Smoky Mixed Dal Tarka


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Smoky Mixed Dal Tarka

If you've ever been to an Indian restaurant in North America, there's a very good chance that you've seen "tarka dal" on the menu. There's a good reason for this apart from the ease of preparation and cooking — a good tarka dal is probably the ultimate Indian comfort food for vegetarians. A good creamy tarka dal is one of my own favorites and a great meal solution when I am pressed for time.

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Roasted Root Vegetables with Garlic, Mustard and Orange

Roasted Root Vegetables with Garlic, Mustard and Orange

When it comes to comfort foods, roasted vegetables are high on my list of favourites. They really need little adornment apparent from basic seasonings, but dress them up a bit and they can easily become the centrepiece of a meal. As is the case here. A selection of mixed root vegetables are roasted in a garlic, mustard and orange sauce. Quite substantial already, the array of mingling and contrasting mustard, herb and citrus flavors in which they're dressed means that they steal the show in any dinner, really demanding more attention and ending up becoming much more than a humble side. My suggestion would be to feature these with a light lentil soup and a side fresh green salad.

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Creamy Polenta with Sautéed Mixed Mushrooms

Creamy Polenta with Sautéed Mixed Mushrooms

In just 30 minutes, what I thought was to be a side dish ended up so satisfying and hard to stop eating that it ended up serving as the main dish for dinner. I was looking to fill out a meal of leftovers from the night before, but what remained ended up as dinner for the next night. You'll want to enjoy this polenta hot right from the pan, though if you are making it for only two, as I did, you will have leftovers. But the leftover polenta can then be pressed into small discs and pan-fried until golden and topped with any remaining mushrooms or some tomato sauce for another delightful meal.

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Mushroom Spaghetti Bolognese {Vegan}

Mushroom Spaghetti Bolognese

As a vegetarian who also likes to explore and create in the kitchen, I always find it intriguing to come up with vegetarian versions of classic dishes where meat is a signature element of the dish. Spaghetti bolognese is one such popular dish found in restaurants all over the world where it is usually served as a plate of spaghetti topped with a more-or-less thick tomato and meat sauce.

Despite its popularity worldwide, you may be hard pressed to find spaghetti bolognese in Italy however. What passes for a bolognese sauce here in North America should probably be more properly described as a ragu sauce from southern Italy where tomatoes grow in abundance. So while a bolognese sauce and a southern Italian ragu sauce both consist of minced meat (usually beef, but occasionally pork, chicken or even fish) cooked with onions and carrots and frequently celery, a bolognese sauce depends much less or not at all on the addition of tomatoes and is also made with white wine. Moreover, a bolognese sauce is never served with spaghetti and is mixed in with the pasta — usually tagliatelle but almost always a wider shaped pasta — rather than served over top.

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