Cooking

Southeast Asian Kitchen: Dhal

Southeast Asian Kitchen is a Tablecrafter series on cooking dishes inspired by the different regional cuisines in Southeast Asia.


The eponymous Indian lentil stew combines the richness of coconut milk and robust spices used in the region. Usually paired with the roti canai or steamed rice, its complexity shines through in every meal. Everyday ingredients coupled with intense aromatic spices combine to make the flavorful vegetarian fare. Don't let its lack of conventional protein sources let you think that this dish lacks substance. These lentils contain a respectable amount of protein for everyday fare.

Dhal

Yield: 3 cups, estimated
Time: 50 minutes (10 min prep / 40 min cooking)
 


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red lentils, picked through
  • 1 white onion, minced
  • 3 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder, optional
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1½ cups water or vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Procedure:

  1. Sauté the onions over medium heat with the vegetable oil until translucent, about four minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more.
  2. Add the tomatoes and spices. Stir for three minutes.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Add more liquid if necessary. Serve with roti canai or white rice.

Did you enjoy our easy dhal recipe? Drop us a line on our email hello@tablecrafter.com, we'd love to know what you thought of our recipe!

Cooking

Saucey: Mentaiko

Saucey is a Tablecrafter series on inventing and modifying sauces, packaging them, and recommending pairings.


An Asian delicacy, mentaiko originated from Korea and found its way to Japan at the end of World War 2. In our recipe, marinated roe goes beyond flavoring the traditional onigiri and sake. Made with either the roe of cod or pollock, this dish comes in a variety of flavors and colors. Surprisingly accessible in Japan, you can find these at airports and train stations!

Recently, it has gone through a phase of reinvention—finding itself a part of the popular mentaiko pasta. A dish with a range of textures, thick and unctuous from the cream sauce that features the salty roe. Who knew this popular dish was so easy, in fact, you can forget the stove—this doesn't require cooking! (Except for the noodles, that is)

Mentaiko Pasta

Yield: 2–4 servings
Time: 10 minutes


Ingredients:

  • 1 piece mentaiko
  • 4 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup cream
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • 1 package udon
  • nori, shredded for garnish

Procedure:

  1. Make a lengthwise slit through the sac membrane of the mentaiko and scrape out the roe with a knife or spoon. Discard the sac membrane.
  2. In a large bowl, combine mentaiko and Japanese mayonnaise. Add the heavy cream and soy sauce.
  3. In a pot, boil water to pre-heat udon noodles. Once the water boils, cook udon according to the package and drain.
  4. Add cooked udon to the mentaiko mixture and toss well until it is evenly coated with the sauce.
  5. Garnish the pasta with shredded nori.

What did you have with our Mentaiko sauce? Let us know your sauce combinations on hello@tablecrafter.com. We're excited to hear more from you!