Monday, December 2, 2013

Three Lentil Dal

"Three Lentil Dal" (page 264) is an interesting take on this standard dish found in Indian cuisine. This dal is made using green, brown, and red lentils, cooked until very tender, then mixed with a sauté of onion, garlic, ginger and spices. Finally, crushed tomatoes are added to the mix, and everything is cooked together until the flavors are blended. Since the three different kinds of lentils all have different cooking times, the recipe has you soaking the green and brown lentils in separate bowls, then staggering the cooking times by starting with the green, then adding the brown, and finally the red. Since I like the lentils in dal to be very well cooked, even to the point of overcooked, I skipped the soaking step, and just cooked all the lentils together until they were super soft, not minding at all if the quicker cooking lentils cooked beyond their "done" point. I also gave them a vigorous stirring to further mash them up and acquire the texture I like - almost to the point of a dish of refried beans. The wonderful spices in this recipe (ginger, curry cumin, coriander, and cayenne) give the dal authenticity, even if mixing the three types lentils was a bit unorthodox. Naan is traditionally used to scoop up dal, but it is hard to find whole grain and/or oil free versions of this Indian bread. However, any flat bread you like will work equally well.

Keeping it "McDougall Friendly" checklist:
ü  Omit the oil when sautéing the veggies; instead, use a nonstick soup pot and/or use broth, water, or sherry as a sauté liquid.

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