Nepal - Dal Bhat
One of my biggest worries when it comes to lentils, as I’m sure everyone has the same concerns, is that they can take a while to cook, and they are normally kind of bland. I've had many friends express this to me. But this was far from it. In fact, even though I’m a fan of lentils (if they are done correctly), this dish will absolutely make a believer out of anyone who has had negative experiences with lentils before. Justin and I both really enjoyed this and thought it was very flavorful.
I served this on top of rice, and it was the perfect combination. While the dal may look soupy, it actually had a thick consistency once mixed. I also made a cauliflower and potato side dish called Cauli Aloo. Also really delicious and full of flavor.
ALSO, I collaborated with a very dear friend, @let.health.flow on this dish. Her business is all about having a holistic approach to food and health. She sent me a ginger flavored essential oil to try with my cooking, and it smelled ABSOLUTELY wonderful. So if you’re into essential oils, or even are a little curious about it, head on over to her Instagram page or website to learn more!
1 cup red lentils
2 tbsp ghee or butter
1 yellow onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
2-inch ginger (grated)
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 medium tomato (diced)
3 cups water
2 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
Before starting, soak the red lentils for about 30 minutes with enough water to cover by 2 inches.
Heat a saucepan or medium pot over medium heat. Add the ghee, and when ready, saute the onions for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent.
Turn the heat to low and add garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, turmeric, red chili powder, and the diced tomato. Never be afraid to use more of any spice if you love it like I do! Stir well and let it saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Note: I used a beautifully fragrant ginger essential oil from Let Health Flow. If you're at all interested in the science or health benefits of essential oils, do check out their website! Ginger specifically helps with inflammation, nausea, and many other uses,
Rinse the red lentils and drain them. Add the lentils and give all the ingredients in the pot a really good stir to mix the ingredients well. Cook for about 3 minutes before adding the 3 cups of water. Turn up the heat to high and let it come to a boil. Once it does, season with salt, lower the heat to medium-low and cover for 15 minutes. I had to add a little bit of water to prevent it from completely drying out, but it's up to you if you want them a thicker or soupy consistency.
Stir in freshly chopped cilantro, take it off the heat, and serve, garnishing with more cilantro if desired.
Note: I served this dish with rice and a delicious cauliflower aloo.
Recipe adapted from Vikalinka.