Thought About Food Podcast
Episode 9 — Ben Almassi on Reparative Justice

Episode 9 — Ben Almassi on Reparative Justice

December 7, 2020

This episode we spoke with Ben Almassi about his new book, which looks at reparative justice for our relationship with non-humans, including other animals and entire ecosystems. We talked about a lot of topics and quite a lot of other interesting works and people for you to explore, so check out the show notes!

Show Notes:

  • Ben's book is called Reparative Environmental Justice in a World of Wounds, and is available for pre-order.
  • Follow us on Twitter at @FoodThoughtPod, and you can drop us a line at ThoughtAboutFood on Gmail. Consider leaving us a review wherever you found the show!
  • I'm organizing an online workshop with my colleague Michael Butler. It's called Digital Worlds, and the goal of the workshop is to interrogate the way modern digital technology enhances, hampers, or alters our experience of our lived worlds. If you're interested in participating or just attending, check out the website for the workshop at digitalworldsworkshop.wordpress.com
  • Ben Almassi is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Governors State University in Chicago's Southland.
  • Margaret Urban Walker's work on Reparative Justice is an important influence on Ben's book. One place you could read more is in the book Moral Repair: Reconstructing Moral Relations after Wrongdoing.
  • Eric Katz wrote a response to some of Ben's ideas, which as he says in the podcast he was able to respond to in his book (as always: if you think you don't have access to this article, you actually might through your library etc. Email the podcast if you'd like some advice on how to find out if you can actually access it).
  • Ben mentions a number of other thinkers and writers, including Aldo Leopold on being in relationship with ecosystems; Annette Baier on trust; Robin Kimerrer on ecological restoration and gratitude; Edith Brown Weiss on our duties to past and future generations; Charles Mills on ideal and non-ideal theory; Deborah McGregor on responding to environmental racism; Arthur Fine and the importance of engaged, responsive philosophy; and an extended discussion about Kyle Powys Whyte and his work on Traditional Ecological Knowledge, particularly for its governance value.
  • We also discussed an important case study in Ben's book of the Chicago Wilderness alliance. Check them out!
  • Ben defends Kale and the surprisingly delicious but often maligned Kale salad as the food he shares with us. Isa Chandra Moskowitz has two phenomenal kale salad recipes you might want to check out, one for kale Caesar salad, and one for a kale, lentil, and butternut squash salad for a colder day.
  • The intro and outro music is "Whiskey Before Breakfast" which is both a great traditional song and a good way to cope with living in a pandemic but not a homemade alternative to a vaccine. It was performed and shared by The Dan River Ramblers under a Creative Commons license.
Episode 8 — Shane Epting on Philosophy of the City and Food Sovereignty

Episode 8 — Shane Epting on Philosophy of the City and Food Sovereignty

November 3, 2020

This episode we talk to Shane Epting about Food Sovereignty, Participatory Budgeting, Time Banks and other interesting proposals in Philosophy of the City.

 

Show Notes:

  • Follow us on Twitter at @FoodThoughtPod, and you can drop us a line at ThoughtAboutFood on Gmail. Consider leaving us a review wherever you found the show!
  • Shane Epting is an Assistant Professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology.
  • The article of Shane's we were primarily discussing was Participatory Budgeting and Vertical Agriculture: A Thought Experiment in Food System Reform. As always, if you think you don't have access to the article but want to check it out, send an email to the podcast and we'll see if we can help you find it. People often have access to more scholarly articles than they think they do.
  • The example of a promising model of a vertical farm Shane referenced was Sky Greens
  • Shane mentioned "Food Sovereignty in the City: Challenging Historical Barriers to Food Justice" by Samantha Noll, a chapter in the book Food Justice in US and Global Contexts: Bringing Theory and Practice Together, which I edited with Zachary Piso.
  • We discussed participatory budgeting as a "technology for democracy." Interestingly the person who introduced both of us to that movement is the philosopher Michael Menser.
  • We also discussed time banking as a way to build community while also addressing immediate needs in people's lives, and Shane recommended the work of Mary Carmen Marcos as a good place to see someone doing academic scholarship as well as activism on the topic.
  • Ian mentioned a documentary on Havana specifically and Cuba in general working to achieve food sovereignty. It's called The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, and is often available online if you google it.
  • Here's Shane's "Healthy, go-to snack for late nights: Spectacular Peanut Butter and Banana Toast

    Ingredients: 1 ripe banana, 2 large slices of whole-wheat bread, 2 tablespoons plant-based butter, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1/2 tablespoon of honey

    Garnish (optional):  1 tablespoon of powered sugar, 1 orange slice

    Instructions:  Toast the bread in a toaster or toasting device. Spread butter on the back of each slice, then place the buttered side down on the plate. Spread peanut butter over the top of each bread slice using a butter knife or similar device, covering its surface evenly. Take the peeled banana and place it in the palm of your hand or on a clean surface area such as a cutting board. Smash said banana with your other hand or on the clean surface until it is flattened.  Use a rolling pin or another smashing device if necessary. Smashed banana should be about .5 inch (127 mm) thick.  Place the smashed banana on top of the peanut butter, fanning out the pieces from the center to the crust. Take the honey and drizzle it in a back-and-forth motion until it is evenly distributed across the bread. Serve open-faced with a fork and knife.

    To garnish: place powdered sugar in a circular pile on the edge of the plate, slightly larger than the orange slice. Place the orange slice on top of the powdered sugar."

  • The intro and outro music is "Whiskey Before Breakfast" which is both a great traditional song and the perfect aperitif to Shane's peanut butter toast in the morning. It was performed and shared by The Dan River Ramblers under a Creative Commons license.
Episode 7 — Food Justice and Food Sovereignty with Our Kitchen Table

Episode 7 — Food Justice and Food Sovereignty with Our Kitchen Table

October 19, 2020

This episode we talk with Lisa Oliver King and Estelle Slootmaker from Our Kitchen Table about food justice, food sovereignty, and the great projects OKT does to implement those concepts in the world.

 

Show Notes

  • Follow us on Twitter at @FoodThoughtPod, and you can drop us a line at ThoughtAboutFood on Gmail. Consider leaving us a review wherever you found us!
  • Lisa Oliver King and Estelle Slootmaker work for Our Kitchen Table, a grass-roots, nonprofit organization serving greater Grand Rapids.
  • Our Kitchen Table does amazing work, and they have resources for replicating those programs in your own organization or community. Check them out!
  • Our Kitchen Table was featured in the book Food Justice in US and Global Contexts: Bringing Theory and Practice Together, which I edited with Zachary Piso.
  • The intro and outro music is "Whiskey Before Breakfast" which is both a great traditional song and an increasingly common practice for parents helping their children with remote schooling. It was performed and shared by The Dan River Ramblers under a Creative Commons license.
  • Since we had two guests, we were lucky enough to get two recipes! Lisa Oliver King's heartily endorses Bryant Terry's recipe for greens in our episode. She also writes, "Bryant joined us for an event a few years back and has remained dear to our hearts. I always share his cookbook when we table at events.  https://www.sunset.com/recipe/garlicky-mustard-greens"
  • And here's Stelle’s recipe:

    "I love making this soup for my hubby and me. This big pot of soup lasts us two or three meals. I make and
    freeze vegetable broth from stalks, stems and leaves of vegetables we get from our CSA share all
    summer. If I don’t have sweet potatoes, it works just as well with winter squash, which we also freeze a
    lot of. This soup recipe launched my passion for making hearty soups, which have become a mealtime
    staple for us. I got this recipe when my daughter, Caitlin, worked at the People’s Food Co-op. I have
    lots of good memories of meeting her and her brother, Rob, there for lunch of coffee when I visit Ann
    Arbor."

    People’s Food Coop of Ann Arbor West African Peanut Soup
    • 1⁄2 T olive oil This big pot of soup lasts us two or three meals
    • 1 1⁄2 C Spanish onion peeled and chopped
    • 1⁄4 T minced fresh ginger
    • 1⁄2 t sea salt
    • 1⁄4 t cayenne to taste
    • 1 1⁄2 C sweet potatoes, chopped
    • 2 1⁄2 C veggie broth (may need more)
    • 3⁄4 C creamy peanut butter
    • 3⁄4 C tomato juice

    1. Sautee onions in oil until transparent. Add carrots and spices. Continue sautéing about 5
    minutes more.
    2. Add sweet potatoes and broth. Simmer until veggies are cooked through.
    3. Remove from heat. Add tomato juice and peanut butter. Process until smooth. Adjust
    consistency with more broth or tomato juice.
    4. Soup will thicken as it cools.

Episode 6 — Anne Portman on Food Sovereignty and Ecofeminism

Episode 6 — Anne Portman on Food Sovereignty and Ecofeminism

October 5, 2020

This episode we talk to my friend Anne Portman. Anne is working in an ecofeminist framework, and we discuss what that term means as well as what insights ecofeminism has about food sovereignty, our relationships with animals we might eat, and what it means to think of ourselves as things that can be eaten.

 

Show Notes

  • Follow us on Twitter at @FoodThoughtPod, and you can drop us a line at ThoughtAboutFood on Gmail. Consider leaving us a review wherever you found us!
  • Anne Portman was our guest today. Check out some of her informal writing on philosophy, parenthood, race, politics, and living in the urban American South on her blog.
  • We primarily discussed Anne's paper "Food Sovereignty and Gender Justice" which you might be able to read here. If you don't have access to it, email the podcast and we might be able to help you. Many people have access to a lot of academic articles (through libraries etc.) they don't know they do.
  • We also discussed the chapter she wrote for the book Food Justice in US and Global Contexts: Bringing Theory and Practice Together, which I edited with Zachary Piso.
  • Here's the article by Val Plumwood on being almost eaten by a crocodile, and thinking of ourselves as prey.
  • The intro and outro music is "Whiskey Before Breakfast" which is both a great traditional song and an example of prioritizing values in an emergency. It was performed and shared by The Dan River Ramblers under a Creative Commons license.
  • Here's the cookie recipe Anne shared with us:
    "My family bakes and paints cookies every holiday season. Here is the recipe share by my Aunt Dee, who also has the most extensive cookie cutter collection.

    The Cookies:

    (From Cookie Craft by Valerie Peterson and Janice Fryer)               

                    3 cups all purpose flour

                    ½ teaspoon salt

                    1 cup unsalted butter, softened

                    1 cup sugar

                    1 large egg

                    2 teaspoons vanilla (or 1 teaspoon vanilla + zest of 1 lemon)

    1. Whisk together flour and salt in medium bowl, set aside
    2. With mixer, cream butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla (and lemon zest) until well blended
    3. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing until thoroughly blended
    4. Turn dough out onto the work surface, divide into 2 or 3 equal portions, form each portion into a disk shape
    5. Magic step: roll out the dough between sheet of waxed paper. Do not chill first. Works best to use “cookie slats,” about ¼” thick slats of wood to keep the thickness even, but that is optional.
    6. Stack the rolled out sheets flat on a cookie sheet and chill in the refridgerator, 20-30 minutes
    7. To cut out the cookies, remove the top layer o waxed paper, cut out the cookies, transfer to cookie sheet using a flat spatula. (If too soft or sticky to move, chill again.
    8. Gather the scraps together, roll out between the waxed paper, chill, repeat
    9. Bake at 350 degree – watch carefully. They’re done with the edges are light golden. These cookies do not spread.
    10. Remove immediately from cookie sheet, cool on a cookie rack

     

    The Icing:

                    1 lb bag confectioner’s sugar

                    6 tablespoons water

                    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    Beat with a mixer, a lot, until desired consistency

    For piping, put a small amount of icing into snack-size plastic bags. Add a small amount of food color and squeeze (carefully) to mix. To pipe, cut a very small hole in the corner of the bag.

    For spreading icing, put in small cups or bowls, mix in color. Use knifes or toothpicks to decorate.

    Use the icing before it gets too hard.

    Be creative, have fun, and eat your mistakes!"

Episode 5 — Jenny Venable on Cajun Identity and Food

Episode 5 — Jenny Venable on Cajun Identity and Food

September 28, 2020

This episode I talk with Jenny Venable about Cajun cultural identity, and the role food plays in the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and who is and isn’t in our culture.

 

Show Notes:

  • Louisiana has been hit hard by Hurricane Laura, including Lake Charles where Jenny currently lives (you can read about it here: https://on.natgeo.com/3mGHufL and here: https://nyti.ms/2RQbc3J). Please consider donating to https://www.the15whitecoats.org/. Their usual work is providing resources for students of color in medical school (which is a great cause on its own!), but one of their founders is actually from Lake Charles and donors can now earmark donations for Hurricane Laura relief.
  • Follow us on Twitter at @FoodThoughtPod, and you can drop us a line at ThoughtAboutFood on Gmail. Consider leaving us a review wherever you found us!
  • Jenny Venable was our guest today. Here's a link to her article on Cajun culinary imaginary that we talked about today. (If you don't think you have access to scholarly articles, email the podcast and I might be able to help you. A lot of people have access to journals and don't know it.)
  • The intro and outro music is "Whiskey Before Breakfast" which is both a great traditional song and a good sentence to put on a vision board. It was performed and shared by The Dan River Ramblers under a Creative Commons license.
  • Here's Jenny's recipe (which by the way was fantastic!):

    "Growing up, meatball stew was one of my all-time favorite dishes, which my mama made pretty frequently. It was always served over white rice, and we often had sliced cantaloupe, canned green beans, and corn on the side. I chose to share this particular recipe because it is now one that I make pretty regularly for my family. I went many years after first becoming vegetarian without eating the comforting traditional recipes that I had grown up with because meat is often the main ingredient in Cajun dishes. But one day, when I was really missing some of my favorite meals, I decided to try my hand at veganizing them. Not only did making vegan Cajun food give me a strong sense of nostalgia, but they came out delicious. Since then, I have been veganizing my favorite Cajun recipes, which have always reminded me of home. At this point, I am trying to rethink traditional Cajun dishes in a way that is more sustainable and ethical, while recognizing and honoring the power that particular foodways continue to have in maintaining important cultural and social connections to our historical memories, our familial relationships, and to the land."

     

    Vegan Cajun Meatball Stew

     

    Ingredients:

    • 1 ½ cups peeled and chopped potato
    • 1 cup of chopped carrot
    • white rice cooked according to instructions

     

    For the meatballs:

    • 16 oz beefless ground (2 packs of beyond meat burgers OR 1 pack of beyond meat “beyond beef”)
    • ¼ finely chopped onion
    • ¼ cup chopped green onion
    • ⅓ cup breadcrumbs
    • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
    • ¼ tsp. liquid smoke
    • 1 tsp. Tony Chachere’s (or other Cajun seasoning)
    • 1 tbsp. flaxseed meal 
    • 3 tbsp. Water
    • ½ tsp. black pepper

               

    For the gravy:

    • 2 tablespoons oil
    • 1 onion finely chopped
    • 1 bell pepper finely chopped
    • 4 cloves of garlic finely minced
    • ½-¾ cup dark roux (depending on how thick you like your stew)*
    • 2 quarts water
    • 2 tbsp. better than chicken (or beef) bullion (make sure to find the vegan version!)
    • 2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 2 tsp. onion powder
    • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 1 tbsp. vegan Worchestire
    • salt and pepper to taste

     

    Directions:

    1. Mix meatball ingredients well and form walnut sized balls. At medium-low heat, add 1 tbsp. of oil to a nonstick pan and turn meatballs to brown all sides (about 10-15 minutes). Remove from heat.
    2. In a medium sized pot at medium heat, add remaining oil, and cook onions, bell pepper, and garlic for gravy. Stir often until the onions are translucent and browning and bell pepper is soft. 
    3. Add roux and mix well with the onions, bell pepper, and garlic. 
    4. Stir in water and bouillon paste and bring to boil stirring often (you do not want to burn your roux) until roux is entirely dissolved. 
    5. Add garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, vegan Worchestire, and salt and pepper to the pot.
    6. Stir in carrots and potatoes, partially cover, and simmer until almost fully tender (about 30-40 mins). You might need to add a bit more water. 
    7. Add cooked vegan meatballs to stew and cook on low for 15 minutes.
    8. Adjust spices.
    9. Serve over white rice.
    10. Sprinkle chopped green onion to garnish (optional).

     

    *If you are making your roux from scratch, here is a recipe.

    *To purchase roux, you can find my favorite, Savoie’s, here.

    Note: Cajun stews always taste better the next day, once all the spices and vegetables have had time to meld together!

     

Episode 4 — Joey Tuminello on Food, Drugs, and Field Philosophy

Episode 4 — Joey Tuminello on Food, Drugs, and Field Philosophy

September 21, 2020

This episode we’re talking to a friend of mine, Joey Tuminello. Joey, like me, works on a number of quite different questions in philosophy, so our conversation covers a lot of ground. We talk about the difference between food and drugs; eating invasive species; animal ethics and food ethics in the Jain religious and philosophical tradition; and we finish up by talking about his work for the activist group Farm Forward, and how that work connects back to his philosophical commitments.

 

Show Notes:

  • UPDATE: Joey Tuminello, our guest on this episode, teaches at McNeese State University. Louisiana has been hit hard by Hurricane Laura, including Lake Charles where the school is located (you can read about it here: https://on.natgeo.com/3mGHufL and here: https://nyti.ms/2RQbc3J). Please consider donating to https://www.the15whitecoats.org/. Their usual work is providing resources for students of color in medical school (which is a great cause on its own!), but Joey tells me one of their founders is actually from Lake Charles and donors can now earmark donations for Hurricane Laura relief.
  • Follow us on Twitter at @FoodThoughtPod, and you can drop us a line at ThoughtAboutFood on Gmail. Consider leaving us a review wherever you found us!
  • Joey Tuminello was our guest today. Check out his writing on Academia.edu and he said you can email him if you have questions about this episode at JosephT at farmforward.com.
  • We spent a lot of time talking about Farm Forward, where Joey is a program coordinator. Check out their work!
  • We talked about a lot of books! Probably the main one though was Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.
  • Food Philosophy: an Introduction by David Kaplan (I'd love to have him on the show some time) is a great book we also discussed.
  • Joey also mentioned the book Cooking Eating Thinking edited by Deane Curtin and former guest on this podcast Lisa Heldke.
  • Here are some other books we talked about
  • The "invasivore" movement's website we discussed was eattheinvaders.org
  • The intro and outro music is "Whiskey Before Breakfast" which is both a great traditional song and the title of an autobiography I would definitely read. It was performed and shared by The Dan River Ramblers under a Creative Commons license.
  • Here's Joey's recipe (which by the way I made in a regular pressure cooker and can attest it was delicious!):

    "Instant Pot Vegan Louisiana-Style Red Beans & Rice (adapted and veganized from Camellia Brand Beans' recipe)

    I chose to share this recipe because it represents my own trajectory towards veganism after growing up in south Louisiana. We have some of the best-tasting food in the world, but much of it is steeped in meat and animal products. This also comes along with a lot of assumptions about authenticity and the perceived need to include meat, animal fat, etc. in our traditional dishes. Part of my interest in food ontology stems from my continual reflection on the concept of authenticity in Louisiana cuisine, as well as my view that we can retain and even enhance and develop our cultural identities without the need for animal products. Plus, I cook this all the time and it's delicious, easy, and perfect for leftovers.

    Ingredients:

    · 1 tablespoon oil

    · 1 pack of Beyond Sausage Original Bratwurst (14 oz.), or other vegan sausage

    · 1/4 stick (or 1/8 cup) vegan butter or margarine

    · 2 cups chopped seasoning blend (onions, celery, green bell peppers, parsley flakes)

    · 1 tablespoon minced garlic

    · 1 lb. dried red kidney beans

    · 6 cups water

    · 4 bay leaves

    · 6 tsp. Better Than Bouillon vegetable base (or other stock/bouillon cubes)

    · Salt to taste

    · Creole/Cajun seasoning to taste (e.g. Tony Chachere's)

    · 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste)

    · 1/4 tsp. liquid smoke

    · 1.5 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce

    · Start with 1 tsp. of each of the following (add more to taste):

    · garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika

    · Green onions (for garnish)

    · Hot cooked rice

    Directions:

    1. Rinse and sort beans (no need to soak overnight).

    2. Press the Sauté button on the Instant Pot, add oil to pot. Add sliced sausage, and sauté for about 5 minutes or until browned. Remove sausage to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.

    3. Add 1/4 stick vegan butter to Instant Pot, along with chopped seasoning blend and garlic, and cook until onions turn soft and clear.

    4. Add cooked sausage back to pot, along with the beans, water, bay leaves, and Better Than Bouillon vegetable base. Stir.

    5. Turn Sauté mode off. Cover, twist to lock the lid, and turn the valve to sealing. Press the Manual button and set to 100 minutes at high pressure.

    6. When the timer beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 30 minutes. Then, turn the valve to venting.

    7. Remove lid, and use a spoon or potato masher to mash beans to desired creamy consistency. Add salt, cayenne pepper, liquid smoke, vegan Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, Creole/Cajun seasoning based on above amounts.

    8. Serve over hot cooked rice.

    9. Garnish with green onions."

Episode 3 — Lisa Heldke on Chomping and Being Chomped

Episode 3 — Lisa Heldke on Chomping and Being Chomped

September 14, 2020

In Episode 1, I said that conversations about food can turn into conversations about anything. That’s particularly true in this wide-ranging conversation with philosopher Dr. Lisa Heldke. We discuss how looking through the lens of food shows us that everything is always chomping and being chomped on, and that this has some profound implications on our diets, our bodies, and the world around us. We also discuss a lot of other things, including eating food from other cultures, baking, eating at a restaurant where you’re blindfolded, and many more topics besides!

 

Show Notes:

Episode 2 — Food Insecurity in the Pandemic with Food Bank RGV

Episode 2 — Food Insecurity in the Pandemic with Food Bank RGV

September 6, 2020

In this second episode I talk with Stuart Haniff from the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley about food insecurity during the pandemic and its economic fallout. We talk about the way food security is manifesting itself right now by looking at this local context, as well as some ways you can help directly.

Show Notes

  • Follow us on Twitter at @FoodThoughtPod, and you can drop us a line at ThoughtAboutFood on Gmail. Consider leaving us a review wherever you found us!
  • Stuart Haniff is the director of the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley
  • You can support the Food Bank RGV on their website, but here's the link to directly address the surge in need from Covid 19. The money raised goes directly to emergency food assistance in the RGV.
  • As I mentioned in the intro, the book Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza is an excellent and highly influential book on the nature of borderlands, but focusing particularly on the RGV, where Gloria Anzaldúa is from. (she's an alumna from the legacy institution of the UTRGV where I teach! I should have mentioned that in the episode, but she'll come up again in future podcasts no doubt.)
  • Also as I mentioned in the intro, the RGV has been discussed in a lot of national and international media as an example of an area struggling with the various effects of the pandemic. Here's an example from the New York Times.
  • The intro and outro music is "Whiskey Before Breakfast" which is both a great traditional song and self-care advice for the pandemic. It was performed and shared by The Dan River Ramblers under a Creative Commons license.
Episode 1 — David Leichter on Edible Memory

Episode 1 — David Leichter on Edible Memory

September 5, 2020

In this first episode, I talk with Dr. David Leichter about "edible memory", the idea that memory is embodied in food and the act of eating. That includes our own personal memories as well as social, communal memories around food. That leads to a wide-ranging conversation about food tourism, religious food, and more!

Follow us on Twitter, @FoodThoughtPod, and if you have a topic you’d like to see discussed, drop us a line at ThoughtAboutFood@gmail.com.

Show Notes:

  • Follow us on Twitter at @FoodThoughtPod, and you can drop us a line at ThoughtAboutFood on Gmail. Consider leaving us a review wherever you found us!
  • David Leichter was the guest in this inaugural episode. You can find some of his work at his PhilPapers page.
  • The focus of our conversation was the chapter he wrote for the book Food Justice in US and Global Contexts: Bringing Theory and Practice Together, which I edited with Zachary Piso.
  • The intro and outro music is "Whiskey Before Breakfast" which is both a great traditional song and a pretty interesting suggestion. It was performed and shared by The Dan River Ramblers under a Creative Commons license.
  • Here's the recipe that David brought to share:

     

    "The following recipe for moong dal is one taken from Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking. This is one of the first recipes I learned after graduating from college. I was living with my partner at the time, just outside of Detroit, MI. We had to learn how to cook for ourselves, and I figured that the way to do it was to cook Indian food. I'm not sure why, but I thought that cooking meat was too easy. I was looking for something about how to layer flavor, trying to eat a bit more healthy and mindfully, and thought that Indian food was the way to go. So, I found this cookbook and, in the last 20 or so years, I have cooked most things in it. What I like about it is that it's simple and easy - it can be made while doing other work, it can be made while hungover to cure it, and it can be made attentively. It works on a cold night, a warm evening, and anything in between. By itself the dal is a little bland, but the spiced oil (tadka) is what really makes it sing:

    1 cup moong dal

    1/4 tsp turmeric

    3 1/2 cups water

    1 tsp. salt

    3-4 Tbsp. ghee or light vegetable oil

    2 tsp. cumin

    1 Tbsp. ginger

    2-4 green chilies

    1 Tbsp. lemon juice

    4 Tbsp. cilantro

    1. Wash & rinse dal and put into a pot with the turmeric, water and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and partially cover, cooking for about 35-40 minutes. The dal should be soft. Whisk until it turns into a thick puree. Keep on low heat while

    2. Heat ghee/oil in a separate pan over medium high heat. Add cumin and stir until they turn brown (~15 seconds), then add ginger, chilies until the oil is laced with the scent of the ginger, chilies, and cumin. Pour into dal. Add lemon juice and fold in the cilantro. Add a little cayenne pepper or kashmiri pepper if desired."

Play this podcast on Podbean App