Happy Mindful & Meatless Monday!
Thankful the flu bug that had us housebound the past two weeks is finally gone.
I found some time to get back in the kitchen and work out the kinks for a chana dal recipe that I think you’re going to really enjoy. It’s got enough going on with the spices to make it exotic, but then again it’s tamed enough by the coconut milk that everyone can enjoy it. You can skip over my ramblings to find the recipe below. 🙂
As I mentioned above not a whole lot was going on in the Sheli household except for “cabin fever” last week. “Thank the maker” for Amazon Prime…my first ever Kindle arrived and made being “stuck” in the house far less painful. If you are a reader and sitting on the fence about getting one – get one.
I’m not always comfortable using my phone when the twins (4 yrs) are around, but the Kindle – no problem. I just say “I’m reading a book.”, and they come check it out and then go about their business.
It’s compact and lightweight too – fits in my purse.
I burned through Carrie Fisher’s “The Princess Diarist” in two evenings. I was excited to get my hands on this book (so to speak) from the moment it came out. If you don’t already know, I am a total Star Wars geek.
Anyway, this book was more than just a peek into behind the scenes of the movie (which made me seriously giddy), there were some real life issues (that many of us can relate to) up close and personal.
#1 Carrie is a child of divorce (like me and I suspect many of you) and at one point in the book she says “So it stood to reason that if I could disappoint my own father – if I couldn’t get my own father to love me enough to stick around or, God forbid, visit more often than one day a year – how was I ever going to get a man who didn’t have to love me like daddies were supposed to?” How f’ing deep is that? Went straight to the bone for me.
Having that lack of having my father in my life definitely shaped me into the person I became as a young woman and the choices I made in men back then. I’m ever grateful for therapy, a bit of luck and divine intervention that for marriage number two I made a beautiful choice in a wonderful, caring, and kick-ass husband.
#2 Age, cameras, and loving your body right now.
My hubby and I were watching an episode of “The Crown” this week and “Winston Churchill” was distraught by the image of himself an artist had painted. It was not the image of him in his prime, but of who he was right then and there in that moment of his life. He didn’t want to see himself that way, it was uncomfortable and distressing – he eventually burns the image.
So, then I’m reading Carrie Fisher’s book and in it she talks about this image thing.
“I didn’t like my face when I should have and now that it’s melted, I look back on that face fondly.”
Hello yes, I could totally relate!
Especially that ex-model part of me. The perfectionist me. The I’ve had 4 kids and ain’t nothing going to ever look the same part of me.
So, thanks to Carrie for being so kind as to bring things out into the light that many of us are feeling/thinking but don’t have the balls or self awareness to say ourselves.
Which brings me to “gratitude”.
I was looking for a way to practice gratitude with the twins (4yrs) and after a Google search for “practicing gratitude”, many things came up – but these jars really caught my eye.
I thought what a great concept, something tangible for the twins to help them focus on what is good in their lives – as well as a fantastic tool for us grown folks to create an awareness of what we are grateful for in our lives. I can’t wait to look back at the end of the year and read all the little slips of paper.
Finally we get to the Chana Dal recipe. Soaking the dal overnight, or at least an hour if you can swing it cuts the cooking time. This dal maintains a bit of it’s texture unlike some of the others that tend to “melt” during the cooking process. The term “tadka” means spices fried in oil/ghee (to enhance their flavor). My recipe calls for 1 dried red chili, you can add more if you like it spicy. I discard the chili after the cooking process.
1 cup Chana dal (Desi Chickpeas or Bengal Gram) soaked overnight, or for 1 hour
6 cups vegetable broth
1 tbl ginger grated with a microplane
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
For the Tadka
1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Mix above 3 ingredients with just enough water to form a paste
3 tbl coconut oil (melted)
1 dried red chili (or more if you like heat)
1/2 cup onions, diced
1 can coconut milk (I used Trader Joe’s organic)
1/4 cup packed cilantro
Rinse soaked dal, drain and set aside.
Bring 6 cups of vegetable broth to boil in a medium pot.
Add dal, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and salt.
Reduce heat to medium-low.
Cook for roughly one hour (stirring occasionally) until dal mashes easily between your fingers.
In a small skillet heat coconut oil over medium heat.
Add red chili, and onions.
Sauté stirring frequently until onions are golden brown.
Add spice paste and stir constantly for 30 seconds, remove from heat.
Add onion spice mixture to the cooked dal.
Stir in the coconut milk.
Stir in the cilantro.
Serve over rice, with tortillas or an Indian flatbread, or on it’s own. Enjoy!
Have a great week!
Peas & Love,