I’m trying to make time slow down this morning, but it doesn’t seem to be working with me. I realized, when I awakened two hours later than I’d ideally like to, that I’d better start moving to catch up with the time.
There were so many things to do, projects to complete, diapers to change. So I started moving. I wandered downstairs to put my baby in the playpen when I realized it was time for him to nurse. So I took him back out of the playpen and he started screaming at me as if to say, “How could you forget that!” I kissed his forehead and apologized. He’s so forgiving. I looked at the clock and the time was moving on but I seemed to be dragging. Eureka! I hadn’t had my coffee! So to the kitchen I went to get the coffee brewing. I’m drinking it now (I know it’s late) so I can catch up with time since I can’t get it to slow down. All considered, please excuse the tardiness of my post.
I love to bake and create dishes. Okay, I confess, I love being in the kitchen- especially when it’s re-creating the deliciousness found in restaurants. Today I’m experimenting with a crock pot version of lentils that I had the pleasure of devouring in an Indian restaurant. I’ve never recreated this recipe before so it’s going to be interesting how it turns out. The combination of flavors was both complex and wonderful in my mouth, and that’s what I’m looking to recreate in this lentil dish. I’ve already thought of a few things I’m going to do to alter this to make it my own so this will be interesting.
First, I soaked the lentils in water and lemon juice. I do this with all of my beans as this neutralizes phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, making the complex sugars in beans easier to digest. Once this was done overnight, I poured off the water, rinsed the beans and put them in a crock pot with enough water to cover them plus about two cups extra. I wanted about two inches over the beans.
I preferred to cook them in a little beef broth. I realize this isn’t something that you’d find in your traditional Indian cuisine, but I’m experimenting and that gives me carte blanche to throw in some beef broth right?
So I threw in about a quarter cup of beef broth granules, about 6 cardamom pods, three tablespoons of garam masala, a teaspoon of thyme, four cloves of crushed garlic, and a tablespoon of pepper here. I also added chopped onion and a stalk of celery (just because I love the flavor of celery – something else not usually included in the authentic Indian dish).
This pic shows what I’ve already done. I’m letting that cook on low for about three hours and I’ve prepared a tablespoon of turmeric, 1/3 cup dried cilantro and 1/4 cup of curry powder that I’ll add in three hours or so. I’ll also be adding a couple of chopped fresh hot peppers. I have jalepeno peppers to use today, but you could use other peppers if you like, or not. My family loves spicy (even my two year old) so I can use two for this pot.
I’m letting this cook until dinner time, which for us is 6 o’clock and serving it over rice. Tomorrow, I’ll let you know what the judges say and come up with a written recipe for this Indian inspired lentil dish.