Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I can't say that I've cooked a lot of Indian food before but when I came across this recipe on I couldn't resist trying it out. It's basically an Indian porridge. I did however make a few adjustments to the recipe. First off, I've started using more whole grains in my cooking ever since I started taking this class on nutrition and health, so that meant substituting the white rice for brown rice. Brown rice has about 100x more flavor than white rice (and is obviously way better for you). Brown rice does take longer to cook than white rice though, so I omitted the initial lentil soaking in the recipe. Also, the recipe only called for a 1:4 ratio of lentils to rice so I decided to increase that ratio to about 1:3.

I also caramelized some onions as a topping for the porridge. To the spice mix, I added a little minced ginger and a finely diced chili. I cooked the spices quickly in butter and vegetable oil (I had no ghee and didn't feel like making any). Next time, I would probably increase the amounts of each spice by about 1.5 times more than what is called for in the recipe. The recipe also doesn't specify this, but I finely chopped up the curry leaves before cooking them. Also, if you plan on making this recipe, do not omit the fresh curry leaves! They should be easy to find at a local Indian market and I found that they were a really integral part of the dish.

I roasted a little broccoli to go with the pongal but any other vegetable would do. Finally, I served it with a little plain yogurt. Wish I had some of my mom's favorite mango pickle to go with the pongal. Anyways, this recipe was sooo easy and sooo delicious. I would highly recommend it to anyone!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Roasted Tomato and Eggplant on Toast with Homemade Aioli and Arugula + Bloody Ceasars

This was another one of my toaster oven creations from the two weeks when we didn't have gas in our apartment.

First, I cut up the eggplant into about 1 inch cubes and tossed them with salt, pepper and olive oil before roasting them at about 425 dergees. Next, I sliced a few roma tomatoes in half, again, tossed them with salt, pepper and olive oil, plus a few sprigs of thyme and roasted them at about 425 as well. For the aioli, I crushed up some garlic and then in a separate bowl, combined an egg yolk, sherry vinegar, dijon mustard and salt before slowly streaming in a combination of vegetable and olive oil. I then toasted a few slices of bread, spread on a little aioli, next lay on a roasted tomato and a few pieces of eggplant and then topped it with a handful of arugula and a little of my fancy balsamic vinegar that Lucas bought for me.

Now, for drinks we had a couple of Bloody Ceasars. Apparently it's a SUPER Canadian drink that doesn't really exist in the US, but think of it as basically the same thing as a Bloody Mary but with Clamato juice instead of tomato juice. Clamoto juice is tomato juice mixed with clam juice. Sounds really gross, I know, but it's just soooo delicious, you have to trust me!!! Instead of using store-bought Clamato juice, I opted to buy separate bottles of tomato and clam juice to make my own. This way, it's easy to control how clammy it gets... So anyways, the other ingredients are lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, tabasco (not pictured), horseradish, tons of pepper, vodka and celery salt around the rim of the glass. I don't have a recipe, so it helps to just put in a little of everything at a time and keep tasting until it's just right. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.