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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Green and Red Ki Dal

I think I may be in tune with the season here.
It is winter and Water type foods should be privileged during this special season.  Water is the element of the kidneys and includes any black or dark purple food, as well as beans and rice.  I may have accomplished this Water with just a touch of Fire.. but not enough to make smoke signals.
I have mixed whole green and red lentils into this lovely dal, whose flavor feels complete with the crunch of the scallions and red cabbage.  It is the first time I use green lentils other than split peas in dal and I have to admit that they do have much more flavor than the brown or blond lentils.  I was pleasantly surprised by my integration of a typically French lentil into "my" type of cuisine.
Serves 5
1/4 cup whole masoor dal (red lentils), washed and soaked 1 hour or more
3/4 cup whole green lentils, washed and soaked 1 hour or more
1 tsp coarse sea salt
4 cups water
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 Indian bay leaf
pinch asafoetida (hing)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 red onion, sliced into moons
2 large cloves garlic, grated
1 Tbsp ginger, grated
2 green chiles, seeded and sliced
1 tomato, chopped
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp chile powder
chopped scallions
red chile flakes or fresh red chile
shredded red cabbage
squeeze of lime
1.  Bring the washed and soaked lentils to a boil in the water with the salt.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the lentils are bite tender but not complete mush.
2.  While this is happening, heat the oil in a wok and add the cumin and coriander seeds with the bay leaf.  Cook until the seeds sputter, then add the hing and turmeric until they fizz.
3.  Add the onion slices and cook until translucent.
4.  Add the green chile, garlic, and ginger.  Cook, stirring until the raw smell dissipates.
5.  Add the chopped tomato, garam masala, and chile powder.  Cook, stirring for about 2-3 minutes or until the tomato "melts" and you are left with a nice fragrant curry.
6.  Transfer the curry to the pot of lentils.  Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and let the flavors infuse until ready to serve.
Serve over some basmati rice topped with crunch and heat.  The crunch comes from the scallions and cabbage.  The heat from the extra chile you may want to add.  I also added a squeeze of lime to make it extra special.

There is no doubt in my mind that this was the right thing to do...

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