Thursday, 14 January 2016

Coconut Daal

It has been a really long time. Where did a year and a half go? How did it pass so quickly? What happened? Time really does fly, but now the bitch is back. And she's here to stay (well, lets hope so. we never know with my track record). 1 post in 2014. 0 posts in 2015. 2016 is our year. 

I've decided to start the year (and my comeback) with a warm and comforting meal. It's January and no salads for me (ha! in your face new years resolution), because even though I have moved on to warmer climates, I seem to still crave foods that are spicy, filling and warm the soul. 

Now usually, when I make a dish, I like to make it as authentic as possible, keep that recipe in the archives, and then adapt it if I want. I would love to say that I have an authentic daal recipe hiding somewhere, but alas, I don't. And even if I did, which type would I have? Tarka daal? Chana dal? Mung dal? Urad dal? Palak dal? I haven't even tried half of these but I know they, and more, exist. 

This can be my first addition to my daal recipe book. Unauthentic in the addition of coconut milk, which adds some creaminess without the heaviness, but also has the usual suspects you find in other daals: the lentils, the heat, and the tempered spices. Ridiculously easy to make, and I always make it in bulk to freeze leftovers in batches for those days where all I want is a delicious warm dinner without the effort, even when the effort is this minimal.

My kind of start to 2016. 

Coconut Daal

(Serves 8-10)

530 grams/3 cups red lentils, rinsed 
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 chillies, slit lengthways
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon group coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 teaspoon asafoetida, divided
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
4 garlic cloves
2-3 red chillies, chopped - deseeded if needed 
15-20 curry leaves
1 400 gram can coconut milk
handful chopped coriander

In a large saucepan, combine the lentils, onion, chillies, grated ginger, tomatoes, ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida and salt. Add 1.5 liters/6 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils begin to break down, and start to get a little mushy.

Whilst the lentils are cooking, warm vegetable oil over medium high heat in a frying pan. Once the oil is hot, lower the heat add the cumin seeds and the mustard seeds. After a few minutes they will begin to crackle. Once they start crackling, add the garlic cloves, remaining asafoetida, chillies, onion and the curry leaves and cook, stirring to prevent the leaves from burning, until lightly browned.

Add the curry leaf mixture to the lentils along with the coconut milk. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the flavours have melded. Scatter chopped coriander to serve.

Serve with fluffy white rice, naan, or to keep up the untraditional theme, quinoa.

No comments:

Post a Comment