The Corner Chronicle
Chimacum, Washington, Thursday November 23, 2017
Diwali Week Nov 9-15…eat those lentils!
November 8th, 2011 by Katy McCoy
Cartoon of chick with candle, fireworks behind store, announcing Dewali Week

Who turned out the lights all of a sudden?  It’s only 4:30!  Must be why so many across the world celebrate Diwali, the “Festival of Lights”, perhaps the oldest still-celebrated festival anywhere, marking the end of the year’s agrarian cycle.  Officially an Indian holiday celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs, it is a time for farmers to give thanks for the previous year’s bounty.  We at the corner give thanks to our farmers, and have put a great selection of Indian grocery items on sale for you. Click “Read More” for details and recipes!

Items on sale this week:

And 3 recipes to light up your life!

Tassie begins by suggesting Pumpkin Buriyani with Caramelized Fried Rice Vagharela Chaval from a favorite book of hers – “My Bombay Kitchen” by Niloufer Ichaporia King

PUMPKIN BURIYANI (stew) – Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 green chiles, slit to the stem
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste (equal parts ginger and garlic, blended till smooth with a little oil and sea salt)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala (optional)
  • 1 tsp (or more) salt
  • 2 lbs pumpkin, cut into 1-in cubes
  • 1/2 to 1 C coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a lid over med-high heat.  Add the cumin seeds and sizzle without browning them.  Follow with the green chiles and toss them about until they blister.  Add the onion and let it soften and start to brown, stirring occaisionally.  Add the paste, turmeric, cayenne, and garam masala, if you like, and stir about 3 minutes, adding a tablespoon of water or so if the mixture seems to be burning and sticking.  You want to add just enough water to keep things moving; you don’t want a puddle.  Add the salt.  The pumpkin goes in next, and everything gets tossed together.  Now pour in about 2 cups water and bring to a boil; stir,reduce the heat, cover, and stew until the pumpkin is very soft and turns into a savory mass when stirred.  Check every so often to see if you need to add more water.  Adjust the salt and spices–you may want to add a touch of brown sugar. Stir in the fresh cilantro or save it for sprinkling over the top just before serving.

CARAMELIZED FRIED RICE VAGHARELA – Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients: 

  • 2 T ghee, clarified butter, or vegetable oil
  • 1 to 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 to 6 whole cloves
  • 2 (2-in long) cinnamon sticks or cassia
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1 small onion or 3 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 T granulated sugar
  • 1 to 2 tsp (or more) salt
  • 2 to 3 cups basmati rice, washed

 Instructions:

Heat the ghee over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.  Add the cumin, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and peppercorns and sizzle for a minute to release the aromas.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occaisionally, until it begins to brown.  Add the sugar and keep stirring until it begins to get brown and bubbly.  Do not look away or walk off at this point.  Add about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt per cup of rice, then add the rice.  Add enough water to come up to the first joint of your index finger when resting on the rice.  Stir quickly and taste for salt.  Bring to a boil; lower the heat, cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes (longer for older rice).  Remove from the heat and let the rice rest 10 to 15 minutes before gently fluffing up with a chopstick so as not to break the delicate elongated grains.

Heidi asks that I include her go-to recipe for Green Lentil Dal (Hara Masoor Kid Al) from the New York Times

GREEN LENTIL DAL (HARA MASOOR KID AL) 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried green lentils
  • 5 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2-inch piece cinnamon stick, broken or crushed into very small pieces, about 1/2 teaspoon
  • 2 cups rich fresh or canned chicken broth
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups water
  • The rind of one lemon from which the juice has been squeezed
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

Instructions:

  1. Put the lentils in a bowl and add cold water to cover. Let stand two hours.
  2. Heat three tablespoons of the oil in a saucepan or kettle and add the onions. Cook briefly, stirring, until the onions are wilted and add the cloves and cinnamon. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are browned. Do not burn.
  3. Drain the lentils and add them, stirring. Add the broth, salt, ground pepper, cayenne, lemon juice, water and lemon rind. Bring to the boil and partly cover. Cook 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
  4. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil in a small skillet and add the caraway seeds. Cook about two minutes or until the seeds start to brown and give off a pleasant caraway smell. Pour this over the lentils and stir.