Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Simple Meal Idea & Resource

I've told you about the simple meal challenge here.  Today I want to tell you about an amazing resource if you and your family are finding these glimpses into other cultures and simple meals rewarding.

Extending the Table is one of the World Community Cookbooks (the others include Simply In Season and More with Less).  But, Extending the Table is more than a cookbook...

"We did not glean recipes from a refined list of the world’s best dishes. These are recipes that people learned to eat as they lived, worked, and grew to know others in settings as diverse as the winding paths of Uganda, the mountains of Appalachia, a rice table in Indonesia, and an international center in London. Since each recipe represents a relationship, we must share the stories and friendships that first gave flavor to the foods." - Author of Extending the Table, Joetta Handrich Schlabach in the foreword

A few of our many favorite recipes from Extending the Table include Chicken Wat (Ethiopia), Creole Chicken (Dominican Republic), and Bang Bang Chicken (China).

I could go on and on about this cookbook.  In the Geographical Index in the back, there are more than 100 countries/regions listed, so you can easily find recipes by location.  There are little stories sprinkled throughout about individual's different experiences with people of other countries, their culture and foods.  And, each chapter begins with an introduction...


2, Beverages/An Invitation to Friendship
3, Breads/Rising, Breaking, Reconciling
4, Soups/The Hospitality of Poverty
5, Salads and Vegetables/Caring for the Earth, Caring for One Another
6, Grains, Dried Beans, Stews, and Main Dishes/Honoring the Everyday
7, Festive Dishes, Poultry, Seafood, and Meats/Flavors of the Feast
8, Appetizers, Snacks and Condiments/Nourished by Diversity
9, Desserts/A Season for Sweets

The book also includes a map that labels the countries represented in the book, tips on using the recipes, and a glossary of terms.  It is a wonderful resource to have and makes a great gift.

Today's recipe is in honor of our babysitter of 8 years, Hannah, who is currently spending a semester studying in India.  We miss you, Hannah:-).

Everyday Lentils and Rice (India, Extending the Table)
Called Khichri (KICH-ree), this "is a popular dish among India's rich and poor, but the ingredients vary according to family resources...It is one of the first solid foods offered to babies.  The West Bengal Voluntary Health Association recommends Khichri as a low-cost nutritious lunch or supper."
Serves 6

2 tbsp. oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 green peppers, sliced or chopped
2-inch stick cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cardamom (I left this out because I didn't have any on hand)
4 whole cloves
1 cup uncooked rice, white or brown
1/2 cup lentils
1 1/2 cup potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup cauliflower, chopped (I left this out and used 1 cup peas instead)
1 large tomato, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
4 cups water

Saute onion, green peppers, cinnamon stick, cardamon, and cloves in oil for 2 minutes.  Add the uncooked rice and lentils and stir fry 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients (if using peas, hold them out until 10 minutes before the end of cooking time) and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer until rice, lentils and vegetables are tender (between 20-35 minutes depending on the kind of rice you used).

The key to this dish, in my opinion, is salting it properly.  Once it's salted enough, the cinnamon and clove flavors shine through beautifully. Pin It


  1. I was introduced to the Odes Project through your blog. I ordered it, and it arrived today. Thanks for listing this, as I haven't heard about it anywhere else. This is the most peaceful, beautiful music....soul stirring. God Bless!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this. My copy of Extending the Table is in storage and I wanted to make this.


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

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