I published this recipe on the blog early on and am revisiting it tonight by special request.
It has been a favorite for over 30 years chez nous, and is a tasty standby for a rainy, grey day when going anywhere for supplies is the last thing you feel like doing.
Meredith, on her detox for a week, requested this dish, so we’re having it tonight with broccoli, (simply steamed, drizzled with olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon) and a some brown basmati rice.
It’s an Indian Dal-–but known in our house as ‘comfort lentils’.
This is from my first cook book Delicious Dishes for Diabetics.
500 g/1 lb red lentils
1 litre/1¾ pints/4 cups stock (I use an organic vegetable stock cube per 500 ml of water)
4 tbsp vegetable oil (I use olive oil.)
1 medium onion – chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds – pounded in a mortar and pestle
1½ tsp cumin seeds – pounded in a mortar and pestle
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp chilli powder
- Rinse the lentils very thoroughly – until the water shows clear.
- Put them in a saucepan with the stock and bring gently to the boil.
- Turn the heat down to low and let them simmer, covered, stirring from time to time.
- They are done when a small puddle floats on the top.
- Turn them off.
- Heat the oil in a small frying pan.
- Add the onion and fry gently until it colours nicely.
- Add the spices and mix them in well.
- Cook for a couple of minutes longer to release the aroma.
- Add the cooked spices and the onion to the lentils and mix in thoroughly.
- Heat through and serve.
Our Sikh friend, Tari, affectionately dubbed the ‘Carefree Cook’, never panics when people turn up unexpectedly at mealtime. He looks to see how many extra guests are coming through the door and adds more water to the dal accordingly!
If there is dal left over, save it for another occasion! Form the cold dal into little burger shapes, coat with some chickpea or whole wheat flour and fry lightly in some hot oil.