Monday, September 02, 2013

Lunch at Cafe Drake HRV Means Leftover Dinner


Above two photos: Tomato Rassam (spicy-sour lentil broth from South India), luffa curry, brown rice and spicy peanuts, roasted baby eggplants with honey, cumin and mint leaves.

A quick side dish/salad/relish to complement and breathe new life to a meal of leftovers: peel and then slice into thin strips 1 jicama. Sprinkle with salt, cayenne pepper and ancho chile powder (or substitute smoked paprika?). Squeeze the juice of at least 1 small lime over all, add a pinch or two of brown sugar and toss very very well. Let sit for at least 1 hour before serving and store leftovers, tightly covered, for at least 5 days in the fridge.


Above two photos: leftover avial, roasted tomatoes and string beans, toasted dinner rolls and marinated batons of jicama.


A Little Bit of This & That (no actual kitchen sink). Above two photos: romaine salad with torn croutons and Green Goddess dressing, mooli (daikon radish) curry, brown rice, moong dal and chutneys.

Dals, like most dry bean and legume dishes and soups, often need to be re-seasoned after a couple of days in the fridge. We generally just add a bit more salt and pepper and enhance with garnishes like lime wedges, sliced onions and fresh green chilies.

Perking up the Plate at Cafe Drake HRV via homemade hari (cilantro and mint) and apricot chutneys.

One of the great things about daikon dishes is that they never seem to suffer when served cool or, sometimes, even cold. Who couldn't love dinner leftovers that don't require reheating? The simplest daikon/mooli curry we know is also one of the most satisfying. Miraculously good next to grilled pork chops and broiled salmon, we're just sayin'. You'll have to make a trip to an Indian market for the kalonji seeds but they cost pennies and keep well, tightly covered, for about two years. Start with 1 Lb. of peeled daikon radishes (also known as mooli). Trim ends then dice into small cubes. Heat 2 T. vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. When oil is just shimmering toss in 1/2 t. kalonji/nigella seeds and 2 chopped small green chilies. Stir for 10 seconds, lower heat to medium-high and add the diced daikon. Stir-fry for 2 minutes and reduce heat further to a low flame. Cover the skillet and cook for 15 minutes or so, checking now and then avoid burning. The radish should release some water and provide enough moisture but help along as needed. The mooli is almost ready when it's translucent and tender-firm (see pics above). Remove lid, return heat to a high flame for a few seconds, add 1/2 t. salt and 1/4 t. sugar, stir well and serve.

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