Thursday, May 14, 2009

What to do with spinach dhal?

Make muffins, fritters, and pancakes.

I had about two cups of spinach dhal in the freezer, left over from my dinner party. It was the least successful of the dishes - it was far too runny, and in trying to reduce and thicken it I rather overcooked the spinach. I think I may have used the wrong lentils or something.

The recipe came from Fresh Indian, and I'm paraphrasing:

Spinach Dhal

Boil together 250 g red lentils, 1.2 litres water, 1/4 tsp tumeric, & 1 tsp finely grated ginger, skim any scum then simmer for 20 mins. Add 100g baby spinach leaves and a large handful of chopped coriander and cook another 10 mins or so.

Mine was like soup at this stage, so I cooked it quite a bit longer, until it was more porridge-like.

Heat 2 tsp light olive oil in a pan and stir fry 5 finely sliced garlic cloves, 2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tbsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, and one finely chopped red chilli until they're all very fragrant. Pour it over the dhal, mix well, season with salt to taste.

That was my dhal, but you could use any leftover dhal you happened to have.

To one cup of dhal I added an egg, 1/2 cup of chickpea flour, 1 tsp baking powder, and a little salt …

… mixed it well, hunting down little lumps of flour and squashing them …

… then dropped tablespoonsful onto a hot griddle …

… flipping them when bubbles rose to the surface:

I made eleven of these fritters.

Then I added another egg, 1/2 cup chickpea flour, and tsp baking powder to the other cup of dhal, and split the resulting batter in two. Into the larger portion I added some milk, enough to make a runny pancake batter. I poured about 1/2 a cup onto the hot griddle …

… and flipped it when it was nearly dry on top:

They're rather brittle, so need rolling as soon as they are cooked.

I made five of these, with slight variations - I put grated cheese in one before I rolled it, another I spread with green tomato relish and then put cheese on prior to rolling …

… and this one …

… I didn't flip at all. I covered it with cheese when it was just about cooked, then rolled it when the cheese had melted.

I made a couple of muffins from the smaller portion of batter by adding another 1/4 cup or so of chickpea flour then spooning it into silicon cupcake cases and nuking it on medium for 2 1/2 minutes.

Here are the resulting goods:

I'm having a couple of the cheesy pancakes in tomorrow's bento, and have tried the fritters as a base for cheese and tomato toasties (very nice) and cold, buttered with relish on (even better).

I think I'll have the muffins with tomato soup.

Fritter Recipe (will need to be adjusted according to the wetness of your dhal)

1 cup left over dhal
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg

Mix everything together and drop in tablespoonsful onto a hot oiled griddle. Turn when bubbles rise to the surface.

Pancake recipe

Add sufficient milk to the fritter batter to make a runny pancake batter (about 1/3 cup?). Mix well. Pour 1/2 cup at a time onto a hot oiled griddle or frying pan. Turn when the surface is almost dry. Roll as soon as it's cooked, with filling of your choice.

Muffin recipe

Add sufficient chickpea flour to the fritter batter to make a thick batter that will drop slowly from a spoon. Mix well. Fill silicon muffin or cupcake cases with the batter, then microwave on medium for 1 1/4 minutes per muffin. Or you could bake in a hot oven until cooked.

1 comment:

  1. Such a crafty way to turn semi-yucky leftover dhal into a bunch of awesome food! Good job!