Masoor dal (simple red lentils)

Posted: July 24, 2011 in gluten-free recipes, vegan recipes

I got a huge bag of red lentils from an Indian grocery near my house for ridiculously cheap.  When I first started trying to cook Indian food, the spices were a small investment.  But spices last forever and this is probably best bang-for-the-buck meal in terms of flavor/cost I’ve made for us all year.  The green chiles from my own garden (fresh and sweet, love it).  Everything else I had in the house, but the cane sugar, which I left out.  The dish was sweet enough to me.

I know there are purists who don’t use garam masala, and prefer to mix their own.  Since I don’t really know what I’m doing with this cooking thing, I went with a commercial garam masala.

source:  Kim Barnouin, Skinny Bitch

vegan, gluten –

  • 3 c water
  • 1 c dried red lentils (I used masoor, but I imagine it makes not a bit of difference what kind of lentil you use)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp evaporated cane sugar (which I left out)
  • 1 tsp garam masala, divided
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 fresh green chiles, chopped
  • 2 dried red chiles (I used chile de arbol)
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 pita breads, cut into quarters (or not)

In lg saucepan, boil water.  Add lentils and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.  Stir in salt, sugar, half the garam masala and tumeric.  Continue to cook uncovered until the lentils are soft.  Stir in ginger, garlic, and both chile types.  (If using chile de arbol, don’t chop it up, just use it for flavoring.)  Remove from heat.

Heat oil in separate large saucepan and add onion and remaining garam masala, saute until onion is dk yellow to light brown.  Pour in lentils, add bay and simmer on low for five minutes.  Remove from heat.

Serve hot with rice and garnish with cilantro.  Serve with pita bread.

Flavorful and aromatic and filling.  Good basic nosh.  I didn’t actually bother with bread or rice.  If you add the ice, you’re getting that voodoo “complete protein” that some non-vegetarians worry about.  Sometime I’ll write a post about how I get my complete proteins…it’s a matter of balance and rotating meals.  This was delicious stuff for dinner and for lunches the next day or two.

These are the tasty green peppers my garden grew, along with some Dragon carrots and a Paris Market carrot I also snagged and ate raw while I was cooking.

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