Dinner at the Ranch

Red dal with cardamom-ginger quinoa and coconut-cocona chutney.

The red lentil dal is paired with an aro­mat­ic quinoa, with kefir, hot fresh green chiles and the coconut-cocona chut­ney.

Dal makes it’s appear­ance here fre­quent­ly, an easy and sat­is­fy­ing prepa­ra­tion that lends itself to a wide range of ingre­di­ents. Today’s is red lentils with car­rots, pur­ple sweet pota­to, chay­ote and aspara­gus beans. The “rice” is quinoa lib­er­al­ly spiced with coco oil-siz­zled spices (cumin, mus­tard, cin­na­mon stick, and of course, car­damom) and a hand­ful of gin­ger juli­enne.

Dotting the i is a new ren­di­tion of a clas­sic coconut chut­ney in grat­ed fresh firm coconut, chile, spices and the tart cubes of the cocona.

Recipe: Coconut-cocona Chutney

Summary: Firm coconut and cocona is light­ly browned in spiced coco oil


  1. Meat of 2 firm-mature coconuts
  2. 2 T. coco oil
  3. 1 t. car­damom seed
  4. 3 sliced aji dulce chiles
  5. 14 C. chopped fresh gin­ger
  6. 1 C. diced cocona
  7. 1 t. salt
  8. 1 T. sug­ar
  9. 1 C. chopped cilantro


  1. Scoop out the firm coconut meat, trim off all brown parts from the shell. Grate coarse­ly in a food proces­sor.
  2. Prepare the cocona: slice off the stem end and peel the fruit with a veg­etable peel­er. Dice the fruit into 14″ pieces, ignor­ing the seeds.
  3. Heat coco oil, and when hot, add the chiles and car­damom. When the chiles brown a lit­tle, add the gin­ger, and heat it to a rapid siz­zle.
  4. Add the grat­ed coconut, and brown, tak­ing care to keep the bot­tom of the pan scraped. When suf­fi­cient­ly browned, add the cocona, salt and sug­ar.
  5. Simmer for anoth­er 10 min­utes. Taste and adjust the sea­son­ing. Mix in the cilantro and it’s ready.


Normally, this recipe would use tamarind; so you can use tamarind paste instead of cocona, (admit­ted­ly hard to find…) but it will be a lot less–like 14 cup.

Microformatting by hRecipe.

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