Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mixed Lentil Dal

A proper and nourishing vegetarian diet must consist of a balance of legumes, grains and vegetables for complete proteins. This dal is easy to prepare and just right with a dressed up rice dish on the side such as Indian Lemon Brown Rice. A creamy blend of split dals, and a most delectable blend of spices along with the paste that makes the dish full of flavor and just right.

Yet another recipe adapted from "Sukham Ayu" by Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain. I highly recommend this cookbook to cooks who adore Indian cooking such as I do. If you want to learn about vegetarian Ayurvedic cooking, this is the book you must have on your shelf.

Mixed Lentil Dal
Mixed Lentil Dal

1/2 cup of red lentils (split masoor gram)
3 tablespoons of channa dal (bengal gram)
2 tablespoons of urad dal
2 tablespoons of split mung beans (split green gram)
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

1 small onion, finely chopped
dash of cayenne
dash of asafetida
sea salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon of amchur powder (dried mango powder)

ghee, butter or oil

For the paste:

2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
3 - 4 dried red chilies
2 fresh chilies, seeded and chopped
1 4 inch piece of cinnamon stick
4 black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1 small piece of garlic, chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

fresh coriander or parsley for garnishing.

Rinse the dal well and soak in 3 cups of water for 1/2 hour - to an hour. Bring to a boil along with the turmeric, reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender - roughly 2 to 3 minutes. Blend a portion of the beans using a hand blender or food processor or blender. Set aside.

Grind or blend all of the ingredients for the paste with a wee bit of water.

Heat a few teaspoons of ghee over medium heat in a heavy bottomed frying pan. Toss in the onion, stir and fry for 5 - 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the paste, cayenne, asafetida and saute for another 9 - 5 minutes. Transfer to the pot with the dal, along with the mango powder, sea salt and 3/4 cup of warm water. Simmer for about 10 minutes, adding more water to achieve your desired consistency.

Garnish with fresh parsley or coriander and serve hot.

Serves 4 - 6.
Lentil Dal

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