This is a graceful accompaniment to various, not necessarily Indian, dishes. We started it once upon a time with spinach and eggplant curry, but now we invite this taste quite often on its own or in other, even often crowded hot buffet, configurations.
The quantities below serve 6 people, but the recipe divides or multiplies easily.
The challenge: keep an eye on cooking the lentil beans – it takes very little or not so little time before it disintegrates. The taste remains, but the presentation is not impressive – my picture above illustrates one of those unfortunate late-delivery situations. The good thing is we had no leftovers!
- 3 cups dal (orange lentils)
- 3 tablespoon clarified butter (ghee)
- 3 teaspoons cumin seed
- 1 large onion, finely diced (about 1,5 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons puréed garlic
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated, peeled ginger
- 3 cupa chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
- 1/3 bunch cilantro, or to your taste, chopped
- spread lentils on a sheet, pick out stones and dirt
- place lentils in a colander, and run the water thru until clear
- in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat melt butter until bubbly
- add cumin, stir fry until brownish
- add onions, salt and pepper
- sauté until golden brown
- add garlic and ginger, continue sautéing for 2-3 minutes
- stir in the washed lentils and stock, bring to simmer, cover, and cook for 20-30 minutes – but do not let it stand much longer, sticks to the pan!
- check lentils and add water/stock if necessary – until tender
- taste, correct seasoning, fold in chopped cilantro
will keep in the fridge 2-3 days
reheat over steam stirring often