BREAKING NEW.. One Good Meal: A Different Kind of Comfort Food for an Italian Chef

In “One Good Meal,” we ask cooking-inclined artistic individuals to share the story behind a favourite dish they really make and eat at residence frequently — and never simply when they’re attempting to impress.

The chef Nina Clemente spent a lot of her childhood in New York Metropolis and southern Italy, however a few of her earliest recollections are of Chennai, India, a bustling metropolis on the Bay of Bengal. She and her household lived there for half a 12 months whereas her father, the artist Francesco Clemente, labored within the space. “I bear in mind an insane monsoon season,” says Clemente, who was four throughout their keep. “I awakened one night time and my mattress was floating within the middle of the lounge, and all of the stray cats we had taken in had been gone.”

This journey to a unique world heightened Clemente’s senses and stimulated her palette. Her mom — the artist, actress and costume designer Alba Clemente — would typically experiment with native components as she cooked a pink lentil dal. “To at the present time,” Clemente says, the standard Indian dish “is one among my consolation meals.”

For a consolation meals repair, Clemente places her personal spin on a standard spiced pink dal that her mom used to make for the household once they had been residing in Chennai, India. Her fashionable model contains Spanish onion, garlic, kaffir lime leaves and goes “tremendous heavy” on cumin and ginger.Credit scorePaul Quitoriano

It’s one which Clemente, who runs her personal catering enterprise, turns to when she’s battling a chilly or simply feeling run down. Whereas her mom “made a mellow model,” Clemente goes “tremendous heavy on the recent grated ginger and cumin” for an additional kick. She additionally provides in makrut lime leaf, which lends an fragrant, floral perfume. She finishes it off with recent cilantro and scallion, a dollop of goat’s milk yogurt and a spoonful of mango pickle, a condiment “that I want I might declare I made myself,” she says, “however the bottled model is identical as my childhood.”

Since relocating from Los Angeles to New York Metropolis along with her associate and their five-year-old daughter in 2017, Clemente has been making ready the hearty dal frequently. “I want vitality for strolling in every single place,” she explains. Now and again, she makes the dish for her father, whom she describes as the simplest dinner visitor — “I put greens in a bowl and he’s like, ‘That is one of the best salad I’ve had in my total life!’”


Clemente finishes off her dal with a dollop of goat’s milk yogurt, mango pickle and cilantro.Credit scorePaul Quitoriano

Serves four

∙ three tablespoons additional virgin olive oil 

∙ ½ Spanish onion, peeled and finely chopped

∙ three garlic cloves, finely minced

∙ 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated

∙ 1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and floor

∙ ½ teaspoon turmeric powder 

∙ 2 recent makrut lime leaves

∙ 1 cup pink lentils, rinsed and drained

∙ three cups water 

∙ 1 cup basmati rice, cooked


∙ 1 scallion, thinly sliced and saved in ice water; pat dry earlier than utilizing

∙ ¼ bunch cilantro

∙ ½ cup goat’s milk yogurt

∙ Mango pickle, resembling Patak’s model

1. Warmth olive oil in a medium pot over low warmth.  

2. Add onion, garlic, ginger, cumin and turmeric; sweat aromatics till simply translucent (don’t brown).

three. Add lentils and stir to include rapidly, then add water.

four. Carry to a boil, flip down flame to simmer.

5. Crack the kaffir lime leaves in half, add to the pot and canopy.

6. Cook dinner for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring often till tender. 

7. Take away kaffir lime leaf, season with salt to style. High with cilantro, scallion and a dollop every of goat’s milk yogurt and mango pickle.

eight. Serve with basmati rice.

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