As promised, I’m going to start posting recipes inspired by my travels, and I’m interrupting the L.A. series to bring you a recipe inspired by my visit to London.

You might ask what does Indian have to do with London, but rumor has it London is home to some of the best Indian food in the world, even better than (gasp!) India itself. My theory behind this is similar to why I believe America has better pho than Vietnam: quite simply, the quality of ingredients are superior in the est.

Now before all of you Asia-philes jump on me, remember that I never fail to point out that everyone’s palates are unique: what a world renowned chef thinks is great may be downright repugnant to your grandma. Who’s to say one’s right and the other wrong?

Regardless, there’s no denying India has a large influence on British cuisine, so much so that chicken tikka masala was declared Britain’s national dish. I won’t go into the history of things, but it had something to do with a little colonization back in the day. But that’s a story for another blogger to tell.

Back to my recipe.

I love Indian food, at least the ones whose spice level I can handle. Dal is made by splitting legumes. In this instance, I use red lentils, which are high in folate and vitamin A. Perfectly comforting for theese cold winter months, not only is dal tasty and good for you, it’s pretty too. Who can resist that pop of color on the plate? Well, I guess the Blind could. Nyuk nyuk.

Recipe: Spiced Split Lentils

Notes: Known as tarka dal in India, this is both easy and good for you. Substitute vegetable broth for the poultry stock to make it vegetarian and also the ghee with oil to make it vegan. You can cook this the classic way on the stovetop (step 2) or in a pressure cooker to save time (step 3), which is how I usually do it.

Ingredients

  1. 2 tbsp + 1 knob ghee or unsalted butter, divided
  2. 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  3. 1 onion, finely chopped
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 2 tsp grated ginger
  6. 2 to 3 tomatoes, diced
  7. 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  8. 1 tsp ground coriander
  9. 3/4 tsp ground cayenne or to taste
  10. 1 lb red lentils, soaked overnight
  11. 1 qt poultry stock
  12. chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Toast spice: In a small skillet over high heat, melt 1 knob ghee and toast cumin seeds until fragrant.
  2. Cook dal using stovetop: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt remaining 2 tbsp ghee and sauté onion and garlic until tender, approx 3m. Add ginger and tomatoes; sauté until tender, approx 1m. Stir in cumin, turmeric, coriander, and cayenne. Add lentils. stock, and salt to taste; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until thickened and creamy, stirring occasionally, approx 15m.
  3. Cook dal using pressure cooker: In a pressure cooker over medium-high heat or on sauté mode, melt remaining 2 tbsp. ghee and sauté onion and garlic until fragrant, approx. 3m. Add ginger and tomatoes; sauté until tender, approx. 1m. Stir in cumin, turmeric, coriander, and cayenne. Add lentils, stock, and salt to taste; cook at 15 PSI until tender, approx. 5m.
  4. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with naan or basmati rice.

Active time: 15m
Total time: 30m
Yields: 6 servings

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Discussion about this post

  1. kiky oxone says:

    nice recipes i'll try one time coz its seem easily

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