A month back, polenta serendipitously made an entry into our list of favorites. It so happened that one Sunday i picked up a packet of cornmeal from our Indian grocery store thinking that i needed it in a recipe whose list of ingredients i could faintly recall. as it turned out the recipe required cornflour and not cornmeal... so the new packet just sat on the counter for a while till i googled and found this basic recipe of polenta. i made it, we enjoyed it and there was demand for more. that made me i look into Alton Brown's recipe of Savory Polenta.. which i slightly modified to make my own version of savory polenta.
my Google search had also led me to this article from New York times that talks about the nutritional values of polenta. so all in all i think this one is a healthy flavorful dish that you might want to include in your meals every once in a while. over the weekend i made it twice. on Friday we had it with a side of fried chicken and on Saturday we had it with veggies in chilly sauce, while Pradyot had it with a generous helping of butter and some lentil soup and we all enjoyed our meals heartily...
now off to the recipe..
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- 4 springs of fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup split red lentil (masoor dal)
- 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 1 cup coarse cornmeal
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- i pressure cooked the lentil with the celery in 4 cups of water., strained out solid from the cooked dal and kept 3 cups of the lentil water aside.
- i preheated the oven to 350 degree F.
- next i heated the oil in my iron skillet, added the onions, half of the coriander and garlic into it and let it sweat till the onions became soft and translucent. i then added the milk into the skillet, stirred it in with the cooked onion and garlic and poured the whole mixture into the blender and made a smooth puree of it.
- now that all the basic materials were ready, i began heating the lentil water that i had kept aside along with the salt. once the water started boiling i reduced the heat, and started adding in the cornmeal and the prepared milk-onion puree alternatively into the water, stirring the mixture constantly since the cornmeal tends to get lumpy otherwise.
- once all the cornmeal and milk-onion puree was added, i switched off the heat, covered the skillet with a aluminium foil and transferred it to the oven to cook for 35-40 minutes. once the mixture turned creamy, i removed it from the oven, added the butter, pepper and Parmesan in it and served it on the table after garnishing with the remaining coriander and some more grated Parmesan.
Nishi likes an extra helping of butter on the polenta, so he usually cuts out small pieces of butter and melts it atop his slices of polenta in the microwave. of course that tastes good and you could try it too if you don't mind an extra helping of fat.
Happy Cooking and don't forget to fill me with your suggestions and comments if you stop by.. you are the reason i write and its always wonderful to hear from you.
Sharing this with these linky parties all over the place....
Nithu's Kitchen and hosted by Nivedhanam
CWS-Cooking with Dals @ Priya's Versatile Recipes, Cook like a Celebrity Chef - 5 @ Food Corner, My Meatless Mondays @ My Sweet and Savory, Marvelous Mondays @ This Gal Cooks, Recipe Sharing Monday @ Jam Hands, Mealtime Monday @ Couponing & Cooking and Mop it up Monday @ I should be Mopping the Floor, Share it Link Party @ Winthrop Chronicles , Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays @ SS& GS, Bon Vivant #13 - Kids Delight @ Sumee's Culinary Bites