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Thursday, October 20, 2011

MoFo, day 20: Dal Bhaji

For G's birthday last year, he got a crumble. This year, he gets...dal. Hey, the guy likes Indian food! I made Dal Bhaji from Susan's Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, another blog I've followed and loved for a long time, although I can't say I've ever made any of her recipes.

I had some for lunch, over the last of some kale salad, very nontraditionally. It is usually served with bread and potatoes. Susan's version doesn't include potatoes but I ate a piece of pita with the dal and salad.
Despite G being really, really old, I basically made him a very spicy dish of baby food for his birthday. I had to boil things beyond existence and then mash them up, which was actually a lot of fun. This was a multi-step process and definitely more than one pot was dirtied, but it isn't difficult. G is worth it, anyway, and the recipe is very tasty.
One more thing that added to the process was this matter of "pav bhaji masala" spice. While the Lower East Side is full of Indian grocery stores, I wasn't going to make the extra trip, so when Whole Foods' Indian aisle didn't have the masala, I found a spice recipe of sorts on this site and figured I could wing something with what I had on hand.

Metric measurements throw me off, but I think this came out alright. I didn't have cumin seeds, cardamom seeds or coriander I used less of the ground spices and subbed sumac for dry mango powder. I dunno, anyone with a better understanding of spices have anything they'd like to advise or mention? Any recommendations for what else to use this spice mix in? I have a LOT left over.
Anyway, I liked the meal and I think G did too. He ate some today with rice, because he's for real. (And so old!) No, I did not pick a fat free recipe for G because his metabolism slows down from here. I've heard great things about Susan's recipes and I'm definitely looking forward to delving deeper into her repertoire.


  1. Ok now I'm dying to know how "old" he is! The dinner looks yummy and I love Susan's blog...but I also haven't made anything yet. That'll have to change!

  2. Yes, how old is really old? The food looks really good, and worthy of a birthday dinner.

  3. Very spicy baby food...there just isn't enough of that around. Really though, it looks good, and the spice mix sounds the business.

    Looks like a nice dinner for a really old guy. I remember the days when I was really old too....before being really, really old, and then really, really, really old.

  4. That looks SO GOOD and I'm very impressed that you made your own pav bahji.

    P.S. I nominated you for a Leibster (!?) on my blog today!

  5. I can't remember if I've made any of Susan's recipes, but I've loved her blog for a long time. I always have these good intentions of cooking recipes from other bloggers (and my cookbooks!), but it's just so easy to go off and do my own thing!

  6. I'm glad they asked how old because I wanted to know, too. I love, love Indian food, but I never made it for myself so I have no advice.

  7. The clues I've picked up on so far lead me to believe G's either turned seven (the cartoons would indicate this) or 60 (hairy curmudgeon who never goes out) years of age.

  8. Awh, I was teasing G. He's still a young whippersnapper. I was teasing him mostly because I'll be the same age in a coupla months. I have to get my digs while I can.

    Rose, I guess babies in India just eat really spicy food?!?

    Thanks, Abby - making the spice was actually pretty fun. I felt like an alchemist or something.

    Allysia, I'm totally the same - that's why I'm trying to worth through them for MoFo.

    Shen, you're close - he's somewhere in between!

  9. Haha, baby food. Dal is one of my favorite Indian foods, I bet it was awesome on a kale salad. I learned how to cook some traditional Indian dishes from a woman I used to work with and the spices you mentioned are awesome with just about any sauteed vegetables with ginger and garlic. And this may sound weird, but if you steep those spices in hot water with some black tea then stir in some soy or nut milk I think it would be delicious. But I like spicy tea.

  10. Nikki, that sounds wild! I gotta try it..


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