Philadelphia may be the land of the cheesesteak, but its vegetarian and vegan cuisine game is squarely on point. Philly chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby have a new cookbook out that places the spotlight on produce-based snacks, main dishes, desserts and more. Inspired by the wide world of street food, it’s got at least a dish or two that are sure to make it into your meatless repertoire.
Chips and dip: classic, and every culture has its take. There’s hummus and pita, tortilla chips and guac, British chips and tartar sauce. From time to time, we’ll run an Indian take on chips and dip using crunchy papadums (thin and crispy lentil crackers) with a cold, creamy version of dal (stewed beans and lentils). The trick is to keep the dal super light so it doesn’t snap the papadums.
- canola oil for frying
- 12 papadums
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1/4 cup chopped white onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped tomato
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo
For the papadums
Line a plate with paper towels. Pour a shallow layer of canola oil in a large sauté pan or skillet and heat over high heat until it ripples.
Fry the papadum sheets one at a time until crispy, about 30 seconds. There’s no need to flip them, as they are so thin. Transfer to the paper towel–lined plate to absorb excess oil, then cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Heat the sunflower oil in a medium saucepan over high heat until it ripples. Add the onion, garlic, curry, cardamom, ginger, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium, add 3 cups water and the lentils, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool fully.
Transfer the lentil mixture to a blender with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve with papadum pieces or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.