Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tomato Curried Lentils (Daal)

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Long time no blog! It's a classic case of life getting in the way of hobbies. I've been busy and also somewhat uninspired to cook. So. I'm going to try my best to get back in the kitchen and get inspired again.

Here, we have a simple, flavorful meal full of protein and fiber. I made some classic Indian curried lentils with rice pilaf made of brown Basmati rice and wild rice. This recipe is adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home: Fast and Easy Recipes for Any Day. I added more spice to make this even more flavorful.

You'll need:
  • 1 medium onion, medium diced
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 dried chilies
  • 1 fresh Thai chile
  • 1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • chopped cilantro for garnish
Begin boiling water along with dried chilies and lentils in a medium pot. After water reaches boil, reduce to simmer and gently cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until lentils are slightly undercooked. Remove chilies, drain and set aside. Add onion, ginger and Thai chilies to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.

In a medium pot, heat up vegetable oil. Add cumin seeds. Once seeds begin to pop, add onion ginger mixture. Turn heat to low and gently cook until onion becomes translucent. Stir occasionally. Add turmeric and stir. Stir in lentils, diced tomatoes and garam masala and bring mixture to boil. Season with salt. Reduce to simmer and cover. If mixture becomes too dry, add 1/2 cup of water each time and stir. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until tomato breaks down and mixture thickens. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with rice or roti.

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