Saturday, March 26, 2011

Red Lentil Dal

I've been happily cooking my way through the Happy Herbivore cookbook this week, beginning with these healthy blueberry oatmeal muffins. I made them with my toddler, Lil' Sprout, and was pleased to find they're that rare variety of homemade baked good that only requires you to dirty one mixing bowl. Sounds like a small bonus, but remember, I was baking with a two-year-old! Also, they were delicious.

Next I moved onto the red lentil dal, a recipe Lindsay Nixon has been kind enough to let me post here:

Red Lentil Dal

Serves 4. "Dals are essentially thick stews made with lentils and traditional Indian spices. On my website, this is one of my most popular recipes. It's been around the online block a few times, and for good reason. It's easy, delicious, and cheap. Make it once and it will never leave your regular rotation, I promise."


1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 TBSP ground ginger
1/2 c. dried red lentils
2 cups vegetable broth
1 chopped tomato with juices
3 oz. tomato paste (about 5 TBSP)
1 TBSP ground coriander
2 tsp garam masala
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
cayenne, to taste

1. Line a medium pot with 1/4 cup of water and cook onions and garlic until translucent.

2. Add turmeric, cumin, paprika, and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes, adding water if necessary to prevent any sticking or burning.

3. Add lentils, broth, tomato, tomato paste, and coriander, stirring to combine.

4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until lentils are cooked and orange-ish.

5. Add garam masala, stirring to combine, and let rest 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne.

VOD notes: Never having cooked with dried lentils before, I didn't realize they had to soak for 8 hours -- so I actually had to make these a day later than I'd planned. (My fault for not reading the directions on the package!) Next time, I would add more fresh tomato, and would also have vegan raita on hand. The dish is very fragrant, and will make your house smell amazing! However, since RC and I don't usually eat this kind of flavorful Indian food (we're tikka masala wimps) I'm going to let my neighbor, Mudpie, weigh in:
"I think this dish is definitely for spice lovers like myself. I particularly liked the fresh ginger. I made a few adjustments to suit my personal preferences. There was a slight bitter note that balanced with a dash of salt and I added a little more cayenne to get the heat the way I like it. I will definitely make this dish for Mudhoney and I. He will love it."

1 comment:

  1. yeah, i just ate the last portion before erin could get to it. yummer!