I have my Daughter to Thank for this Dish.
Last month I was in in Spokane, Washington visiting my daughter who is away at boarding school. Paisley is a vegetarian… a vegan actually, which is sometimes hard for a person like me who loves to cook and eat everything to deal with. It also makes the restaurant selections a bit more challenging. One afternoon we were wandering around the downtown area and the most delicious smells were wafting down the street. We followed our noses, which led us around the corner to a charming Indian restaurant. It was very cold outside, but the minute we walked in the door, we were immediately warmed by the aroma of turmeric, cumin and ginger. We chose three menu items and shared them all with warm naan bread. Comfort food indeed.
This dish, Masoor Dal, was by far our favorite and I spent the next week reading recipes and practicing my own versions of this very traditional dish. This is easy to make and there is nothing fussy about this recipe. Not only is it healthy due to all the “superfoods” and spices, but it is beautiful and fragrant as well. As it cooks use your cooking judgment and add more stock as needed. Test the lentils for tenderness and adjust accordingly. This is great over fragrant jasmine rice or also it makes a great side dish.
2 TBS Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Onions, diced
1 Cup Carrots, diced small
1 Med Sweet Potato, peeled and diced small
1 TBS Fresh Ginger, minced
3 Cloves Fresh Garlic Cloves, minced
1 each Thai Red Chili, seeded and minced
1 Cup Red Lentils
1 ½ TBS Ground Cumin
3 tsp Ground Coriander
2 tsp Ground Turmeric
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Yellow Curry
1 28 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
2 TBS Sugar
2 tsp Lemon Juice
2 Cups Vegetable Stock or Water
Salt To taste
Place oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and carrots to hot oil and sauté until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Add sweet potato and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add minced ginger, garlic and chili; reduce heat to low. Cook for 1-minute, stirring constantly.
Add lentils and spices. Stir into mixture until everything is well coated in spices. Add tomatoes and water or vegetable stock.
Raise heat to a boil, then bring to simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until lentils and sweet potatoes are soft, about 25 minutes. Taste and season with salt. Add more water if the Masoor Dal is too dry.
Allow to cook about 10 more minutes until lentils are creamy (you can speed this up by whisking a few times to break up the lentils and potatoes). If it’s too soupy, turn the heat down to low and allow to cook a few more minutes.
Stir in lemon juice.