How are you? Hungry? I'm tremendously full. We just got home about an hour ago from feasting at one of our favorite Indian places :)
I'll be completely honest, I like daal-- but I don't crave it like miss Marlowe. I'm not huge on the whole grains thing-- I'd rather eat a giant plate of veggies (like this easy saag recipe for instance) But Marlowe? Gosh she loves daal---- or really almost any sort of lentil dish-- no matter the country of origin. If we go to an Indian place for dinner she gets daal (like tonight). If we got for Ethiopian she gets yekik alicha. Any variety of yellow lentils are a hit. What makes a good or a great lentil dish will be the spices. There are ten million ways to do it and flavor it--- and it can be as easy or as hard as you make it. I would say overall, this is on the easy side of the cooking spectrum but maybe on the medium side of the lentil cooking spectrum. Does that make sense? I'm under-rested today so bear with me.
The first and most important step when cooking lentils (or any sort of grain) is soaking. This removes some of the phytic acid on the grain. Grains certainly have their benefits, but phytic acid is not something beneficial--- at all. It destroys the gut lining and uses up your calcium + iron stores. So even if you're eating a ton of calcium and/or iron, its not going to do you much good if you're consuming a lot of grains. So always soak. Then drain the water. Then cook. K?
We love having our garden. We don't cook from it everyday-- but its helpful to have things growing that we can reach for when we want. That being said-- this recipe does not require a lot of fresh ingredients-- at all. It's one of those recipes perfect for when you open the fridge and realize you've totally spaced on the whole shopping things and you're sh*t out of luck in the produce department. I like to mix in some greens from time to time. Or pair this with another veg dish and you've got a filling dish for you and/or your fam :)
We like to use fresh curry leaves sometimes. But this is totally not a necessity. If you can buy fresh curry leaves from your local Indian market, then try them! If not, no biggie, just skip it. We have a curry tree, so we just snip some from there :) Also, I wrote about asafetida on my last recipe, it's super yummy (and slightly weird, haha), but if you're into trying new spices, check it out :) Again, skip if you can't find it. If you skip it, consider adding a few cloves of garlic. Okay, ready for the recipe? Lets go!
1 small onion, diced
1 thumb ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons ground or grated turmeric
1 medium tomato diced (or a cluster of small tomatoes, diced)
2 tablespoon mustard seed
about ten fresh curry leaves (optional)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon asafoetida
1 1/2 cup urad daal lentils, soaked
4 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
-drain and rinse lentils
-add ginger, turmeric, lentils + water to large pot and bring to boil
-lower heat and simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes until lentils are cooked and the water height has been reduced to the height of the lentils
-using a potato masher, lightly mash lentils (or use blender if your arm is lazy)
-meanwhile, in a small skillet, on high heat, toast mustard seeds and add onions, saute until cooked
-add curry leaves to skillet, then the tomatoes. cook a bit longer until very fragrant and tomatoes are softened
-add sautéed ingredients to pot of lentils, mix, and simmer until desired consistency.
-salt and pepper to taste.
-optional: garnish with fresh cilantro
-voila: easy no fuss food!
nom, right? super easy and filling. Great for chilly winter months, but also nourishing for all seasons. Pair with rice, or maybe your favorite saag recipe, and/or a salad if looking for something light. And enjoy.
Alright friends, it's not 11 pm-- I am off to bed! I hope you guys are having a wonderful and delicious week. Take care!
see more recipes HERE. :)