Sunday, May 21, 2006

Red Lentil Dhal

You know how some favourite recipes unaccountably drop off the menu, and then you rediscover then and think why don't I make this all the time. I started cooking this in 1990 when I eschewed eating meat. I found the recipe again today - and can't think when I last made it. It is quick, hearty, healthy and really delicious. And to my immense pleasure Hannah liked it, it just pays not to call it soup, soup is currently a no go food. And this can be so thick, one need not think of it as soup. Certainly it could be served with rice rather than toast. I just prefer toast. If you have left-overs, it is superb reheated as a variation on baked beans on toast (it thickens even more when it cools).

A brief word on red lentils. We've been buying the Mount Zero brand of Australian grown red lentils, they are just perfect for Kedgeree. They are no good for dhal, as they stay beautifully intact. Stick with the imported ones here I'm afraid.

2 tbs butter or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 1/2 cups red lentils
4-6 cups water (more or less depending on how thick you like it)
4 tbs tomato paste
salt to taste
squeeze of lemon

Gently fry the onion in butter or oil. Then add garlic and spices, and fry until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Add lentils, water and tomato paste and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes, being careful as it will catch on the bottom of the saucepan if you forget to stir occasionally.

Serve with a squeeze of lemon, yoghurt and toast. Or rice.


Anonymous kitchen hand said...

Great recipe - we make a similar 'soup' - William, 11 months old, loves it.

9:49 am  

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