Just Miriam is joining us for dinner this Sunday, Chris is off to New York for the week. She is on the Atkins diet, so I still have to adapt my cooking to her desires. She is entering Phase two, so I thought I would make a dhal to go with my chicken curry and palak paneer.
Note: This dish is spelled “dal” only in the U.S.—“England and America are two countries divided by a common language.” (Wilde/Shaw)
I recently made a lentil dish and it was so good I wanted to use this ingredient more often. One recipe I spotted on-line was for a lentil and carrot soup. I did not want to make another soup, so I thought that I would combine these flavors with some Indian spices and make my own dhal.
A few words on the spices. Mustard and cumin seeds can take long periods under high heat, as can the turmeric which is added mostly for color. The peanut butter add a nutty flavor, but also acts as a thickener turning what could be a thin soup into a thick dhal. The garam masala is a “finishing spice” that should be added in the last few minutes of cooking. The volatile compounds that give these spices their “punch” will dissipate if cooked for too long.
After Dinner Note: This was really good, everyone loved this. It is defiantly something I will do again for a week day meal.
Karl’s Carrot and Red Lentil Dhal
2 Tbs. ghee (peanut oil for Vegan)
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 dried red chili, seeded and cut up finely
1½ cups carrot, grated
2½ chicken broth (vegetable broth for Vegan)
1 cup split red lentils, sorted and washed
1 tsp. turmeric
2 Tbs. crunchy peanut butter
2 Tbs. garam masala
2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
2 Tbs. fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
1. Heat ghee in a saucepan and fry the mustard and cumin seeds.
Tip: Fry until mustard seeds start to pop, about one minute.
2. Add the chili to the pan and cook 20 seconds more.
3. Stir in the carrots and sauté for 10 minutes.
4. Add stock, lentils, and turmeric.
5. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Stir in the peanut butter, garam masala, ginger, pepper, and salt.
7. Simmer until lentils have cooked to a thick consistency.
8. Stir in the yogurt.
9. Serve garnished with fresh coriander.