Himalayan fennel swiss chard Creamed lentils

2014-07-31 17.32.21Himalayan mountains are not just heavenly. People who live in the mountains are very warm, hospitable and generous. Maybe it has to do with being so close to nature. Imagine sniffing pine leaves everyday or walking in woods or climbing up hills. Its got to bring out your inner cheer.

These swiss chard leaves and fennel fronds came from our workplace terrace garden planter What was I going to make? A facebook question to friends got so many creative responses, that it brought a smile to my face.

Since the past couple of days has been quite chilly, my mind kept returning to the mountains. Wayside stalls serve the tastiest dals and breads. My childhood vacation trips to the beautiful Himalayas are the inspiration for Himalayan fennel swiss chard creamed lentils.

1/2 cup yellow moong beans
1 cup washed and cut swiss chards, including stems
½ cup washed and cut fennel fronds
½ cup red onion, chopped
1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
1 tomato, diced
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Spice Mix
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 dry red hot pepper
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coconut oil
Pinch hing
Salt to taste

Method

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• Wash and drain moong beans thoroughly. Cover with 1 cup water and pressure cook till lentils are soft. Set aside to cool.

• Wash and cut fennel fronds into smaller bits, including tender stems. Wash and cut swiss chard into smaller bits, including stems. Cut onion, ginger, garlic, tomato. Set aside.

• Heat coconut oil in pan.

• Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the cumin seeds, onions, hot chili peppers, ginger, garlic and hing

• Stir everything till cooked and lightly brown.

• Add diced tomatoes and let everything cook.  Add turmeric powder.

• Add fennel fronds and swiss chard and saute till fennel is soft.

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• Mash up the cooked lentils till creamy and then add to the pan

• Stir everything together and let come to a boil. Take off stove.

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• Add salt to taste and freshly squeezed lime juice.

I served the Himalayan fennel swiss chard creamed lentils with chapati. Don’t worry if it isn’t a perfect round. its mountain food, so keep it simple, delicious, a bit carefree. I can even see it paired with steamed basmati rice for an equally satisfying meal. Doesn’t it look just YUM. and it was soo finger lickin’ good!! You have to try it. Remember : no fennel no worries, just use swiss chard, but if you have fennel, don’t throw away the fronds, they add a light and delicate flavouring..

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— charuyoga —

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