Indian Cuisine: Dal Mong

The second dish which Santoosh shared in the Caring Place Community Kitchen is called Dal Mong. Dal Mong is great to be eaten with roti or rice and vegetables. It is a thick stew. Dal is a ready source of proteins for a balanced diet containing little or no meat.

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Dal is a kind of dried lentil. It is a ready source of proteins for a balanced diet containing little or no meat. Lentils also contain dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and minerals. Lentils are often mixed with grains, such as rice, which results in a complete protein dish. Lentils are a good vegetable source of iron. Iron is particularly important for adolescents and pregnant women.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Dal, wash and drain
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • coriander leaves, chopped

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Source: Santoosh

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Indian Cauliflower (Phool Gobi)

Santoosh shared three Indian recipes in the Caring Place Community Kitchen. We were very eager to learn from Santoosh. We love to cook ethnic food. Such demonstrations broaden our knowledge on the multicultural cuisines we find in Vancouver.

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The three recipes were Indian Cauliflower, Dal Mong and Indian Roti. These are her staple food.

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Santoosh is seen here demonstrating how to make Indian Roti. I will not blog about how to make roti because I had blogged about how to make roti here.

Can you guess how old is Santoosh? We were surprised when she told us she will be 80 years soon. Her secret to have such good complexion is to apply milk on her face daily 30 minutes before she takes her bath. She also shared with us that she eats a clove of raw garlic daily and she incorporates lots of garlic and onions in her cooking. She never had a cold for the longest time.

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The above is an Indian Cauliflower dish that Santoosh shared called Phool Gobi. The bright yellow colour comes from turmeric.  Cauli in from Latin which means cabbage. Cauliflower is low in fat, high in dietary fiber, folate, water and Vitamin C. Cauliflower contains sulforaphane which protect against cancer. It also contains Indole-3-Carbinol, a chemical that enhances DNA repair and acts as an estrogen antogonist which slow the growth of cancer cells.

Turmeric is used as an anti-inflammatory agent and remedy for gastrointestinal discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders. Some may use turmeric in skin creams as an antiseptic agent for cuts, burns and bruises.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium size head of cauliflower, cut into flowerets
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • cinnamon powder for sprinkling

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Source: Santoosh

Serves 4 to 5

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Seattle: Cedars Restaurant on Brooklyn

After the Boeing Tour which took a good part of the morning, we headed south towards Seattle and decided to have lunch in Cedar’s. Cedar was one of the most recommended from Chowtimes readers on my list. I guess I won’t go wrong going for lunch here since also that the family loves spicy Indian cooking.

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Cedars or more accurately Cedars on Brooklyn Restaurant is located, well, on Brooklyn Ave (St? Dr?) in the University District. From outside one would never have thought that this is an East Indian restaurant. Moreover, the name Cedar has no absolutely no connection to anything Indian, at least not to my knowledge.

We were a bit wary about this place as we went in. We wanted only authentic Indian food and seeing also the customers there who are mostly whites, I thought their food might have been watered down to suit the local palate. I was sooo wrong.

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The lunchroom was packed but we got seated quite promptly. Maybe it’s just me … but the customers do seems like they are either students or university professors. After all we are in Seattle’s University District.

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Mango Relish. I guess it must be something like a chutney that one uses as a condiment. What do you eat this with anyway?

As far the Iguana XXX Habanero sauce I am quite sure this is not Indian. Ooooh, this I like. There is a real kick to this and loves the fact that the burn comes on slowly. Try a dip and for the first few seconds, it was just like nothing and then the burn will set in to such an intense level I had to reach for the glass of water. Nice, wickedly nice! I put some on the dishes that came afterwards.

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Oh wow … the naan was heavenly. (more…)

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Chili Pepper House on Kingsway

It was one of those weekends that we had absolutely nothing to do. Normally, we had something planned for the weekend but for that one week we did not have anything planned at all. Since we had all the time in the world, we decided to drive a bit further from Richmond. So, we drove all the way to Vancouver … to Kingsway and Rupert.

The Chili Pepper House is an Indian-Chinese restaurant. I think the owner’s background is that they are Chinese who once lived in Indian. Since this is an Indian restaurant, we knew that their food would be spicy.

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We immediately liked this place because the owners were so friendly and spent a lot of time chatting with us, even offering to tell us more about their restaurant. I believe it is because they saw my camera! Some restaurants (some, not many) had a disdain for cameras but not this one.

The Chili Pepper House is actually more Chinese than it is Indian. They call it “Fine Indian (Desi) Style Chinese Cuisine”. Their top dishes are all spicy. One thing though, they do not serve pork at all. I am curious why they don’t serve pork. I had always thought that you don’t get beef in Indian restaurants and no pork in Muslim or Jewish restaurants.

Anyway, we did notice that they have more East Indian customers.

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Scouring their menu, we came across a dish that sounded really nice … Five Treasure with Chicken, Beef, Prawns, Scallops and Squid. What came was not exactly what we had in mind. It’s like sauce stir fried with the ingredients. It’s not that it’s not good … it was but the dish was underwhelming. It costs $14.95.

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Green Lettuce in Vancouver

I organized a going away lunch for two people who worked on my project team. It’s sad to see people leave but at the same time you know that projects being what they are, people don’t get to work permanently together for very long.

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Since there were quite a bit of people going, I thought that we should try some Asian style lunch where we order dishes to share. For these types of meals, the more people you have the more you could varieties you could order.

So we went to the Green Lettuce which is basically sort of a Chinese-Indian fusion restaurant … although I think the word “fusion” is not exactly what it really describes. It more of a Chinese restaurant with East Indian cooking and ingredients. It’s like 2/3 Chinese and 1/3 Indian. Be prepared … this restaurant specializes in spicy food.

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I did not even make a reservation even though we have 17 people in all. I was pretty confident that if we were there early (11:45AM), they can accommodate us. We were lucky actually because there was another big party who booked for lunch that day. Close call! They managed to accommodate us by seating us together since we were earlier than the other group who had their group scattered across several tables.

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We left the ordering to the other side of the long table and so I had no idea what or how much were being ordered. So, I am pretty much making guess work on what it is we had. Well, the ones below is wonton soup. It was really good ones … big and meaty. The broth was great too.

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There is also the sour and spicy soup. I noticed that the Caucasians stayed away from this but simply love wontons. The Asians like this.

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Some noodles dishes. Since we had so many people, we had the chance to order two of each … one spicy and the other non-spicy.

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