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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eat This Daaling

When it comes to nutritious, affordable food, lentils can't be beat. Also, unlike dried beans, dried lentils cook quickly and do not have to be soaked. They are also incredibly versatile. They can be added to salad, pasta dishes, stews, etc. A few weeks ago I made a lentil chili that was yummy. Daal is a staple Indian dish that is comforting, flavourful and delish. You can serve it over brown rice or other grain, spread it in a whole wheat wrap or flatbread or simply serve it as a side dish with your meal. I like to make up a batch ahead of time and then have a quick and filling lunch for the next few days. Perfect chilly, autumn food!

1 cup red lentils, rinsed
2.5 cups water

1 tsp olive oil
1 onion minced (I threw the whole thing in the food processor)
1 piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tbls garam masala or good quality curry powder
1/2 tsp turmuric
1/2 tsp salt, or more, to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, if you want heat)
4 tbls cider vinegar or lemon juice (the vinegar will give a sweeter taste)

Place lentils and water in saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium low and simmer, uncovered until lentils are soft and have absorbed most of the liquid (about 40 minutes).

Set a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and cook onion for 1-2 minutes. Add seasonings and spices and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Pour in vinegar or lemon juice and stir. Scrape lentil mixture into pan and simmer for about 5-6 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste, and thin out daal with a bit of water if it gets too thick (I like it thick!).

Serves 2 as a main, or 4 as a side dish. Leftovers can be refridgerated for a few days or frozen for up to 3 months.