Indian-inspired Red Lentil Dahl, an exotic comforting beautifully looking dish that will please the vegetarian or vegan people in your life, however, I know the meat eaters might develop a fondness for this one too!
Song of the day: “Feel” by Bombay Bicycle Club.
Indian-inspired Red Lentil Dahl, a dish so full of flavor and richness you will find yourself cleaning the plate with the naan and looking to see if there is more in the serving dish!
Past life or not? That is the question.
Indian food, I have to say, is a favorite of mine. I love the spices, the richness, and the colorful way it presents itself. They say we eat with our eyes first then with our mouth. I totally agree and this Indian-inspired Dahl is just that, a visually stunning dish.
My first time eating Indian food was such an awakening experience. It seemed like a food that I had eaten before, however never in this lifetime, maybe in a past life. I do believe in past lives and I have to say when cooking Indian food, or experiencing the culture, I am always filled with delightful, joyful, warm, comforting feelings. Luckily for those who get to eat these recipes, because there is so much good energy in the dish that usually leaves them with a huge grin. Wonderful for me for having a good past life if it is indeed true.
My motto is, whatever floats your boat, and this Indian-inspired Red Lentil Dahl is definitely keeping my boat above water, lol!
There are many types of lentils in various colors, too many to mention, and I don’t want to find you nodding off as I explain all the different varieties and colors consequently having this vision of Charlie Brown’s teacher hearing that Blah Blah blah, lol.
We used dried red organic lentils, but no need to soak them overnight. I love the meatiness of this legume, similarly, they are visually stunning!
This is not a difficult recipe. The steps are as follows:
- Firstly, wash and rinse the lentils, and boil them till partially cooked.
- Secondly, get all those spices and onion flavors sauteing in the pan adding in the lentils to be infused with all that goodness.
- Thirdly, add some vegetable stock, and finally, coconut milk simmering slowly waltzing so lovely in a flavor bliss.
- Lastly, a quick taste for seasoning, and finally time to eat!
Let’s get that naan warmed up and the dipping begins.
Some helpful tips……..
- Indian food is about spices and elevating those flavors. By heating them up in the pan they do just that and when you start adding the other ingredients that menagerie of heaven just seeps and slowly caresses the ingredients with its exoticism!
- I usually by the naan from a vendor at our farmers market, however, I have made it homemade and used it here. I make a pizza like very stretchy dough, warm up a pizza stone on the BBQ and stretch the dough placing it on the stone and minding it so it does not burn. It takes a few times to get it but I really loved how it turned out.
Maybe one day I can be taught how to make the traditional naan, maybe even dig a hole in the yard and construct a Tandoori oven, hence, all in the name of FOOD!
Maybe I am always repeating myself, however, the smells emanating from the kitchen are heavenly. I always tell Nicoletta that the day after, in the morning when we wake up and start our way to the main floor, we are hit with this aroma of a restaurant. Well, we could be a restaurant with the way our kitchen is always bustling!
So Ready to Eat!
This Indian-inspired Red Lentil Dahl has my mouth watering and my senses in a frenzy of extreme hunger. The naan is nice and warm and it feels so wonderful to the touch as you feel that texture of this wonderful bread. Similarly that richness of the dahl enticing my naan into its depths, finding its resting place in my mouth.
Those spices and textures are just swirling in my mouth, each coming forward and falling back as another comes through. The lentils nice and tender, with slight al dente notes delivering delightful sensations on my palate.
The naan sops up all those juices and bite after bite I am left with such wonderful memories of times past and new ones created at this moment!
It is not too hot on the spicy scale, and I know my Indian friends would say it is very mild, however, Nicoletta cannot do too spicy and that is what cooking is all about, doing it for the ones you love.
If I was making it for my Indian friends an addition of some chilies would be necessary!
Food is very important to us. It nourishes us, it is a way of getting people together and it closes the boundary of borders from near to far. If Indian food is a favorite, Indian-inspired Red Lentil Dahl is a perfect meal to be planning!
I sure do hope you get to try it!
Song of the day: “Feel” by Bombay Bicycle Club.Print
Indian-inspired Red Lentil Dahl, an exotic dish packed with flavorful spices and sensual textures leaving you looking for more as the little bit left in your bowl is taken by the warm naan in your hands!
- 3/4 cup (200 ml) dried red organic lentils
- 3–4 cups of water, for the dried lentils
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp ginger, minced
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 medium yellow onion
- 1 small tomato
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 carrot
- dash white pepper
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 2–3 cups of vegetable stock, enough to cover the lentils in the pan (you might not use it all)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 lemon, squeezed
- 1 tsp chopped chive, for the topping
- 1 tsp chopped parsley, for the topping
- Wash the dried lentils and place them in a pot with 3-4 cups of water. Cook over low-medium heat for about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Fry the unpeeled garlic cloves in a pan with a drizzle of oil. Once golden, peel them, remove the core (or gem) and mash them with a fork and a touch of salt.
- Add four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in the pan, place the mashed garlic and add the spices: ginger, paprika, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon. Stir, add the finely sliced onion, and saute over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Dice the tomato, chop the celery and carrot. Then, add them to the pan. Stir, and add the lentils too. Toast everything for a few minutes by raising the heat and then cover the lentils with the hot vegetable stock. (It is important to pour it hot so as not to block the cooking of the lentils).
- Lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk, and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the lentils are soft, adding hot broth, if necessary.
- After this time, turn off the heat, and add the lemon juice.
- Place two ladles of cooked lentils in a blender and puree them.
- Add the puree to the pot with the lentils and, just before serving, add the chopped chives and parsley.
- Serve it hot with naan or basmati rice.
If you use pre-cooked canned lentils, the cooking time is shorter and you can skip step number 1.
If you like it spicier, feel free to add garam masala and/or chilies.
You can pair dahl with naan or rice.