food matters monday – indian cuisine

happy monday! this week i’m the Food Matters Project host (my first time) – responsible for the recipe of the week. and I have chosen to give a shot to indian cuisine (one of my favourites).


dal with lot of vegetables from Mark Bittman The Food Matters Cookbook
1 tbs vegetable oil, plus more as needed
1 tbs gee
1 cup chopped onion
2 tbs minced ginger
1 tbs minced garlic
2 cups cauliflower florets and stems cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup cubed eggplant (salted, rinsed, and dried if you like)
1 cup cubed zucchini
4 cardamom pods
1 tbs mustard seeds
curry powder
garam masala
2 cloves
1 dried mild chilli optional
1 cup dried red lentils, washed and picked over
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
put the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. add the cardamom, mustard seeds, curry powder, gara masala, stir until the spices are fragrant but not burning, just a minute.
add 1 tbsp gee and then add the onion, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
add the vegetables and lentils and cover with water by about 2 inches. cook until lentils and vegetables are tender about 25 to 35 minutes.
season with salt and pepper to taste. garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve.

black beans masala
2 cups black beans (1 cup dried), soaked over night and drained
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp oil
1 cm ginger, peeled and chopped
1 – 2 cloves garlic, peeled and squeezed
½ can chopped tomatoes (3 small tomatoes or 2 large fresh)
1 tsp gr coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
chilli flakes (optional)
4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
drain and rinse black beans well. add 6 cups* of water and buy leaf into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 1 hour.
drain the beans, reserving the liquid and set aside.
heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium low heat; add ginger, garlic and mustard seeds until the seeds start to pop.
add the rest of the spices and heat thoroughly in the oil.
add chopped tomatoes, black beans and reserved liquid from the beans. add water if it’s necessary to just cover the beans. cover and cook for 10 minutes.
add the chopped cilantro and serve.
* beans that have been soaked will require about three cups of water for each cup of beans. still, it is always best to add more water and drain at the end. be sure to routinely check the water level during cooking, if you run out of water, the black beans will start to burn and acquire a burnt, smoky taste.

tofu masala
tofu, sliced
4 tsp oil
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
pinch of cinnamon
1 bay leaf
3 cloves
1 cm ginger, chopped
3 garlic gloves, chopped
1 tsp cumin
2 tsb of sugar (to taste)
chilli to taste
3 cardamon pots
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
200 ml coconut milk
bunch of cilantro and mint leaves, roughly chopped
heat 2 tsp oil in a large saucepan on medium low heat, add sliced tofu and fry them on both sides until golden brown, set aside.
heat remaining oil, add spices and fry for 30 sec.
add onions and fry about 3 min.
add garlic, ginger and fry for few more minutes.
add tomatoes, sugar, coriander and mint leaves (reserve some coriander leaves to garnish), cook about 5 min.
finally add tofu and coconut milk, cook about 10 min.
garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with rice or naan bread.

tomato onion salad
3 tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1-2 tsp oil
Salt to taste
chilli powder
coriander leaves, finely chopped – as much as you like
mix all ingredients together



  1. sandra March 25, 2013 at 16:00

    this is so wonderful. each dish looks better than the next!

  2. Margarita March 25, 2013 at 22:17

    Oh my goodness! This is a superb Indian feast… thanks for choosing this week’s recipe! Although mine turned out soupy, it was still really good!

  3. Lexi March 26, 2013 at 00:25

    Great choice Anita! I’ll be using some of your other ideas as well.

  4. Camilla @ Culinary A March 26, 2013 at 15:52

    Wonderful pick! I love how you rounded out the rest of the feast, too! Beautiful and inspiring.

  5. Evi March 29, 2013 at 13:57

    Absolutely love your feast! What a great pick Anita! My husband doesn’t love curry (he gets sick of it fairly easily), so I did a little less than usual- but he loved how this recipe had all of the flavors blending. But I would love to come over to your house and enjoy that Indian spread!

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