The Art of Third-Wheeling

This post is dedicated to one of my favorite replacement parents. More specifically, my Monday night chaperones. The best skills I claim to have acquired as an almost infinite single is third-wheeling. It’s kind of like dating, without the hassle of actually having to impress and perfecting your make up. Yes, I have sadly reached the age where most of my friends are happily settled and being single seems to be crime (THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING SINGLE!!). So, hanging out with couples becomes inevtable. Lucky for me, I love third-wheeling – especially with these guys, it’s the perfect excuse to hang out with two of my besties. And they both get to hang out with me. How is that not a win-win situation?
Over the years I feel I have accumulated couples for all occasions – wining and dining, sports, nights out, movie nights, not to forget drunken madness. Which reminds me, my Monday chaperones have also recently, like good parents, put a roof over my drunken head (now that’s probably only a win situation for me…). For that I am eternally grateful – I would not have made it home alive.
Our typical Monday evening entails sweat pants, the one or other youtube video and of course dinner, mostly created from leftover groceries in their fridge, usually resulting in some sort of comfort food. Last week we watched olympics. Now, during the olympics, comfort food is essential – I mean how unsporty and pathetic do those athletes make you feel? It’s like the 5k you just ran to hatch a Pokémon egg (and of course become the next Paula Radcliffe) were not even worth the effort. How is that going to help you towards perfecting the triple back flip screw synchronised diving thing or swinging round the asymmetric bars in gymnastics? And 25m pistol shooting – how is that an olympic discipline?? Anyways, this video of failed Filipino diving will make you feel better. Enjoy it with some red lentil dal. Perfect Monday night.

Red Lentil Dal


Serves 3-4

You’ll need
400g red lentils
500ml coconut milk
1 large onion, diced
1 large knob of ginger (ca. 4cm), peeled and diced
2-3 tsp honey
a few generous dashes of baslamic vinegar
2 tsp tomato puree
olive oil or vegetable oil
approx. 1tsp ground cumin
approx. 1tsp ground coriander
approx. 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
approx. 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
approx. 1 1/2 tsp curry powder (I used mild)
approx. 1 tsp garam masala
approx. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
a few dashes or lemon or lime juice
hot chilli sauce, to serve

  1. In a large pot, heat your oil and sweat the onions and ginger. Add your cumin, turmeric, cayenne, curry, coriander, honey, balsamic and tomato puree.
  2. Let the spices unfold for about 2 minutes before adding the lentils and the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and let it cook for about 15 minutes until the lentils are just tender, stirring occasionally. Add some water if you feel it’s needed (I added about 200-300ml because my lid sucks).
  3.  Finally add the cinnamon, garam masala and lemon juice. Taste and add whichever spice you feel is missing (I added more of everything apart from cinnamon and turmeric). Also don’t forget to season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve with rice and a fresh green salad. Top the dal with a few drops of hot chilli sauce.

Rating: 8.6/10 (Courtesy of my brother, although that being said he ate 2 large portions…)

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