As a vegetarian, daal was my defense against hunger. It is almost the perfect food. Healthy, tasty, and rich in proteins.
At the Indian restaurant after tennis each week, I would devour a large bowl of rich daal. Every week. The same dish. I spent months trying to replicate it at home.
Daal is quite easy to make, and is in essence just boiled lentils. However, like a good Italian Bolognese, there are a few tricks to a great daal.
This recipe will get you started.
Best served over freshly cooked jasmine rice, with some papadums on the side.
- 1 cup Red Lentils
- 2.5 cups water
- 1 dessert spoon of Ghee, or butter (or good cooking oil for a non-dairy option)
- 1 medium onion, peeled
- 1 teaspoon garam-masala
- 2 tablespoons broken coriander (cilantro) or any other fresh herbs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
- a small piece of ginger (or 1 teaspoon crushed ginger)
- Soak the lentils for 30 minutes.
- Boil the water and add the drained lentils, salt, turmeric and chilli powder (if Michelle isn't home).
- Bring the lentils to the boil and then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes or when the lentils become soft and tender.
- Melt the ghee in a frying pan, then add the chopped onion and ginger.
- Mix in the coriander & garam-masala just before removing from the heat.
- Serve the daal topped with the onion mixture.
The recipe works best with fresh coriander and fresh ginger. It makes the difference.
To vary, try different pulses. Red beans go well mixed in with the lentils.