I make dahl quite often but usually with yellow lentils. It is a meal high in protein and so good for vegetarians and I could probably eat it everyday without complaining. Here, I have made it with a spelt roti and in the photo you can see a blob of humus (just cuz) and a three grain mix of brown basmati, red quinoa and kamut. I usually eat it with a lot of plain yoghurt. I think it tastes better the second day but that’s pretty much the same with anything. There are a million ways to make dahl and I can’t say how authentic mine is-it varies from region to region and I make many different variations of it (it’s good with grated coconut as well). You may notice some unfamiliar ingredients below. If you make a lot of indian food, like I do, it’s a good idea to buy some of these ingredients and have them on hand for the most authentic flavour. It’s a forgiving recipe and cheap as chips so make it a lot and you’ll find your favourite way to eat it too!
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1″ piece ginger, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 chili, chopped fine (I use thai red but whatever kind you like is fine
- 1 tsp. whole cumin
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- pinch asofoetida (hing)
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. amchar (dried unripe mango powder)
- 1 tsbp. garam masala
- 1 piece cinnamon stick
- coconut oil
- 2 c. green lentils (or lentils of your choosing)
Rinse lentils, looking for any rocks (I’m not kidding) and bits of stuff you don’t want to eat. If possible soak overnight, covered in water. In a medium pot, cover lentils with water, add cinnamon stick and cook on low to medium heat until soft and mushy, adding water if necessary, approx. 1/2 hour.
Remove cinnamon stick and set lentils aside. In a blender or food processor, puree onion, garlic and ginger, and red chili and set aside. In a frying pan, heat coconut oil (approx 2 tbsp.) on medium-high heat and add cumin and mustard seeds. When the seeds pop, add the remaining spices except for the garam masala and amchar. Stir frequently, reducing to medium and the oil will begin to separate from the spice mixture. Add pureed onion mixture to the frying pan and stir, mixing with the spices. Cook for approx. 5-8 minutes until everything is cooked well.
Put pot of lentils back on low to medium heat and add frying pan mixture to the lentils. Stir and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes. By now your lentils should be very soft and broken up as in the photo above. Add garam masala and amchar powder, stirring to mix. Add salt to taste and serve with rice, indian flatbread or both!
Spelt Roti (makes 4 roti)
- 1 c. spelt flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 c. hot water or as needed
In a large bowl, add flour and salt. Add olive oil and enough hot water to make a soft dough that is elastic and not sticky. If you accidentally add too much water, just add a bit more flour. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead until it becomes smooth. Let dough rest about 5 minutes, then cut into four even pieces.
On floured surface, roll dough with a rolling-pin until you have some semblance of a circle and it is thin like a tortilla or wrap. Put a large frying pan on medium to high heat and with a paper towel, wipe it lightly with oil (I only do this for the first roti). Cook until the underside has brown spots, and then flip it over and do the same to the other side. Set on plate and continue until all rotis are cooked. Rotis can be reheated on a plate in the microwave in between two wet paper towels.
That’s it kiddos, enjoy and let me know if you have any good dahl additions/variations that I haven’t tried yet!