How are we all doing? Everyone ok? It's yet another snow day here in Connecticut, and it looks something like this:
To distract you from the blustery weather, I thought that I'd share a recipe. I love Indian food, and I'm often reminded how easy it is to make at home. Last night, I made spinach dal, based on this recipe from The Splendid Table. As with most recipes, I didn't read this one all the way through and I noticed that it was better for slow cookers. Well, I skipped that step. I just simmered it on the stove, and it turned out just fine. Most Indian dishes are well suited for root and winter vegetables. I had carrots, garlic, and spinach from the farm and tapped into my frozen peppers that I put up from HBF this summer. With a few spices, brown lentils, and a can of coconut milk, this makes an excellent week-day meal...or an excuse to cook during a snowy day with the impending doom of a power outage.
Spiced Dal with Coconut Milk (adapted from The Splendid Table - an excellent resource and food podcast!)
- 2 Tbl coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped/diced
- 1 cup frozen red peppers, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- veggie stock or water
- 1 cup dried lentils (I used brown, but you can use yellow or red)
- 4 cups water
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 2 tsp tumeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon (**If you have curry powder on hand instead of these individual dried spices, you can use it instead. I'd use like 2 Tbl of curry powder.**)
- 1 Tbl fresh ginger, grated
- 1 can coconut milk (I used light)
- 2 heaping handfuls of spinach, chopped finely or in a food processor
- In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion and carrots for 10 minutes, until the onion has browned. Add frozen chopped peppers and 1/2 -1 cup of water or veggie stock to the pan, simmer, cover and cook until the carrots are tender, about 5-8 more minutes.
- In a separate pot, bring four cups of water to a boil. Add the lentils, bring to a boil and return to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, until lentils are tender. Drain or reserve in liquid off the heat until ready to transfer to the coconut mixture.
- Add spices, ginger and garlic to the saute pan. Add more water or stock to prevent the mixture from sticking and continue cooking on low heat for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in cooked lentils, spinach and coconut milk. Cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes, uncovered, so some of the coconut milk has cooked down and the dish is heated through.
- Serve in a bowl as is or over brown rice, millet or quinoa.
- I turned this into soup for lunch today. Simply reheat in a soup pot, add warm water or veggie stock. Remove from heat, and use an immersion or stick blender or, carefully, transfer the warm liquid into a stand blender. Add more liquid until you reach a desired consistency for soup - it depends on your preference. I topped my soup with a little goat cheese, but a dollop of yogurt would be excellent, too.
- I didn't use a picture of the soup in this post. It tastes amazing, but a picture doesn't capture its deliciousness. Sadly, it resembles the color of baby poop, which is not quite appetizing on a food blog. Just trust me on the taste!