Monday 19 December 2016

Brown Daal.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The perfect hot dinner for a meatless Monday!
In our house, we try our best to eat as many vegetarian and fish meals as possible.
Even though we absolutely love chicken and cannot get enough of it, we realised a few months ago that we should also be trying to pack in as many vegetables as possible. One thing I like to do to help me along is make a list of all the seasonal fresh produce at the beginning of every month. That way we're eating different fruits and vegetables each month and not getting bored with the same ones over and over again.
In the winter months, citrus is at its peak so we've been throwing plenty of it into our fruit salad. Dark, leafy greens such as kale are also abundant at this time. We stir-fried our kale with garlic for a roast dinner side dish and also added the kale to our potato cakes. Also in season at the moment are butternut squash which we added to our weekend curry and cranberries. I made these sweet rolls with mine and added them to a pear crumble with the best gingernut biscuit topping.
But the easiest vegetarian dinner in our house will always include lentils of some sort. We love making a daal and like to switch up our choice of lentil each time. Today, it's the turn of brown lentils with our recipe for a brown daal.
The brown lentils do take longer to cook but it is so worth it. We like to cook ours down with plenty of fresh ginger, garlic and ground spices. It's finished off with a dried red chilli tarka and lots of fresh coriander. The texture is kind of like hummus which is why I like to dunk wholemeal pitta into mine. And of course, I love to serve the essential daal accompaniments alongside - lemon wedges and spicy pickle.

Lentils, previously: toor daal // masoor daal // restaurant style daal

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Brown Lentils
2. Water
3. Ginger
4. Garlic
5. Salt
6. Ground Turmeric
7. Ground Cumin
8. Red Chilli Powder
9. Ground Coriander
10. Fresh Coriander
11. Vegetable Oil
12. Dried Red Chillies

Bismillah, let's begin!

We start with the main ingredient. I used these brown lentils in this curry.

Measure out 500g (1 pound) Brown Lentils.

Give them a wash. Mine only needed two changes of water as they were pretty clean.

Soak the lentils in more water for 15 minutes.

Then, it's time to cook the lentils. Drain and place them into a deep pan over a medium heat.

Pour in enough Water, to cover.

Peel 1/2 inch piece of Ginger.

Give the ginger a good bash.

And, add to the lentils.

Peel 4 Garlic Cloves and throw them in.

Measure out the dry spices:
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
2 teaspoons Ground Coriander

Throw them in!

Stir everything together and bring to the boil.

Once boiling, turn the heat down.

Partially cover the pan with a lid and set the heat to medium low.

Whilst we make the tarka!

Heat 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil in a pan over a medium heat.

Peel 9 Garlic Cloves.

Bash until crushed.

And, add to the hot oil.

Fry until the garlic is beginning to brown. 

Grab the small dried red chillies. You can use larger ones too.

Add 3 small Dried Red Chillies and fry for 1 minute until everything is really fragrant.

Uncover the lentils and give it a stir.

As soon as the tarka is done, pour it straight into the lentils.

The signature tarka meets daal shot.

Scrape out all the tarka into the lentils.

Stir in the tarka.

Add more Water, to taste.

Bring to the boil.

Partially cover the pan with a lid and leave to cook over a low heat. Brown lentils take a lot longer to cook - ours took around 30-40 minutes.

Every now and then, give the lentils a stir. Mash any whole pieces of garlic.

Throw in a handful of Fresh Coriander, chopped. 

Stir and let everything continue cooking.

Add more water, if things are getting too dry and still not cooked.

Until the lentils are cooked!

Serve in a large bowl.

We had ours with wholemeal pitta bread and plenty of lemon wedges.

And of course, an essential with daal is achar.

We had a spice mixed pickle and a green chilli pickle.

I love this recipe because it's so easy to make. Yes, it does take time for the lentils to cook but I'm sure you can find something to do in that time. This brown daal is the perfect option for a winter meatless Monday. Enjoy!

Brown Daal.

Prep Time: About 15 minutes.
Cook Time: About 1 hour.
Serves: About 5 people.


For the Lentils
500g (1 pound) Brown Lentils
Water, as needed
1/2 inch Ginger, peeled and crushed
4 Garlic Cloves, peeled
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
2 teaspoons Ground Coriander
Handful Fresh Coriander, chopped

For the Tarka
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
9 Garlic Cloves, peeled and crushed
3 small Dried Red Chillies

Soak the lentils:
Wash the lentils and soak in water for 15 minutes.

Cook the lentils:
Drain the lentils and place into a deep pan over a medium heat. Add enough water to cover. Add in the crushed ginger, garlic cloves, salt, ground turmeric, ground cumin, red chilli powder and ground coriander. Stir and bring to the boil. Partially cover with a lid and turn the heat to medium low whilst making the tarka.

Make the tarka:
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the crushed garlic and fry for a minute or two. Add the dried red chillies and fry until the garlic is golden.

Combine the tarka and lentils:
When the tarka is done, immediately pour it into the lentils. Stir in and add more water, if the lentils are too dry. Mash any whole garlic cloves with the back of a spoon. Add the fresh coriander and stir in. Partially cover the daal and leave it to cook until it's tender. Ours took around 30-40 minutes and we added more water, whenever we felt things were getting too dry.

To serve:
We served our brown daal with wholemeal pitta breads, mixed spicy pickle, spicy green chilli pickle and plenty of fresh lemon.

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your brown daal!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
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