Monthly Archives: November 2013
LoL by: two_kittehs
Can I join you on the beach, kitteh? It ar cold where I iz.
Had a low key Thanksgiving dinner for two. Turkey breast with roasted vegetables and herb butter, stuffing, green beans with lemon mustard dressing, cranberry sauce with whole cranberries and butternut squash custard. The breast was moist and tender, took about an hour and half to cook. Now I don’t have to cook for the rest of the week. How was your dinner?
The days are short and getting shorter, all around me nature is getting ready to take a good long nap till spring. The grass outside my window is various shades of brown with some patches green, fighting valiantly to stay alive. Most of the birds are gone and so are the leaves. The stark beauty of the exposed branches reveal the shape of the tree and the grey mountains beyond. I don’t mind the cold as long as I can at least have the sun. That’s what keeps me going in January. Through the tail end of November and most of December though, all I want to do is hibernate, especially when it is raining.
LoL by: two_kittehs
With apologies to Johnny Cash I present the man of the hour, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid.
Caption by schroedinger’s cat aka two_kittehs, Photocredits: AP
Republicans and their lackeys in the media, aka centrist pundits are singing a dirge for the death of bipartisanship.
Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post,
Dana Milbank, also of the Washington Post;
Did they not notice that bipartisanship died the day Obama was first elected as the President. I guess they were also asleep when the Senate Republicans despite being a minority, filibustered nominee after nominee for no other reason than because they were nominated by Obama. This includes both executive branch appointments as well as judicial appointments. The Beltway Pundits do seem to have a peculiar definition of bipartisanship. To them it seems to mean that, Democrats give in to all the Republican demands, even when the Republicans are in a minority. They remind me of traditionalists who urge the wife to go back to her abusive husband and not file for divorce, even if he is beating the crap out of her.
I agree with Emily Bazelon’s take.
Dal and rice is comfort food, Indian style. There are many variations of the master recipe. You start with the hulled lentils cooked till they are mush with a little turmeric and asafetida, temper them or not with various spices add a souring agent or not, lastly add a garnish or not and then serve piping hot, usually but not always with rice. Dal can be pretty basic or elaborate. This recipe is my take on this Indian classic. It uses ingredients that you will find in your regular grocery store, however spices at your Indian grocer will be much cheaper and fresher, so if you plan on making a lot of dal, a trip to your friendly neighborhood Indian/Pakistani grocer may be in order. This dal uses red lentils, I usually buy the Goya brand, since it is easily available. Red lentils cook relatively quickly without a pressure cooker.
For the lentil mush
3/4 cup red lentils
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
1 small Serrano pepper or Thai birds eye chili or red dried chili
3 cups water
Salt to taste, I put about 2 teaspoons kosher salt
For Tempering the oil (Phodni or Tarka)
1 table spoon oil with a high smoking point such as canola or peanut oil
1 red or green hot chili
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
curry leaves (optional)
Juice of l lime or lemon
Fresh chopped cilantro
Step 1: Making the Mush
In a sauce pan put the lentils and all the other ingredients for the mush including water and bring to a boil, skim off any froth, these are insoluble proteins. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about half an hour to 40 minutes or until the dal is completely cooked and mushy, discard the whole chili.
Step 2: Tempering the Oil
Heat the oil in small skillet with a heavy bottom, when the oil is translucent add the mustard, cumin, chili and curry leaves if you have them. When the mustard begins sputtering, turn off the heat and add the hot oil with all the spices to the lentil mush.
Step 3: Finish with the acidic element and a garnish
If you want you can add a little water to thin the stew or heat it some more to thicken it. Add the lime juice and the garnish with fresh cilantro. Check the seasoning, you can add a tea spoon of sugar if it is too sour. Serve hot with rice, add a pat of butter, ghee or even extra virgin olive oil. Also, a great side dish to serve with an Indian dinner.
1. Add sliced onion and/or garlic when tempering the oil.
Note : The whole chili and curry leaves are not meant to be eaten.
Coming up next, sambar, a south Indian variation of dal, slightly more involved than this recipe.