Tag Archives: steak

Punjabi Chana Dal


This recipe brought back memories of college. Almost every weekend, when our dorm was out of groceries, we would go to a little Indian restaurant, tucked away on a side street in the Philippines. For a couple dollars, we would stuff ourselves on chana dal, chicken masala, curried cauliflower, naan bread, and fish tikka. Mmmmmm! I love Indian almost as much as I love Thai! Unfortunately for me, although Mr. HHF could eat Mexican every single day, he’s much pickier about Indian. This recipe passed his inspection though! You could make it with regular red or brown lentils, but we both thought the chana dal lentils were creamier. I wish I had added cauliflower towards the end, so I will let you know when you could add cauliflower to the recipe. PLEASE don’t let the amount of spices deter you (I know it looks like a lot of work)….it’s worth it, I promise. We thought it was yummier the next day once the spices had time to meld. Also, Mr. HHF added sour cream to his the 2nd time we had it and liked this even better!

Serves: 2 with leftovers

8/10 We both thought it could be a solid nine if I had added some cauliflower and had cooked the lentils just a little longer….we like mushy beans. After one bite, our toddler rated the recipe as 1/10. He was NOT a fan…but he has texture issues with beans. Our 6 month old loved it and ate about half a cup of the lentils once I rinsed off most of the spices.

Prep and cook time: I was making spiced cauliflower and naan bread while preparing the chana dal….I think it all took about an hour and 15 minutes. If you were just making the chana dal, I think it would only take 45-50 minutes depending on how long you soaked your beans and how quickly they cooked.

Adapted from: Masala Chana Dal and Punjabi Chana Dal


1 1/4 cup chana dal or lentils

1 onion

2 tablespoons butter or oil (I used oil to make this dairy free)

1 inch cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds or powder (I used powder)

1 tablespoon garlic powder (or 1/2 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced)

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon tumeric

1 teaspoon coriander powder

4-5 thinly sliced ginger rounds

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pinch cloves

1 bay leaf

1 cup grated juicy tomato (or canned diced tomato)

4-5 cups of water

1 small steak (sizzler, sirloin, etc.) optional

Fresh cilantro, lemon juice, sour cream or plain yogurt to garnish


1. Rinse chana dal until the water runs clear. Then let them soak for at least 30 minutes. 1-2 hours would be better.

I used these lentils….I know you can get them cheaper in other brands, but I just wanted to try them to see if we would like them, and we do!

2. Heat oil in the pan and add the cumin and cinnamon stick. Let them sizzle a minute or two while you chop the onion. Add the onion.

3. While the onion is cooking (stir occasionally), mix together the garlic, chili powder, tumeric, coriander, garam masala, cloves, bay leaf, pepper, and salt.

4. Add the grated tomato or canned tomato.

5. When the onions are nicely browned, add the spices and tomato to them. Cook on high heat, stirring frequently for 3-5 minutes until water is mostly evaporated.

6. Add the drained lentils and continue to cook on medium high heat, stirring frequently, for another 6-8 minutes.

7. Add 4-5 cups of water (depending on how soupy you want it to be). Add the ginger slices. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes. The lentils should be soft, but not completely mush. At this point, Mr. HHF realized there would be no meat in this recipe. This was NOT ok. So I quickly defrosted a small steak. and added it….the next two steps are optional. ALSO, at this point, I wish I had added a cup or two of chopped cauliflower.

8. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and lemon juice on the steak. Cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes each side until nicely browned.

9. Slice thinly against the grain. Add slices to the soup a minute or two before you are ready to remove soup from the heat.

10. Adjust spices according to taste. I ended up adding more salt, chili powder, garam masala, and garlic powder. Serve hot with cilantro, lemon juice, naan or a crusty bread or rice.

Sorry about the poor quality of this picture….it really does look much yummier than this. It had gotten dark by the time the soup was done, and I was in a hurry to snap a picture and eat! I’ll be posting recipes for the naan and the roasted cauliflower soon!

Grilled Fajitas


I love this recipe because I don’t have to use a single pan. Everything is grilled, and my hubby does all the grilling. So it’s easy and the perfect summer meal. (If your hubby doesn’t grill, tell him how he has the most amazing grilling skills in the whole world and that it won’t taste the same if you try to grill it…it will be much more delicious if he grills…works every time.) 🙂 Serve with Street Corn, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, sour cream, cheese, tortillas, cilantro, lime juice, beans, and anything else you can think of. Can be dairy free if you substitute sour cream and cheese with dairy free options (or just add extra guacamole instead of sour cream and cheese).

9/10 Everyone really liked these, but they didn’t have as much flavor as fajitas I have made in the past in a pan (I usually add spices to my pan fajitas). They definitely needed toppings like pico de gallo and guacamole to add flavor. Otherwise, we thought they were perfect.

Prep time: 30 min

Serves 4 (with leftovers)

Recipe adapted from: The Best International Recipe


2 1/2 pounds steak (original recipe recommended flank steak, I only had T-bone and it worked pretty well)

1/4 cup lime juice

salt and ground black pepper

1 or 2 large red or white onions, peeled and sliced in 1/2 half inch rounds

3 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (you could use green, but I don’t like green ones so didn’t use them for this recipe)

16 (10 inch) flour tortillas

lime, cilantro, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo, beans, etc.


1. Have hubby heat grill. While grill is heating, prep the onions and peppers for grilling. Peel and slice onion into thick (1/2 inch) slices. Cut the top and bottom off the pepper, slice down one side of pepper and lay it flat, remove seeds and the white part.

2. Prep the steak for grilling by rubbing both sides with the lime juice and generously sprinkling it with salt and pepper.

3. Grill steak until well seared (about 5 minutes per side). Check the middle with a knife…it should be slightly more rare than you want it to be.

4. Transfer the steak to a plate and cover with tin foil. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes (this helps it finish cooking and makes it nice and juicy). While the steak is resting, finish grilling the pepper and onion. They should be streaked with dark grill marks and should be soft but not mushy (about 6-10 minutes).

5. Turn off grill. While it’s still warm, grill both sides of the tortillas until they are just warm (about 15 seconds per side). Wrap in a clean towel to keep them warm.

6. Slice steak into thin strips across the grain. Slice the peppers and onions into thin strips as well.

7. Arrange the sliced steak, peppers, and onions on a platter (or the cutting board) and sprinkle with lime juice and salt and pepper.

Also, fajita night isn’t fajita night until hubby puts on his Mexico shirt 🙂