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donderdag 6 september 2012

Indian style dinner with everyday dal

I'm working nowadays. Just for the Summer, like most students, to earn a little more (pocket) money. I do reception work at my mum's work. She works nights for an institution that takes care of mentally disabled adults. 
My work is quite varied: answering incoming and outgoing calls, typing and posting letters, doing some administration, openening gates, ... I like it quite a lot. It's not boring and I come across people all the time so that I 'm never lonely, even though I have to spend the hours in a fish bowl-like office ^^

As I have very irregular hours, I mostly don't eat dinner with the rest of the family. I have to cook my own stews. That might seem lonely, but that's also good for trying out something new.

Today it's Veggie Day for me. And what cuisine is known for it's splendid vegetarian kitchen so much as the Indian? I browsed through the recipes and found this gharki dal recipe. 

It's a lentil stew with lots of spices and can be served as a hearty side dish or even as a full meal with basmati rice. (the author calls it 'everyday lentils', but for me it's much more)
It looks quite boring because it's a porridge-like dish, but the taste is quite unlike it!

As you see, the dal really needs a lot of different aromas - 11 - but they're essential to the end result which is delicious!
The tomatoes I've added to the recipe weren't there originally, but to me they add some more colour and I'm also a fan of having as much vegetables (with all their vitamins) in my food. But if you want to leave them out, that's also no problem because the dal is great in itself.

Ingredients for 1:
- 55 grams red lentils
- 250 ml water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 ground turmeric
- 1/5 teaspoon nigella seeds
- 1/5 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/5 teaspooncumin seeds
- 1/5 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/5 teaspoon fenugreek leaves
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/5 teaspoon hot chilli powder
- 5 cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of chopped up fresh cilantro

How to:
Put the lentils, the tomatoes you've cut in four and the water with the salt, turmeric and ginger on the fire. Let the lentils simmer on medium heat for about 25 minutes until they're tender. 

Crush all the other spices - apart from the cilantro - and the garlic until the aromas come off. Add them to the lentils on the fire. Stir regularly while the dal simmers for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Now cook the rice according to the instructions on the package. 
Serve the dal with the rice and the fresh cilantro.

Watch out with the chilli powder if you are not a fan of real hot food! I like it very much, but you might be surprised by the heat of just the pinch you put inside ... 


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