Thursday, September 24, 2009

Impatient Girl's Dal

And probably in no way actually Dal, but still damn tasty. Pffft, semantics. I tend to bastardize quite a bit of things, especially when I'm in a hurry for food- but you know what they say:
Patience is a virtue.... And what is virtue doing in my kitchen? Shoo! It's a weeknight and I'm hungry.

I had some variation of dal in a restaurant in NJ once, and since then, am totally enchanted with it. From the various kinds I've tried, and some snippets of inside information, I came up with this. It's easy to whip up on a chilly fall night, even if you've had a long day.
Spices are the key to this one.

Garam Masala is a blend I absolutely love. It contains variations of: coriander, pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, mysterious things, caraway, cloves, etc. I cannot get enough of this stuff. As pictured above, I am pretty in love with Penzeys' blend. It's the fundamental flavor behind this, kind of perfume-y, a little bit warm, and a bit complex- Like me? Hm.
In addition to that, there's brown mustard seeds, cumin, and a pinch of ground cloves. Mustard seeds add this curious bit of delicious texture and spice.
And it all goes a little something like this:

Impatient Dal

1 15 oz can of lentils (brown)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 or 3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1.5 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Cumin
A pinch of ground Cloves
Salt to taste
Canola oil for

In a medium sized pot with canola oil, cook the onions, crushed garlic, and mustard seeds on medium until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. The mustard seeds may pop around a bit, and that's fine.
Rinse the can of lentils (quickly fill the can with water, and then drain out said water) and add to the pot.
Add the spices & salt, and mix thoroughly. You want the flavors to meld a bit, so turn the heat to low and let it go for about 5 minutes. If you notice that your dal is too dry, you can add a splash of vegetable stock or water.

Serve dal over rice- Once again, I prefer Trader Joe's frozen brown rice, it's amazing.

Put your feet up and chow down!


Mihl said...

OMG, you can get frozen brown rice?

I think this counts as dal. And it looks so delicious! I love everything that is made with lentils!

Hillary said...

I like how you call it "impatient" dal. Very cute. Thanks for the recipe! You should submit this to!