Pre-packaged food and mystery meat

Lifecraft

John McDouall Stuart
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If you want to make your own prepackaged (aka. "instant") meal have a look at lentil dahl.

Example recipe (although I've not tried this one):
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/86600/spicy-lentil-dahl
(Just use the dry ingredients and it should still taste pretty good)

Basically it's just lentils and spices... you fry the spices (or if you buy premade spice mixes they're usually pre-toasted so you can skip this step), add the lentils and water, then cook until soft. Then eat with rice (or bread). Or you can add more water, some extra salt or stock powder, and have as a tasty spicy soup.
If you catch some fish, or some crabs, or even some limpets or something.... throw them in towards the end. You can add just about any vegetables too if you have them.

Although it may not be what you consider "instant" considering the lentils can take half an hour to cook. But in terms of just adding some packets of dry food and cook, it's instant. (ie. no chopping or preparation required)

It's really good because it has loads of flavor but all ingredients are dry. No need to dehydrate anything (which I do sometimes, and it's good, but tedious).
You could pick up all the ingredients from the shops on the way to the bush, with no need for pre-preparation (such as with dehydrating food).

If I was packing for a long term trek into the forest I'd be tempted to make a significant portion of my food ingredients for lentil dahl (but a few different spice mixes to provide some variety).

I made single serve packages of dahl which consisted of:
- a spice packet, which is fried dry in the billy until it starts to release the flavor (usually contains cumin, turmeric, coriander seed, and I can't recall what else)
- lentil packet (red lentils)
- a flavor packet, which is added after the lentils, because flavors such as stock powder you don't want heated to smoking point with the spices
- rice and dehydrated peas packet (with some chicken stock powder added)

You can google loads of different lentil dahl recipes online. I need to dig up the one I put together, which is basically just a mix of recipes I found online with some of the fresh ingredients replaced with dry ingredients. If I find it again I'll post it.

To make a basic dahl you often don't need all the different ingredients. You basically just need the spices (and if you can, find dry equivalents of fresh ingredients if you can such as onion powder instead of onion).
Then if you have some fresh onions, or tomatoes, or whatever you can add them as an optional extra.

I also added coconut milk powder to mine (also dry and lasts forever) which made it a whole lot tastier. It makes it a bit more hearty in taste, and I get the impression is kinda makes up for the lack of fresh ingredients.

I've cooked up some of the dahl mix for people a few times and everyone seems to love it. It's really filling and tasty. I tend to add a fair bit of chilli to give it a nice warming effect.

If anyone is interested in the recipe let me know and I'll do some digging to try find it. But I suggest just find a lentil dahl recipe online, try it as-is (according to the recipe), then if you like that try re-making it without the fresh ingredients (but add coconut milk powder if you can), and see if you still like it.
The reason for coming up with your own recipe is you realise just how flexible lentil dahl is. You don't have to give up on it just because one ingredient is missing. If you're missing half the ingredients it's probably still worth making, because as long as you have a few of the spices it'll probably still be fairly tasty.

If you want to cheat a little bit you could try just getting garam masala or tika masala from the shops (woollies has garam masala in the spices section), throw it in with some lentils, chicken stock powder, and water, and I bet it would be tasty. Then use that as a starting point and add anything else you want. You shouldn't even really need to make your own spice mixes if you want simplicity.
So it really should be almost as easy as many instant meals you find in the supermarkets.


As for spam.... eat it at home and it's horrible. But eat it in the bush when you're hungry and for some reason it actually tastes pretty good.
I bought some spam type corned beef today. Last time I had some I didn't like it. But I'm curious to see how good it is next time I go camping. I consider it my backup food.

Hmmm.... you might even be able to add some spam to your lentil dahl (I'm not sure I should suggest that, because it might ruin your dahl).
 
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Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
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Sounds great. I don't tend to cook from scratch when hiking, but I have been staring at lentils in the supermarket and wondering about taking them along.

With your spice mix, some powdered garlic, ginger and chili would be a good addition at the fry-up stage (powdered because of the long-life/compact/light aspect).

Coconut is a good idea. We make dahl at home quite a bit, but don't add coconut milk ... Mrs A's secret is sweet potatoes diced and cooked with the lentils ! mmmm!
 

n5750547

Les Hiddins
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If you want to make your own prepackaged (aka. "instant") meal have a look at lentil dahl.

Example recipe (although I've not tried this one):
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/86600/spicy-lentil-dahl
(Just use the dry ingredients and it should still taste pretty good)

Basically it's just lentils and spices... you fry the spices (or if you buy premade spice mixes they're usually pre-toasted so you can skip this step), add the lentils and water, then cook until soft. Then eat with rice (or bread). Or you can add more water, some extra salt or stock powder, and have as a tasty spicy soup.
If you catch some fish, or some crabs, or even some limpets or something.... throw them in towards the end. You can add just about any vegetables too if you have them.

Although it may not be what you consider "instant" considering the lentils can take half an hour to cook. But in terms of just adding some packets of dry food and cook, it's instant. (ie. no chopping or preparation required)

It's really good because it has loads of flavor but all ingredients are dry. No need to dehydrate anything (which I do sometimes, and it's good, but tedious).
You could pick up all the ingredients from the shops on the way to the bush, with no need for pre-preparation (such as with dehydrating food).

If I was packing for a long term trek into the forest I'd be tempted to make a significant portion of my food ingredients for lentil dahl (but a few different spice mixes to provide some variety).

I made single serve packages of dahl which consisted of:
- a spice packet, which is fried dry in the billy until it starts to release the flavor (usually contains cumin, turmeric, coriander seed, and I can't recall what else)
- lentil packet (red lentils)
- a flavor packet, which is added after the lentils, because flavors such as stock powder you don't want heated to smoking point with the spices
- rice and dehydrated peas packet (with some chicken stock powder added)

You can google loads of different lentil dahl recipes online. I need to dig up the one I put together, which is basically just a mix of recipes I found online with some of the fresh ingredients replaced with dry ingredients. If I find it again I'll post it.

To make a basic dahl you often don't need all the different ingredients. You basically just need the spices (and if you can, find dry equivalents of fresh ingredients if you can such as onion powder instead of onion).
Then if you have some fresh onions, or tomatoes, or whatever you can add them as an optional extra.

I also added coconut milk powder to mine (also dry and lasts forever) which made it a whole lot tastier. It makes it a bit more hearty in taste, and I get the impression is kinda makes up for the lack of fresh ingredients.

I've cooked up some of the dahl mix for people a few times and everyone seems to love it. It's really filling and tasty. I tend to add a fair bit of chilli to give it a nice warming effect.

If anyone is interested in the recipe let me know and I'll do some digging to try find it. But I suggest just find a lentil dahl recipe online, try it as-is (according to the recipe), then if you like that try re-making it without the fresh ingredients (but add coconut milk powder if you can), and see if you still like it.
The reason for coming up with your own recipe is you realise just how flexible lentil dahl is. You don't have to give up on it just because one ingredient is missing. If you're missing half the ingredients it's probably still worth making, because as long as you have a few of the spices it'll probably still be fairly tasty.

If you want to cheat a little bit you could try just getting garam masala or tika masala from the shops (woollies has garam masala in the spices section), throw it in with some lentils, chicken stock powder, and water, and I bet it would be tasty. Then use that as a starting point and add anything else you want. You shouldn't even really need to make your own spice mixes if you want simplicity.
So it really should be almost as easy as many instant meals you find in the supermarkets.


As for spam.... eat it at home and it's horrible. But eat it in the bush when you're hungry and for some reason it actually tastes pretty good.
I bought some spam type corned beef today. Last time I had some I didn't like it. But I'm curious to see how good it is next time I go camping. I consider it my backup food.

Hmmm.... you might even be able to add some spam to your lentil dahl (I'm not sure I should suggest that, because it might ruin your dahl).
I liked the sound of this so I cooked up some lentils and spices over the weekend while camping at Lamington. It probably would have tasted good had I not seared the entire inside of my mouth with the first bite! Everything still tastes funny...
 

Lifecraft

John McDouall Stuart
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia
With your spice mix, some powdered garlic, ginger and chili would be a good addition at the fry-up stage (powdered because of the long-life/compact/light aspect).
Gotta be careful adding them in the dry fry up stage because they can burn much more easily than the spices.
I tend to add those flavors, and onion powder, when I'm adding the lentils and water.

I thought I burned the spices once and figured I'd ruined it. I made it any way and it was the best dahl I'd made. So I started thinking I previously wasn't frying them up for long enough. They get quite browned and smell really strong. That smell indicates the flavor is being released.
These days I tend to fry the spices for longer, on a higher heat.

Mustard seeds are another good addition. They can handle the fry up stage (some recipes say to fry them with the spices).

I found one of my dahl recipes. I decided to put it in a new thread:
http://bushcraftoz.com/forums/showthread.php?8662-Lentil-dahl-recipe
 
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