An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook


Divine Dosas with Massaged Kale

What you just witnessed in the two pictures above, is the transformation of four little packets into a home cooked Indian feast of fragrantly spiced potatoes wrapped in homemade dosas.  I met Veena, the owner of Veena's Market ( at a networking event a few months ago.  What her company does is demystify the art of Indian cooking, by making recipe kits equipped with all the spices and flours you need to make authentic Indian food at home. 

Veena has thought of everything...on one handy card, she gives you all the information you need.  She provides a shopping list for all the fresh ingredients like onion, potatoes, and cilantro.  For this recipe, she suggested different sides and drinks to complement the dish.  I thought her idea of chutney sounded good, so I made a spicy mango and apple chutney.   Inside the same card, she gives a thorough description of all the preparation and cooking instructions.  This personal touch makes you feel like she is standing right next to you handing you the ingredients.  As a nutritionist and being a curious person, I wanted to know what was in each packet...and low and behold, she lists that information too.  

Cooking the spiced potatoes and dosas created a warm environment in my little apartment.  By the time M knocked on my window, the chutney was bubbling and the kale was resting after the salt massage.  We snacked on olives and almonds while everything else materialized on the stove.  It was so exciting to snip open each of the little plastic envelopes, take in the aroma, and quickly look at the reference section on the card to see what everything was.

The most interesting aspect was the lightly spiced rice and black lentil flour mix for the dosas.  All you do is add water to the mix, and you are on your way to making these crepe-like pancakes.  The batter is so fluffy that it is like biting into a savory cloud.  

With every herb and spice I added to the pan, a new layer of richness was added to the room.  It was as if they perfumed the conversation with happiness.  We added massaged kale to the potatoes for a little extra burst of color.  As we bit into the dosas, we couldn't keep from saying 'This is SO good'.  Every single bite brightened our eyes a little bit more.  Thanks to Veena, M and I had a most pleasant Friday night, and I enjoyed leftovers a few more times over the weekend. If you have always wanted to know more about Indian cooking, and have felt intimidated by it, check out her website and place an order for a little bit of India to arrive at your doorstep.

Massaged Kale

Dinosaur kale
Salt, sprinkling to coat
Red pepper flakes

This is a really simple technique I learned from my friend S.  Wash and pat dry the kale leaves.  Cut into thin ribbons, and add enough salt to thinly coat the kale and toss in red pepper flakes.   Lightly massage the salt and pepper flakes into the kale for a few minutes.  Set aside and let rest for at least 10-15 minutes while you prep other components of the meal.  While it is resting, the kale slightly breaks down to create the texture of cooked kale.  It is the simplest way to 'cook' your kale without turning on a burner.  Use for salad, as a side dish, or as a component for Divine Dosas.

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