Juice

1. Soak rice in the water for 30 minutes.

2. Place grated coconut and red chiles in skillet and dry-roast until golden and fragrant. 1-2 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to blender and process along with garlic, ginger, green chile peppers and onion until finely ground. Mix in the coriander, garam masala and turmeric and process again. Transfer to large nonstick saucepan. Add 2 TB oil and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat. About 5 minutes.

3. Add the eggplant, half the salt and .5 cup Coconut Milk. Cook over high heat about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pan and cook until eggplant is soft. 15-20 minutes. Remove to a bowl.

4. To the same pan, add 1 TB oil, tomato, mint and cilantro and cook over medium heat until most of the tomato juice evaporates. About 2 minutes. Add the rice and the water it’s soaking in along with remaining salt and coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook until the rice is almost fully cooked, about 10 minutes.

5. To assemble the biryani: Remove about half the rice to a bowl. Spread the cooked eggplant mixture over the rice that remains in the saucepan. Cover the eggplant mixture with the reserved rice. Drizzle the lemon juice over the rice, cover the pan, and cook over the lowest heat setting, 10-15 minutes, to blend the flavors. Sprinkle garam masala on top and serve.

Banana Chickpea Curry

14 Apr

So for our first post I thought I would write about a recipe we made together and I think we talked about making a food blog while we were doing that. So yeah this is totally appropriate as a first post. I really wanted to cook something with bananas and so we searched the internet.

You know what there’s a lot of? Banana desserts. Know what there’s not a lot of? Banana entrees.

So we thought real hard and decided that bananas would be awesome in a curry. Other people thought that was a good idea too but their recipes were all too complicated. We came up with some ingredients to use and away we went. It was good!

Banana Chickpea Curry!

Ingredients!

2 tablespoons canola oil or some other oil for sauteing

3 shallots, chopped or diced or something

1 bell pepper, chopped

1/2 stalk lemon grass, chopped

2 bananas, unripened and sliced

1 15 oz. can of chickpeas

1 however-many oz. can of coconut milk

2 tablespoons curry paste (we used red but that’s because it’s all we had – green might be better)

Directions!

This is how Ellen did it. I watched. And waited…

So heat the oil in a big pan or skillet. Let it heat up good and then drop in your shallots, bell pepper, and lemon grass. Let it sizzle and smell good until it turns soft and your shallots are translucentish.

Now you should add in the chickpeas and the bananas. Let them heat up and brown up. I don’t know if our bananas actually browned, but they should have. Okay, forget the browning.

Now dump in the coconut milk and the curry paste. Stir it up until it changes into a color. Let it bubble for awhile. Make sure your vegetables are soft. Poke them!

Okay, I think it’s done. You should serve it over rice or maybe some noodles. Eat! Not bad for people who have no idea how to make curry, right?

Bret’s Notes!

So here’s what I would do differently if I was doing it again: I would have put the chickpeas in at the very beginning so they would have browned. I also would have put in the whole stalk of lemon grass and maybe I would have put it in with the coconut milk. Maybe I’m making this up, but I feel like the flavor of the lemon grass would saturate the curry better that way.

Two additions I would make are some Thai basil. It was super-good, but it lacked something. I think that something was Thai basil. Ellen thinks I’m wrong. I think her butt is wrong. Ooh. I would also add a Thai chili pepper or two because I like spicy things. If you don’t like spicy things don’t do that. Eat something safe instead like bread. Or porridge.

Also: I like cooking with Ellen!

Ellen’s Notes!

I did some lemongrass research.  To bring the flavor out more, I think we should have sliced it and then mooshed it in a food processor for a couple of seconds.  And then it could be added to the coconut milk!  Something about bruising the stalks brings out more of the lemony flavor, or so’s the word on the streets.  There’s a stalk and a half of lemongrass left.  I will try it and report back!

Bret might not be wrong about the Thai basil.  I do, however, dig on cilantro quite a bit and it would probably be quite tasty either added at the last minute or used as a garnish.  I am right there with him on the Thai chili peppers.  The cayenne added enough heat, but the peppers would add heat and tastiness.

I am fairly sure that Bret and I are awesome.  For only having a vague idea of what makes a curry, the result was curry-ish enough to fool me into thinking we knew what we were doing.

I like cooking with Bret too!