Dal, Kamla's Dal
IntroductionA favorite everyday dal. Kamla allowed me to follow her in the kitchen one summer and I now have several Indian recipes to enjoy. Yum! I love cooking in bulk and freezing in individual servings. This is spicy hot for my tastes . . . please cut the chili pepper in half or even a third if you prefer less heat. A favorite everyday dal. Kamla allowed me to follow her in the kitchen one summer and I now have several Indian recipes to enjoy. Yum! I love cooking in bulk and freezing in individual servings. This is spicy hot for my tastes . . . please cut the chili pepper in half or even a third if you prefer less heat.
1/2 cup masoor (red) lentils
1/2 cup toor or moong (yellow) lentils
3-4 cups water
1-1/2 t salt
3/4 t turmeric
2 T butter or olive oil
1 t garam masala
pinch asafoetida powder
1 t cumin seed
1.5 t chili pepper
If you do not have an Asian store for some of these ingredients try these substitutions:
1) Leave out the pinch of Asafoetida (Hing) powder. (Although this is one of the stinkiest powders I have in my home, it's a great digestive aid).
2) Instead of Garam Masala, use half cumin and coriander powders. Most Garam Masalas have 4-24 spices that include heavier spices like cloves, anise, fennels, cinnamon that will change the cumin flavor I prefer the most in this recipe.
3) Instead of Asian Chili powder, use Cayenne pepper (or crushed red chili pepper).
4) Instead of yellow or orange split lentils, you can use all one (brown or yellow) lentil.
5) If you don't have turmeric, you can use "curry" powder in place of both the turmeric and garam masala. But do roast in the butter the cumin seeds and half the curry as this gives it the unique flavor that is enhanced by this Indian style of cooking. Most pre-mixed curries have red chili powder in them, so you might lighten the hot chilies to your tastes (you can always add more after tasting, or serve with some sriracha sauce at the table for those who prefer the warmer temp.)
2) Melt butter (or oil) in fry pan. Add asafoetida powder, garam masala, cumin, and chili pepper. Stir fry one minute. Add to lentils.
3) Serve with chapatis, naan, or rice. When served as it, it also makes a fine lentil soup.
4) For soup: take one serving, add a cup of two of your favorite low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth, then add 3-4 cups knife-shredded spinach leaves and 3-4 cups of knife-shredded lettuce or romaine. Wilt in soup a minute or two. Serve immediately with a garnish of cilantro, parsley, or chives. When I add 4 cups each leaf, I know I'm getting 10 servings of veggies in one HUGE bowl or soup! If you like this style of low calorie and fill-the-tummy eating, try ordering Pho in the Vietnamese Restaurant: rice noodle soup in a beef (or other) broth where you add raw bean sprouts,cabbage, cilantro/basil, and other veggies, as well as spice up your bowl (at your table) with fish, hoisin, and sriracha sauces. So Yummy! Let's just say, my bowl is a serving dish that would typically hold six servings of mashed potatoes! If you've never tried it, go to a Vietnamese Restaurant with an experienced friend (take me!).
Dal Makes 4 servings (8-10 oz or 1 to 1-1/4 cup each)