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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

A Food Favourite - Red Lentil Daal

After many years of depending on processed and prepackaged foods, my husband and I have realised that there is no replacement for whole, nutritious lovingly homemade food to nourish ones mind, body and soul.

At the beginning of August I decided that enough was enough and that I would apply a conscious effort to attempt cooking wholesome, healthy food recipes from various international cuisines.

After much trial and error I have taken a great liking to Indian foods, in particular vegetarian dishes; whether this is because I am a Yogi with some Indian ancestry - I don't know!

I have thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with spices and lentils, and have taken advantage of fresh, organic produce and seasonal vegetables to create wonderfully tasty dishes. 

One of our household family favourites, and now a staple in our home is my Red Lentil Daal, the recipe of which is below; I love making a large batch of this and freezing portions of it for days when I am too busy for the kitchen. All ingredients can be bought from your local supermarket (Ocado, Sainsbuys, Waitrose etc).
You can serve this as a main or side dish. I have it as a main usually with some plain boiled white rice or soft homemade chapattis.

I hope you love this daal as much as I do. If you do attempt this recipe, I would love to know how you get on.




Ingredients - Serves 2

Daal:

450ml water
1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt (or any sea salt)
100g Red Lentils (washed)

Masala:

1 tbsp Organic Ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1 onion (chopped)
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 medium sized tomato (chopped)
1 green chilli (chopped finely)
1/2 tsp Garam Masala

Garnish

Coriander (as much or as little as you like)
2 chillies (whole)


Method

1) Place the washed red lentils in a saucepan with the salt, add the water and bring it to the boil.

2) Remove the froth from the surface as it begins to develop and discard.
Decrease the heat and cover with a lid. 
Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes check that the lentils are cooked by taking a pinch and squeezing it between your fingertips, if its soft they're cooked! Turn the heat off.

3) Now take a frying pan and heat the ghee. Pierce the whole chillies with a fork so the flavour can escape whilst cooking. Add them to the frying pan with the bay leaf and the cumin seeds; 
When the cumin seeds begin to sizzle remove just the chillies and set aside (these are for garnishing later on)

4) To the frying pan now add the onion and garlic paste and sauté until they're golden brown. 
Turn the heat down and now add the tomatoes, ginger paste, turmeric and chopped chilli.
Cook this on low heat for 8 minutes until it has formed a thick sauce, you'll notice the oil rising to the surface and separating from the paste

5) Now take a large serving spoonful of the cooked lentils from the saucepan and mix this into the masala in the frying pan, stir it, and then transfer all the contents of the frying pan back into the saucepan with all the lentils and give it a good stir.

6) It should at this point be like a thick soup, but if its too thick you can add a small amount of hot water. If you prefer it thicker then leave it on the heat and stir until some of the excess water has evaporated.

7) When you're happy with the consistency add in the Garam Masala, coriander (leaving some for garnish). Garnish with the fried whole chillies and some coriander leaves et Voila!  


Enjoy!

Please let me know how you got on in the comments section below, and please be kind, this world could really use some kindness :) xxx
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