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legume-yogurt-curry recipe

Date:    Mon, 02 Aug 93 12:14:19 CDT
 From:    maoh@phyast.nhn.uoknor.edu (Maureen O'Halloran)
 Legume and Yogurt Curry
 1/2 c. white pea (navy) beans
 1/2 c. lentils 
 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
 3 cloves garlic, peeled
 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves or mint leaves
 1 teaspoon ground tumeric
 1 1/2 tsp. garam masala (see below)
 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste, I used 1 tsp.)
 1/2 tsp. chili powder, optional (see below)
 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt
 2 large ripe tomatoes (I used 4 small ones).
 extra cilantro or mint leaves to garnish.
 1) Rinse and soak beans and lentils and cook them together.  (I used my
 1 quart sized "crockette" and cooked them overnight on low). Otherwise
 cook as per package directions for beans.
 2) Into blender or food processor put onion, garlic, ginger, fresh
 cilantro (or mint) leaves. Blend to a smooth paste. At this point it
 is is a delightful green color.
 3) Put a small amount of water in a non-stick skillet or pan (at least
 a 12 inch skillet).  Fry blended mixture for 5 minute, stirring around
 and adding water as necessary to prevent sticking.  Use liquid from
 beans if there is excess.
 4) Add tumeric, garam masala, chili powder and fry a further minute.
 It turn an interesting yellow-green.  Use your wooden spoon specially
 designated for dishes containing turmeric (you do have one don't you?)
 unless you want your plastic utensils to be stained yellow. Don't put
 the spoon on your countertop.
 5) Stir in yogurt, a spoonful at a time, and tomatoes, fry until most
 of liquid dries up.
 6) Add beans and lentils, stir and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for
 30 minutes, at which point it should be a thick sludge (be careful in
 last 10 minutes not to burn).
 7) Serve over rice.
 Chili Powder --- I never have any, so I use some combination of
 cayenne pepper, cumin, and paprika.  For this dish 1/2 tsp. of cayenne
 and 1/2 tsp of cumin makes it reasonably spicy.  Use less cayenne and
 more paprika if you want less spice.
 Garam Masala --- is available in Indian food stores and is used in
 lots of dishes.  Here is one recipe --- 4 T coriander seeds, 2 T
 cummin seed, 1 T whole black peppercorns, 2 teaspoons cardomon seeds,
 4x7.5 cm cinnamon sticks, 1 tsp whole cloves, 1 whole nutmeg.  Roast
 each spice except nutmeg individually in a small pan until fragrant.
 After cooling, grind to a fine powder in blender or mortar.  Finely
 grate nutmeg and mix in. Store in airtight jar.  (I bought mine).
 This was originally chicken and yogurt curry and I replaced the
 chicken with beans and lentils.  The white beans make a good contrast
 with the sauce and the lentils sort of disintegrate and blend in.  The
 recipe is adapted from "The Complete Asian Cookbook" by C. Solomon. 
 kwlacto lacto