Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Auntie's Dal

This recipe is courtesy of Auntie, the matriarch of the family I work for.  I am so lucky that she has shared so much of her food knowledge with me.  She is from Pakistan and cooks amazing, yet simple food.

Her favorite spices are turmeric, coriander and chili powder.  She also uses dried onions.

This dal comes together in under 30 minutes and is a crowd pleaser.  I am going to share exactly how she does it and then give you some additions if you want to jazz it up... but do try it as is. I was surprised how good it was.

Please try to find red lentils from an ethnic store if you can.  In a pinch, you can use the Goya brand.

Auntie's Dal

  • 1 lb red lentils
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried onions
  • 1.5 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon mild chili powder 
  • 3 tablespoons ghee (traditional) or coconut oil 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped 
  1. Place dal, water, salt, onions, turmeric and chili powder in a saucepan. Bring to a boil
  2. Lower heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes
  3. Chop garlic and saute in the oil until very fragrant and golden brown.
  4. Add the garlic to the cooked lentils and stir in cilantro
  5. Taste and adjust salt if needed
  • Add  1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 teaspoon ground coriander, chopped tomatoes and lemon juice.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of garam masala and juice of 1 lime
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon cardamom and 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds 
Here's another delicious Auntie dish.. stuffed Roti with Mint-Cilantro Chutney..  sooo good!  She made me some for lunch and then sent some home with me to give to my boyfriend. So good!