Wow, it's been a really busy week. Between homework, actual work and life, it's sure made things quite hectic around here. My apologies for not updating the blog sooner! I think about it daily...many many times! I am quite excited about today's post (although I am always excited about sharing a recipe with everyone!). I've made this dish twice in the past week, so you know it's a hit with Gavin and I. It's a vegetarian, inexpensive and healthy meal made with simple ingredients and spices that really give it a delicious flavour. In my opinion, it's quite unique, and I understand now how it could be considered a comfort food...let me go on and tell you!
When I was a kid we rarely had lentils for dinner. I remember my grandma used to make a lentil soup for dinner and my sister Charlee hated it. She called it 'mental soup' and refused to eat it. I'm pretty sure I remember my mom coaxing her to have a few bites so that my grandma's feelings weren't hurt and this never went over well. Since then, I never really had the urge to cook with lentils. Anyway, as I mentioned in my previous posts, I am trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my weekly menu planning. I stumbled upon Trudy of Veggie Num Num's blog and I must say...damn. She can make anyone turn vegetarian with her pictures and recipes! This one really caught my eye as Gavin loves Indian food, so I thought I had give it a try. As I said, it's a fairly inexpensive meal-but it tastes soo good. I was a little weary of adding yogurt, but it really compliments the spiciness of the dish and adds that 'comforting' feeling to it. As does the raisins, cilantro and cashew nuts! To be honest, I actually prefer this dish without the basmati rice, and just eat it with naan bread. It's quite filling, and there's always plently leftover for lunches or supper. Give it a try-it won't hurt! Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!
Makes 4 servings
1-2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced finely
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 ½ teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon chili powder
450g (1 lb) red lentils, rinsed
400g (14 0z) tomatoes, roughly diced
½ teaspoon raw sugar
5 1/2 cups vegetable stock
raw cashew nuts, roughly chopped
fresh cilantro roughly chopped
shredded coconut (optional)
steamed Basmati rice
pappadams or naan bread
In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium to high heat until just smoking. Add in the onion and fry for about 5-7 minutes, until softened and translucent. Reduce the heat to medium to low and stir in the garlic, ginger and spices (chili flakes, cumin, mustard powder, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, chili powder) until just fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add in the red lentils and toss to combine. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, sprinkle with sugar. Increase the heat to medium to high and add a splash of vegetable stock to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue to toss the tomatoes and lentils in the spice mixture for approximately 3-5 minutes, adding more stock as needed.
Stir in the remaining stock and bring the Dal to a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered for 30-45 minutes until the lentils have softened and the Dal is a thick stew/soup consistency.
Serve with cashews, raisins, cilantro and yogurt with naan or basmati rice.
Source: slightly adapted from Veggie Num Num