Brazilian cucumber- a farmer’s (Harvard University ) market buy!
A plain mirror (the one I had was from Ikea)- decorated with left over wall paper- I love this wall paper and love the fact that I can see some wood through it! I cut out different parts of the wall paper and hot glued it on to the mirror (the back is covered too)
Wall shelves need not be boring- the plain MDF board has been transformed using citron green outdoor paint with Martha Stewart stencil in brown (again outdoor paint). This shelf is to house more plants in the teeny-tiny balcony that we have in our apartment. I did paint one more to hang above my desk (that was painted in teal blue with some flowers as a border)
Since I am home these days- my lunch is usually something extremely simple (like 2-minute maggi noodles withe some veg). On those rare occasions when I cook for lunch, it tend to be one-pot meals like this lauki dal or lauki-lentil soup.
1 medium lauki, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup washed toor dal or masoor dal (I used toor)
1/2 can (16oz) whole peeled tomatoes
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 green chilli pepper, slit in the middle
1 tbsp ghee/ oil
2 cups water/ veg broth
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp roasted crushed coriander powder
a pinch turmeric
1 tbsp shredded coconut for garnish
In a pressure cooker, heat the ghee- add mustard seeds, once it starts to splatter add cumin, fennel, green chilli peppers- saute these for about 10sec
Add the tomatoes, lauki, ginger, turmeric and crushed coriander seeds- saute for about 4-5 minutes.
Add the dal and saute for another minute or two.
Add 2 cups of water, salt and pepper to taste- pressure cook the whole thing (I let mine go for about 5 whistles); you can do this even without the pressure cooker but it will take longer for the lentil to cook.
Once the pressure is all gone- open the lid, taste it- adjust for seasoning, check if everything is cooked- garnish with cilantro and coconut.
Serve hot with chappatis, rice or even as a soup!
I love these multi-functional one pot meals- you eat ’em with rice/ rotis one day and the next day think ’em out and ladle some out in a big bowl- you got yourself some nice warm soup. I loved everything about this dal- a delicious light any-time meal. I enjoyed it while reading Susan Vreeland’s Clara and Mr.Tiffany.
Did you know
Bottle gourd or calabash gourd (lauki) actively flowers at night- the nocturnal insects help in pollination