November 4, 2010

Indian Lentil Dal Nirvana

I love Indian food. Love love love. There's something about the combination of spices that just makes me crave more. I've tried to duplicate my restaurant favorites at home, and while they've been hasn't given me what I want.

Last night's dinner was adapted from Steamy Kitchen, a wonderful cooking blog. Lentil Dal is easy enough to make and lentils are very nutritious. That made me feel better about the butter I used in this, anyways. Only 6-ish more weeks of using a free hand with butter in my recipes. Sigh. Any longer and I run the risk of this baby looking like Paula Deen! I did use one small replacement for the recipe, though, as I only had a small amount of light cream in the fridge. I used a trick I learned at Simply take cottage-cheese and whirl it through your food processor until all the lumps are gone. This can be a great replacement for cream in baking or cooking, depending on what you need.

The long cooking time allowed all the spices to develop and merge together, and it mellowed out the acidic bite of tomatoes that I tasted in the begining. I threw in a little Garam Masala for some extra sweetness, but that's just me. It would have been even better with some buttery naan bread, but I have yet to find a naan recipe that doesn't require me to fire up the grill. That ain't gonna happen in rainy November!

Indian Lentil Dal Nirvana
adapted from Steamy Kitchen

Ingredients: (I doubled everything)
1 cup dry lentils
6 ounces canned crushed tomato
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less depending on your spice preference)
1 cup water
4 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon salt, more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

In a large sauce pan, add the lentils and fill with water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the lentils open and are tender.

Drain the water from the lentils and return the lentils to the pot. Stir the lentils around in the pot mashing some of them against the pot to break open. Add the tomato puree, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, water, butter, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 hour at low heat until the dal is thick. Make sure to check the pot periodically to make sure the water does not cook out. Stir periodically, making sure that the lentils aren't stuck to the bottom.

Stir in cream, garnish with minced cilantro. Enjoy!


Ruth H. said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love Indian food, and so does my hubby. This is going to be a must try!!
Please check out for a special thank you for all of your creativity!!