RECIPE: Bengali Dal
I made this for dinner tonight, and took some over to my (non-vegetarian) neighbors. They loved it. Prep is very quick. It tastes better the longer you let it simmer, so it is excellent in a crock pot. The recipe is easily doubled. - Hal
1 cup brown lentils
1 large yellow onion, diced (add more to your taste)
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 bunch fresh cilantro (coriander)
1/2 head cauliflower
Lime for garnish
Salt to taste
Melt the butter in a nonstick pan, turn the heat up to medium high, & add the cumin seeds. Turn the heat down when the cumin seeds change color. Add the onion and saute. When the onions are a little brown on the edges add the tumeric. Cook about 5 minutes more on medium low. Use black cooking utensils - the tumeric will stain plastic and wood.
Wash the lentils. Bring them to a boil in a large pot and cook for about 1/2 hour. Turn down the heat to simmer. Add the saute onion mixture. Add the sugar.Add the crushed peppers (just about any type of peppers will do, fresh or dried, add to taste). Simmer. Check the water while cooking. The mixture should eventually become soupy.
Chop and add the cilantro. I use it sparingly to taste.
Slice the cauliflower into about 1/2 inch thick pieces and add it towards the end of cooking to get the texture you like (I like mine on the soft side so I simmer it for about an hour).
I like to serve this over tofu or Redi-Burger (a canned ground beef subsitute) or over a large baked or boiled potato. The lime juice goes good with it and the lime looks nice against the brown lentils.