Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mammy’s Dahl

Mammy's Dahl with Anna's Curried Quinoa (see above)

There are thousands of dahl recipes and this one is very basic and simple. I like it because I can make it with ingredients already on hand; the only fresh ingredient you have to have is cilantro. I don’t mash the lentils like some recipes suggest as I like the dahl chunky. Oh, it also freezes well.

2 cups red lentils* (thoor dahl or masoor dahl)
6 cups water
½ tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. mustard seeds
½ tsp. crushed red pepper/red pepper flakes
2 Tbs. oil
2 cups chopped onion or 1 bag frozen onion
2 tsp. minced garlic
4 jalapeno peppers (or Thai or Serrano) split lengthwise (with or without seeds removed)**
2 cups chopped tomatoes or 2 cans diced tomatoes (14 oz)
1-1/2 tsp. salt
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Bring lentils, water and turmeric to a boil, then turn the heat down. As it starts to cook it will “foam”; just scoop off some of the foam and discard. You have to check on the lentils as the water could boil down. You may have to add more water but be careful you don’t add too much as then it’ll be too “soupy”.

Meanwhile, in a wok or heavy saucepan, heat cumin seeds, mustard seeds and crushed red pepper in oil until mustard seeds start to pop. Turn the heat down and add onion, garlic and chilies. Fry for about 5 min. until soft.

Add the tomatoes (drain canned tomatoes if using) and cook for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, the lentils should be about cooked. Add the tomato and spice mixture, and the salt, then simmer for a couple of minutes. Turn off and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with basmati rice or if you’re watching carbs, a little low-fat cottage cheese.

*You can use yellow split peas if you prefer but you must cook them longer with more water.
**You can buy red lentils at Fred Meyer in the bulk section
*** You can make this hotter if you leave the chili seeds in. You can dice the chilies or just split them lengthwise.
Serve with basmati rice or if you’re watching carbs, a little low-fat cottage cheese.

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