Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

I made my staple Lemon-Cumin Dal the other day and while I served, Donna brought the pappadams over to the light for this photo. I always serve these Indian—what, crackers?—with dal. They add a delicate crisp crunch to the meal and an exotic (to me) flavor. If you’ve never served them, I urge you to try them. Not only delicious, but fun to cook! Made from lentil or chickpea flour, they’re sold as flat smooth discs. Slip them into hot oil and they puff and fold and are finished in five seconds.

While I’m hoping a prominent food blogger, who publishes one of the most lovely recipe blogs I know, will try the recipe for this mung-bean-based dal, featured in Twenty, it reminds me of two other writer cooks specializing in Indian food. The wonderful chef-restaurateur, Suvir Saran, and his book Indian Home Cooking  and the DC-based Monica Bhide, author of The Everything Indian Cookbook. She’s also author of the iPhone app iSpice, a cool spice reference. I love the dynamic flavors of Indian cuisine and intend to do more this fall once I’m done flogging the new book. (Was lucky enough to be on the Kojo Nnamdi Show, talking food apps with Monica and Dorie Greenspan, who just released one of the coolest new cooking apps for iPad on market—if you want to bake with Dorie, this one’s for you).

Here simply a quick post while I’m on tour in between cities—thanks for the impromptu shot, Donna!

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© 2011 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2011 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved.