Simple Authentic* Dal

February 19, 2012 § 1 Comment

E: Now before anyone jumps down my throat here, let me clarify that title:  this was authentic. I got the recipe from my good friend Aditya by watching him prepare it a few times for dinner parties when we were in college. I wrote down what I saw, and may have adapted for one or two things that are difficult to find, but I would say this is 80-90% faithful to the original. Hopefully, Aditya himself will be reading this (I know you do check this blog from time-to-time) and can chime in if I’ve erred somewhere.

the garnish of chives is something of our own invention

Authenticity concerns aside, this recipe and I have a long and important history, and so I’m really happy to finally have taken pictures of the process so I can share them with all of you. This is the recipe that got me into cooking. When I tasted this the first time, I couldn’t believe how fantastic it was. And the process had seemed easy enough. So I learned to make it myself, and then promptly made it for everyone I could find. This was the “aha” moment for me, that interesting food could be healthy, tasty, and easily made at home.

Joanna and I have shared this dal many times. However, we often make it when we are tired and otherwise not looking to make an event of cooking. So we just haven’t gotten out a camera and photographed the process. But I picked up three recipes from Aditya during college (and I recently badgered him for some eggplant recipes that I hope to make and photograph sometime soon) and I really wanted to start getting them up on the blog. So here is the first of them. « Read the rest of this entry »

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Orange Dal

February 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: This is an easy Indian dal that I got from GF-Zing!, a blog for gluten-free eating that is run by the the mother of one of our friends. It takes about 45 minutes or so to make, but really just requires the occasional stir during that time. It is lovely, warm, and spicy, and the orange/cinnamon taste is unique in my experience. The original recipe is baked in an oven-safe pot or dish, but we did ours on the stove top like we usually do for dal.

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Indian Spinach and Chickpea Dal

January 6, 2011 § 4 Comments

This is the second time I’ve made this dal.  The first time it was just as delicious, but I only got one dinner out of it before disaster struck.  I had just moved into my apartment and been abandoned by my family and boyfriend, and I decided I would make some comfort food that would be easy, healthy, and would last a long time.  What better than dal?  It’s a one-pot meal (unless you do rice, which you should, and which makes it a two-pot meal), it has all sorts of good-for-you ingredients, and despite its simplicity, the spices that go into it, if done right, give it a lovely warmth that really spreads through your whole body.

So, I made this dal.  I sat down on my couch with a nice warm bowl of dal and rice, and enjoyed it slowly.  An hour after sitting down to eat, I got up to put away my leftovers, and as I was spooning the dal into a tupperware, SHOCK: there was a COCKROACH in the dal.  Fortunately, it was already dead.  I took small comfort in knowing that it had not gotten in there while I was cooking, since I’d kept the lid on most of the time and had barely taken my eyes off the pot, but I tearfully had to throw out all of the leftovers.  Cockroach traps went up in my kitchen very shortly thereafter and I’ve not had another encounter since, thank goodness.

A few weeks ago, then, I decided to reconquer this dal and enjoy every last bit.  Let’s get going with the recipe so you can enjoy it too!

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