December 30, 2011

Red lentil dhal served over rice

As the holidays wind down it’s nice to have a hearty and healthy meal after days of gorging and drinking. I recently bought some Delhaize brand curry powder (no salt added) and found it fresh and delicious. I added it to these lentils along with some vegetable broth and this is the curried outcome.

This holiday we traveled by train to visit family. It was a nice relaxing way to get from one place to another. Earlier, Belgian rail strikes scared us into thinking that we’d have no trains for travel. After the strikes settled down tickets were purchased and rail travel resumed as normal. While I think car and air travel have their obvious advantages (e.g speed, setting your own schedule, convenience), it was especially wonderful to walk to the train station, sit down, read, and let the trains take us.

Happy Holidays!

Red lentil dhal served over rice
Serves: 4

1 cup uncooked rice, prepared according to package directions
1 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds
asafoetida (pinch)
few pods whole cardamom
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, grated over a small hand grater
½ tsp cinnamon
red chili powder to taste; I used ¼ tsp
½ tsp garam masala
2 tsps curry powder
1 cup red lentils (masoor dhal), washed and drained
2 cups vegetable broth or water, plus 1 cup water extra

  1. As always, hard to find spices can be omitted - any store bought curry powder will do. Begin cooking rice. Put 1 cup long-grain rice in a pot and fill with 2 and ¾ cups water (or according to package directions).
  2. Heat up about 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil in a medium size pot over medium-high heat. Add in mustard and cumin seeds. Once the mustard seeds begin to pop, add asafoetida and cardamom pods. Add onions and stir-fry lightly. Stir in ginger, cinnamon, red chili powder, and garam masala.
  3. Stir these until fragrant. Add in red lentils along with 2 cups vegetable broth or water. Stir and bring to a simmer. Stir this frequently. When the lentils have been cooking for at least 10 minutes, stir in curry powder and adjust for salt.
  4. Turn the heat to low and add in 1 cup of water. Simmer on low heat, partially covered, until the desired thickness is reached. Serve over rice. This last step should take about 20 minutes.

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