In the article, Martha has some words of wisdom for mothers and how we should all know how to cook. She said in the interview ".... I think mothers, especially, should know how to prepare variant, nutritious dishes for their families," she said. "I mean it's their obligation. Don't have a family if you don't know how to feed them." I agree - I think at least one adult in the family should know how to cook. It doesn't necessarily have to be Mom.
In the spirit of saving money, I'm including a recipe that's thrifty. I first had curried lentils in college, I think I may have made a recipe out of either Laurel's Kitchen or Jane Brody's Good Food Book. I had never tried lentils before, but I knew that I liked curry, since I had recently found I liked Indian food. My friend Ray said he loved them with Major Grey's chutney. I usually buy Patak's, but this winter when mangoes are in season, I might try my hand at preserving my own. The chutney, at over $3 for a small bottle, although you only need a spoonful per serving, is the most pricey ingredient. Otherwise, the recipe probably costs less than $1 to make, and it serves at least 8 people. This recipe isn't genuinely Indian, it is just what works out with things I normally have it my pantry.
Curried Lentils (aka Dal)
2 T. butter
1 1/2 cups sliced onions
2 cloves minced garlic
2 small red peppers, minced (pick the heat you like)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 lb. lentils
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons Garam Masala (I buy mine online from Penzeys)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
4 cans low sodium chicken broth
In a large pot, heat the butter and stir-fry the onions just until wilted, do not brown. Add the garlic, peppers, cumin, lentils, ginger, curry powder, salt, pepper, and sugar. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes, until the herbs and spices bloom (aromatic). Add the tomatoes and deglaze to pot with their juices. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning with cumin, salt, pepper and sugar.
Serve over hot rice with Major Grey's chutney, and sausage or ham for the carnivores.