Sometimes you just need to get away. So I hopped on the 7:30am Megabus (which, by the way, they changed the station location of in DC–way to throw me off, Megabus gods) to Philly, hopped on the Septa to Trenton and hopped on NJ Transit to PTJ on Friday morning. I arrived by lunchtime only to hop in my friend’s car to drive the bf to JFK for his 5:30pm flight to SFO and drop off another friend in NYC. Arrived back at exit 8A by 6pm. Then I hopped in the car with my parents to go to Asbury Park for the weekend.
That was a lot of hopping and a lot of acronyms. Apologies.
By Saturday I was thoroughly fed up with any sort of transportation besides my own two feet and awoke anticipating a full day of blobbing on the beach. “No no no,” said Mr. Weatherman. Overcast. Mist. Humidity. Cold. Blah. After a brief walk on the sand and boardwalk, breakfast and some rum raisin ice cream, I slept for the greater part of the afternoon on the couch in my parents’ friend’s beach house and called it a day.
Sunday I awoke carpe diem. After some brief yoga and an Exercise TV workout video (“Piloxing”. Yup. That’s a thing. It’s going to be the next zumba, I can feel it), my mother and I went to the local farm to pick some peas. We picked both the sugarsnap and podded varieties (and ate about half once we returned home).
Stults Farm - NJ
We also took a trip to the new Indian market in town. I swear it’s on Rt 130, though I can’t find any announcements online and I can’t quite remember the name–started with a ‘P’ as far as I can recall. ANYWHO, this market was a trip! Their frozen section is mind-boggling, stocked with vegetables I’ve never even heard of, samosas, paratha, roti, mango ice cream, gulab jamun, and a bazillion other strange edibles. There is an entire aisle devoted to different types of flours, and another to spices, and another to rice. AND they play Bollywood music as you shop. It’s also located next to a Bollywood hair salon. Is my brown showing yet? No? Please listen.
By the time I finally arrived back in DC, I was so inspired I made masoor dal at 11:00 at night. I loosely followed a recipe I found on recipezaar.com. Ultimately, the dish had great flavor, though it lacked the heat normally found in Indian dishes. Next time I will up the chili content. For those who prefer a mild lentil dish, however, this one is for you! I’ve eaten it now for lunch and breakfast with parathas I bought at the market.
Parathas from the freezer section
Ingredients (some of them...and you don't need garam masala)
An Inspired Masoor Dal
1 cup red lentils (masoor dal)
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 T fresh ginger, grated
1 green chili pepper, chopped (I recommend more)
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 T oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 dried red chili, broken into pieces with seeds removed
1 pinch garlic powder
1/2 lime, juiced (can sub lemon)
Boil water in a medium saucepan. Add lentils. When it comes to a boil again, cook for five minutes uncovered, then turn the heat down and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.
Add salt, ginger, chili, coriander, tumeric, and chopped tomatoes. Cook for ten more minutes until lentils are very soft. Turn heat down to low.
In a small pan, heat oil until very hot. Add mustard seeds. When they have finished popping, add chili pieces and garlic powder. Pour hot oil into lentil pot, stir and cover quickly.
Turn heat off and let sit for five minutes. Add lime juice and adjust seasons accordingly.
Breakfast! Masoor dal with a heated paratha
This dish is best completed
1) While drinking this:
It's all the rage in India, scouts' honor. Cough.
2) While Skyping with your best friend back home. Who probably knows more about masoor dal than you do and can shake her head exasperatedly while you do silly things, like adding canned tomatoes apparently (FRESH, DUH). And also entertains you with spontaneous cartoon drawings. Speaking of, can I get a copy of those, jp730?