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Amaranth-Dal Patties

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My pantry is stuffed to the gills with all sorts of items that the average cook with raise an eyebrow to. In fact, I’ll bet I have a few items in there that the average cook has possibly not even heard of, let alone used. If you were my neighbor and needed something for a recipe you were cooking or baking, chances are I’d have it. Anything at all. Need some flour? What kind? All-purpose? Whole wheat? Pastry? Spelt? Soy? Buckwheat? Barley? Teff? Oat? Fava bean?

Need rice? Currently, I’ve got brown, basmati, brown basmati, jasmin, Thai black, rosematta, glutinous Thai, and Japanese short grain.

Looking for grains? Choose from white and red quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum, millet, and teff.

So, what am I saying here? That I am constantly looking for ways to use up all of that stuff! And so here is what I came up with to use both amaranth and some mixed dal I had. I could’ve just made a soup, but I wanted to do something different. This is what I came up with—Amaranth-Dal Patties. If you’re not familiar with amaranth, they’re tiny little grains that are gluten-free and high in iron and lysine. Here’s a link for more information.

Amaranth

Amaranth

You can season the patties with whatever herbs or spices you like, and/or dress them with any kind of sauce, from raita to salsa to piri piri (just make sure to pair the seasonings and dressing appropriately—you wouldn’t want to use garam masala as a seasoning and then dip them in Asian soy dipping sauce!). You can also substitute the flour for something that is gluten-free. Continue reading


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Mixed Dal Soup

I picked up some mixed dal at an Indian store in Jackson Heights and since the weather was DSCF0007about to take a turn for the worse, I decided to make mixed dal soup. Mixed dal is a mixture of different split lentils and they make delicious meals. They’re also packed with protein, and with a few greens thrown in, you’ve got a complete, filling, satisfying meal. Toasting the caraway seeds gives the soup a great, complex flavor. And it was just right on a rainy, dreary day. So here’s my version of mixed dal soup.

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2 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced small
1 medium carrot, diced small
1 celery rib, finely chopped
¼ lb. sweet potato, diced small
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup mixed dal
1 tablespoon caraway seeds, toasted (optional)
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1 teaspoon garlic salt
freshly ground black pepper
½ lb. bok choy (green tops only), chopped

1. Heat the oil in a medium-large pot. Add the onion, carrot, celery, sweet potato, and kosher salt and sauté 5 minutes, or until vegetables have softened and onions are translucent.

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2. Add the dal, caraway seeds, fennel, garlic salt, pepper, and 4 cups water; mix well. Bring to a boil; lower the heat and cook, partially covered, until the dal are completely soft and disintegrating, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Stir occasionally.

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3. Add the bok choy and continue cooking a few more minutes until the greens have softened.

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4. Taste the soup for seasoning; adjust as desired. Serve hot.

Makes about 6 servings.