Saturday, November 16, 2013

Indian Lentil Daal

Lowly lentils never tasted so good. These are super flavorful,  healthy, and make excellent left-overs.
  • 1 pound dried green or brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • Lamb chops, about a 1/2 lbs
  • 1 pound fresh Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • ¼ cup grapeseed or peanut oil (or substitute olive oil)
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped, thick stems discarded
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon (or lime)
  1. Soak the lentils overnight
  2. Put the lentils, half the tomatoes, ginger, garlic, coriander, and turmeric in a large pot; add enough water to cover by 1½  inches. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the lentils are almost tender.
  3. Heat cast-iron skillet to medium high. Season lamb chops with salt and pepper.
  4. Sear lamb chops for 2 minutes per side, remove from heat and let rest.
  5. Cube lamb, removing any gristle or inedible parts and add to lentil pot. 
  6. Continue cooking the lentils while you put the oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the butter melts, add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, and cloves, and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the cayenne and 1 cup water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer for 1 minute, then turn off the heat.
  7. Stir the onion mixture into the lentils along with the remaining tomatoes and the cilantro. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve hot or warm over basmati rice, if desired. 
  8. Eat over basmati rice or naan


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