Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chinese Spice Dahl

I have spent the better part of this year trying to heal myself from what appeared to be my largest heart break. I have done every imaginable thing possible to speed up the journey, but unfortunately things like this just take their time. I have gone out, got drunk, taken a lover (or a few), run a lot, danced a lot, worked a lot, cried a lot, and thrown myself wholeheartedly into my study. I have worked so very very hard this year (honestly who in their right mind takes on two full time courses and a part time job?) and now I am finally having a rest. So after all this exhausting running around, and getting lost and caught up and found again, I have discovered...I am actually quite happy.

I have cut down on my work load at culinary school and settled into a routine of working part time and studying two days a week. I have all this free time to think and explore again. For the first time in months I have picked up my paint brushes again and started to paint.

All my ideas and dreams are coming back to me. All the things I have been pushing out of my head for so long, in fear of actually FEELING anything. It's wonderful. It has taken me a whole year of heartbreak to realise...I'm really happy, and I love who I am.

So I have decided that while life is so beautiful and simple for a while (and I know this calm won't last forever) to just embrace it. I'm giving myself a little holiday from stressing. I think I'll just enjoy being a part-time student/chef/writer/artist/cupcake seller. I'll spend my free time drawing, and cooking, reading and looking for inspiration. I'll take a muse (someone stunningly beautiful) and enjoy the rest of the year of being 21. I won't worry about money because I have none to worry about and I'm going to enjoy all my lovely friends.

A crazy lady once told me...everyone can survive off kisses and lentils...and I think she was right.

In case your in the market for beauty on a budget, this is what I have been living off.

Chinese Spice Dahl

You will need:
  • 1/4 pumpkin
  • Half a red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp of Chinese five spice
  • 1 tsp each of tumeric, coriander, and cardamon
  • half a cup of red lentils
  • 2 stock cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • A wee bit of love

What to do:

  1. Dice your onion and garlic, sweat it in a pot with some olive oil
  2. Cut the pumpkin in to small cubes. Add to the pot and cook on low until it starts to soften. You will need to stir is quite a bit so it doesn't stick
  3. Add the spices and tomato paste, stir
  4. Add the lentils, enough water to cover and throw in the rest of the ingredients
  5. Keep stirring on a low heat and adding more water when it is absorbed.
  6. From here on in there is really no technique, you just stir and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Add more spice if it needs it.
  7. It will be ready when the lentils and pumpkin are soft.

It's super yummy and kind of a nice twist on the normal Indian dahl. Enjoy

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