A Spicy, Tangy, Herby, Green, Mexican Kinda Sauce! (Catchy Name Right?)

Even though I’ve never been and tasted the real deal, I like to make Mexcian food. A lot. I love it, it can be both super simple and quick and it can be complex and take ages to make a perfect dish.

One simple sauce that make quite often to go with Mexican food is a coriander, jalapeño and lime sauce, maybe that’s a catchier name, oh well! I got the idea from a Jamie Oliver recipe where he says, “To make the jalapeño salsa, drain and add the jalapeños to a food processor with a splash of the pickling juice. Tear in the coriander (stalks and all) and add a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Blitz well until smooth.” – sounds simple, and it is! I add lime juice to mine for a good citrus kick. If you haven’t got a food processor or a stick blender, just pile it all on a board and get chopping! You might have to mess about with the amount of chillies if you don’t like it too hot. Try adding a few at a time and giving it a taste as you go.

Green Mexican Sauce Ingredients

It’s a seriously good sauce and only takes a couple of minutes to make, so next time you decide to make tacos or burritos, make a batch of this sauce to go with them. It’d be good as a dip for chips or roast potatoes.

It’s a good addition to my sweet potato and chickpea taco recipe too!

Tarka Dal

A few weeks ago I was left with almost bare cupboards and had to be resourceful, I love concocting things from random ingredients I have left lurking in the back of the fridge. this time I made dal, it was the first time I’d actually made it and it was a success. It’s one of my favourite things to order when I go out for a curry.

Dal, daal or dhal, however you want to write it, is the dried pulse, usually a lentil or a pea which has been split, it’s also the name of the stew which is made from them. Pulses are a great source of protein, so next time someone starts having a dig at you about where a vegetarian or vegan gets their protein from, there’s one perfect example to shut them up!

Dal is quite a basic thing to make, you can make it just with lentils, water, turmeric and salt. Tarka dal is different in that you add more spices and things like onion and garlic to the stew. It makes it a bit more exciting than just turmeric and salt. Although I’ve written my recipe below, which is a good place to start, the beauty of dal is that you can change it up and make it differently every time. Add more chilli if you like it hot, try a different blend of spices, a different pulse, try adding spinach, give it a try and tweak it next time.

My lentil hating sister has become a convert to dal after trying it in London with me, she’s been bugging me for a recipe, so as promised, here it is…

It makes enough for about 4 people, it all depends on what you have with it though! If you have leftovers it’s great the next day for lunch anyway.

Dal Ingredients

Ingredients:

300g red lentils (rinse under cold water until the water runs clear)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 or 2 green chillies, depending on how hot you like it, finely chopped (remove the seeds if you don’t like it too hot)
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, finely grated or chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsps turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp mustard seed
oil
salt to season

Put the lentils in a pan, cover with cold water to about an inch above the lentils. Put the pan on to a medium to high heat and bring it to the boil. Then reduce to a low heat to simmer. Stir in the turmeric, put the lid on and leave them to cook gently.

In a frying pan on a low heat add some oil and slowly fry the onion until soft. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli and remaining spices, fry for another couple of minutes. Check your lentils (when they’re ready, they should be soft and the texture should be like porridge, add a bit more water if they’ve gone too thick, or if they’re too thin leave the lid off and let some water evaporate), if they aren’t ready then leave this mix off the heat to the side until they are cooked. When the lentils are cooked stir the mixture through them. Add some salt to taste.

Serve the dal with rice or some kind of flatbread, or both if you’re really hungry! I like some fresh coriander on top of it too. It’s also good with a bit of yoghurt to cool it down if it’s too spicy for you.

Tarka Dal