Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sour Chick-Peas (Khate chhole) Review


4 stars (on a 5 star scale)
p. 173

A nicely sour, fragrant, flavorful dish. Although I like it, I must admit it's so sour one can't eat too much of it once, implying it must be a side dish, not a main dish. Sometimes I'm inclined to describe the broth as rich, but given that it's light and lacks cream, I think what I really mean is rich in flavor and that the sourness gives it a sense of fullness.

I like it warm or cold better than lukewarm. (I only mention this because the cookbook suggests lukewarm might be good.)

It smells really potent (but good) as it cooks.

Some note on the preparation:
  • Rather than cooking chickpeas from scratch, I used canned chickpeas. Two 15-ounce cans yielded 2.75 cups of chickpea, half a cup more than the recipe calls for. Also, these two cans yielded 1 7/8ths cups of chickpea water, a slight bit more than the 1.75 cups the recipe calls for. I don't know if the canned liquid is a higher or lower percent chickpea juice than that made by cooking the chickpeas the standard way.
  • I used half the recommended oil.
  • It takes a while to cut all the vegetables!
  • It takes a lot of ginger to make one tablespoon of very finely grated ginger.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Black-Eyed Beans with Mushrooms (Lohbia aur khumbi) Review


3 stars (on a 5 star scale)
p. 174-175

A basic chili: satisfying enough. Despite coming from this cookbook, it's doesn't seem Indian.

The dish takes ages to make.

The picture in the book shows more mushrooms than what my result seemed to have. Did they get the recipe wrong, or simply pick out the mushrooms and put them on top for photographic reasons?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Whole Green Lentils with Spinach and Ginger Review


4 stars (on a 5 star scale)
p. 168

A good, hearty side dish that tastes more of spinach than lentils. The flavors are bright, probably from the lemon, which I probably wouldn't identify if I didn't know it was there, and the nearly invisible presence of ginger, ground pepper, and fresh peppers.

Unlike other pulses, this one isn't soupy or stewy.

Incidentally, I used only 4 tablespoons of oil, not 6, and used 2 serrano peppers (for the 1-2 suggested ones).