Wednesday, January 23, 2013

indian dahl

Dahl, also spelled dal or daal, is an everyday lentil dish common in India and a favorite in our house.  Dahl is a dish I make when I don't have much time to cook (I prepare mine in a slow cooker) and am in the mood for some warm comfort food. Part of the fun in making this dish is choosing the type of lentil (or combination) you want to use, from red to black to green to yellow or even brown.  Then you get to decide whether to make it thick like a stew or thin like a soup, what spices to use and other ingredients to add.  With so many variations the possibilities are endless, which is part of the allure of making this dish.  Below is my basic dahl recipe.


8 cups water or stock of your choice
2 1/2 cup lentils (one variety or a mix) rinsed well
1 onion chopped finely
3 to 4 garlic cloves minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated or 1 teaspoon of ginger powder
1 serrano or jalape├▒o pepper chopped finely
5 to 6 carrots scrubbed and chopped into small pieces
2 large sweet potatoes or other potatoes of your choice scrubbed and chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon majoram
sea salt to taste

garnish ingredients (optional)

1 avocado chopped into small pieces
the juice of 1 lime
half a bunch of cilantro chopped finely

Place all of the ingredients above into a slow cooker, set to low and cook between 3 to 8 hours.  Note, the longer the dahl cooks the more soup-like it will become.  I like to serve my dahl over rice, so I make sure to plan time to make this before plating it up.  Just before serving, prepare the avocado, lime and cilantro.  If you decide to make the rice, scoop some out into a bowl.  Then ladle the dahl over the top. Next add some avocado and cilantro. Finish by drizzling the fresh lime juice over the top.

It's hard to go wrong with this dish, so relax and get creative!

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”

~ Roald Dahl

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