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!

Feature

Kombucha Dogs: Tea With a Heart

Commercial photographer Michael Faye retired with a twinkle in his eye: he was going to brew tea, instead.

Kombucha Dog, brewed in Los Angeles, does the double duty of perfecting kombucha and raising awareness for rescue dogs that need adoption. “Kombucha is a beverage that has been around for thousands of years,” said Faye. “People argue about the origin — whether it’s from Korea or Russia, but it’s from somewhere in east Asia.”

Basically a fermented tea that has low alcoholic content, he started brewing kombucha for himself, and then his friends. “It’s boiled, then when it’s cooled, we add raw, organic sugar,” said Faye. “The sweetened tea is inoculated with the yeast and bacteria, then allowed to ferment. The yeast and bacteria like the nitrogen in the tea and the minerals in the water. As it ferments, it makes probiotics, acetic acid and gluconic acid, which are fantastic antioxidants. The polyphenols in the tea remain in the kombucha.” When word got around and demand started to rise, Faye began producing kombucha for sale.

The labels are what caught our eye, however. The dogs on the labels are currently in no-kill shelters and are up for adoption. Once the dogs find their forever homes, the design is phased out.

The Dog Pack: Three bottles of Wild Blueberry, Ginger, Hint of Mint, and Just Kombucha, with a different dog up for adoption on each label.
Some of the dogs up for adoption. Click here to see the rest.

As much as we like to indulge in alcohol consumption for purely hedonistic purposes, here, the craft of fermenting tea is elevated to a nobler cause (and we like that all the more!)

Looking to give a dog its forever home? Check out Kombucha Dog's website.