Dahl-ling, just because it’s a recession doesn’t mean that you must sacrifice flavor! I had my first Dahl experience this summer at a friend’s house in Boston, and I couldn’t to get enough of it! Serve it simply over Basmati rice or eat as is. This is a great recipe for serving guests because it’s a breeze whip up in large quantities, and is quite easy on the wallet. Certain things like the tomatoes, lime, and cilantro can be be excluded in a pinch, but I think the added color from the tomatoes and the tango of the cilantro and lime really sets off the dish. The celery and vinegar added with the lentils reduce the amount of gas your body produces when eaten (beans are no longer the musical fruit). This trick works for other beans and legumes as well.
3 tablespoons peanut oil or EVOO
1 medium yellow onion
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried red lentils
2 tablespoon tomato paste
4-5 cups water or veg broth
5 plum tomatoes, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 cup lightly packed chopped fresh cilantro
1 stick celery
1 tablespoon vinegar (any will do)
2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
6 whole cloves
4 cardomom pods
2 dried red chilis (seeds removed)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a saute pan over medium heat, toast the seeds (but not the dried red chili) for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from pan and let cool. Transfer to coffee grinder, along with the dried red chili and cinnamon, and grind to a fine powder.
Over medium-high heat oil a soup pot, add onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and saute 5 more minutes. Add spices and salt, saute 5 minutes more.
Add 4 cups of water and stir to deglaze the pot. Add tomato paste, celery, vinegar and lentils. Bring to a boil then lower the heat a bit and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, lime juice and cilantro and more water if it looks to thick. Simmer 10 more minutes, or until lentils are completely tender.
Serve atop Basmati Rice, garnish with cilantro and a dollap of coconut yogurt.