Lentil Recipes

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Chana Milk Halwa (Besan Burfi) Recipe

Chana Milk Halwa (Besan Burfi)

02.23.10 by Jackie

If you're familiar with French pâtes de fruit or fudge, you'll want to try the Indian / Middle Eastern equivalent,  called halwa. Halwa literally means "sweet" in Arabic. It can be made with different ingredients such as carrots, pumpkin, yams, beets, semolina and many types of beans, lentils or nuts.

Daddy (my father-in-law) had a craving for some chana dal halwa, so my mother-in-law made several batches this weekend. To the chana dal, she added roasted cashew nuts (Kaju in Urdu) for flavor and texture. This particular recipe also calls for a large quantity of clarified butter, or gheeGhee is popular in Indian cuisine and can be found at almost any Indian grocery store. This dessert is definitely not low fat or low calorie, but the taste and texture are extraordinary. Store-bought halwa cannot compare.

We made a huge batch and stored them in tins in the refrigerator. The girls placed the sweet candy in cellophane gift bags and tied a pretty bow around them to give away to their friends and teachers. Whether  or not you decide to share the dessert with others, you should definitely find time to make some. Your efforts will definitely be rewarded.


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Asian Style Warm Potato Salad Recipe

Asian Style Warm Potato Salad

12.29.09 by Jackie
This potato salad is made with a medley of Japanese white sweet potatoes, yams, Yukons and Peruvian purples. The different varieties provide a contrast of both flavor and color. To give the salad an Asian flair, I also added bok choy and several types of mushrooms. The dressing, made of honey, rice vinegar, soy sauce and ginger paste, helps tie the flavors of the vegetables together.

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Vietnamese Tofu Stuffed Betel Leaves  Recipe

Tàu hũ cuốn lá lốt (betel leaf wrapped tofu in Vietnamese) is very similar looking to Greek dolmades. Instead of using grape leaves though, betel leaves serve as the packaging and delivery device for pan-fried tofu and vegetables. Betel leaves have a peppery taste, and when cooked they have the appearance, but not the texture of nori. The tofu mixture is similar to the filling I use for my vegetarian egg rolls.

The traditional way to prepare this dish is with extra lean ground beef (see tips), called thịt bò nướng lá lốt. However, Aunt Elise, who is a vegetarian, is visiting from Vietnam and taught me how to make the meatless version of the dish. Either way, it's an exotic and authentic taste of Vietnam.


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Vegetarian Lentil Soup Recipe

Vegetarian Lentil Soup

11.05.09 by Jackie

Sunny had an orthodontist appointment today and she got tighter elastic bands on her braces. The poor thing couldn't chew solid foods. I had to make her something that wouldn't cause any pain, and after looking through the pantry I decided to make her a bowl of hot lentil soup. She loves hot and spicy foods, so I added some leftover harissa "ice cubes" (see tips) from the freezer to the soup to give it a kick and to complement the earthy flavors of the lentils.

You'll enjoy this soup even if you haven't had recent dental work done. It's a great cure for the cool weather we've been having as well.


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Masoor Dal Khichdi (Indian Orange Lentil Rice) Recipe

Kitcheri is a very simple recipe that requires only a few ingredients from the pantry. It's a blend of coral-colored lentils, called masoor dal, with basmati rice and a few other typical Indian spices.

It's very nutritious for all the vegetarians in the house. The lentils provide a lot of protein. The key to a good kitcheri though is a flavorful raita, or yogurt sauce. Check back tomorrow for the recipe!


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