Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Solar Cooked Indian Stew

The morning did not start out well as far as solar cooking goes. There was some decent sunshine early on, but I fretted away the time worrying whether or not I'd be called in for jury duty. I had to call at eleven to learn my fate. I was dismissed, as usual. By then I'd pretty much decided to make Curried Red-Lentil Stew with Vegetables; a recipe from epicurious.com. The only problem was the sky was now covered with clouds. They were thin and the sun was still managing to shine through, but I wanted to leave for the afternoon and was afraid the cloud cover would thicken. People often ask me how much sun is needed to use the Sun Oven and I always answer, "As long as there enough sunlight to cast a shadow you can cook with it." There was a shadow so I went for it. I'm glad I did. The stew was delicious.

I made the following changes to the original recipe: I didn't have any fresh ginger so I used ground, increased the red lentils to 1 1/2 cups, used less water,  added a peeled, chopped sweet potato in addition to the carrots, used frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, left out the cilantro - I don't like it - and added the carrots and sweet potato at the same time as the lentils. To compensate for the less then ideal solar cooking weather I brought it to a boil before placing it in the Sun Oven.

When I'm done with this blog I may not choose unattended solar cooking on a day like today but it is nice to know that it's possible in case of an emergency or if I ever do something crazy, like go camping.

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