Two Tricks for Cheating Your Way to Better Homemade Indian Food
I appreciate your patience as I try to figure out a truly reliable, awesome tasting lentil dish. To recap, I’ve been working with udad dal split matpe beans and throwing in an assortment of dried spices in varying proportions. I’ve learned I’m not a methi fan, that lentils can be whipped into a party-approved dip and that if the lentils still don’t make the cut – just add some toppings.
I recently caved, ignoring the pending bathing suit season, and purchased ghee, clarified butter. This immensely aids in creating that depth found in real Indian cooking, but also ensured a lingering just-cooked Indian food smell in my apart for days. But I was okay with that. Because ghee is delicious.
But back to the toppings. Here are two ways to disguise mediocre Indian food:
1. Coriander Chutney
With a vivid green color this topping automatically brightens any dish.
It’s fiery with serrano and garlic, but balanced with coconut and white vinegar and brings an overall spark to dull lentils. I haven’t used it with other foods yet, but I imagine it’d be great slathered on fried eggs, mixed into hummus and blended with yogurt and yolks for a deviled egg filling.
2. Tamarind-Date Chutney
Where the coriander brings pizazz, this chutney fulfills a desire for sweetness. I don’t normally add sugar, honey or maple syrup to my cooking, but for some reason I crave this gentle, fruit-based sweet over my lentils. It has a saucy thickness that adds body to the lentils dish, but is not overwhelming. Plus it carries a tiny tang so it’s not sweetness overload. I bet this would be fun drizzled on top of goat cheese on a toasted baguette or swirled on top of a garlicky white bean soup.