IFR daily

Daily Indian food, as it's cooked in my kitchen. Sometimes, not-so-Indian. No frills. No props. Just good food. A phone blog.

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Sundal for a potluck

2.5-3 cups uncooked garbanzo beans
8-9 cups of cooked garbanzo beans
3 tbsp coriander seeds
3 tbsp chana dal
2-3 dried red Kashmiri chiles
3 tbsp avocado oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
Pinch asafetida (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds
8-10 curry leaves
2-3 Thai chiles, red or green, finely sliced
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped cilantro, loosely packed
1/3 cup freshly grated coconut (or thawed frozen shredded coconut)
2 tsp salt

If your garbanzo beans are uncooked, soak them overnight in three times the amount of water. Once soaked, drain water and rinse. Cook in 2-3 times as much water as beans, preferably in a pressure cooker, until they are soft but still hold their shape. OR, use 5 cans (14oz) of cooked unsalted organic garbanzo beans.

Heat your cast iron griddle and toast coriander seeds, chana dal and dried red chiles on medium heat, retorting frequently, until fragrant. About 3-4 minutes.


Turn off heat; move griddle off the stove and allow the spices to cool.

Heat oil in a large saucepan or wok. When it shimmers, add mustard seeds. When they turn gray and pop, quickly add asafetida, if using, followed by cumin seeds. Turn the heat down or off if the oil is too hot and the seeds start to darken (burn) rapidly. Add curry leaves, followed by red or green chiles. Use a splatter guard to avoid getting oil all over your stove. Add turmeric powder.

Add drained cooked garbanzo beans and mix using a folding action, keeping the beans intact. Keep heat on medium-low until all ingredients have been added.

Grind toasted spices in your spice grinder to a fine powder.

Add this to the beans, followed by salt and mix well. Again, use a folding action to keep the beans intact.

Add lemon juice.

Add chopped cilantro.

Add shredded coconut and mix well. Turn off heat.

Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired. Take to potluck and blow everyone’s socks off!

Use fewer dried red chiles in the spice blend and/or Thai chiles to make it less spicy.
This recipe is based on my friend Meena’s sundal recipe. My spice blend was rather reddish probably because of my Kashmiri chiles. You can use any dried chiles, even arbol will do. I did change up her recipe a bit to adapt it to my taste: fresh green chiles to add a bright note to the dish; cilantro, for the same reason; shredded coconut to balance the flavors and add a note of sweetness.
Buy frozen shredded coconut at the Indian store and thaw it on your counter, or in the microwave. Don’t waste your time rehydrating dehydrated shredded coconut. It isn’t the same. You are better off not using it at all.
This tastes fabulous chilled, too.


Thai-inspired Chicken Curry with Udon Noodles

1 lb chicken tenderloins, diced into bite size pieces
2 packets pre-cooked udon Annie Chun’s organic udon noodles
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
2-3 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 splashes of Tamari sauce
1-2 splashes of fish sauce
2-3 splashes of rice vinegar
1 cup celery, sliced
1 cup sweet peppers, diced
2 tbsp Thai Kitchen red curry paste
1/2 can coconut milk
3-4 cups of water
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, crushed
Some cilantro for garnish

Rehydrate shiitake mushrooms according to instructions on packet. I do not bother to squeeze them out before I add them to my soups and curries.
In a large saucepan or wok, heat oil and sauté diced onions for a couple of minutes. Add splashes of Tamari, fish sauce and rice vinegar.
Add other diced vegetables. I was trying to finish off my celery and my sweet peppers. You could use zucchini, broccoli, carrots (thin slices), or any combination of veggies that appeal to you. I also had some shoots growing out of my onions. Since these are edible, I added them with the diced onions to mellow their sharp flavor. Stir fry for a couple of minutes.
Add diced chicken and Thai red curry paste and mix well. Spread everything out so that the chicken cooks quickly. Stir only a couple of times.
Add coconut milk. Stir to mix and add 2-3 cups of water. Add more to thin it down to the consistency you like. Since we are adding noodles, I thinned the sauce down to almost soup-like consistency.

Drain shiitake mushrooms and add them to the curry.
Bring to a simmer and add udon noodles. Use a fork to break them up as they warm. Gently fold them into the curry as they separate.
Sprinkle crushed peanuts, garnish with cilantro and enjoy hot!

This is a quick one-pot meal for weeknights. If you make your own Thai curry paste, more power to you! Use that as it will no doubt be more flavorful than the bottled stuff. If you have dried udon noodles, use those or use any other noodles of your choice. I stock Annie Chun’s pre-cooked organic noodles as they help cut prep time in the mornings if I find I have to put together a lunchbox quickly. They are a boon on busy weeknights as well. If I’m out of noodles, I serve this curry over steamed rice.

If you have Thai basil, use that instead of cilantro. I brought my Thai basil inside before winter but it didn’t do well.