Thursday, 5 January 2012

Indian Winter!

Lenticchie Gialle Indiane con le Spezie "Panch Puran" & Gamberetti
Shrimp Mung Dal- Indian Yellow Lentils with Shrimp and Panch Puran Spices

So after 2 weeks in Sicily for the holidays and festivities with my family and friends, it is back to the reality of life in stormy and Wintery Frankfurt- brrr! The winds were so strong this evening that there was no way I was going to brave the elements and go out foraging for food- so I had to rely on what was left in my fridge from before my trip- zoiks! That meant- a 3 week old carrot, a stick of celery, a shallot, a chunk of ginger and in the freezer, a handful of shrimp. Well, that was good enough for me! And this is what I turned it into...

I started off by finely dicing the carrot and celery and finely slicing the shallot and ginger.
Into the frying pan it went, with a little crushed garlic and a pat of clarified butter. Once the onion had become translucent, I added about a tablespoon of ground "panch puran" spices which are fenugreek, Nigella seed, cumin seed, radhuni and fennel seed in equal parts, along with salt, pepper and a little cayenne. Then I added the lentils- about one mug full, and about the same amount of water. I brought the water up to the boil and put on the lid, letting them simmer for 10-15 minutes.

In the meantime, I split the shrimp with a butterfly cut, cleaned them and prepared them, along with some dried herbs, to finish off my dish of spicy lentils. The herbs I used were a mix of fenugreek leaf, coriander, parsley, chives and curry leaf. I would have preferred to have used fresh herbs of course... but hey- reality bites sometimes!

After around 15 minutes, I added the shrimp, herbs, a little extra chili, a good squeeze of lemon and a little sesame oil, which may not be very authentic- but it certainly was yummy!
I sautéed everything together, stirred for 1-2 minutes, then replaced the lid, turned off the heat, and allowed the lentils to steam a little for a further 3-4 minutes. By that time, the shrimp were cooked and juicy and all of the flavors in the pan had combined to become a rich, nutty and spicy treat- yum! Dinner was served, the evening was saved... and so was my routine!

It is good to be home and cooking in my own kitchen again!


  1. Thanks Barry! Glad you like it! Have a great 2012- Francesco