Dal with Ginger and Garlic

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
  1. spread lentils on a sheet, pick out stones and dirt
  2. place lentils in a colander, and run the water thru until clear
  3. drain
  4. in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat melt butter until bubbly
  5. add cumin, stir fry until brownish
  6. add onions, salt and pepper
  7. sauté until golden brown
  8. add garlic and ginger, continue sautéing for 2-3 minutes
  9. 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!
  10. check lentils and add water/stock if necessary – until tender
  11. taste, correct seasoning, fold in chopped cilantro

will keep in the fridge 2-3 days

reheat over steam stirring often


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