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New Recipe Night: Dolorous Porridge

For new recipe night, I made Dolorous Porridge, the blackest meal evar.



1 cup black (beluga) lentils
1 cup black rice
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
good sized knob of ginger
lemon juice
Red kale

black mustard seeds
nigella (often sold as black cumin)
cumin
tumeric
chili powder
chili flakes
ground coriander seed
ground star anise (I threw some in a coffee grinder. Fennel seed might have worked better here)
salt
pepper

soak the lentils overnight in water.
rinse, then soak the black rice for at least an hour before cooking

chop the onion, garlic and ginger, and sautee in a significant amount of oil (you want there to be oil left after the onion et al. are cooked)
Throw in the seedy spices (nigella, cumin and black mustard seeds) and let them cook and pop in the oil.
Rinse the rice and lentils, and add to the pot. Cover with water and add the other spices and lemon juice (I used probably at least a whole lemon's worth, maybe more).
Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and rice are soft and the liquid is absorbed.

Serve over steamed dark red kale, garnish with yogurt.


I found it needed a lot of coriander seed. I think I ended up having about 4 "stars" of anise, too. I ended up grinding up some of the nigella, since the flavour didn't seem to be getting out of the seeds as well as I had hoped. I'd meant to work in some asafoetida, but I forgot. The lemon juice was a late addition; it really kept the dish from *tasting* dolorous. I went really easy on the tumeric, since I didn't want it going yellow on me - it could probably have been left out entirely. I used more cumin than I'd originally planned on. I always forget how much flavour lentils absorb before they start letting it back out again.

The colour worked better than I had hoped - it even dyed the onions black, and the kale was really dark, too. (pics to follow when Zil pulls them off of her camera).

I would have used fennel instead of anise for a more subtle flavour in that end, and probably should have ground more of the spices.

The end flavour was somewhat earthy and nutty from the lentils and black rice, while the lemon and anise perked things up against a background of my old reliable "curry" spice base. The kale was a last minute garnish decision that worked better with the flavour than I'd expected. It might not have been a bad idea to have chopped it up finer and cook it in with the porridge.

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. We've even eaten all of the leftovers already, which is surprising for one of my experiments. :)

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
neeuqdrazil
Feb. 27th, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
The camera and cable are sitting on my laptop on the couch - you can pull the photos off tonight when you get home. :)
curgoth
Feb. 27th, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC)
And the software CD is...?
neeuqdrazil
Feb. 27th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
Download them to my computer. :)

(Otherwise, it's somewhere in the living room - I think it's on the shelves beside the couch, behind the Ottlamp.)
nobodyhere
Feb. 27th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
There just aren't enough black vegetables. I have some black turnips at home, but all the edible bits are white.

Sounds good! I've never used star anise in a curry-style recipe, but I do enjoy it in mulled wine and sangria.
curgoth
Feb. 27th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
Star anise works really well in curries. I did a red lentil curry once that was mostly flavoured with clove, star anise and (I think) cardamom. When I told an Indian coworker what I'd done, she told me I'd mostly reinvented garam masala. :)
athenalindia
Feb. 29th, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
It was very good! And very black. And dolorous.
corbet
Mar. 4th, 2008 04:31 am (UTC)
Mmmmm, sounds tasty.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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