Monday, September 27, 2010

Presentation

I can only conclude
That no matter the food,
It's a little bit rude
To serve something poo-hued.
I had one day without Tupperware this week.  I've been assembling all these microwave-friendly lunches and dinners for eating between classes, and they've been very good, but getting to cook something meant to be eaten off a plate was the special occasion at hand.

So I made this really simple Indian dish based on the ingredients I had in my fridge.  I finally got to apply my Bhakti training!  The end result was beautifully aromatic, but -- how do I put this lightly? -- it, uh, looked like a turd on a plate.

Turns out dark brown lentils, light brown chickpeas, dark green spinach, and a whole bunch of brownish spices don't cut it, looks-wise.  And I'll eat anything if it tastes good, but this was a special occasion, and I really wanted to savor it.  So I chopped up some mini bell peppers, fixed my presentation problem, and was both visually and viscerally satisfied.


Visually Appealing Lentils, Chickpeas, Spinach, and Peppers

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 3-4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek
  • 1 cup lentils, cooked
  • 1 cup chickpeas, cooked
  • 4 cups spinach leaves, washed
  • 3-4 mini bell peppers, chopped

Directions

Heat the sunflower oil in a pan over medium heat.

Add all the spices!  Stir and cook for about 1 minute, until they start getting fragrant.

Add the chickpeas, lentils, spinach, and a dash of water if they're too dry.  Saute for 7-8 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the lentils are a bit mushy.

Sprinkle with the bell peppers (you can saute those, too, if you want), and serve with rice or naan.

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