Panir Sabat Moong (mung beans with panir cheese)

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20190404_194309_hdrYet another recipe lifted entire from the pages of Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi.

Yamuna’s preface reads “This earthy, high-protein bean dish, typical in the Punjab, is ideal for the cold winter months, and can be the main attraction of lunch. Although it goes well with hot rice, I especially recommend it with hot flatbreads…”.

  • 1 c whole mung, aduki, or urad dal beans
  • 3 c water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • .25-.5 tsp cayenne pepper or paprika
  • .5 tbsp brown sugar, shaved jaggery (Indian cone), or piloncillo (Mexican cone) sugar
  • 1.5 tsp finely shredded or minced fresh ginger root
  • 6 tbsp ghee, or a mixture of vegetable oil and salted butter
  • 6 oz. fresh panir cheese, cut into half-inch (0.5″) cubes (ed. or more, because more pan-toasted panir is always good)
  • .5 tsp cumin seeds
  • .25-.5 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 medium firm ripe tomatoes, diced (or one 14.5 oz can of no-salt-added diced tomatoes)
  • 3 tbsp yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley or coriander
  • 6 lemon or lime wedges or twists (for garnishing)
  • 6 tomato flowers (for garnishing)
  1. Sort and wash the beans. Place the beans in a bowl, cover with at least 1.5 inches of hot water, and soak at least 5 hours or overnight. Drain.
  2. Bring 3 cubs of water to a boil in a heavy 2-3 quart/liter saucepan over high heat. Add the turmeric, cayenne or paprika, sweetener, ginger root, and 1 tbsp of the ghee. Add the beans, reduce the heat to low, and partially cover. Gently simmer for 1-1.25 hrs or until the beans are butter-soft but not mashed or broken. Remove from the heat. Place 1 c of the cooked beans and liquid in a blender or food professor and blend until smooth. Pour this paste back into the pot of beans.
  3. Heat the remaining ghee in a wok or trying pan over moderate heat. When it is hot, add the cheese cubes and stir-fry for about 5 minutes, constantly turning the cubes to brown them evenly on all sides. As they turn crisp and golden brown, remove them with a slotted spoon and drop them into the cooked beans.
  4. Fry the cumin seeds until they turn brown. Toss in the asafoetida powder and garam masala and immediately add the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes until they dry into a thick, moist paste that separates from the ghee. Scrape the tomatoes into the cooked beans, add the yogurt or sour crea and salt, and gently mix.
  5. Pour into a serving dish and sprinkle with lemon juice and minced herb. If desired, drizzle with melted ghee or butter. Serve with lemon or lime wedges or twists, alternating them with small tomato flowers, arranged around the edge of the serving dish.

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This recipe was adapted from the original found on p. 77 of Yamuna Devi’s indispensible “Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking.”


For the beans:

  • 2.5c dried red kidney beans
  • 6c water
  • 1 small cassia or bay leaf
  • .25tsp turmeric
  • .25 tsp cayenne or paprika
  • 1 tbsp butter or ghee

Remaining ingredients:

  • 2.5 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • .5 tsp fennel seeds
  • .5 tsp ajwain seeds (aka Bishop’s Weed)
  • 2-3 tbsp scraped, finely shredded or minced fresh ginger root
  • .5c water
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 5 tbsp ghee or peanut oil
  • Fresh paneer cheese (6-12 oz)
  • 4 medium firm ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • .25c chopped fresh parsley or coriander

Soak the kidney beans in 4 cups of water for at least 7 hours or overnight at room temperature.

Drain the beans in a colander, collecting the soaking water in a bowl. Add enough cold water to make 6 cubs and put it along with the beans and the other ingredients for cooking them, in a 3-4 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and gently simmer over low heat for 1.5-3 hours or until the beans are soft and tender but not broken down.

Mash .75c of the cooked beans to a puree. The cooking liquid should be quite thick. If not, ladle out the tender beans with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl. Gently boil the sauce until it is reduced until about 1.5c. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Combine the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and the ajwain seeds in an electric coffee mill or a stone mortar and pestle and reduce them to a powder. Transfer to a small bowl.

Place the ginger root and .5c of water in a blender, cover and blend on high speed until the mixture is a smooth liquid. Pour it into the powdered spices and add the garam masala, turmeric, salt, and lemon or lime juice, then stir. The mixture should have the consistency of thin cream. Add water if it is too thick.

Heat 5 tbsp ghee or oil in a 3-4 qt casserole or nonstick heavy saucepan over moderate heat. When it is hot, drop in the paneer cheese and stir-fry for 5-7 minutes, carefully turning the cubes with a spatula or spoon until they are browned on all sides. As the cubes brown, transfer them to a dish.

Pour the spice paste into the ghee or oil and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for about 8 minutes more or until the tomatoes are reduced to a thick paste and the ghee or oil separates from the mixture.

Add the whole cooked beans, mashed beans, fried cheese cubes, and 1.5c of the cooking liquid, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Before serving, stir in 1 tbsp of ghee or butter and the minced herb.

I have omitted some of the pressure-cooker instructions from the original.

Upper Elwha Update

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Here’s a story with video of State & Tribal fisheries officers releasing coho salmon into the middle Elwha river, restoring a fishery that has been blocked by dams since 1913. Congratulations, Lower Elwha Klallam People!

sweet spiced lentils & tomatoes

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sweet-spiced-lentils--tomatoes_4644727925_oThis recipe can be found on p. 375 of Bobbie Hinman’s cookbook “The Meatless Gourmet:”

Sweet Spiced Lentils & Tomatoes

  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. grated or very finely minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 tsp. each ground cumin and ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 1 lb. can chopped tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 c. cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c. lentils, uncooked
  • 1 tb. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic, and ginger root. Sprinkle with cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, mixing well. When mixture boils, reduce heat to medium-low cover, and simmer 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

I push the onion/ginger/celery/garlic mix to one side and add the tomatoes to a hot pan, allowing the sugars in them to caramelize a bit, then add the stock, lentils &c. I find it removes the ‘raw tomato’ flavor and replaces it with a sweeter, mellower flavor which really enhances the sweetness of the dish. Enjoy!


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kosheri_3164689560_oMy first stab at kosheri: an Egyptian adaptation of an Indian dish called kichri. Alternating layers of a tomato-lentil sauce, white rice, and french fried onions make this dish a (fairly) healthy, tasty vegan meal.

Adapted from a recipe found on pp. 200-1 of Angela Shelf Medearis’ excellent examination of African, Southern & Caribbean cooking: The Ethnic Vegetarian.

The cookbook suggests a significant time savings can be realized if one uses commercially-available French’s french fried onions (the ones that usually go on top of the repulsive green bean & cream of ________ soup casserole at holiday time) and leftover white rice.

Our onions, tomatoes, and some spices were local. As usual, our rice is Guyanese. Other ingredients (lentils, other spices) are of unknown provenance.

Here’s the recipe:


  • 1.5 c. uncooked long-grain white rice
  • .5 c vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1 c. whole wheat or all-purpose flour (I used the latter).
  • 3 t. salt
  • 2 t. black pepper
  • .25 t. cayenne pepper
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut into rings
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 hot green chile, seeded & chopped (I used local scotch bonnet peppers)
  • 2 cans (2o oz.) peeled whole tomatoes, crushed (I used eight medium-sized tomatoes from Annette, peeled & crushed)
  • 1 can lentils, drained & rinsed (or make your own: bring 1 c. of lentils to boil in 3 c. water, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, drain)
  • 1 c. vegetable broth (one salty Maggi cube)
  • .25 c. white wine vinegar
  • .5 t. ground cumin (I used ground roasted geera).

“Prepare the rice according to package directions [or custom].

“Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.

“Combine the flour, 1 t. of the salt, 1 t. of the black pepper, and 1/8 t. of the cayenne pepper in a shallow bowl. Dredge the onion rings in the seasoned flour. Plae the onions in the hot oil and fry for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the onions over and fry untilgolden brown on both sides. Remove from the oil to a paper towel-covered plate to drain (do not discard the oil in the pan). Sprinkle the onions with 1t. of the remaining salt. Set aside.

“Place the garlic and the chile pepper in the remaining vegetable oil in the skillet. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes (with juice), lentils, vegetable broth, vinegar, cumin, and the remaining 1 t. salt, 1 t. black pepper, and 1/8 t. cayenne pepper to the skillet.Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.

“Place a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of a large serving dish. Place the rice on top of the sauce. Top with a layer of onions. Place another payer of the sauce on top of the onions. Continue layering until all the ingredients have been used. Top with any remaining sauce and fried onions.”

bandhgobhi moong tarkari

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bandhgobhi-moong-tarkari_3151528945_oCurried sauteed cabbage with mung beans in a honey-lime glaze. Local cabbage, honey & limes.

This is an adaptation of a recipe found on pp. 200-1 of Yamuna Devi’s “Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking.”

Aloo Baigan Sabji

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Aloo Baigan Sabji

  • 1/3 c. plain yogurt
  • 1/2″ piece of ginver, scraped & coarsely chopped
  • 2 seeded hot green chiles, broken into bits
  • 1/4 c. shredded fresh or dried coconut
  • 1/2 t. garam masala
  • 4 T. ghee or mixture of olive oil & unsalted butter
  • 1 t. black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 T. cumin seeds
  • 8-10 curry leaves (preferably fresh)
  • 1/4 t. yellow asafetida powder
  • 6 medium boiling potatoes, steamed until tender, peeled and cut into 3/4″ cubes
  • 1 t. turmeric
  • 1 T. ground coriander
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1″ cubes and steamed until tender
  • 1 1/4 t. salt
  • 3 T. chopped frsh parsley or coriander
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice

1. Combine the, ginger, green chiles and coconut in a food processor or blender, cover and process until smooth. Add the garam masala and pulse for a few seconds. Set aside.

2. Heat the ghee or oil-butter mixture in a heavy 4-5 quart/liter saucepan or 12 inch nonstick frying pan over moderately high heat. When it is hot but not smoking, drop in the mustard and cumin seeds and fry until the mustard seeds sputter and the cumin seeds turn golden brown. Stir in the curry leaves and asafetida, and immediately follow with the potatoes. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, then pour in the seasoned yogurt, turmeric, ground coriander, eggplant, salt and half of the fresh remaining herb. Gently toss to mix.

3. Reduce the heat to moderate, then fry, turning the vegetables very gently until they are dry. Before serving, mix in the lemon juice and remaining fresh herbs.

Serves 5-6.