Posts Tagged ‘dal’

I had some crazy good pine nut/lentil dumplings at Blue Sage once, and immediately began contemplating how I could make something similar (but with more kick!) on my own. My first attempt turned out ok, but they weren’t exactly fantastic. Probably the fact that I was just trying to use up a batch of less-than-great dal in a creative way didn’t help. So this time, I made a PERFECTLY spicy, flavorful and delicious pot of dal, mixed it up with some toasted pine nuts, and used that as the filling for half of the dumplings. Dal (also spelled dhal, dahl, or daal) is the Indian term for lentils cooked with spices, basically. I thought spicy Indian flavors would make for a very interesting dumpling filling, and holy crap, did it ever. For the other half of the dumplings I went a more traditional route and used sauteed veggies and shrimp (I liked the Indian ones better, though). This meal turned into a crazy Indian/Asian fusion ordeal, and the flavors all went together surprisingly well.

VeggiesCabbage, shallots, shiitake mushrooms, grated carrots, garlic and lots of ginger, frying away in the saute pan. I added the garlic near the end of the cooking process, after the veggies had cooked down for 10-15 minutes, then I added the grated ginger all the way at the end, after I turned the heat off. I wanted the ginger to retain most of it’s flavor and kick, since not a whole lot of other spice went into this filling.

FillingsThe sauteed veggies and a little bowl of dal. I won’t lie, dal is not the prettiest food in the world, so I’ll spare you the close up. I mean I think it looks delicious, but I think all brown goopey Indian food looks delicious.

FillingSome of the pictures were taken on an iphone, with the ShakeItPhoto application giving the pics an old-fashioned polaroid look. The rest were taken on my rickshaw wannabe camera. Hopefully the lack of consistency here won’t give anyone a headache.

Dumpling Mis

Lined up

a Soggy MessI didn’t time anything, or follow any precise steps. I just tossed the dumplings into a pan with a little oil, let them cook for a couple minutes on medium high heat until the bottoms began to turn brown, then I dumped a glassful of water into the pan, covered it and let them steam until they felt right. This haphazard method worked beautifully.

yumI guess these are technically pot-stickers, but I like the word dumpling so much better. It’s an adorable word.

once delicious dumpling circle

dumpsOld fashioned polaroid dumplings.

the PlateVeggie/shrimp dumplings on the left, dal dumplings on the right. Deliciousness all over the place. And please, use a high quality Tamari, not some crappy American soy sauce.

I’ll post my dal recipe sometime, but it does contain some top secret spice blend I got from an Indian friend’s mother. She ships over (from India) boxes of homemade jarred spice blends and chutneys and things to my friend. I don’t even know what’s in my jar and I don’t care, it’s freaking good!

And because it was about 30 seconds down the road from where I was, I had to stop inĀ Vegan Treats to purchase the most adorable little Pumpkin Pie I’ve ever seen:

cutest Pumpkin Pie everThough honestly I was so bummed that they didn’t have any pumpkin whoopie pies that day; that was the true reason behind my visit. If you’ve never experienced the glory that is the Vegan Treats Pumpkin Whoopie Pie, well then you just don’t know what you’re missing.


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