Today is Indian’s Independence Day! My wife had the suggestion of putting a dinner together that has orange, white, and green from the Indian flag and I agreed that it was a good idea. (The Indian flag picture here is from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:India-flag-horiz-vert.svg and is in the public domain.)
I thought that I’d make a “striped” plate with white Basmati rice in the center (we prefer the taste and nutrition of whole grain rice, but white Basmati is also tasty and welcome for an occasional change). I chose split red lentils to form the basis of the leftmost stripe and some Fushimi chile peppers that I found at the local farmers’ market a few hours earlier.
The farmers’ market visit was quite productive. Among my purchases were these three interesting items, including two that were new (to me):
Split red lentils cook in a 1:2.25-2.5 ratio of lentils to water for 13-18m; I went with a ratio of about 1:2.25 and 18m cook time. To make the dish more orange than yellow, I blended some roasted red peppers in. Here is what I did:
- 1 1/2 cup lentils
- 3 1/2 cups water
- (optional) 1 – 1 1/2 cups green tomato cut into 3/8″ cubes (I used a small tomato which yielded a cup)
- 1T ginger, finely (1/8″) grated
- 3 cloves garlic, finely (1/8″) chopped
- 1t turmeric
- 1/2 t cumin seeds
- 1/2 cup onion cut into approx. 1/4″x3/4″ slivers
- 2T lemon juice
- 1/4 t garlic powder
- 3/4 t salt
- 4 roasted red bell peppers (about 1/2 of a 16 ounce bottle)
- (optional) 6 Habanada peppers cut into quarters lengthwise
- I put the lentils, water, green tomato, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and cumin into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 18m.
- After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed in the onion, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt.
- It looked good but needed to be more orange, so I blended the dish with the roasted red peppers.
- Finally, I mixed in the Habanada peppers which were surprisingly close in color to the lentil dish.
I also made white basmati rice (1: 1.5 ratio of rice to water simmered for 15-20 minutes (I used 1 1/4 cups rice and approximately 2 cups water). Finally, I cooked on cast iron over medium heat Fushimi peppers till slightly blistered.
Ideas for the future
I should experiment with more color tuning in general, using foods and not coloring to harmonize my plates even more than I usually do. More rice would have been welcome. An option with the Habanada peppers could be to blend, taking away the chunk they contributed.
Labels: Gluten Free, Instant Pot, Lentils, No Added Fat