Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Simon Majumdar's Red Lentil Dahl (Life Saving Dahl)

Simon Majumdar's dahl recipe can't be beat! We served it atop red rice with mint leaves and yogurt. For the story behind the dish, see the 5 Quick Questions post below.

Simon Majumdar's Red Lentil Dahl (Life Saving Dahl)
2 inches fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
3 fresh green chilies (or to taste)
2 tablespoons oil 
2 cardamom pods
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 white onion (sliced)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon hot chili powder (or to taste)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of red lentils (I toast these first in a dry pan, using my fingers to stir, and when it is too hot to touch, it is done. This gives a nutty flavor to the lentils.)
1 1/2 pints of water or vegetable stock
1 lemon (chopped into eighths)
1 bag of spinach
4 hard boiled eggs
Make a paste by blending the ginger and garlic with a little salt and water. Finely mince the fresh chili. Put 2 tablespoons of oil into a hot pan, and when it comes to heat, add the cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Cook for 1 minute on a low heat until the spices release their flavor. Add the onion and cook on a low heat until it begins to soften and turn golden. Don't rush this as you want the natural sweetness of the onions to be released. Add the ginger/garlic paste and cook for 2 to 4 minutes until it loses its rawness. Add the minced chilies and cook for four minutes. Add the ground spices, sugar, and salt and mix well with the onions and cook out for 4 minutes until the spices lose their rawness. If the mixture begins to stick, add a little water. Add the lentils and mix well so all the pulses are covered with the mixture. Add 1 1/2 pints of water/stock and the lemons pieces. 

Simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils have broken down. (Add more water if it sticks to the pan; sone lentils may take a little longer.) If you like the dahl to be more chunky, leave as it is, but I sometimes whisk it gently to break the lentils down even further. Add the spinach, cover and allow to wilt into the lentils. The end result is quite a watery dahl which is great served over a hard boiled egg. (Serves 4.) 

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