Dal Makhani (Indian Butter Lentils)

If you like Indian food and you haven’t heard of this dish before, you may not have been paying attention. You’re likely to see this on the menu at many Indian restaurants and you also might recognize a close cousin (also very popular)–murgh makhani, a.k.a. butter chicken. This a vegetarian take on the same general dish–slowly simmered lentils (a.k.a. dal) and beans in a spiced, tomato curry enriched with a generous helping of cream and butter.

While this Punjab curry is strongly spiced, like its chicken counterpart, the richness of the dish counteracts the heat a good bit, making it a good candidate even for those who might be timid around Indian cuisine. There’s a classically spiced backbone with notes of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves, and yet the slowly simmered lentils combined with the generous cream/butter combo yields a final product that has an almost contradictory sumptuous, smooth,… click to read more…

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Coq au Vin (French Fricassee of Rooster)

I think its safe to say that we’ve all heard of coq au vin. This is a classic French dish with two big players: chicken and red wine. Well, a correction to that: not just any kind of chicken, but when properly translated, rooster and red wine.

Coq au Vin

This dish isn’t a quicky–like any other stew, it requires slow cooking and a tough protein that will stand up well to slow cooking. Just like how you wouldn’t make a beef stew from filet mignon (and if you do, please don’t tell me), coq au vin should not be made from an everyday, tender chicken. You want a tough bird that will release a ton of flavor (which is what will give the sauce an incredible flavor) and maintain its form after long periods of cooking, so this is why you would opt for something like a rooster or stewing hen if you have the option (plus, they’re typically cheaper–bonus!). Is… click to read more…

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