Indian Dal to Ground Our Souls

Oct 31

No produce left at Fairway Market due to hurricane Sandy!

Over the past couple of days, my husband and I have been housebound. Hurricane Sandy really affected our city and we’re still all dealing with the after effects. Personally we got very lucky and our home still has power, internet, water and all the essentials for us to be comfortable. Unfortunately that’s not the case for many of our fellow New Yorkers. We are definitely feeling the tension in the city as people mourn the loss of their homes and personal belongings. Frankly, I’m shocked at how bad the city was hit and I feel awful for those who lost so much.

Yesterday, as we awaited Sandy’s arrival I got the cooking bug. I think it was because I was anticipating a power outage and I wanted to make sure we had enough yummy food to last us a few days. I was concerned about making a meal that had sufficient protein – so I turned to Indian dal which is a lentil dish that I pared with brown rice. It was grounding, warming and it came out really well – if I do say so myself! Despite not having a few ingredients I still made it work. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy it!

2 tablespoons ghee

2 whole cinnamon sticks

2 cups dried red lentils (washed and picked through for stones)

1 teaspoon cumin seeds (I didn’t have this and it still tasted great!)

3 whole cloves

4 green cardamom pods (I didn’t have this and it still tasted great!)

½ teaspoon turmeric

6 cups water

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Since I didn’t have a few spices, I added 1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 yellow onion, diced

1 inch fresh ginger, grated

Heat 1 tablespoon ghee with cinnamon sticks in a large sauce-pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the cinnamon unfurls, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the cumin, cloves, and cardamom and cook, stirring, until the cumin turns a golden brown color, about 1 more minute. Add the lentils, turmeric, water, and salt. Bring to a boil and skim well, Turn down the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are soft, 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the type of lentil used. Add more water during cooking, if necessary. Taste for salt and add more if you need to.

Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a small sauce-pan, add the yellow onion and cook until soft. Add ginger and mix with the onion so it doesn’t burn. Once dal is finished add this to it.

The dal might be watery, continue simmering on medium heat until your desired consistency. Serve with brown rice and enjoy!


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