Thursday, 7 February 2013

Red Lentil Dal

Red Lentil Dal

Serves: 4 people 
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes


1 Cup Dry Red Lentils
1 Cup Chopped Onion
1 Teaspoon of Minced Garlic 
1/2 Teaspoon of Minced Ginger Root
2 Cups of Tomatoes (fresh or canned with juice)
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons of Turmeric
2 Teaspoons of Chili Powder 
1 Teaspoon of Ground Coriander
1/2Teaspoon of Ground Cayenne Pepper

1.) Measure out red lentils.
- Wash lentils until water is clear
- Soak lentils for 1 hour (add water to 1 inch water ABOVE lentils to ensure enough water to soak)

During the time the lentils are soaking, you can go ahead and start on everything else.

2.) Gather all of your spices. 

- 2 parts Turmeric
- 2 parts Chili Powder
- 1 part Cumin
- 1 part Coriander
- 1/2 part Cayenne
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- Put in air tight container and shake it until thoroughly mixed (30 seconds)

** I say "parts" because I make different amounts each time. Sometimes I use cups to measure, sometimes tablespoons. It all depends on how much curry spice mix you want to make. (For example: 2 Tablespoons of Turmeric & Chili Powder to 1 Tablespoon Cumin, Coriander to 1/2 Tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper.) 

3.) Prepping vegetables:

- Mince/Chop onion, garlic, ginger, and whatever vegetables you want in your lentils
- Set aside onion, garlic, and ginger in one bowl 
- Set aside soft vegetables such as green onion, peppers, celery, peas, etc in one bowl
- Put tomatoes in a bowl alone

4.) Heat oil in frying pan/pot on med-high heat. To test to see if the pan is right temperature, throw a piece of onion in. If it starts to make the "fry sound" and you can see it bubbling around it, it's ready. But be careful, you don't want oil splatter - it hurts!

- Toss the onion, garlic and ginger into the frying pan. Saute until brown.
- Add vegetables (celery, green onion, cauliflower, etc)
- Turn heat down to about medium heat.
- Add spices and stir to thoroughly cover the vegetables. (WARNING: Remove pan from heat if spices start to look like they are sticking because if they burn, it will ruin entire dish)
- After vegetables are coated & spices start to cook, add tomatoes
- Let sauce simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes 

5.) While sauce is simmering, drain lentils (after the one hour mark). You want just enough water in the lentils to see on the bottom after straining.

6.) Add sauce to lentils and continue to simmer for 30 minutes or until your personal preference on how you like your lentils.

Serve as a side dish to compliment Egg Curry or as a main! Enjoy!

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