It may have been apparent from my last post that we are a bit cash strapped as of late. Fear not though, we remain exuberant and ambitious foodies and are undeterred by what some would consider a fairly bare cupboard. It was a gray and dreary night on Tuesday, and so blustery I was tempted to wish everyone a happy “Winds-Day” (my alter ego being Winnie the Pooh, you know). I had hungry children, an even hungrier pregnant wife, a voracious grampa, and my own growling belly to satisfy. A quick survey of the pantry revealed our usual staples – BEANS, rice, lentils, a whiff of quinoa, and spices, that’s about it. I had some lovely homemade chicken stock from our last roast chicken, tons of local apples, and some greens – spinach, kale, mustard greens from the cold frame. I went to Ye Olde Vegetarian Cookbook staple Moosewood and in its sister volume found recipes for both Chappatis and Spiced Lentils with Spinach and Apple. I did modify the lentil recipe slightly ( I was out of turmeric and wanted some rice in there too). I will also say my chicken stock was quite deliciously fatty, so if you use store-bought stock you may want to add some butter.
I made the dough for the Chappatis first, rolled them and stacked them between parchment paper so they were ready to cook, then started the lentils and when those were in their last 20 minutes of cooking I started the Chappatis, keeping them warm in the oven after cooking.
Chappatis (The Enchanted Broccoli Forest)
1 cup wheat flour or 1/2 cup white flour and 1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
Mix the flour and salt together, add the water and mix well until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and with floured hands knead the dough for a few minutes. Divide the dough in to four balls and roll each one into a very thin circle (1/8 inch). Heat a large heavy skillet or griddle and add a small amount of canola or peanut oil to the pan. Cook the Chappatis for 2-3 minutes on the first side, until they begin to puff. Flip and cook for about a minute longer. Remove from heat and brush with melted butter!
Tip: Use lots of flour on your work surface! The dough is very sticky!
Spiced Lentils with Spinach and Apple (adapted from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 large leek, minced
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
1 cup brown basmati rice
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp celery seed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dry mustard
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric (I was out)
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt
1/2 pound fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
2 medium sized tart apples, chopped
Heat the oil and butter in a pan over medium heat and add the leeks. While these are cooking, add the lentils, rice and stock to a large saucepan or soup pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat when the lentils and rice come to a boil and simmer, covered. Meanwhile, the leeks should be softening, add the spices and a small amount of water, if necessary. When the leeks are softened, add these to the simmering lentil/rice pot along with the lemon juice and garlic ~ cook until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Add the salt and apples and cook for ten more minutes. Add the spinach, mix, and turn off the heat. Leave the pot covered while you finish the Chappatis. Garnish with chopped roasted peanuts. Serve with Chappatis, Raita, and hot sauce!!