25 May 2012

Recipe a Day: Dal with Lime

This is a simple and easy dal.  It takes about 45 minutes from washing the lentils to serving.

Red lentils are a really good way to start eating legumes if you haven't been and you think you ought to.  They have a relatively mild flavor and they cook more quickly than most any other legume you're likely to use.  And they're really versatile.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4-6 cups water
  • 1-2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 2-4 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 tsp each cumin, coriander, cayenne, and turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1.5 cups sliced onions
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Lemon wedges

Wash the lentils.

And put them in a pot with the water.  5 cups is a good amount to start with, although you can do four for a thicker, more stew-like texture.

Bring to a boil and skim the foam.

Put the tamarind in a bowl or cup and add some of the hot water from the pot.

And let it soak while the lentils continue to cook.

Simmer the dal for about 15 minutes

Then partially cover and continue simmering till the lentils are nice and soupy, another 10-20 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and add the spices, except the turmeric.

When the spices are sizzling and just getting fragrant, add the turmeric.

And the onions and garlic.

Stir-fry for about 10 minutes (you don't have to stir the whole time)

Till the onions are nice and soft and cooked down.

When the dal is soupy

Press the soaked tamarind through a strainer.

Add the onions

And the salt

And stir and simmer for about 5 minutes before serving.  You can add another cup of water if you want a soupier texture.  Like I said, I think 5 cups of water is a happy medium.  Serve with lemon wedges.  I think it's best with liberal amounts of lemon, but everyone can choose for herself.

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