If you don't use ginger often and want to use fresh but are tired of the remainder going bad before you want to use it again, try this: peel and chop all of the ginger at once, then put a tablespoon of what you're not using in each of the compartments of an ice cube tray. Add just enough water to come to the top of the ginger and put it in the freezer. Once the cubes have frozen, you can put them in a freezer bag or freezer container and you have it ready whenever you need it, in just the right amount.
And here's an even better tip you may not have realized: you don't have to buy an entire piece of ginger at the store. They sell it by the pound so just find a piece that looks fresh and pull a knob from it. One knob will give you 4-5 tablespoons, which is more than enough than you will most likely need for a while.
I only made one change to this dish. The original recipe does not have regular peas in it, but when I made it the first time I kept thinking it had peas in it, and I would be surprised when I was eating it that there weren't any there. It was such a strong feeling that I added them the next time, and it threw everything into better balance for me. Your mileage may vary, of course, so feel free to omit them.
I also discovered that the rich, spicy warmth of the curry is beautifully enhanced by the use of smoked paprika. The smokiness brings all of the spices together without overpowering them.
This is another dish that travels well for work lunches.
Home Cookin Chapter: Soups and StewsLENTIL CURRY WITH POTATOES, CARROTS, SPINACH, AND CHICKPEAS
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp butter (optional)
2 large or 3 med onions, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 fresh serrano chilies, finely minced
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tsp ground coriander
1-1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika (preferably smoked)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 quart water
1 cup red or brown lentils, rinsed
2 large potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
4 carrots, cut into 1/2" thick rounds
1 pound fresh spinach
1/2 cup cooked chick-peas
1 cup frozen peas
2 tsp fresh lime juice
Heat oil and butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and saute, stirring frequently, 10-15 minutes, until onions turn golden brown. Add garlic, chilies, ginger, coriander, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper. Saute for 2-3 minutes longer, stirring frequently.
Stir in water and lentils. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook 10 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots and simmer 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
Add spinach and chick-peas and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in the lime juice.
Serve with brown rice.
Adapted from The One-Dish Vegetarian, by Maria Robbins (St. Martin's Griffin, 2000)
Exported from Home Cookin 5.7 (www.mountain-software.com)