Dec 15, 2012
Red Lentil Dal
Dal is any kind of thick Indian stew made from a variety of “pulses” (lentils, peas or beans), most commonly lentils. It’s the comfort food of India.
Red lentils, prior to cooking, look orange. After they’re cooked they turn yellow. Why they’re called RED lentils is a mystery to me. Nevertheless, they are delicious and have a much shorter cooking time than their brown cousins. I still prefer to cook mine for at least two hours. The wondrous, aromatic spices really have a chance to mellow and mingle the longer this dish is simmered.
- 2 cups dried red lentils
- 4 1/2-5 cups water
- 2 TBS Dal Spices
- 1/2 tsp mango powder
- 1 TBS dried fenugreek leaves
- 3-4 pieces Malabar cinnamon bark (see notes)
- RINSE the lentils well, until the water runs clear.
- Place lentils and all other ingredients into a pot.
- Simmer for 2-3 hours.
- Add more water if needed to achieve a thick, soupy consistency.
Simple. Simple. Simple!
Helyn’s Notes: If you’ve never tried Malabar cinnamon you are in for a treat. The fragrance is reminiscent of an earthy, old-world, magical incense. In a good way! It’s wonderful in Indian rice pudding, too! When you add pieces of the bark to a dish, keep in mind they will be in there, somewhere. They soften but they don’t dissolve. If you’re cooking for others, let your guests know so they won’t be unnecessarily surprised!
Makes about 8 cups.