March 26, 2010
My work colleague Zoe recently gave me some lovely fresh lemongrass, which her dad had brought back from Thailand. Instead of using it in the usual Thai curries, I thought I’d see if I could find a sweet recipe.
I found a number of cakes that had this delicate herb in the list of ingredients, but nothing really grabbed me. Until I spotted this recipe for lemongrass, ginger and sesame biscuits.
Perfect, I thought. Especially as I had a jar of sesame seeds in my cupboard that I wanted to use up. (Don’t you just love it when something crops up like this that conveniently takes care of the dregs of your cupboard?)
Apart from some arm-aching grinding of spices, it was very simple to put these biscuits together, and they really are a taste sensation. Thin, crispy and nice’n'spicy, I’d highly recommend trying them.
March 24, 2010
A while ago, a friend asked me if I had ever cooked the same thing twice since starting this blog, because, as far as he could tell, I wrote about something completely different every time.
Well, I now have to admit there is something I cook with great regularity, but haven’t blogged about it… until now. And that’s dhal.
I absolutely love dhal, and will happily eat my way through a big pot of the stuff on its own. Although, having said that, the great thing about it is that you can not only eat it on the side of other curries, but add any number of things to dhal and it becomes a substantial dish in itself – a kind of dansak, I suppose.
Some of the ingredients I often add to dhal include peas, leftover chopped-up chicken or lamb, spinach, prawns, tomatoes… Like I say, pretty much anything goes.
Last night, I made my basic dhal recipe, and had a cauliflower curry on the side. The cauli recipe is the same one as my sweet potato and cauliflower dish, but just without the sweet potato.
I’m sure there are as many different ways of making dhal as there are people who eat it. And I’m not sure if I got my version from a recipe somewhere or just made it up as I went along.
I always use red split lentils, and add a good pinch of ground cloves and cardamon seeds, which is what I particularly like about my recipe – although I’m sure, if they’re not your bag, you could leave them out.
Anyway, its appearance may not get top marks from the Masterchef guys, but sometimes substance has to win over style.