Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Joanne and Mark's Moong Dal Chilla

Uh oh, I may be in trouble.  Should I have put Mark of Mark Bittman's name, before Joanne of  Eat Well with Others.  Let's ask a few questions and then we can decide what the answer is.

How many books have each written?   Mark - more than 10---Joanne - none that I know of.

How many television shows have they been featured on?  Mark - many---Joanne - I have not heard of any.

Who received the James Beard award?   You guess.

Need, I go on?  It is obvious that Joanne with her sparkling personality, clever wit, unbelievable writing ability, medical sharing, sense of humor (oy), running (Does Mark run?), walking for four miles to the store, cooking up a storm (Mark does this too...he also writes very well)...maybe, I had better stop.

First, I must clarify that Mark Bittman is one of my favorite people in the world.  His books go with me whenever I cook, if not for a recipe, then for a variation or for information.  Joanne refused to write a book just for me to carry around.  My cooking has improved since I started cooking the Bittman way.  Joanne makes all this stuff, I don't know how to do.  Humph!

Needless to say, these are two people I respect tremendously.  Joanne is one of the most entertaining bloggers, I know.  In fact, I think she is the most entertaining.  Getting a recipe from her blog is a total experience.  First you moan about her "problems", then you laugh at them, then you read the recipe and run to the kitchen to find you have none of those ingredients.  By the time, you are finished, you are exhausted and go to sleep without eating.

I like Joanne, really like her  She is such a pure person with charm and warmth.  (She is laughing at me now.)  Everyone will attest to her likability rating.  People swarm to her blog for all that she has to offer.  She is a superb cook and is always there to help when necessary.  She is a good daughter.  She has proven that time and again.  After all, she is Italian.  She is a bright light in my day.

By the way, Joanne, have you ever made Moong Dal Chilla?

I am not Italian.  I am Jewish.  Therefore, I do not call these Moong Dal Chilla or Spiced Red Lentil Pancakes.  These are Lentil Latkes and please keep that in mind.

After all this, I must preface this with the fact that hubby did not love these.  I will tell you why.  He does not want me to use spices nor salt and pepper.  He wants it bland.  Well lentils are bland.  He also did not want me to adorn them.  Being a good wife and not wanting to make two dinners, I listened.  As a result, he did get a bland lentil latke.  It is his own fault.  After tasting it, I could only imagine the delight in one spicy lentil latke especially with a sauce or vegetables.  I need hubby's love more than Joanne's.  Hop over to Joanne's and make it the way she did and maybe she will invite me over to eat it the right way.  After all, she eats well with others.  I will put a star on what I did use but I want you to have the real recipe, the one that Mark and Joanne would want you to have.

Spiced Red Lentil Pancakes

Serves 4, adapted from Bittman's How To Cook Everything Vegetarian

1 cup red lentils, soaked overnight and drained ***

2 eggs *

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tsp red pepper flakes ( 1 flake)

1/2 cup chopped scallions **

1 large carrot, finely julienned or grated **

salt and black pepper
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger

1 1/2 tbsp garam masala

Now you see why, mine was bland.

1. Put the lentils in a food processor and add about 3/4 cup water. Puree until a smooth and thick batter is formed. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the eggs, garlic, chili, scallion, carrot, salt, pepper, ginger, and garam masala.  (I used my ever-handy mini food processor from the immersion blender, I love.)

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Ladle in the batter to form several smaller pancakes or one large one Joanne made four SUPER large pancakes). Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the bottom is browned, about 2 1/2 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2 1/2 minutes.


  1. This was a cute, tongue-in-cheek vignette; my question, who is Joanne? Is she a fellow blogger? It does sound like she writes humorously about her cooking events!

  2. This was such a sweet and funny post Chaya. I really am just so honored by everything you wrote. One of these days I'll get around to writing you a cookbook...I swear.

    Your pancakes look delicious! I totally understand having to make the modifications...if I had cooked these for my family...well they wouldn't have eaten them because they don't eat lentils! So you're already ahead of the game.

  3. Ah those husbands. They think they know best. Good for you for honoring his wishes. Too bad you couldn't make a spicier version for yourself at the same time. Joanne is going to love this post.

  4. So sweeetttttttttttt a post,Am totally on the page with u sweety, Jo rocks , and so do u babes...
    And i see Jo's gonna write a book for u, am sure u will share it with me too:-)))lol
    Jo, u sure loved this post and i did very muc too:-)))
    And i love Lentils too:-)alongwith the amazing Jo and Chaya!!

  5. Cookie scoops are the best for so many reasons! Love, love, love lentils!

    I'd love it if you'd stop by for a visit.


  6. I agree about Joanne, Chaya. Perhaps we can get her to write a cookbook? How she finds time to do so much cooking is a puzzle. She's in med school for heaven's sake!

  7. Your husband cracks me up. The things we do for them! I think I would like the spicier version of these.

  8. Yummy! Thanks for linking with Tuesday Tastes! I am so happy to have you! People's Choice polls are open - head over and vote for your favorite when you have a chance!

    Happy Day,
    Jasey @ Crazy Dasiy

  9. I love Joanne too! She rocks. I would love these pancakes, the family? Who knows and who cares. I'll eat them myself. Thanks!


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