Indian Potato Salad with Cilantro Omelet and Red Lentil Soup with Greens

I haven’t been in a mood to cook in the last few days.  I had to will myself to get back on track with this Moosewood recipes!  I couldn’t waste all the ingredients I bought in the fridge just because I didn’t feel like cooking, so using that as my motivation, I kicked myself into the kitchen:-)  I’m glad I started cooking again!

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Indian Potato Salad with Cilantro Omelet: serves 4

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Indian Potato Salad
4 cups cubed potatoes ( 1 inch cubes)
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder or garam masala
Pinch of cayenne, or a splash of Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
2 or 3 scallions, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

To cook the potatoes, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Lower the potatoes into the hot water and cook until tender but not falling apart, about 5 minutes after the water returns to a boil.  While the potatoes cook, warm the oil in a saucepan on medium heat.   Sizzle the cumin seeds for a few seconds and then stir in the salt, curry powder, and cayenne.  Remove from the heat.  Drain the cooked potatoes and place them in a bowl.  Pour the hot seasoned oil over the potatoes and add scallions, bell pepper, and cilantro.  Stir gently and set aside. 

Cilantro Omelet
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4 eggs
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt
*plain yoghurt

To make the omelet, whisk the eggs in a small bowl until frothy.  Heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat.  Pour the eggs into the skillet.  When the bottom is set, sprinkle on the cilantro and a little salt and fold the omelet in half.  Cook covered until the eggs are set and the bottom is browned.  Slice into wedges.  Serve each wedge of omelet with potato salad topped with a dollop of yoghurt.

My opinion: Tasty, tasty, tasty, Mmmmm, tasty! I especially liked the potato salad with all those fried spices and bell peppers! I added orange bell pepper too, little more scallions than listed on the recipe, and used cayenne instead of hot pepper sauce.     I served this with a wedge of naan.

Red Lentil Soup with Greens: serves 4
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1-1/4 cups red lentils
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds (optional)
1-1/2 teaspoons anise or fennel seeds
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground ginger, or 2 Tablespoons grated peeled ginger root
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
4 cups rinsed, drained, and chopped fresh mustard greens, Swiss chard, or spinach
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coconut milk

Rinse the lentils and drain.  In a soup pot, bring 5 cups of water, the lentils, and salt to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. 
While the lentils cook, warm the oil in a saucepan on medium heat, add the black mustard seeds, and cover until they pop.  Stir in the anise, red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic and cook for a minute, stirring constantly.  Add the greens and the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the greens are just wilted.  Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for a minute.  Remove from the heat.
When the lentils are soft, stir in the greens and coconut milk mixture and add salt to taste. 

My opinion: Okay, the photo above doesn’t do any justice.  The photo looks really boring and dull (I also wish I took better photos, in fact, I wish I had a better camera for taking food photos! )  but the taste was stellar! How do I describe this taste?  A very well balanced flavour of different spices (by the way, black mustard seeds are listed as optional, but I HIGHLY recommend using this, because they give such wonderful flavour), ginger (PLEASE use ginger root instead of the powder!) and coconut milk.   Both my girls loved this soup!  Once the lentils cook, they absorb the water so I added extra cup of water in the end.  I used baby spinach and it was wonderful too:-)

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