The title of this we(blog) is a response to the snarky and mildly offensive attitude of some Los Angeles county beach community residents, namely, that There Is No Life East Of Sepulveda.

To view all posts for a specific topic, click the appropriate Label at the page bottom.

Friday, October 12, 2007


This south Indian style recipe has been synthesized from several others by Madhur Jaffrey and Julie Sahni to suit my tastes. I've found that cookbook recipes and mine result in a fairly thick consistency compared to the watery sambar found at most South Indian restaurants.

1 c. masoor or toor dal
4 c. water
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
3 TB cilantro stems , finely minced
1 tsp kosher salt
2 TB butter or ghee
1 lb vegetable, diced in 1/2 inch cubes or broken up (cauliflower, squash, eggplant or your choice)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 TB tamarind concentrate
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp hot chile powder (cayenne, de arbol)
2 TB butter or ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds
3 TB cilantro leaves, minced

- Soak the dal in a large (minimum 4 qt) pot overnight with at least double the volume of water. Drain, then add the 4 cups fresh water, turmeric, cilantro stems, 1 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until just tender. Remove from heat.
- While the dal is cooking, melt 2 TB butter in another sauce pan. Peel and dice the vegetable, then add to the pan with the garlic, 1 tsp salt and sweat until mostly cooked through (barely 'al dente', varies by vegetable). Add the vegetable mixture and tamarind concentrate to the dal.
- Grind the cumin, coriander, fenugreek seeds and 1/2 tsp salt in a mortar or spice grinder. Add the ground spices, pepper and chile powder to the vegetable mixture and mix gently. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes to one hour until the vegetables are soft but not mushy.
- When the vegetable mixture has completed cooking, melt the remaining 2 TB butter in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When the seeds start to pop, pour over the vegetable mixture and sprinkle with the cilantro leaves.

Serves 8.

No comments: