Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pumpkin Masoor Dal


Having extra ingredients on hand, for example due to having bought more than you needed for a recipe, turns out to be great for making you improvise. And one particularly flexible ingredient, I've found, is squash of all sorts--pumpkin in this case. It seems like you can toss squash into any sort of stew-type dish and it'll meld right in.

I only used half of a pumpkin to roast, and with the other half, I decided just to toss it into a masoor dal (red lentil stew). I felt that the light earthy sweetness of the pumpkin really harmonized well with curried red lentils.

It kind-of goes without saying, but you just want to pay attention to cooking times when improvising with ingredients on hand. Squash (and pumpkin) is generally cooked through in 20 minutes [I should be clear: timing varies depending on the type of squash you're cooking from under 10 minutes for a soft one like kabocha to 20+ for butternut] of simmering. Remove peels or don't, depending on the type of squash (kabocha skin is soft enough that you can eat it when it's cooked).

And yes, you may have noticed that I throw chopped scallions on everything. I would probably also throw chopped cilantro on things more, too, except that I find it less flexible an ingredient, keeps worse than scallions, and is more of a hassle to prep.

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