Beef and Lentil Curry

Beef and lentil curry with white rice

YAY, I can blog again. Lately I have been cooking up a storm – at least cooking one big thing a day (usually dinner) but what stopped me from blogging about it? Photos. A lot of times my boyfriend wasn’t here to take photos for me. My five-year-old cell phone does NOT do the trick. Being that it has been reliable through numerous droppings, getting stepped on by a 150 pound dog, dropped out of my car daily, etc., I don’t hold its horrible photo abilities against it. I do have a digital camera, but it’s broken. Or… I just never learned how to use it (as evidenced by the photos in my first few blog posts. I am sure it is QUITE evident which photos Luke has taken and which ones I have!). Either way, I now have a new camera, AND a fancy box that was fashioned into a light thing. So new camera + old cardboard box + tracing paper = passable photographs. Sure, I could have just WRITTEN about cooking or recipes, but being that I don’t necessarily care for food blogs without photos, I wouldn’t put up one myself. So they’re not perfect (yet) but you can see how it turned out without looking like a pile of questionable yellow mush!

Also, I have not abandoned my Nickle City Chef project, but there has been a hiccup in it. See, I have three dogs. Three GIANT dogs. That sometimes may get into things they shouldn’t, such as a cookbook that probably has bits of spices and food fingerprints and other such things that get on it with my sloppy cooking ways. So one day recently I came home from work and opened the door to be greeted by my NCC cookbook shredded to bits and three dogs looking up at me with the “YAY, look what WE did!!” faces. So unless I want to tape together a bunch of little bits of paper covered in dog slobber, I will have to wait until I pick up a new copy of the book!

I have about a zillion recipes bookmarked, but one that I kept coming back to is a beef and lentil curry. I’ve been trying to get myself to like beans and lentils and that sort of stuff that I would never touch before, and I bookmarked it because the writer’s description of this recipe basically made me feel that if I didn’t make it I would be missing out on some giant pleasure in life, and everyone else would be enjoying it and talking about how it is the best dish ever and tsk-tsk how sad my life is because I am not having this for dinner. Her description is THAT good.

SO off I went. The recipe, which when I started cooking would have sent me into a panic, was easy to follow. Chop this, saute that, dump this stuff in, wait and dump more stuff in.

I served it over basmati rice. I had been throwing hissy fits the last few times cooking with rice. I love rice, all kinds, but no matter what I can never seem to get it just right. Ever. I was actually starting to get really pissed off because I’d spend forever making some perfect dinner to be served over rice (we eat a lot of curry and other stuff that rice goes perfect with) and then it would get basically ruined by this gross ball of mush rice. Or it wouldn’t be cooked all the way. No matter what I did it just never worked out. I came across this link on how to cook perfect rice and realized that my number one problem was that the rice I buy is imported from India, and it says right off the bat that rice imported from India isn’t fortified and has a bunch of stuff left over from milling it (including dirt – oops.). So one of the things that was probably the most important was washing the rice a few times and then soaking it. It took extra steps than just throwing it in a pot of boiling water, but being that the rice FINALLY turned out perfectly, I didn’t even mind the extra steps.

Especially when I tasted it with the curry over it. It really IS an awesome recipe and a great dish to make – the only thing I would have changed it I would have added more heat to it, but I say that about almost everything I come across because I love spicy food so so much.

Important lessons learned this week: good thing for thumbnails because it was probably the only thing stopping me from accidentally taking a hunk out of my thumb (it wound up just taking off some of the nail!) AND that when potholders are wet they are basically useless and will burn your hand.

9 Responses to “Beef and Lentil Curry”
  1. Kevin Telaak says:

    Stop down at Artisan Kitchens & Baths and I will hook you up with a new, unchewed copy of the NCC Cookbook!

    • 29andhungry says:

      That would be AWESOME, thank you!! When would be a good time to come? (sadly NCC tickets sold out so fast I won’t be making any of the shows!)

      • Kevin Telaak says:

        Any time we’re open is good. 9-5 Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri. Wed 9am-8pm, and Sat 9-1. Would you be able to make Show 2 or 3 of Season 4? I’ll see what I can do about 2 tickets. Pick one & let me know.

      • 29andhungry says:

        That would be amazing!! (and even if you can’t, I appreciate the thought!) I will be out of town for the third show but in town for the second show (March 4th) so that would work!

      • artisankitchensandbaths says:

        Email me your contact information so I can get you on the list for the March 4th show. I’ll have 2 set aside for you.

  2. Luke copping says:

    The new photography set up seems to be working great – there are few more small tweaks I’m gonna make to the setup – but everything is looking much nicer now.

    • 29andhungry says:

      It is – I actually am impressed that it cost like 2$ to make!

      • Luke Copping says:

        I will be building you a larger mobile version of it this weekend for bigger projects like roast birds and whatnot, as well as doing so digging for some interesting background materials and serving vessels for you to work with. I am starting to slip back into food stylist mode with this project,

      • 29andhungry says:

        Let’s go on a matials gathering adventure tomorrow!

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